The title was put up with tongue in cheek so hopefully nobody gets too bent out of shape. That said if you are easily offended maybe you should stop reading now. Go ahead, I'll wait for you to close this thread...
Ok, everyone else still around. I was reading a couple of sites recently and a common theme popped up in different threads regarding delivery crew/ guest crew and whether the skipper should feed them while they are on a delivery or extended trip. Apparently there are a couple ways of thinking about it. One school of thought is that the skipper should cover all costs while on board the boat and the other school thinks that it is acceptable to split costs among the crew. For me personally, I think I would be caught off guard if I were helping someone move their boat AND paying a portion of the expense. I would be happy to help a buddy or even a loose acquaintance to transport their boat, but I would feel like I was financing their trip if i were expected to foot any of the on board costs.
Most of the long distance trips that I have made have been either solo or with a single crew member joining me. When I invite crew to come along I make clear up front that I will do my best to have the boat at a rendezvous point to bring them on board at a certain date and will drop them at an agreed on location no later than a certain date. Emphasizing that a boat is subject to weather and delays and reminding them that they may need to be flexible with traveling in order to get where the boat is. That way they can arrange their own travel to and from and shouldn't be surprised if they have to travel over land from the nearest airport. I also plan to cover all food while on board and let them know to bring any snacks or favorites that would make them happy. I don't pay for meals on shore and I don't cover travel costs to and from the boat.
When I invite crew aboard I view them as my guest and expect to feed them. Am I in the minority on this one? Most of what I read elsewhere made it seem like it was a pretty standard practice to have crew share food costs aboard. I can see doing that on a group charter or other such arrangement where the cost is shared but on my boat I figure that I put out the invite and it is I that am benefitting from having the extra hands. Feeding them is just part of the deal. The trade off is that the crew has no say in the menu and I expect them to do dishes when I cook.
In a similar way, I also feel that on my boat I set the itinerary and decide when and where we make port. With that decision making responsibility I also take on all the expense of docking, fuel, etc.
Maybe I am doing it wrong and could have been financing my trips by inviting crew along more often?
I would be interested to hear what others do, or think about having crew/guests aboard your boat on an extended trip.