Opportunities to learn to sail/room and board exch. for long term crewing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-26-2009 Thread Starter
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Opportunities to learn to sail/room and board exch. for long term crewing

My name is John Wade and I am a 24 year old college student and sometime bicycle mechanic in Richmond, Virginia. I go on "long" bicycle rides up and around the SE United States.

I would like to learn how to sail as intensely as I have ever tried to learn anything. I am going to try to get in on some day trips in the area, and I do have one friend who has a brother in Philadelphia that has a boat...

However what I am really looking for is an opportunity to dedicate months or years working on a crew on long voyages/trips. Ideally, I would be working around the clock in exchange for my room and board, or some arrangement like that.

I need to have a lot of experience on and know how to fix sailboats before I could buy my own, and this is something that I have thought about a lot. I am strong, in good shape, good with my hands, and a quick learner.

Any advice? I will be free starting in January to work to learn.


John Wade
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-29-2009
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Get as much sailing in as you can now (find a friend, make a friend, or take some ASA or USSA lessons before it gets too cold).

Then google "yacht deliveries east coast", and you'll get something like this:

yacht deliveries east coast - Google Search

One of them maybe interested in a willing-to-learn, "free" crew, but you'll need some experience. These trips may only be a few days in duration, but it could work out. In the spring, some charter boats , like birds, come north from Florida or the Caribbean, and vice-versa in the fall.

Worth a try.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-30-2009
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Move to Australia or New Zealand

Hi John,
I agree with NolaTom start learning and sailing as much as you can now. Go to the buliten boards, marinas, and yach clubs to get on some boats before the season ends. If you want to learn to sail in January you might consider moving to the southern hemisphere.

There is some sailing and racing that goes on in the winter months in the US, but it is fewer and farther inbetween. The problem with this being a newbie is that the few boats going out will already be well crewed as only the committed are sailing throughout the winter and the boats will be filled already. My guess is there would be better opportunities on the west coast or FLA or Gulf Coast over the winter.

With no experience it is highly unlikely some one is going to provide room and board to you while you learn. You might have a chance to move to the Caribbean and hope for the best, but expect to support yourself through other work until you are a capable sailor and can help repairs etc.

Come summer you can learn to sail for free. Read as much as you can, start hanging out at the docks or yacht clubs around April and see about getting on some race boats or cruising boats.

Once you got a little experience under your belt more opportunities will come your way, the more time you spend at the marina the more ways you will find to get onboard. It does not take long to learn the basics but a lifetime to get become good. After a few months you could know enough to own your own boat or be able to honestly pimp yourself out in the Caribbean next winter.

Good Luck

West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
Oceanside CA
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