Crew Wanted – What to Know

Crew Wanted

Apr 25, 2024

by Marc Robic

You actually can do this!  As we have seen, there are many ads and websites dedicated to crew searches. Perfect opportunities for people looking for crew and sailors looking for adventure and learning experiences. And an opportunity for you to see some new horizons!

Some are actual paying gigs, with all expenses paid whilst others are purely volunteer, where only a bunk and food on board are provided. Some may offer your flight costs and perhaps a small daily stipend. Other may be that all costs are shared amongst the crew.

Some will be to crew on new boat deliveries and may involve an ocean crossing and many weeks. Others may involve charter boats that need to be repositioned as the seasons change. Med in the summer, Caribbean in the winter for example.

Some will be large motor or sailing yachts and others will be smaller private yachts. Some will be company owned and operated and other will be privately owned and needing a little help and companionship.

Some looking for experience sailors and other will be open to first timers looking to add experience to their knowledge.

So, the opportunities are truly open to whatever you may be looking for.


Once you’ve applied for the adventure you’re dreaming of, the next step will involve an interview by phone, virtual meeting or perhaps emails back and forth. So have you’re sailing resume ready and up to date.

But what most people seem to forget, which prompted this article, is that the interview is a two-way process. Meaning as the prospective skipper is asking you about your experience, you too must ask questions that are important to you.

One of my fellow club members just returned from sailing the Bahamas after applying for one of these crew wanted adds. His original objective was to experience sailing in blue waters, perhaps even an overnight sail, etc.

When he got back, he was disappointed. The boat owner preferred motoring from one island to the next, so actual sailing was minimal. Because there was a dog on board, all nights were spent in various ports and, although all meals onboard were supplied, the boat owner preferred restaurants and bars for lunch and dinner. (meals ashore were not paid!). To top everything off, the boat owner was a big smoker.

So, my discouraged friend said he learned a very valuable lesson; that he too should have asked questions and been clear on his expectations.

I encourage all sailors to seek out these wonderful opportunities to sail remote areas of the world at very affordable cost. But be clear about what you want out of the experience. If sailing as much as possible, is what you seek; be clear. If being around a smoker(s) or animals onboard is not what you want, say so. If having you own room and head is a must, say so.

I think you get it… Give serious thought as to how you envision this adventure and ask the right questions.

So, yes! Absolutely go for it! But make you’re going with your eyes wide open and enjoy the adventure.

  • Marc Robic

INFORMATION about the writer:

Marc is a member of the Canadian Power & Sail Squadron. He and his wife sail their Catalina 270, Aquaholic 3, out of the Ile-Perrot Yacht Club in Montreal, where Marc spent 16 years as Harbour Master. They are regular Caribbean bareboat yacht charterers. With over 40-years experience, Marc is also an avid onboard do-it-yourselfer.

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