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Best Way to Get on a Boat
Posted October 28th, 2012 - 5:36 am by from Shanghai, China (Permalink)
Hi couchsailers,

Is this an effective way to join the crew of a ship? It seems most posts here are people looking for boats and not a lot of captains looking for crew.

Are there other networks and websites where finding a ship is faster and more reliable?

Apologies if my lingo is lacking, please update it as necessary.

Posted October 28th, 2012 - 10:06 pm by from Hilo, United States (Permalink)
7knots.com and floatplan.com are the sites I use when looking for crew besides CS.

Posted November 6th, 2012 - 12:29 pm by from Dublin, Ireland (Republic of) (Permalink)
Cheers for that Jonas.

Posted November 6th, 2012 - 3:36 pm by from Eskisehir, Turkey (Permalink)
well are you guys talkign about cargo ships only ? if your interested in cruise ships i might give you some company names.

Posted November 6th, 2012 - 7:54 pm from Murom, Russia
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 4:25 pm by from Houston, United States (Permalink)
Sometimes it is ok to not have sailing experience, however I here are a few tips: when asking for a ride, note any experience you may have. Space is extremely limited on the boat, so limit yourself to one bag/pack and be sure to tell the captain you only have one bag that can be stowed anywhere. Offer to take the weird hours during the night shift. tell your captain you will be pitching in for your share of food, also a great opportunity to offer your services as a cook. In my opinion, it's important not to look like a hitchhiker when asking around for a boat, which you don't from your profile picture. Taking on additional crew is a lot of work and can be troublesome. You want to appear as professional and responsible as possible.

Keep in mind that sailing for long periods of time can be a pleasure cruise or a trip straight from hell. Some people love it, however most hate it. Some people enjoy the voyage, and some the destination. If you're crossing an ocean, there is no getting out it once you set sail. You'll want some heavy reading material but you won't be able to bring a lot of books, I'd look into something like a Kindle for the journey to save space.

Hope this helps!

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 7:01 pm by from Fiumicino, Italy (Permalink)
My dear friend, taking a trip on a boat is not just like sleeping on a couch at home. The owner or skipper of the boat is responsible for your life ( legally)... Do you know what that means?

If you want an owner like me to invite you on a boat u have to show that you are a resposnsible person, that you will share expenses, and that you are available to work like the rest of the crew... And that is if u don't get sea seek!

Hope that makes you understand why u don' t find many boat owners willing to have people on board with no nautical o marine background.


Posted November 14th, 2012 - 4:24 am by from Hilo, United States (Permalink)
Having a lengthy sailing resume is not automatically an advantage when going for an unpaid crew position. Most skippers I know, including myself, prefer someone with very little experience. This way, you get to train the new crew mate to do it your way! The worst is having someone with a little experience that tries to make it seem like they know what they are doing. "On the other boat I was on, we didn't do it like that..."

Posted November 17th, 2012 - 8:35 pm by from New Orleans, United States (Permalink)
Getting on a boat takes work, but most skipers and captains are very welcoming to all, just so long as you want to learn! Shared expenses is a thing for some captains, but most working boats have an income enough to support you staying and even eating, just so long as you work hard!!! But the sailing life, for the most part, is pretty relaxing, so its worth the work, especially when you love sailig because its not really work. As far as experience goes, some is preferable at least, but if you have never sailed before, always keep safety in mind!
To get on a boat, its kinda difficult to do through the internet. Its best to go to the big marinas for private boats (steer clear of ports, as their security is usually intense), especially in big port cities and big tourist destinations for sailors. Just walk around and ask different boat owners for what kind of ship you are looking for (also ask workers, like those who clean boat bottoms, etc, but usually, marina administration desks wont help cause they dont want you hanging around); eventualy you will find what you are looking for, but it may take days, or even a week as boats are moving a lot. In the meantime, just try to make friends around the marina--youll never know what will happen.
Also, another tip: marinas in major cities/ports usually have an office for sailors just entering the country to go to get everything in order (immigration and customs wise), and most are open mon-fri. Wait outside this office and stop people as they leave for what you are looking for. Its best to be there as soon as the office opens in the morning because most sailors will be there around that time as well.

Posted November 18th, 2012 - 12:00 am from Sussex Inlet, Australia
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Posted November 18th, 2012 - 12:17 am by from Angers, France (Permalink)
Hi everyone !!!

Question... how long before to leave we have to looking for a boat?... we want to leave at the end of January 2013...is it too early to start research?
Cheers !!!

Posted December 2nd, 2012 - 6:04 pm by from Bellingham, United States (Permalink)
Try the Canary Islands NOW.

Posted December 6th, 2012 - 6:59 pm by from Kiel, Germany (Permalink)
Hi Christine,

I am at Tenerife right now and I am looking for a boat to help on and go whereever. You seem to have a clue where to look for a ride? Could you give me a tip?!
Thanks a lot

Posted December 6th, 2012 - 10:11 pm by from Bellingham, United States (Permalink)

This was just posted today; he says there are a lot of boats looking for crew in Mindelo, Cabo Verde:

Anybody who is interested in hitch sailing from Canary Islands please read

Have you taken the ferry from Tenerife to La Gomera? You could go over there and see who might be headed down to the Cape Verdes.

Posted November 18th, 2012 - 1:51 am from Kungsbacka, Sweden
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Posted November 18th, 2012 - 8:29 am by from Newbury, England (Permalink)
That's quite useful thank you, in your opinion, what would you say are good approaches to initiating contact? Can you also give some examples?

Posted November 18th, 2012 - 11:26 am by from Humacao, Puerto Rico (Permalink)
Besides the sites already listed in this thread, there is also www.desperatesailors.com

One of the things that I have noticed is the number of hitchhikers that say things like:
- "I am a fast learner..." Well, I am not a sailing school.
- "I write really cool poetry..." Well, that's cool. Find someone else that will listen.
- "I play the didgeridoo..." And what makes you think I want to listen to that monotone for more than 30 seconds?
- "Can you teach me to sail...." Well, this is the same as expecting someone to give you a free ride on an airplane and expecting them to teach you to fly.
- "I'll do all my own cooking and bring my own lentals.." Nope, on a boat we share those duties and expenses. And we eat meat too.
- "I'll sleep in the saloon..." Nope. That area is for everyone to relax, read and so on.

Posted November 20th, 2012 - 8:47 am by from Ragusa, Italy (Permalink)
John, reading this and your profile, I'm wondering if you've been drinking the sea water again?

Posted December 6th, 2012 - 9:16 pm by from Bodrum, Turkey (Permalink)
hahahaahha thisthread telling me why i am sailing alone and how idid sail alone this swhole summer :))) id like that.

Posted November 20th, 2012 - 5:42 pm by from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico (Permalink)
Try dockwalk.com
It's for professional crew, and most require at least an STCW certification, but I've found jobs here that don't require it.
Best of luck!