Here’s a secret: you don’t need much money to go sailing. You just need to join as volunteer sailing crew, and you don’t need experience to do that either! Here we will look at how to get afloat using Onboard Space’s yacht crewing service.
Money and yachts
One of the labels the yachting world hates with a passion is that it is an ‘elite sport’. This comes with the €100 million Americas Cup campaigns and the obscene amounts of cash spent on things like the Jules Verne Trophy. People look at those and imagine yachties to be loaded. What rubbish!
Most yacht owners will have yachts that cost them €20,000 or so and use them more as a family caravan that they take out ‘beer can racing’ every weekend in the summer months. They don’t want to pay for crew except in beer and possibly lunch!
Volunteer sailing crew
Ninety eight percent of yachting world’s crew are volunteers. That doesn’t mean you are supporting some charity – it does mean as volunteer sailing crew you are unpaid and you are just after having a good time afloat.
If you are outgoing and willing to do whatever you are asked when aboard, you don’t even have to know much about sailing to be volunteer sailing crew! Does your face fit and are you fun to be around? Welcome aboard!
Experience as a crew (or even skipper) helps and could get you on longer voyages or the faster boats of the local sailing club. Sailing is a career – you can start with no knowledge as volunteer sailing crew and develop your sailing career wherever you want. Age 16 and want to race the Volvo Ocean Race one day? Go crewing as a volunteer on a local yacht and build from there. Young adult and heard of the parties yachties have? Get afloat and see if your liver’s up to scratch!
Onboard Space – a new way of getting afloat
Until now you have always been able to walk down to the dock or sailing club and offer your services. With this it has been difficult for skippers and crew to get together without a bit of risk – a skipper doesn’t know if they have Mother Theresa or Hannibal Lecter as volunteer sailing crew if they meet them on the dock – the same applies to the crew with the skipper!
Onboard Space allows skippers and crew to assess each other before they agree to go sailing together. Skippers can advertise for crew and when they have looked at one another’s profile they then pay one credit each to make contact.
Your first three credits are free when you join Onboard Space!!!
This being a social platform, after going sailing together you review one another. In that way people can be assured as to who the good guys and gals are!
This isn’t just for beer can racing. It is theoretically possible to hitchhike around the world on other people’s yachts as volunteer crew. One day we may well see someone use Onboard Space to leave Cadiz for the Caribbean as volunteer sailing crew, find another boat there to go to Hawaii and on to Asia before returning through the Suez and Med.
For the most part? As volunteer sailing crew you could just do deliveries or cruises of a week or so, perhaps contributing to the food and beer aboard as you go. Not bad for €5 – certainly when you realise a yacht charter can cost well over €1500 a week!!!
Sign up as volunteer sailing crew or as a skipper here