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When do most skippers need crew?

Skippers need crew for J Class beauties like this!
Chris Parfitt

In this horribly hot European summer, it’s lovely being on or near the water isn’t it? Skippers need crew at this time of year too, as holidays are here and it’s time to get afloat!

Why do skippers need crew?

Skippers need crew for all sorts of reasons. In the off-season they will want crew to get down to a cruising ground, but deliveries aren’t just it!

Let’s face it we all go sailing for one reason – it is the best fun you can have with your clothes on! OK, horizontal jogging can be part of the fun but the sailing just adds icing to the cake. Boats of different types can require a bit of muscle to get about – the classics out there need 2-3 crew even for a day sail, and that’s on a 35ft boat. The old J Classes need a bloody army to get the rigging right. Even smaller, lighter boat skippers need crew as solo sailing is a pig of a job at best. 

A skipper may need crew for a weekend or a week, just going where he or she pleases up and down the coast or across to the different islands of Europe. 

What do crew do?

Skippers can need crew just to get out on their club’s Sunday races. That can be a very good way for the complete novice to learn sailing and whether they really enjoy it. A season as crew on the beer can circuit can really show you whether you love sailing!

This may sound fairly obvious to some but not all. Crew make the boat work. You could be below cooking a meal, or even just making coffee. On deck you will be helping set and dowse sails and performing the routines of gybing and tacking as you blast down wind or beat upwind. Steering is not just the skipper’s – if you learn its art and can leave a dye-straight wake as you sail on a reach you will be loved even by the gnarliest of racing skipper. The navigator will love you too as they can at least predict where you will be in an hour!

Skippers and crew all play a part in the life of the boat. There are days at sea where no one feels great. You could be beating into a Force 7 at night in the rain with nothing on the boat dry (bar the coffee in the tin, though not always!). The motion is tough – they call it beating for a reason. If you as crew just get on with it and at best only mention the idea of a freezing drink in a warm bar as a joke you’ll be treated well. If you bitch and moan all the time you could end up slipping over the side one night.

Onboard Space – where skippers find crew!

Skippers who need crew will find many on Onboard Space. We’re a website where skippers can advertise for crew or search our database for suitable candidates. For a small fee you can pick the profiles that best suit you and arrange to speak to them. Pop over to our website and see what we’re about!