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  • taku dave

    • 23m Hajkutter
    • General (Caribbean)
    • Checked in 10 hours ago

Watch: Sailing

Sailing the Caribbean and so much more!!!

Set sail with us on a non-profit, community-run ship dedicated to sail training and seamanship. Join us for an adventure that encompasses learning about sailing, new cultures, and life in general. This isn't just a sailing vacation, but a chance to be part of a special community sailing project. With over 7 years of operation in Atlantic Europe and the Caribbean, all you need is a passion for learning to come aboard.

The boat is very mixed nationalities from around the world, It is a way of sharing experiences, opening people's eyes, and giving lessons about life in general.

While it is possible to learn the basics of sailing in a few days, becoming a skilled sailor and mastering seamanship requires years of dedication and practice. the opportunity to engage in a unique sea adventure. It is more than just sailing; it is about immersing oneself in a cultural and life experience.

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  • Crew positionNovice Crew

  • Availability Available now for the foreseeable future

  • Expenses to/from vesselPaid by crew

  • Expenses onboardNegotiable

  • Team / SoloNot important

show hide Vessel


  • TypeTall Ship

  • Make/modelHajkutter

  • Length23 metres

  • Berth10

  • Sailing from General (Caribbean) , guadeluope

  • Sailing to General (Caribbean)

  • Language spoke aboardEnglish

show hide Skipper


  • NationalityUnited States

  • Age68

  • GenderMale

  • Fluent languages English

  • Basic knowledge of German

  • Qualifications Boatmaster

  • Sea Miles 10,000+

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Exactly the experience I was looking for


I stayed on Labora from Dec 31, 2022 until end of Jan 2023. I found Labora to be just the adventure I was seeking. This is a working boat. There are many projects and all in varing degrees of completion as supplies are found and bought. Message Dave for a list of current projects. The boat is currently creating an art exposition in Guadeloupe where they are working with local artists to do a rendition of the culture, painted on the sides of the hull. This project will likely take the next couple of months. As of my leaving, big strides have been made towards making this exposition happen and a number of leading artists and culture leaders have signed on to make it happen. If you speak French or like art, this is a perfect time to donate some time and get involved. During my month onboard, we went on 5 day sails taking locals from the island out for the day and finishing by sharing in a picnic on the beach of a local small island. Again, this is a working boat, more than a sailing boat. Staying at anchor in the harbor near Pointe a Pitre was calm and a restful sleep. At anchor near Le gosier had a bit more swell and rocking, but I believe most of the near future will be in the harbor. Food and chores are communal. There were 6 crew total while I was aboard and we all got along very well. Everyone had certain specialties of work from cooking to sanding to wood work to being up in the rigging. This created a good dynamic for us to work. To give you an idea of how well people liked the boat, I was on the boat for a month and the other crew had been on longer, even out to 3 plus months. People looking for this type of boat come for the work and stay for the community they build. Your attitude will determine how well your adventure is. If you are searching for a challenge and are able to bring a hard work ethic to donate in restoring an old traditional wooden sailboat this would give you plenty of challenges and rewards. Crew commonly contributes $100-120 euro per week for food and supplies aboard. The more crew that are on board the easier this is. I would suggest planning an additional $50/week for personal things when on shore like meals out, sodas, and ice cream, etc. Meals on the boat are crew decisions or by whoever chooses to take on cooking duties. A lot of base starches, like rice, pasta, potatoes, oats make up the foundation of meals and then local produce is used to accentuate the meals. We had some wonderful cooks on board that were creative with the ingredients we had. Dave has a very unique history of experience and expeditions. You can find out much about him from reading his website, or ask him while sitting on the stern in the evenings drinking tea or hot chocolate. Some have commented about his yelling, yes he yells a bit, don’t take it personally. He has a lot going on at all times and occasionally may yell when there are reasons to get something done quickly or that relates to personal safety. Assess, learn, and move on, again, don't take it personally. If you get upset easily then this might be a good place to learn to get over that. You will take away from your experience what you put into it. On a note of the negative review left by one past crew member, I never had any trouble leaving my money out. Neither crew or Dave took anything from me or others. My guess from learning about past destinations, especially Cape Verde, is that the hired help doing repairs were often cutting corners on work. Materials needed to be kept under watch so that things were not taken, as many parts and tools apparently went missing. I would venture a guess that might have been the case for the previous crew member, but I could be wrong. All I have to go on is my experience. Poor attitudes also lead to unhappy boats. Dave is not one to put up with 'bully' or 'know it all personalities' who will push others around. Such people ruin the enjoyment for everyone and have been asked to leave the boat before. At least that is what I'd heard from crew that have been aboard the boat for 3 plus months. Again, your attitude will make your time aboard Labora a success or a failure.

7th Feb 2023

A lifetime experience


I've just joined Labora after Dave went through a nice recruitment process: informal interview, then a 2hours visit of Labora, then a test daily sailing out trip that I was happy to organize for 15 people. It went so well that we are to repeat the experience. I intend to sail for several months. That is much the spirit expected on such great project, as Labora is not just about sailing, but rather a shared community life experience. Dave has lived an incredible life of an explorer: just his stories about his life in Alaska are worth spending time listening to him. If like me COVID19 has made you rethink your life, preferring to step away from what society is offering you these days, your place is here. But do not come with your little Bourgeois expectations just because you happen to have put some money down. With 13 years of setting up and running a charity organisation totally voluntarily, I totally understand where Dave comes from. To bad if others do not... They are the ones missing out. We're currently in Martinig, French Caribbean, recruiting the RIGHT members of the crew. Only apply if you happy to give, not to take, please. We have no time to waste. Grumpy, greedy, selfish type of character, not welcome, sorry.

2nd May 2022

Taku Dave Swindle


Dear Sailor, Please do not give Taku Dave or David Pardew your money. In December 2021, he stole $2500 from me for an Atlantic crossing from Cape Verde to Brazil. He made me work on his leaking boat for weeks on end and when we finally helped him push the boat back into the water after eight months in the boatyard he threw me off the boat. He also infected me and other members of the crew with Covid because he refuses to be vaccinated. I am not the only person scammed by Taku Dave - DM for Cape Verde Marina Police statements and more details Travel with this man at your own risk. I learned the hard way.

20th Apr 2022

once in a life time chance


Before I came on Labora i pretty much never stepped on a boat bigger then 10ft. But my motivation to learn sailing and learning the skills of maintaining a sailing vessel brought me here. When I came I never expected to spend 9 month on the boat. Dave is a great captain with an unbelievable amount of knowledge and (really) crazy stories. When Dave told about his time in the amazon or alaska everbody was always listening eagerly. He definately has not the easiest personality to deal with but he will teach you more about life then everybody else. It took a while till i got used to a communication that contains a lot of screaming and ocasionally the word "moron". Dave is always giving a lot of freedom to everybody but he is asking in exchange for motivation and dedication to the boat. When you show will and interest he will teach you a lot, not just about the boat but also about life. On thing i loved about the boat is the bandwidth of tasks that is offered. My tasks went from cooking, climbing, rigging, woodworks, mechanics, diving and of course navigating. Im sure there is not that many places were you can learn that many things within 22m. The crew was always amazing, it was fun to work together and get things done as a group. It was great to see how everybody was putting theire energy into to Labora to get this lady in great shape again. I can recommend applying for everybody who does not just wants to go sailing but learn how to craft, work as a group and get a big project like this running. Its for sure no holidays on Lobora, Dave likes to push things to the limit and don't expect it to be always easy. But I got more out of this 9 month then in any other period of my life! Thank you Dave, thank you crew and thank you Labora!

20th Oct 2020

Fun and challenging experience


I wanted to learn how to sail and live on a boat for a longtime. This year the dream became true! I didn't have any expectations, when I finally came on board from the very beginning I was living the dream...a true wooden boat...Like the ones in the pirate movies ;) Immediately I was welcomed by Dave and the crew members with an interesting chat, something was going on the boat before I came, the atmosphere was a bit tense. They didn’t offer me tea or hot chocolate but a nice bottle of rum. The first 2-3 days I was a bit disoriented because I was so excited that I wanted to do everything but I didn't know where to begin and I wasn't familiar with all the stuff going on the boat or the tools that I needed. I was pretty much an observer and, then after those few days we were working a lot together from sanding, painting and also tightening the rigging, learning the basic knots, varnish the top mast, dive and of course the various procedures to sail. There are always things to work on the boat, but Dave gives you also the total freedom to choose how you can live the days on the Labora, it is up to you, if you're motivated and keen to learn you'll never get bored and you'll learn A LOT! Otherwise Dave will throw you overboard! ;-) I would totally recommend to get on Labora if you're not afraid to get your hands dirty and to be shouted out from the Captain or hear long lectures about life from him! The first time it is interesting to hear some paranoid speeches about humankind but after the 50th time a bit less...For me it has been a life experience, It has broadened my horizon of sailing life, I really must say a big thank you to the boat itself, to Dave and to the crew, they taught me a lot and I have a connection with them even because being on this boat it is psychologically challenging! Labora became sort of a person: the history, the wood, the rigging, the problems....At the end of the day I felt I was in the right place in the right time.

30th Aug 2020

One of the richest experience of my life


Jumping on Labora was my first actual sailing experience, and I can say those two months were one of the richest experience of my life. From learning how to sail on a piece of history, to maintaining / repairing / improving this old lady by working on wood / metal / plumbing / electronics and from 16m high on the top mast to -2m under water... You actually learn how to use your both hands and your brain. Dave really challenges you to open your eyes and think. But the best for me is the freedom Dave gives to the crew for choosing what project to work on and then the responsibility on to doing it. All that with a changing crew that makes the experience interesting by living with a lot of different people, some having a lot of experience to share and a huge among of energy for the others. Thank you Dave for this opportunity, I'll be back !

27th Mar 2020

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