We are passionate about helping you find a great sailing experience on Crewbay but there are some important safety aspects you also need to consider, particularly if you will be traveling on your own.
Below are a few tips that can help to keep you safe whilst sailing with other Crewbay members and we encourage all Crewbay users to read them.
Finding the right trip
Communicate through Crewbay
Your privacy is important and the Crewbay messaging system is the most secure way to communicate with our members and means you can remain anonymous if you want to. Only use other forms of communication once you're confident that the trip and the captain are suitable.
Ask for references
You can always ask to be put in touch with people who have sailed with them before. This information won’t always be available but many captains will have some way to share past reviews and references.
Be clear about a captain's motives
A good-hearted sailor will be open to sail with both male and female crew members. So if a Crewbay advert is asking for a particular gender (particularly females) you have every right to question the reason.
Crewbay is designed to bring together people who love to sail but we are not meant to be a dating website. Creating dialogue and asking the question about gender requirements will most likely produce the answer you need.
Getting the full picture
Do your own research
An internet search of a vessel or skipper’s name can be revealing, and if you have any worries about the photos used on a Crewbay advert you can use an online "reverse image search" to help to verify them. One online service you can use is tineye.com.
Have a video chat
When you are ready we would recommend having a quick video chat with the skipper. This gives you a chance to say hello but also to confirm they match their Crewbay profile. If possible try to arrange a call whilst they are with their boat and don’t be afraid to ask for a quick tour so you can get an impression of the boat as well.
Double check your expectations
We can all be guilty of making assumptions so if any part of your upcoming trip is not clear then never be afraid to ask about it. It's always much easier to solve problems before they arise. Here are a few areas that you might want to check:
Every trip is different so make sure you know the full range of costs and how any payments are going to be made. For example, how often are payments made and what currencies are preferable. Don't pay anything until you have boarded the vessel.
Not everybody has the same attitude towards cleanliness and what might seem intolerable to you might be a way of life for somebody else. If you have any concerns about cleanliness don't feel rude about asking.
Many boat trips will involve a certain amount of shared cooking and cleaning, but remember you are not there to be somebody else’s room service! If shared duties aren’t clear on an advert it's well worth checking with the skipper.
If you are hoping to do some sightseeing along your journey then it's worth checking that your boat will be visiting the places you want to see and that there will be time to enjoy the scenery.
Many boats will outline their rules about smoking and drinking alcohol, but other things such as nude sunbathing might not be covered. As always, if there is anything you are unsure of don’t hesitate to ask.
Before you set sail
Meet in person
It is a good idea to meet the people you will be sailing with at least a day before you depart wherever possible. This gives you a chance to judge your sailing mates before you are sharing a boat with them.
Arrange a short introductory sail
If you are planning to cross an ocean with someone, or any scenario in which you will be spending a lot of time together, it can be very handy to arrange a shorter sail first. Whilst this won't always be possible it is the perfect opportunity to see how well you get on with your future sailing mate.
General sailing safety advice
Always tell someone about your plans
Let family or friends know who you are sailing with, where you are going and your expected arrival date and time. It is a good idea to leave details of the vessel and the captain (including their contact details) with a trusted person.
Make a note of local police and coast guard phone numbers
This is generally good practice for any crew member who is sailing outside of their usual territory. You never know when you will need to call the emergency services so saving their numbers in advance is a must.
Beware of sailing alone with someone new
Never sail alone with someone new unless you are absolutely sure about that person, or you have several references from others who have sailed with them previously. Try to make sure there is at least one other person on the boat who is joining the passage whenever possible.
We want you to be excited about sailing and to feel empowered about choosing who you sail with. There are all sorts of great sailing adventures out there but it's always sensible to keep these safety tips in mind when you are arranging a sailing trip.
Yacht Crew Help
Yacht Crew Help is a free and confidential multilingual helpline for professional yacht crew available all day, every day. Despite the many benefits of working on board a superyacht, the challenges of working away from home for long periods and living in close quarters with colleagues can become overwhelming.
PYA (Professional Yachting Association)
The PYA is a non-profit association which was founded in 1991, and exists primarily to represent the interests of professional yacht crew around the world. Now with members from over 90 countries worldwide, the PYA is THE body for professional yacht crew.
The Women Offshore Foundation, also known as Women Offshore, is an online organization and resource center established in 2017 to support a diverse workforce on the water. As a 501(c)(3), non-profit private operating foundation, our mission is to propel women+ into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water.
Marine crew welfare - https://www.facebook.com/people/Marine-Crew-Welfare-International/100066729661131/
Sailing women on yachts group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/208644563645607
Women sailing foundation - https://www.facebook.com/womensailing.org/
And remember... we are always here to help
If there is anything at all on Crewbay that you are unsure about, feel free to contact us.
If you think a Crewbay advert is offensive, inappropriate, or has broken our posting guidelines in any way, then either report the advert via our contact page.
If you have been the victim of any type of abuse from another Crewbay member then please contact us. All communications with Crewbay are strictly confidential.