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Created: 2021-12-03 10:23:40
Updated: 2022-01-08 12:07:32
All of the precautionary tips are aimed at crew boarding vessels alone.
Tip 1 - Keep initial communication on Crewbay
We would always recommend keeping conversation on the Crewbay messaging system. Only once you’re confident that the trip and the captain is suitable, move to other forms of communication (phone/whatsapp/skype). Your privacy is important and Crewbays messaging system is the most secure way to communicate with our members.
Tip 2 - Video chat.
When you’re ready, having a video chat will further give you an impression of their personality / suitability. Ask them to show you their boat in the video chat (if possible). This will not only show you they have a boat, but also give you an impression of the cleanliness and state it’s currently in.
Tip 3 - Ask for a copy of their ID, passport or sailing qualifications.
It’s quite a big ask and many boat members won’t want to share personal information via email, but if you explain your concerns, they should hopely reciprocate. You might just need to explain that you’re in a position where you’re taking a bit of a leap of faith and would like the security of having these details. The aim of receiving this personal information is to make sure the person is who they say they are. Also as the skipper they are responsible for the entire boat and crew, so asking for qualifications is a reasonable request. Their passport photo should match their pic on Crewbay and the person you see on the video chat.
Tip 4. Ask for references.
Ask to be put in touch with people who have sailed with them before. If they won't provide any, this could be a red flag.
Tip 5. Always meet in person before stepping aboard
At least a day before you depart. This will give you time to figure out if they are a suitable person to go sailing with.
Tip 6. Try to arrange a day sail
If you are planning to cross an ocean with someone (i.e. spending a lot of time with them), it might be a good idea to arrange a day sail first to assess if it's a good fit.
Tip 7. Sailing alone with someone new
Never sail alone with someone new unless you are absolutely sure and / or you have several references from people who have sailed with them previously. Make sure there is at least one other person on the boat who is joining the passage.
Tip 8. Question a boat members motives if they’re only looking for female crew.
A good-hearted sailor will be open/able to also embark male crew members. It might be that the boat members' intentions are for some sort of relationship, but they don't want to disclose this in their advert. Creating dialogue and asking the question will most likely produce the answers to questions. Feel free to report these members to Crewbay, because we are not a dating site!
Tip 9. Always tell someone your plans
Let family or friends know who you are sailing with, where you are going and expected arrival date / time. It might be a good idea to leave details of the vessel and the captain with contact details with that trusted person.
Tip 10. Make a note of local police / coast guard phone numbers
This is generally good practice for any crew member that holds any doubts, in case of any emergency.
Tip 11. Ensure your expectations align
Not every boat owner is the best at portraying exactly what they expect from the crew on their trip description. So it is often up to you to ask the right questions initially to save any wasted time later. Here are a few areas that can end up being an irritation if not addressed:
Cost - ensure you know the full cost and how much they want up front. Paying on a weekly basis seems fair. This will be dependent on the trip though and how regularly provisioning is done. Don’t pay anything until you have baordied the vessel.
Cleanliness - not everyone has the same level of cleanliness
Shared/mandatory duties (e.g. cooking) - you’re not there to fix their boat!
Tip 13. Do your own research
Google their name or the vessel name.
Check whether Crewbay has ID verified them. This is something we carry out for Premium members.
Ask for pictures of the vessel if there’s none on the trip page.
If you think their photos in their profile or of their boat looks like they might be fake, you can try https://tineye.com/ to check if they are copied from elsewhere.
If there’s a review by a previous crew member, try contacting them and ask them some questions. Just click the username and click 'send message'.