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Recreational crew positions are offered on leisure boats or yachts that are used for non-commercial activities, such as amateur sailing, racing, sports, fishing, diving, or social pursuits.

Although recreational boats are not permitted to try to make a profit or to engage in any commercial trade activities, asking recreational crew to contribute to some pre-agreed shared costs is generally permitted.

Recreational crew are required to:
• follow instructions by the skipper or captain
• demonstrate consistently responsible conduct and show respect for others on board
• permit lawful operation of the vessel as requested by regulatory bodies, insurers, and local authorities

Options for recreational crew when joining a boat:
• contribute to costs - crew are asked to share some costs such as food, fuel, and mooring
• unpaid positions - crew are not paid and crew are not required to contribute to any costs
• reimbursed expenses - crew might be fully or partially reimbursed for pre-agreed expenses

Usually recreational positions do not offer anything other than what's legally required, therefore always discuss mutual expectations and make sure you have something in writing before going on any boat!
The more questions you ask, the less surprises there will be out at sea.

 
In addition, here is some further information that may interest you:

Meeting new people online is not a lot different from meeting them in a pub, through a friend or by answering a newspaper ad - your life experiences, personality, mental and physical abilities, and instincts should guide you as to whether or not you feel comfortable.

To help your instincts though, we cannot stress enough to ask lots of questions to establish your Plan A (Action plan)! It is surprising how often people just commit without knowing basic things. The more you know from the start, the less surprises there will be.

If you contact people directly via email to ask questions and build your relationship, make sure you save all the emails so that you can refer to them in case of any confusion later on.

It is a good idea to meet the person for the first time somewhere public, rather than having them pick you up from the hotel, or going straight to the boat. Meet at the airport, local cafe or bar. Spend some time having a chat. This also enables you to see how they treat other people - waiters, strangers, receptionists, etc - are they rude and demanding, or friendly and relaxed.

Always have a Plan B (Backup plan)! If you find you are feeling uneasy around someone, there is usually a reason for it. If something sounds too good to be true, it often is! There are great and generous people out there, but not everyone is, so always be skeptical when you receive offers too good to resist and ask yourself what the catch might be.

It is important to have thought through what you will do if it does not work out. It is a good idea to discuss this with the other person as well if you do sail together to give you both the reassurance and protection that there are options available to go separate ways fairly quickly if things don't work out.

Before you meet in person with a stranger... Ask Questions! (see Example list of Questions to ask)

We can never generalise about what members expect from each other as every person and every single situation is different.

From when you register your profile on Find a Crew™, think about what you are really after. When you are contacted by someone, be ready with questions and details of your own situation. The more questions you ask, the less surprises there will be.

While most of our members report fantastic experiences, it can be very distressing if things don't work out how you would like. Many of these situations can be avoided just by asking more questions from the beginning.

Questions such as:

Boat Info
• What safety equipment does the boat have, and has it been surveyed (inspected and rated)?
• What condition is the boat in, and what is in need of repair?
• Who does the maintenance on the boat?
• What communication tools are onboard (email, sat phone etc)?
• Who is responsible for any expenses related to the boat, mooring etc?
• Who owns the boat?
• Are there any crew from a previous trip that I can talk to?

Position description / expectations / responsibilities
• Financial commitment from either side?
• Is it a paid position? What is the rate and conditions of pay?
• Expenses while onshore?
• What will be your responsibilities?
• What do you expect from the other party?
• Is there smoking / drinking onboard?
• Physical / emotional relationship expectations?
• How much free time will you have?
• Expectations from both sides of free time activities - onboard and onshore.
• Who does the cooking and daily domestic duties?
• Must a uniform be worn? Who provides the uniform?
• Travel expenses - who covers them?
• Travel to and from the boat - how, how much, where?
• Where will you meet for the first time?
• Must the crew pay a fee or contribute to any other expenses?
• What skills, qualifications and experience are required by crew?

Journey Details
• What is the expected route of travel and how long do they plan to be underway?
• Who are the other people on board, and how often and why do they change crew?
• Who will be on this trip with you?
• Any special luggage requirements - climate conditions?
• What is the time schedule of the trip?
• Will you have your own quarters?

Insurance / Visas / Passports
• Is the boat or crew insured, and who is responsible for this?
• Do you have the correct visas for the areas you will travel to?
• Is your passport valid for longer than the time you will be away?

Other questions
• Have they had crew/ found a boat through FAC or a similar site before?
• Can they provide personal and / or professional references?
• Can you swim?
• Are you familiar / comfortable with first aid procedures?
• Do you get seasick?
• What is Plan B if things don't work out?

There will be many more to relate to each situation, but the more time and thought you put into this side of things, the better your experience will be!