How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats

, How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats

During sailing schools, students ask me how they will get more sea time, how can they find boats on which to crew, how can they get experience on crossings, and now there are websites and apps to help with exactly that.

Recently, I wrote about the apps for finding a boat – with or without a captain – for rent. It was great fun looking at vessels for rent in exotic locations. But now, time to look at some websites that will help you find either crew or captain for your boat, or, positions for you as crew or captain on someone else’s boat.

, How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats


This was my first experience looking at the crew-finding apps. Crewbay helps you “find professional crew” who wish to be paid to crew. The next choice is “find recreational crew” for people who just wish to get on a boat. After that, the next two choices are “find professional boats” which displays paying jobs and “find recreational boats” which shows crew opportunities.

Once you click a little deeper, for instance in the “recreational crew” area, you find position details of onboard expense expectations, vessel information, skipper information including photos, and contact method.

On “professional crew,” type of work, salary, expenses information, and even interview information appears. The site lists type of position, for example “cook” and type of work – temporary, seasonal, and so on, as well as availability – dates of potential employment.

Again, the site lists vessel, skipper, and photos, as well as how to apply. There are no fees.

Under “find boat,” “recreational” yields “view opportunity,” and “professional” offers “view job.” Once in the vessel section, viewers see from where the boat is coming and to where it is sailing next.

If you choose the professional section, you can find anything from internships with expenses paid, to jobs with salaries.

Participants must be older than 18 years, and every position on a vessel you have ever heard of is a selection. It’s worth signing up just to see the list! Bosun, Captain, Deckhand, Nanny, Hairdresser, Purser… the list is huge.

There are some interesting wordings in a few spots – people looking for “friendship.” Also, while viewing one crew person’s profile, at the bottom there’s “People who viewed this profile also viewed these…” just like on a shopping site! “People who searched for peanut butter also searched for these items…” You can pay a bit weekly in order to be the top result in searches.

, How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats

“findacrew” – that’s pretty simple! Categories are recreational, professional, commercial, and shore-based.

A paying membership on includes Personal Identity Verifications. Paying memberships also are allowed more requests and contact views per day.

, How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats


CrewSeekers seems to be a bit more serious – crew looking for paying boats, and boats looking for paid crew.

They have a fantastic article “How much should crew contribute” that is very comprehensive on the topic. The post explains the UK distinction between commercial and pleasure vessels, and includes some US Code of Federal Regulations information.

Another great section is “Making life aboard safe and enjoyable.

Viewers can look all they like, but in order to contact anyone, they must pay for the service. It’s free to look around and see if there’s anything in which you are interested.

, How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats


With over 30 years in the business of matching crew with yachts, Crewfinders is one of the most well-established crew finding agencies, with a physical location in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This is the company to approach if you want the premium entre to the yachting world. Crewfinders has an actual office, with friendly pups, and meets you in person and connects you personally with yacht positions. This is personalized service; the ultimate in boat/crew matchmaking.

Before the Internet was even “a thing,” Crewfinders was working hard out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Their reputation for double-blind matching was matched by very few.

These ladies have all the information, and you can’t skim over “Five Tips for Yacht Job Resumes,” by Captain Linda Turner, owner and crew placement officer since 1982. Crewfinders was one of the very first agencies I contacted once I earned my license and was ready to get to work.

Other very helpful information on their site is “Average Starting Salary Guidelines,” in case you’re considering working in the field. Even freelance daily salaries are listed.

There is no fee for crew to register, the owner, captain, or agent for the boat pays the fee. Reading through their Yacht Jobs & Employment FAQS will answer questions you didn’t know you had.

, How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats

Other Methods

There are other ways to find positions as permanent, seasonal, or even daily crew. Scour your local yacht club’s website for crew positions. Check on local cruising and racing websites for links to crew placement.

Visit marinas and talk to boaters. Swing by boater lounges and spread the word that you are looking – offering a business card with your phone number is a good idea.

Volunteer for charity races in order to meet captains and crew and hopefully earn a spot on the boat in the next race. Always be that crew member who shows up early, offers to help, brings some food and/or beverage, and is willing to demonstrate a willingness to work.

, How to Find Positions As Crew on Boats

What to Bring the Captain When You Score a Day Spot On Board!

Bring something for the host or hostess, just like on land.

You can’t go wrong with a bag of ice, or maybe some of the house beverage, whether alcoholic or non. Something consumable is good. How about reef-safe sunscreen from Stream2Sea to share! Even the bottles are environmentally friendly; totally biodegradable. Stream2Sea has generously given me a discount code “KimW” for you to use at the checkout at checkout to save 10%.

Some other ideas are snacks in a plastic lidded container. Pick one that don’t need refrigeration or plates to share with everyone. Something that can be eaten with your fingers and does not make a mess or melt when left in the sun.

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