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Working for Free & Paying to get experience.
Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:06 PM
Joined: 26/04/2018
Posts: 1

Hi, All.  My son is eager to get into the yachting industry and he was offered an opportunity that sounds amazing but may be too good to be true.  With virtually no experience, he was asked to be a deck hand on a 1-month transatlantic trip aboard a 66 ft sailing yacht.  He will not only not get paid but he has to pay $25/day for food and drinks.  After the first month, assuming all goes well, he will have the option to stay aboard and get paid for another month sailing across the Mediterranean.

My first questions is is this legit?  Assuming it is, does anyone have any experience crossing the Atlantic on a boat like this?  It is the AXIOM CONRAD 66 (  It seems very small to me but my only experience has been on a cruise with 3,000 passengers.  Lastly, does anyone happen to know anything about the skipper, Andrew Brock?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.



Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 2:37 PM
Joined: 06/02/2010
Posts: 1

Doesn’t matter unless you need a ride somewhere. Pay for food? Cmon get real.  Don’t let him get off to a bad start.  Even as a green crew member, basic wages should be provided.  He, along with many others, are being taken advantage of .  Red flags are flying.  Look elsewhere and save yourself and your son a lot of pain and aggravation down the road.
Scott J
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 2:58 PM
Joined: 01/12/2017
Posts: 1

No to both on large yachts. If the boat brings you aboard for day work or for a short passage or for a crossing the crew need to be compensated. Low pay, room and board is tough enough but is what any ethical captain/owner should provide. The most green crew member that has the physical strength to pull their weight can contribute if they give it their all.

Private sailing yachts might be able to get away with no pay but the minimum should be room and board.

Safe Travels

Capt. Scott

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 5:49 PM
Joined: 29/12/2015
Posts: 14

Yes, there are vessels that offer to bring  someone new along as crew for no pay to help on a short term delivery... Or trip.

As mentioned by another, that's usually taken up by someone trying to get to the destination with out money out of pocket.

Usually something like is done by the smaller S/V's who don't want to or can't afford to pay crew. And it's short term. Very short term, like a week to 10 days, at least here.

The paying for food part... Lol. He's not just paying for his food, he's paying for him and a couple others at that rate. And personally, I've never heard of such a request.

Sounds like you got a broke vessel trying to hoodwink a green horn. But I don't know all the details, only what you've stated.

There are teaching vessels out there for sailing. Look into one of those larger vessels. They're well known and accredited.

From what you've stated... Laugh at it and pass at this particular "opportunity".

And that doesn't sound too good to be true. Doesn't sound "good" at all. 

Unless you're an trying to escape some political regime or are running from the law. Want to make an immigrant entry into another country...?

So, whatever floats your boat...

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 7:49 PM
Please do not be crazy to send him with those theafs and sick captain-this is absolutely not normal-as they mentioned before this is first time I here something like that-dont even try!!!!!!
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 9:24 PM
I disagree with the other posters. My first sail was a transatlantic and I paid $600 to contribute towards food, but then everyone was paying to leave South Africa - there were no free rides. The boat was much smaller and privately owned. It was more of a holiday than a working job, I just had to stand watch in shifts along with everyone else. I think it depends on your gut feeling about the boat and captain. Will your son be required to really work on board or just help out with watches and food prep? If the latter, unpaid isn't all that inappropriate, but make sure the boat will fly him home after. My first unpaid transatlantic led to a long career in yachting where I was paid well.
Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2018 3:24 AM
Joined: 21/10/2015
Posts: 1

I couldn’t say whether this “job” is legit or not, though I have my doubts. My guess is that the captain is trying to fund his crossing with green crew. Is it dangerous? Yes. The ocean is always a dangerous place. Is the captain legit? Who knows?

I had a buddy who participated in a similar arrangement on a sailing vessel  in the Caribbean. He had a blast, but never got paid anything. Of the three of us who quit our regular jobs and left home to join the yachting circus, he was the only one who never found a paying gig. With that said, he had a lot of fun and got to see different side of the Caribbean than I have. 
Your son should only make this trip if he acknowledges the likelihood that he will never get paid. I’m guessing he’s American. If he wants to break into yachting as a paid deckhand, he needs to check out Ft Lauderdale first. Does he have STCW 95? ENG 1? Powerboat Level 2? He probably needs all of them if he’s going to work in Europe. STCW 95 is the bare minimum to work in the US, and it helps to have them all. It would be a good idea to sign up with some crew agencies while he’s down there, too. 
After that, he can then either head up north (Annapolis, NYC, Sag Harbor, Newport, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, etc.). The entire east coast of the US will be active, but those are some of the big hubs in the summer. Or he can fly to Antibes, or Nice, or Cannes in the south of France, and try his luck. Europe is notoriously difficult for green American crew, but who knows? At the very least, he’ll be living it up in the Med. 

Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2018 4:31 AM
Joined: 06/03/2017
Posts: 1

I own a 36 foot sailboat in Phuket, Thailand and I advertise in for crew. During high season, I have hundreds of people who want to sail around the islands of the Andaman Sea to go snorkeling every afternoon, swim in the clear waters and white sand beaches. I anchor in anchorages every night before 3pm to give everyone time to swim and enjoy them selves before taking the dinghy ashore to go to a beach resort for dinner. Are you telling me that that is not worth the $60 a day plus food and fuel expenses to have a wonderful day enjoying sailing around the tropical islands for a week and get taught how to tie a bowline and how to anchor a boat and reef the sail when a squall comes? Come on get serious! I have people lining up to go sailing with me in high season and they come back often the year after to go sailing again and and again!
Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2018 7:30 AM
I have worked mainly in the Fishing Industry there everyone wants to rip you off . I have never had to work  & pay for food but it does happen . I have worked for 3 months at Sea & only 20 hours on land I was to be paid $165 & was offered another $300 to come back for the next season & he made it up to $500 for the 3 months no I didn't go back . I have been almost around Australia by water . Seen things that when you tell people they do not believe you . I now have my Master 24 & M.E.D 3 . It's hard to say even tho I have done it it depends on how he will be treated . Some people yell & scream abuse at you when you are doing you job . I do not have time for that anymore . I have also worked on boats where you get someone that is Green or new can't do the job get sea sick but keep eating all the food while your out working & they still get payed the same money as you . So work for food Yes work & pay for food No . It's an experience of a lifetime & there's not much room on a 60ft boat to get away from people if you don't get along with them . At the end of the day its up to your son if he is of age of course & is he paying for this or are you . This will be a hard Family meeting for anyone . He is going off to see the World by Sea . A lot of people would pay for this & do . Make sure he gets Sea time witten down in a Sea time book a waterproof camera & get him insured if you let him go .
Hot Buoys Sailing
Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:42 AM
Joined: 04/04/2018
Posts: 1

In 2009 I joined several other paying crew aboard a big old sailing vessel. It was a big ferrocement vessel with lots of problems. However, it had a good captain and I am very glad I joined. During my tenure, the crew managed to run it aground twice, the stove caught fire, and the engine had major problems. Further, when I joined the masts needed to be removed, rigging lines changed, it needed new sails, and the winches were frozen solid. 

Sounds like a nightmare to some, however, remember this is a vessel I signed onto and paid to work on even when we were not going anywhere. 

The key here was the experience gained for me gave me the courage to become my own sailboat owner. Further, I knew exactly what to do and where to go when I purchased a demasted vessel for a song in the Marshall Islands. 

Tell me, all you crew members who have a ton of experience and qualifications on immaculate yachts, would you have the courage to cross 1/2 the Pacific aboard a vessel using a light pole you found at the salvage yard? I did it confidently. Do you know what to do if the engine floods with seawater? I knew exactly what to do because I was trained what to do. When you haul out a vessel do you take it to the dock yard and wait in the comfort of a hotel. Or do you personally manage the whole project, buy the sandpaper, and can be photographed covered in sanding dust?

Two of the young men I sailed with gained similar experience. They are not sailboat owners like myself. Instead, they are both now captains of even larger sailing yachts. Some others I sailed with probably got nothing out of their experience other than just a few pictures and nightmares.

It is this, this type of experience that is truly beneficial. Getting paid to sit aboard a yacht in perfect conditioned that is maintained by a high-end yard only teaches you to whine and carry a cleaning bucket.

Back in Hawaii I used to own a bed and breakfast that was fixed to the ground. The house didn't go anywhere. Yet I had people willing to pay me between $100-$185 a night to sleep in a bedroom and to have one meal a day. I didn't even pick them up at the airport for that price and they had to rent a car to get around. Now there are some people who have relatives and friends in Hawaii that have homes where you might be able to stay for free. Who knows, perhaps they will even lend you a car. So by all means ask around your friends and relatives to see who happens to own a big yacht and is willing to allow you to come along for free. Sometimes, this is certainly true, you may be able to find someone who is willing to pay you to come along. 

I did a quick look on another website well known for crew members. Of the 641 vessels that were listed as sailing vessels just 126 said they were interested in taking hired crew. By far the greatest share of the number required contribution to come. 

On my vessel I realized many people can only come for a week, and as a result I stop at nearly every port along the way just to provide people a chance to get on/off the vessel. I would never make 8 ports of call just to move a vessel from Philippines to Thailand. Instead I am traveling like this specifically so people can get a chance to experience being aboard. The daily rate to come for such a short time on my vessel is high. However, I have a much lower rate for someone who comes the entire way and helps prepare the vessel too.Those are the type of crew members that will come away with a beneficial experience. Mind you, I have no intention of going aground and have become quite cautious about where I sail. 




Posted: Monday, April 30, 2018 3:30 AM
Joined: 30/04/2018
Posts: 1

Yes - grab this wonderful opportunity. The yacht is modern and luxurious and much larger than the average private yacht crossing the Atlantic. Andy is a very competent and experienced skipper. People pay much higher contributions for that kind of trip. You cannot live in a youth hostel and buy your food for less than 40 dollars per day. I have sailed over 6000 miles in the last 12 months and have made similar contributions on much older yachts with loads of problems. Go for it!
Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 2:32 AM
Its fair. What if he does not shape, then the yacht is stuck with him out at see and have to babysit him all the way. It cuts both ways. If he is worth anything, they offer to keep him on for another month. Not to bad of an opportunity for a greeny
 Average 5 out of 5