3 ways to find a sailboat ride on someone else’s boat

sailing into the sunset

Finding a sailboat ride depends on what kind of experience you want. It depends on your efforts. And it depends on a bit of luck. But “luck Is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,”(Seneca). Here are 3 approaches to sail as crew:

The world wild web

The World Wide Web is full with with boats offering rides. There are crew websites, sailing forums, community platforms and social media groups that can be helpful in your boat search. Some are free and some require a subscription to be able to connect with potential matches. There is no ‘best’ crew website. Each one has their unique edge. Depending on what it is that you are looking for and where you would like to be sailing some tools will be more helpful for you than others.  But you need to have a serious critical hat to be able to find a good one. Often those most desperate to find crew are the ones posting and the ones you should be skeptical about. It may be a fast way but could turn out costly. 

Find a list of crew websites, forums, and useful social media groups in the Ocean Nomads Crew Course.

resource library

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Navigate Bays and Marina’s

You can meet captains and find boats by going to harbours, marinas, and anchorages. While you may have less potential boats around as opposed to the internet, walking the dock is a quicker way to analyse if there are suitable possibilities. Strolling around the harbours, or paddling around in bays and anchorages to find a crew spot, is definitely part of the fun. Here you’ll meet like-minded water-lusted people with a shared love for the ocean, with the same dreams, mindset and nomadic lifestyles.

By being based in a harbour or anchorage you are in the midst of all the coming and going of sailing vessels. A great place to network and make friends for a potential next ocean adventure. And you get to feel the vibe right away. Take an AIRBnB or Find a boatsitting or hosting opportunity.

When to be where? Find a checklist in the Ocean Nomads crew course.

 (Would you like to boatsit / a summer house? We have our Momo  urgently looking for a Boatsitter in Denia, Spain + more members all around happy to simply host)

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Join a Network with your vibe

Boats usually look for crew in their network first. If they can’t find the skills or availability from people they know, they look further on the internet or in the harbour. You might already know some seafarers, or maybe some of your friends have sailors in their network, OR you can join our lovely network :).

With Ocean Nomads we connect ocean people, resources, boats, adventure opportunities, ideas and knowledge to realize ocean travel, accelerate our eco and passion projects, and adventure with more fun and impact. Our members first, if not only use the Ocean Nomads network to sail or find crew before looking elsewhere. Many members don’t necessarily need crew but they welcome ocean nomads on board. Being part of the community shows you are serious, determined, informed, and share a similar set of values when it comes to adventure, healthy living and the environment. To have a good experience it’s all about the people you share it with. We may not have hundreds of options, but we do have beautiful ones AND fellow members who got your back. Some captains may or may not be able to host you, but they will keep you in mind if they hear or read about any possibilities.

See here a snapshot of the kind of sailing opportunities going ON.

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Caution alert!

All of the above can be a fast way to sail away. A lot appears spontaneous and you got to be ready and fast to act. BUT the question that is more important is how to find the RIGHT boat. Sailboat travel is not a strait forward adventure. Finding a boat is one thing, finding a boat where you feel safe, happy and valued is what makes all the difference. 

Curious to dip you toes into sailboat travel?

Join our member network for more tips, tools and tribe on sailboat travel with adventure, impact and community. Or go all in: The course by our founder Suzy on How to Travel by Sailboat if you don’t have a boat, eco style! 

sailing app

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