Volunteer to Travel the World by Sailboat!

Volunteer to Travel the World

Alright – I may have just found a reason to quit my day job. Volunteer to travel the world? Yes, please!

I’ve been researching cheap ways to travel the world and found that volunteering on a sailboat is one such option. Not only do you get to travel cheaply, but you get to visit islands that are only accessible by boat/sailing vessels.

How it works: You volunteer (help out with various tasks while on the water) and the Captain gives you a ride and a place to sleep at night. When you reach your destinations, you are free to explore on your own and then set sail whenever the Captain is ready to leave.

Why Captains need volunteers: Every year, thousands of 30-75 foot yachts sail the world to see some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. Many of the smaller ships are single or married people who don’t have excess money to pay for a crew (this is where you come in). A small crew is needed so people can take turns keeping watch and helping with things like cooking, cleaning and other miscellaneous tasks. Captains look for people/volunteers that they can rely on and get along with.

Costs:  Depending on the Captain, costs will vary from boat to boat. There are opportunities to volunteer on sailboats where the only cost incurred is the cost of food (split between everyone on the boat). There are some boats that will want to split other costs such as gas or daily rates. I would assume that the more you have to offer will give you the better opportunities to become volunteer crew members for boats that only charge for food.

What you need to do: You don’t need to be certified and very little experience needed if you are volunteering on a smaller vessel. It wouldn’t hurt to take a couple sailing classes if you have money. If you are short on cash, you can get onto a local volunteer racing team or sign up to crew for a shorter sailing rally.    The two best ways to get on ships are to meet captains by being a part of the community and use internet crewing boards.

Visit islands only accessible by boat!

For someone with time, a little bit of money and a hunger to explore the world, volunteering aboard a sailboat could be a perfect opportunity. If I can find a way to not get sea sick, there is a very good chance that  volunteering aboard a sailboat will be in my future.

It’s important to remember that there are no contracts or rules for volunteering aboard a sailboat which is why it is very important to make sure you can get along with the Captain and other crew members. It’s definitely a risk but there are also some amazing opportunities and adventures to be had.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Morgan on May 19, 2011 at 5:59 am

    do you have any links to get in touch with Captains that need volunteers?


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