BELOW ARE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED BY THOSE WANTING TO CREW

  • What is the Crew Service?
    The Crew Service is managed by the Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) and is a service that connects Crew with Boat Captains seeking Crew for a Salty Dawg Rally or a SDSA Captain’s non-rally passage. It is not a delivery service. Crew utilize this service to broaden their sailing experience and satisfy their passion for sailing. Captains utilize this service to find Crew to assist with duties such as standing watch and to mentor fellow sailors, or to find an experienced leader. As a non-profit educational and social sailing organization, we hope the Crew Service will be utilized to educate and assist sailors while fostering long term relationships.
  • Does the SDSA vet Captains or Crew candidates?
    No. The SDSA does not review or certify credentials and does not accept responsibility or liability for actions on behalf of Captains or Crew. It is the sole responsibility of the captain and crew to determine qualifications and compatibility. Crew & Captains should interview each other to determine qualifications and compatibility. Both sides should assure it is a mutual process.
  • Who is Eligible
    Anyone interested in crewing aboard a sailboat is eligible to participate in the Crew Service. Only SDSA members are eligible to select Crew from the Crew Service.
  • Do I need to maintain sailing experience to participate?
    No. The SDSA is a non-profit educational sailing association and part of our mission is to educate and mentor candidates who desire offshore experience. Crew candidates of all levels are welcome to participate. 
  • Is there a cost to participate in the Crew Service?
    Yes. 
    1) You may join as a “Crew Only” participant at $20 which entitles you to crew in all Salty Dawg rallies during your annual term. We will send you a renewal notice at the end of your annual term.
    2) You may join as a “Salty Dawg Family Member” at $75 which entitles you to full Salty Dawg Benefits and crew eligibility during your annual term. We will send you a renewal notice at the end of your annual term.
    All fees are reinvested into our non-profit organization to provide education, Rallies and Rendezvous events for participants. 
  • What do I receive for my Crew Fee?
    You receive eligibility to crew in all Salty Dawg Rallies during your annual term along with crewing in any non-rally passages a SDSA Captain may require. Your profile will be added to our Crew Database and provided to Captains seeking crew. Additionally, you are provided the opportunity to broaden your experience through our network of blue water sailors while sailing to offshore destinations. Your participation also exposes you to a variety of education, fun, and camaraderie among a group of people who maintain a passion for sailing. 
  • What other costs do I pay?
    Generally, Captains cover onboard costs and Crew cover transportation cost to and from the boat. However, Captain and Crew may agree to other financial arrangements. Captains have been advised not to charge candidates for their participation.
  • May I charge a Captain for my participation?
    Generally, no. As the SDSA is a non-profit educational association, we do not allow Crew candidates or Captains to use our service for the purpose of financial gain. However, there may be instances when a less experienced Captain may be willing to pay a very experienced Crew candidate for their leadership skills. In this circumstance, the SDSA does allow the Captain and Crew to negotiate an appropriate payment. 
  • How do I sign-up for the Crew Service?
    Simple!   Join here.       (Note: There are two options; Crew Only for $20 or Membership for $75.)
  • Do I need to sign-up more than once or create another Crew Profile?
    No. Upon submitting your initial Crew Profile, it remains active for one year. We retain your Crew Profile in our crew database for future sailing events.
  • What happens after I sign-up and how does the process work?
    We will contact you approximately 90 days prior to a rally to determine your availability and place your profile on the Crew Service List. For non-rally opportunities, Captains will contact us when they need Crew and we will contact you to determine availability. Available Crew names are then provided to the SDSA Captain. Captains contact you directly to discuss the passage, all requirements and necessary experience. Both Captain and Crew should interview each other to discuss qualifications and compatibility.
  • How do I indicate availability for a Rally or individual Passage?
    We will contact you approximately 90 days prior to a rally to determine your availability to remind you to update your profile. The SDSA rally schedule is available HERE
  • Do I need to advise you if I accept a Crew position or become unavailable for a Rally?
    Yes, Absolutely. We need to remove your profile from the Available Crew List. If you don’t let us know, captains become frustrated contacting unavailable candidates. Use your profile to make changes to your status.

  • Does the SDSA provide detail about SDSA Captains to Crew?
    No, generally not. It is the responsibility of the Captains to initiate contact with Crew and provide required information. It is the responsibility of Crew to interview the Captain to determine qualifications and compatibility.
  • Who will provide me with information about the passage?
    The Captain is responsible for providing Crew with details, expectations and costs concerning the passage. The SDSA will provide Crew with general information about the Rally. Please contact the Crew Coordinator with general questions.
  • How long will the passage take and how much time should I plan?
    The amount of time for a passage depends upon the route, weather, and type of boat. Please ask your Captain about specific passage detail. As a general rule of thumb, you should have an open time-frame and not establish time constraints for a passage. Please communicate with your Captain about your time-frame as there are delays which postpone a passage. A Captain does not want to suddenly be without Crew because you had to go home. An average rally passage from Virginia to Antigua is 10-14 days, barring other delays.
  • Are there safety and tracking resources provided by the SDSA?
    Yes. The SDSA provides educational seminars, information about recommended safety equipment, and on-boat consultations.  We also maintain a Shore Coordinator that tracks all rally boats on a daily basis. All rally boats are required to “check-in” daily with the Shore Coordinator. During rallies, the SDSA also provides a SSB Radio Net Coordinator and weather forecaster who corresponds with all boats on a daily basis. We also work closely with the USCG during rallies in tracking boats. Upon completing your rally Crew Emergency/Waiver Form, you are registered in our database for the rally and we will refer to that information if needed. Your family and friends may follow the fleet and track your passage. We do not provide tracking and safety support services for non-rally passages.
  • How often is the Crew Service updated?
    The Crew Service is generally updated immediately when you make a change in your profile. *The validity of the list depends upon updates from Captains and Crew.
  • Why am I not receiving inquiries from Captains?
    There could be many reasons, ranging from an invalid email address to having already selected another candidate to looking for other skills or simply not looking yet. The SDSA maintains no control over if and when a captain chooses to contact crew candidates.
  • What is the experience level of participating captains and why do they need crew?
    Captains maintain diverse levels of experience:
    – Some maintain a mixture of inland and coastal with minimal offshore experience.
    – Some have completed several blue water passages.
    – Some have extensive blue water and circumnavigation experience. 
Captains generally need additional crew to share the responsibility of standing watch to ensure adequate crew rest during an offshore passage, with the ultimate goal of passage-making safely. Captains also seek crew to provide mentoring experience and sailing opportunities. It is our hope that Captain and Crew foster long-term sailing relationships.
  • How does the SDSA obtain Crew candidates and what is their level of experience?
    Most Crew candidates join the SDSA via word-of-mouth or exposure to our website.
    SDSA Crew candidates maintain diverse experience:
    – Some are new to sailing or have limited exposure and desire more experience. We strongly encourage Captains to select a less experienced candidate if they already maintain experienced crew. Our Mission includes mentoring and providing opportunity to less experienced candidates.
    – Some Crew candidates maintain a mix of inland or coastal and/or offshore sailing experience and are seeking to broaden their experience.
    – Some Crew candidates maintain extensive blue water experience and have completed numerous offshore passages and/or a circumnavigation.

Info, Questions, Feedback:   Contact Crew Coordinator at:  [email protected]

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