Imagine if your commute to work was as easy as stepping onto a sun-drenched yacht. Or if your office window overlooked the open seas. How about waking up each morning in a different exotic port?
Now imagine if you could do it for free.
From 20-year-old backpackers to 80-year-old retirees, an increasin
number of people are volunteering on boats for a remarkable chance to travel the world — all without spending a dollar.
Here are our top five tips for living the yachting lifestyle, without the luxury price tag.
Volunteer as crew
You don’t need sailing experience to crew a yacht — but you do need to be flexible. From cleaning to night watch shifts and stocking supplies, crew members are the worker bees of the boating world.
Many private yacht owners will offer free board and food, in return for volunteer deck hands.
“A lot of boat owners are more than happy to have someone with no experience because it means they can teach them how to do things their way,” said Kylie Gretener, of the findacrew.net website.
“What’s most important is your attitude — you’ve got to be adventurous and open to learning. It’s a bit like being an exchange student in someone’s home.”
Be a friend
If crewing sounds more like work than pleasure, perhaps your charming company is enough to earn you a free ride.
“We had one man from Italy who had a two-man submarine,” explained Gretener. “He would take it out on weekends and wanted a companion to share the experience.
“Then there was the 80-year-old couple from Alaska who joined a yacht in Greece — they contributed as deck hands but also told great stories to keep the crew entertained.”