Here’s a few MAJOR considerations before coming aboard any boat:

Though it may seem like Bedouin is a long extended dreamy vacation for us, it really is our floating home.  And while it’s absolutely full of fun and adventure, it’s also just like any real home that’s full of normal stuff. Chores like scrubbing, dusting, dishes, and laundry happen here too…just with less water. We often have to fix stuff that breaks, and our days are also full of a lot of boat specific things like weather planning and hull-scrubbing—but we love it all.  Or at least most of it.

Because it’s our floating home and not a charter, we want to prepare our guests so they know what they’ve gotten themselves into.  If you’re thinking a luxury care-free vacation is in store, you’ve come to the wrong boat.  Being a guest aboard Bedouin means you’re a part of the crew on a working boat. It also means sharing a small space and working well together.  As part of our working crew, knowing a few important things about life aboard makes all the difference. 

So here’s some ESSENTIAL READS for anyone considering crewing on anyone’s boat.

Getting to us

We have a saying on Bedouin:

You can pick the day OR the bay...

Perfect cruising is when Bedouin is anchored happily in the exact bay on the exact day that all of us are shooting for.  But things don’t always work out that way.

We’ve learned the hard way that sometimes trying to get to the boat is just as adventurous as being on the boat can be.  Weather, wind, full anchorages, and sometimes unexpected boat problems all dictate where we can go, how long we stay, and where we will be on any given day. This can be a challenge for our guests when things beyond our control make it impossible to be exactly where they fly into. And, although we do our best, Mother Nature or unexpected mechanical issues can bring challenging scenarios like:

  • Our current anchorage may be farther away from the airport that guests have flown into, requiring extra transfers like busses and ferries.
  • Weather or mechanical issues may crop up and prevent us from being able to see all the places guests hoped to see during their stay with us.
  • The weather and water temperatures may not be ideal.
  • Broken parts may require us to moor into a slip inside a crowded marina while we wait for parts to be shipped in or repaired.

Come prepared to be very adaptable.  You may find that after you land, you’ll need to take another train or bus to get to us.  

Sailors are an adaptable lot, we are good at finding adventure when plans get altered or cancelled.  Being stuck in a marina sometimes allows us to plan a spontaneous road trip and bad weather often means afternoons full of board games and evening movie nights with Captain Mark’s awesome popcorn.

Are You Fit to Crew?

  • Your current mental health needs to be really good. Everything that happens on a boat seems to be magnified, so if you’re feeling happy and excited, it often turns into out-right jubilance when you first come aboard—though this feeling often settles in to contentment as the time aboard continues.  On the other hand, a small boat is never the place to come to get away from your troubles.  The trouble with troubles is they follow you around.  The excitement of being aboard quickly wears off and it’s been our experience that anyone experiencing challenges with their mental health feels even more vulnerable and overwhelmed emotionally once aboard. There is literally no place to hide on a boat and every challenge tends to engulf the atmosphere for everyone. Good mental health is paramount.
  • You’re comfortable around water.
  • You’re willing to follow directions.
  • You’re familiar with our safety page.
  • You’re willing to work. Guests who are willing to contribute and help out lighten the load that bringing on extra crew aboard inevitably brings.
  • THE BEST GUESTS come with a little knowledge under their belts by using our learning pages and becoming familiar with a few sailing skills, terms, and knots.
  • NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK IF YOU NEED CLARIFICATION OR ANYTHING SEEMS UNCLEAR.
  • BE HIGHLY ADAPTABLE. This is so important it deserves its own bullet-point. It’s pretty common for weather, anchorages, and plans to change all of a sudden. If you’re up for going with the flow and making the best of it, and even sometimes having an unexpected and unanticipated problem alter your travel arrangements to get to the boat or back to the airport, your adaptability is well suited to the unpredictability of sailing life.

Mind Your Manners:

  • NO SHOES ONBOARD. Shoes leave hard to clean scuff marks all over the boat so we don’t wear them aboard…ever. Although some people who come aboard want a little extra protection for their feet and wear deck shoes.  Deck shoes are great as they are only worn up on deck and never off the boat so they stay super clean while protecting your feet.
  • TREAD LIGHTLY. Walking around topside on the deck often sounds like stomping below deck.  Keep that in mind as you maneuver around on deck, especially if crew is sleeping.
  • NEED FOOT PROTECTION? We’re usually barefoot on the boat to keep the decks clean and free of scuff marks that come from shoes. If you’ve got sensitive feet and need to protect them on deck, consider buying deck shoes with non-marking tread–they’re best kept clean by only wearing them on the boat. 
  • KEEP YOUR CLUTTER FOOTPRINT MINIMAL. Keeping your stuff stowed helps the space feel clean and makes for a stress-free environment. It also helps avoid the frustration of looking for things. Crew members are usually given a soft basket to stow their small miscellaneous items like electronics, headphones, etc, and it keeps their stuff organized and easy to reach and boat surfaces clean and clear.
  • MIND YOUR TRASH. We keep extra trash bags in the galley. Whenever we head to town, it’s helpful to have guests gather their trash from their own head (bathroom) and bring it topside so we can take it to shore.
  • NAPPING in a common high traffic areas limits the space for others to sit. Bedouin has some really cozy places to nap that are fabulous—the trampoline on the foredeck, the cushion ABOVE the seating area of the aft deck, and we’ve been known to string up some hammocks.
  • DON’T SUCK THE POWER. Always turn off lights and unplug electronics when not in use. Hairdryers are a HUGE power draw so adapt your style to that carefree windswept look.
  • KEEP WET THINGS TOPSIDE. Anything with moisture can cause mold and mildew so it’s super important to keep wet towels, bathing suits, or anything damp up top and drying on a line.  This is especially important when it comes to leaving wet clothes and towels on the bedding—leaving damp things like towels or bathing suits on a mattress can involve a tortuous afternoon hauling the mattresses up top and airing them out get them dry. Just leave wet stuff topside and you won’t have to worry.
  • QUIET TIME on board starts when the first crew member goes to sleep and ends when the last crew member wakes up in the morning.

Good Guesting

Sharing our floating home with others is something we love to do. It also often means the need to generate more water and electricity—using both solar and our generator that uses fuel. The bigger the crew aboard, the more power and water we have to generate to keep up–sometimes that can be done with our solar, other times we have to fire up the generator which takes a lot more fuel. 

 

Keeping that in mind, here’s some great ways to make your stay easier on the boat and happier for the hosts:

 

  • Being mindful of your water and power usages is the most helpful thing guests can do to keep costs from soaring during their stay. 
  • Feel free to use the provisions we’ve got on hand like food, shampoo, SPF, and toilet paper. Just be mindful that they get used a lot more too. 
  • Charge your stuff when the sun is out and the batteries are happy. After sundown, charging becomes a power draw.
  • Wear less clothes. Yep, no kidding. The more you wear, the more laundry that needs to be done. Save water, power, by packing light and wearing less.
  • Hang up your wet towels. Letting nature dry them off makes for way less laundry too.

To help out, you might consider sharing the cost of:

  • Some of the food when we go shopping at the local grocery store
  • Treating the hosts to an occasional meal out at a restaurant
  • Offering to help with check-in fees when visiting any new country during your visit aboard.
  • Bedouin’s Head Chef doesn’t accept tips unless it’s a cone-full of gelato while wandering around on shore- this seems to keep her quite happy.