Hello and thank you for your interest in our sailing group. If you enjoy the sun, the sea, dolphin sightings, outdoor adventures, and fun times with good friends then this group is where you belong. If you are interested in sailing with us, please request to join by clicking the "request to join" button at the top off this page and complete all five questions.This is a group for anyone interested in sailing as volunteer crew aboard the privately owned 27 foot Bristol Yachts 27.7 sailing vessel named "Raven". Raven is a medium sized sailboat equipped and outfitted for day sailing, coastal cruising, and island hopping. Raven is not for hire, not for charter, and is a non-commercial recreational sailing vessel. Raven's crew is made up of a diverse group of fun and interesting individuals who enjoy sailing together as a crew. Raven normally sails with her Skipper and a crew of two to five crew members aboard. We use Meetup exclusively for our scheduling and communication of upcoming activities. Unfortunately due to the large amount of scam artists and fake profiles on these types of websites, we choose to be a private group. If you request to join you MUST message me with a phone number and your email address and be willing to have a short conversation on the phone prior to, or shortly after being accepted as a new crew member with full access to our meetup pages and activities. All new Crew Members are accepted on a probationary status for the first sixty days. If during the first sixty days of your membership we have not met or at least spoken on the telephone, you will be removed from the group. Prior to ever boarding the sailboat you must print, complete and sign our Liability Waiver and Safety Rules that you will find in our pages section. By requesting to join you are agreeing to accept the terms of our Liability Waiver and Safety Rules.
There are no fees to join our group and there are no fees to participate in our activities. There are no fees for the knowledge, training, and experience you will receive, it is all for free and just for fun. You will earn your keep by crewing. Overnight accommodations on board are free to Crew Members participating in multiple day activities. Crew Members are individually responsible for paying their own individual restaurant bills, bar tabs, personal transportation to/from the boat, and parking. Crew Members must provide their own sailing gloves, and boat shoes. Do not wear your boat shoes to the boat, bring them and change into them dockside just prior to boarding. Your boat shoes are only to be worn while on the boat with clean soles at all times. This prevents small pebbles and debris from getting into the drains and fouling the drains, thru-hulls and seacocks as well as helping keep a clean boat.
Raven's home port is Lighthouse Point, Florida, but Raven is currently docked at Clearwater, Florida. In February 2018, we sailed from Marco Island to St. Pete for new bottom paint and routine maintenance prior to continuing to Clearwater Harbor Marina located in downtown Clearwater behind the Clearwater City Hall. I usually relocate the sailboat to new sailing waters every two years in order to explore all the beautiful ports of call on the Gulf Coast and to make day sailing more fun and interesting. As a result we have Crew Members who travel from across the state to crew aboard Raven.
Joining this MeetUp group is an opportunity for sailing enthusiasts to sail without owning or renting a sailboat. If you intend to buy your first sailboat in the future this is also a great way to gain valuable knowledge and experience before making that huge commitment. The mission of this group is to have fun while introducing new people to the joy of sailing. So if you want to get out on the water and have fun, this is the group for you. The short term goal of this group is to develop our sailing skills while having fun day sailing and coastal cruising. The long term goal of this group is to create a small group of close knit friends who sail together frequently on my sailboat as volunteer crew. In the future we are planning to sail in the Florida panhandle, Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and possibly Cuba but for now we will mostly be day sailing and coastal cruising along Florida's Gulf Coastal coastline and Tampa Bay.
No experience is necessary and all skill levels are welcome, but individuals who hold at least an American Sailing Association Basic Keelboat (ASA101) certification or have completed comparable training (US Sailing, collegiate sailing programs, etc.) will be given "Preferred Crew Member" status. Crew members without formal training can achieve Preferred Crew Member status by gaining experience sailing on Raven. Yet another way to achieve Preferred Crew Member status is by volunteering to help out with the labor of routine boat maintenance and cleaning. There is always something that needs washing, cleaning, and/or polishing on a sailboat. Preferred Crew Members will be given priority when scheduling crews for sail dates.
We keep this meetup group small in number, less than three hundred and fifty members total, so that members have more opportunity to participate. My experience with Meetup has shown that for every one hundred members who join the group there will be ten active participants. So with three hundred fifty members we should have thirty five active Crew Members sailing, and about an additional fifteen to twenty who show up at our social meetups.
Because my work schedule as a charter aircraft pilot varies, there will be a mix of weekend and weekday sail dates. On each sail date I will try to have a mixture of experienced and inexperienced crew aboard thereby giving the lesser experienced crew members a chance to learn hands on while being assisted by the more experienced crew members. Most of the day sails will be very relaxed and it will be a great opportunity for first timers and novice sailors to get out on the water under sail. All new members to the group must attend a three hour safety briefing and sailboat familiarization/orientation training session prior to their first day of sailing with the group. This must be done prior to your first daysail on Raven.
If you are interested in sailing with us, please request to join by clicking the "request to join" button at the top off this page and complete all five questions. After you join please complete the INTRODUCTION about yourself. In your introduction please include your occupation, any special skill sets you may have (i.e. medical skills; military experience; mechanical skills; Spanish or French language skills; etc), where you are from originally, and anything else you wish to add so we can get to know a little bit about you. In addition to the five questions and introduction, all members must post and maintain a current, actual, recognizable photo of themselves. Prospective new members are required to attend a Prospective New Member Meet and Greet prior to becoming a member. Once accepted as a new member, all new members must attend our three hour Sailboat Orientation and Safety Briefing prior to your first Day Sail for New Members and Beginners. It is highly recommended that you attend one of our group's social meet ups soon after joining the group and prior to your first day sail so that you can get acquainted with the people you will be sailing with aboard Raven. Most of our meet ups, both sailing and social, occur during the first five days and last five days of each month.
If you are not immediately accepted it is most likely because we have reached our maximum membership, or because you are only available during a time period that is currently over crewed. Individuals not immediately accepted will be kept in cue until an opening becomes available. There is usually a wait list to join our group. Former members of our group who have voluntarily left the group must wait a minimum of ninety days to re-join the group. Former members must re-submit a signed and freshly dated copy of the Liability Waiver and Safety Rules prior to any participation in any group activities. Former members must re-attend the Orientation and Safety Briefing if they have been out of the group for more than one year. Former crew members rejoining the group must participate in at least one Boat Maintenance and Cleanup Day prior to going sailing again with the group. Snowbirds who plan to return to sailing with us upon their return in the fall should not leave the group when going north, just let me know your intentions and when you will be returning.
Membership in our group requires active participation and inactive members will be removed from the group to make room for applicants on the wait list. During each three month period there will be several sail dates, boat maintenance/clean up days, and social meet ups. A member will be considered inactive if said member fails to attend a minimum of one meet up exery three months. The organizer of this group reserves the right to remove any group member at any time for any reason. The Skipper reserves the right to refuse boarding to anyone for any reason.
Thanks again for your interest in our sailing crew meet up group. I look forward to meeting and sailing with you soon,