Hello and thank you for your interest in our sailing group. I’ve been scheduling sailing events on my boat on Meetup for four years and have hosted over 200 events and counting. Our group is 100% free of charges and fees for all members. If you have received an invitation to join our group and 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 of this page and complete all five questions. This is a private group for selected individuals 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 in real life, you will be removed from the group. Prior to ever boarding the sailboat you must print 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. Sleeping arrangements onboard the boat must be made in advance and priority will be given to Crew Members traveling to/from the boat from out of town. Crew Members are individually responsible for paying their own individual restaurant bills, bar tabs, and personal transportation to/from the boat/events.
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 Saint Petersburg, 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. In February 2019 we returned to St. Pete. I usually relocate the sailboat to new sailing waters every one to 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.
Unfortunately, the name Raven is a very popular boat name. The previous owner of my boat named my sailboat.
Who we are not:
We are not the very beautiful Vagabond 47 S/V Raven with the well known YouTube channel.
We are not the Tayana 35 S/V Raven in Tarpon Springs that previously crewed on MeetUp.
We are not the S/V Raven that sits on a trailer at the SPYC Sailing Center at Demens Landing.
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 and very expensive 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 closely 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, and possibly the Bahamas one day. For now, we will mostly be day sailing and coastal cruising along Florida's Gulf Coastal coastline, Boca Ciega Bay, 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 five hundred members total, so that members have more opportunity to participate. My experience with Meetup has shown that for every one hundred members who join a group, there will be ten or fewer active participants. So with five hundred members total, we should have approximately fifty or fewer active Crew Members sailing, and perhaps an additional five to ten members who occasionally attend 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. New members to the group that are not American Sailing Association 101 certified must attend a three hour sailboat familiarization/orientation training session and a forty-five minute safety briefing prior to their first day of sailing with the group. If you are ASA101 certified, you need only to attend the safety briefing. 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; foriegn 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. Once accepted as a new member, it is highly recommended that you attend one of our group's social meet ups soon after joining the group so that you can get acquainted with the people you will be sailing with aboard Raven. New members must attend one of our group’s social meetups prior to scheduling their orientation and safety briefing, which must be completed prior to going sailing with our group. Here is the process to get to go sailing with us:
(1) You receive an invitation to join our group either online or IRL.
(2) You request to join our group and get accepted.
(3) You attend one of our social meetups, preferably a Tiki Bar Night Meet and Greet
(4) You schedule and complete your Orientation and Safety Briefing with our group.
( 5) You join the waitlist for a daysail and get selected to go sailing.
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. Throughout the year 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 six 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,