The sailing catamaran is based at the Linton Bay Marina at Puerto Lindo, on the Caribbean side of Panama, not far from the historic seaport of Portobelo. This catamaran is first-class, modern, 48 foot long, 25 foot wide, built in France 2008, updated in 2021, and is equipped with kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, snorkeling gear, fishing rods, a guitar, yoga mats, DVD movies, CD or Bluetooth music, as well as books and magazines that are appropriate to learning and reading about sailing, navigation, etc... A Workawayer is always needed, either onboard or nearby.
Capt. Fred sometimes arrives at the marina with family or friends to stay overnight on the boat, and to sail in the area of Costa Arriba. Occasionally we make a family and friends voyage to-from San Blas, which can take a few days to a week or more. We also take on guests that pay for “private charters" at San Blas of 2 to 8 days. When successive groups of guests arrive at San Blas, the ZENITH might be at San Blas for a month or more. Alternate captains to Fred are also employed.
We also take paid guests on shorter charters of 1-3 days in the area of Costa Arriba de Colon, the area where the Linton Bay Marina is located. Finally, we also take overnight guests in the Linton Bay Marina that pay to experience a sailboat “hotel” stay while the catamaran is tied-up. These overnight guests may use the onboard water toys in the harbor around the boat, without sailing.
When guests are aboard, the Workawayer is always busy, with duties such as first-class family cooking for as many as 10 persons (guests come in groups, know each other, and eat together), making-up rooms before guest arrival, general clean up, assisting guests with sports equipment, and of course to learn and help sail the boat. Because of this extra effort, at times when actual paid “charter” or “hotel” guests are onboard, there is remuneration to the Workawayer, and sometimes gratuities from guests. Further information under “help details” below.
When guests are not onboard, at the marina, or at anchor at the marina or at San Blas, the opportunity involves living aboard while performing boat maintenance, social media updates, and occasional shopping or errands. The time required for these responsibilities averages 2 - 3 hours per day. When the catamaran is at the marina, there is plenty of time to enjoy Puerto Lindo, and nearby Portobelo, Isla Grande, and Cacique, along with water sports, and getting to know other sailors in the marina. If the catamaran is stationed at San Blas, you can engage with the indigenous Guna Indians, snorkel the reefs, kayak, etc.... Without paid guests there is no remuneration, but accommodations and food are provided, along with use of the sports and entertainment equipment. Occasionally, there may be other crew onboard, but usually when without guests you will be the only person living onboard.
The Workawayer interacts with many local, paid workers involved in such charters, who bring provisions from markets, clean the outside of the boat, maintain the boat structurally, mechanically, and electrically, and maintain the navigational electronics. At the San Blas islands, there are indigenous workers involved, to supply food (fresh fish and lobster), to build bonfires, to bring fuel and water, to sell their handicrafts and explain their craft to guests, and to help clean and maintain the boat, etc... In short, is a large and varied sailing community to learn from, and who appreciate learning from you, your experiences, and knowledge from other parts of the world that you bring.
Upon your arrival, some overlap with the outgoing Workawayer can usually be arranged for training, and at this time, when doing 1 or 2 charters together, the outgoing Workawayer will receive the remuneration. Later, when you train the next Workawayer, you will receive the remuneration. Altogether, including training, you should consider a stay of 3 months minimum. There is also a 4 months maximum, so that you can experience some other travel opportunity or return home. Some Workawayers return to help aboard a second and third time, and returning Workawayers are given priority.
Due to limited accommodations, only one Workawayer can be accommodated at time, except when an outgoing Workawayer is training an incoming Workawayer. Couples please do not apply, as this is simply not feasible. No pets.
Also note that the meals are not vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc..., we normally include meat and fish. Finally, if you suffer from motion sickness (such as car sickness, sea sickness) this opportunity will not be pleasant.
Your safety and the security of the boat and equipment are important. While at the marina or at anchor, only you, Capt. Fred's family and friends, “charter” or “hotel” guests, an alternate captain, and other specific persons that are paid to perform work onboard are allowed onboard the boat. Other boats may invite you aboard, and there are social areas at the marina and at San Blas, but persons other than those named above are not allowed aboard the catamaran, which you are there to enforce. When alone, you are the only person permitted to use the catamarans recreational and other equipment. Most of the persons you will meet and enjoy free time with have access to their own sports and boat equipment, which they also protect, so this does not become an issue.
This opportunity is not for Workawayers looking for much entertainment, nightlife, binge drinking, 'funsundays', etc... It is a serious community of sailors and supporting professionals interested in recreation, the sea, the culture, protection of the environment, and that want to share this experience with you.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Computers/ Internet
Learn to sail or exercise your sailing skills as the itinerary may allow. Absorb the local history and culture. Time ashore will be available to explore Puerto Lindo and nearby Portobelo (where fortresses and cannons attest to the gold once shipped from the Americas to Spain, and the pirates that roamed to loot). Isla Grande is a popular holiday spot with cafes and a beach, is close to the Linton Bay Marina, often with folks visiting from Panama City. A range of PADI approved diving certification courses are available locally (Google "Reef Divers, Puerto Lindo, Panama" for course and cost information). Scuba diving is not permitted at San Blas, however, snorkeling is popular. While at San Blas, the rich culture of the indigenous Guna Indian population is there for you to absorb, and in return, they will learn from your worldly experiences.
Most of the time, without guests aboard, the Workawayer works an average of 2 – 3 hours per day while tied-up or at anchor nearby the marina, or while at anchor at San Blas. Food and accommodation are always provided without charge to the Workawayer, along with expendables such as towels and linens, shampoo and conditioner, sunscreen, insect repellent, laundry detergent, etc...
When sailing, each day requires 8 hours watch-standing at the helm (a rotation with others of 4 hours on, 8 hours off), as well as significant cooking. Sailing days are therefore very busy.
When paid "charter" or “hotel” guests are onboard (guests that are paying to be aboard, usually by the day), there is remuneration for the Workawayer of $100 per day (for San Blas) and $75 per day (for Costa Arriba). “Days” are counted by the number of days that the guests are actually paying for. When clients pay for a half-day, the remuneration to the Workawayer is also 50%. Additionally, Workawayers receive $100 (at San Blas) or $75 (at Costa Arriba) per charter (for each paid group that comes and goes) to compensate for the extra effort to help prepare for and clean up after guests leave. So, for example, charter guests pay for 4 ½ days at San Blas, the Workawayer will receive $550. Two days at Costa Arriba would be $225. Occasionally, you will also receive gratuities from satisfied guests upon their departure.
When there are "hotel" guests onboard who pay for overnight stays in the marina, there is remuneration of $50 per night to assist them for the number of days – nights that the guests are paying for, including preparation of their included breakfast, and to accompany them during water sports. For the extra effort to help prepare beforehand and clean up after departure, you will receive an extra $25 per room occupied. If additional meals (more than the included breakfast) are requested by guests and prepared by you, you will receive an extra $5 per person for lunch and $5 per person for dinner (we don't charge for rooms or meals for children under age 3). So, for example, 4 adults and one 2-year-old child occupy 2 rooms, pay for 2 nights, and order lunch and dinner onboard, you would receive: $50 x 2 days, plus $25 x 2 rooms, plus $5 x 4 persons x 2 meals = $190. Occasionally, you will also receive gratuities from satisfied guests.
If the person aboard is only Capt. Fred (without family or guests), another crewmember, or another Workawayer, these people are there to work or learn on the catamaran, and your assistance is needed, without remuneration. When Capt. Fred together with family or friends are aboard (persons who have been invited by Fred but are not paying for a charter or hotel stay), when sailing to any location, or during stays in the marina, the remuneration is less: $50 per day or partial day that they are onboard, including preparation before arrival, all meals, activities, and clean up after. For the Workawayer, this is basically the same work as though paid guests were are onboard. The remuneration for the Workawayer is less because there is no revenue for the boat.
When an outgoing Workawayer is training an incoming Workawayer during charter, the remuneration is for the outgoing Workawayer.
Prior sailing experience is of interest ** but not required *** so please be clear about any prior sailing or boating experience in your inquiry, but don’t worry if you don’t have it. Also, please indicate your interest or experience with first-class family style cooking for groups of up to 10 persons, depending on the number of guests onboard, which is probably the most difficult part of the opportunity. There is a need to do basic social media posting (Facebook, Instagram, Air B+B, Trip Advisor, etc..), and the possibility to work on the website, do video editing, etc... so if you have that interest or experience, please also include that. If you have any other specific experience that you are willing to share (creative writing, translations, specific computer programs, mechanical or electrical maintenance, painting, woodworking, etc...), please also explain. In any case, we will tailor the opportunity to suit your interests as much as possible.
There are good return possibilities. Some Workawayers have returned within a year from their first opportunity, and some have returned several times. Returning Workawayers get priority for future openings.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
A private cabin with private bathroom, when available. This is always possible without guests, at a marina or at anchor. When many guests are aboard, that accommodation you were using may be needed, at which time you will need to sleep in a single crew bunk or on sofa inside, or a hammock outside (your choice), with shared bathroom facilities. Food for Workawayers is the same as for the group aboard. When you are alone you can prepare what you like.
You may enjoy swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, sun on a beach or the catamaran trampoline, snooze in a hammock, drive the outboard dingy, fishing, playing the onboard acoustic guitar, yoga, etc... (what you can do will depend on your interests, the location of the boat, and schedule). Equipment for these activities is provided onboard, and are maintained by you. Keeping the snorkels clean between guests is important. Note that there is no wind or kite surfing allowed in the areas where we sail. There is a DVD movie library, great UHD display, and a CD music library with great sound system and LED lights. Practice new recipes for cooking during upcoming charters. Make friends within the sailing community and within the indigenous Guna Indian population. Enjoy interaction with other boat crews, quiet time to meditate or study, fresh air and sun!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
WiFi is often available for communication like WhatsApp, Email, and Instant Messenger, but not always. It depends on the location of the boat. Usually surfing websites or downloading apps or music is not possible due to limited bandwidth. Mobile phone cards for voice and data may be purchased in Panama, but many areas are without signal.
Average 2 – 3 hours per day when alone, but much more when sailing or with guests onboard. When paid “charter” or “hotel” guests are onboard, there is remuneration for the Workawayer. Further information under “help details” below.