Volunteering & Working Opportunities: Crew / sail around the world for free

Mention sailing and the chances are most of us will conjure up romantic images of wind in the hair, freedom on the waves 💙.
But mention sailing to someone who has owned a boat, the response will likely be more measured.

Although the rewards are commensurate, maintaining a boat requires dedication, commitment and hard work. Finding the time to dedicate to the upkeep of any boat can be challenging, and the addition of an extra pair of hands can help enormously!
But if you are eager to discover the sailing / boating way of life regardless of the challenges we think you are about to have a grand adventure!


We have been noticing a steady stream of opportunities on Workaway relating to boats & sailing– from Northern Europe to the Carribbean, and as far away as Australia and Malaysia..! Let’s take a quick look at some the most EXCITING possibilities out there for anyone with a seafaring interest:

1. Help maintain a traditional wooden sailing boat in Langkawi, Malaysia

Experience life on a traditional Malay wooden junk schooner while exploring the stunning island of Langkawi! The island is covered with virgin rainforest, so this is the perfect spot for immersing in nature while enjoying local heritage and culture. Help with general boat maintenance and rope work (don’t worry, the host will teach you!) and gain valuable knowledge on what sailing life is all about.

2. Explore around Australia’s Whitsunday Islands on a private yacht

If you’re interested in trying out an alternative lifestyle amongst some of the most stunning islands on earth, look no further! This host at the Whitsundays is looking for light help with running their yacht and preparing meals. Most trips are really just a relaxing time and to take in the wonderful scenery of the area, and enjoy life on a boat. Be prepared for spontaneous trips and lots of free time exploring nearby towns.

3. Boat building community in Oslo, Norway

This host is looking for Workawayers who have knowledge or interest in permaculture, farming, boat building or sailing. The project is for anyone who wants to learn, share ideas and work hard. If you’re interested in boatbuilding, check out their community now and send them a message in a bottle! Anyone who helps out has the chance to join the crew, a tribe of floating sea-gypsies!

4. Join a theatre ship in British Columbia, Canada

This theatre company is based on a 30 meter tall ship! These hosts have been bringing innovative theatrical productions on to the deck and in the rigging of a ship theatre for over 40 years. Help ranges from ship maintenance to working on future productions. Sail around with a crew of artists, singers, builders and dreamers, and create meaningful connections on the sea.

5. Maintain the world’s largest catamaran built from recycled materials

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, this community of craftsmen, artists and lovers of the environment aims to create awareness about waste by building boats and getting them off-the-grid. Among various projects on water (and land), workawayers have the opportunity to become a crew member of catamarans and help maintain solar panels, install windmills and other improvements onboard!

6. Sail around Southeast Asia and help with filming in Bangkok, Thailand

Help create videos for an online travel channel while exploring the many unexplored sides of Southeast Asia! This host is looking for someone adventurous, athletic and comfortable in front of and behind a camera. The current project involves discovering the islands in the gulf of Thailand, as well as visiting authentic Thai fishing villages, while learning more about video and filmmaking.

7. English teaching on a sailboat in Sanblas, Panama

Sail around the archipelago of Panama with a fun family. In exchange for some help with English schoolwork for the children, stay on a 42-foot monohull sailboat, make trips to the jungle on the coast, and enjoy the unspoilt paradise of San Blas in the southern Caribbean. Experience what it is like to live self-sufficiently in water, and sail when the wind blows!

8. Help renovate a 60ft wooden boat in France

The boat which is near the famous wine region of Sancerre in France is 50 years old. This host is looking for an extra set of hands to help with reconstruction including woodwork, painting, electrics and plumbing. Accommodation is provided onboard in either a double cabin or in bunks.

Anyone who helps will be offered time on board when the boat reaches the Med, as well as beers and great chats to unwind after a day of work!

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