Crew on an Offshore Sailboat BEFORE you Sail Away! (Patrick Childress Sailing #41)

Sailing Tips for Pros! Learn to Sail, and how to get on a sailboat and sail the World as Crew, Safely. But these passages are not for beginners. Those who sign on to these passages know how to sail and know all the terminology. Often times they already own their own 50′ sailboats. This is their opportunity to get real offshore experience, prior to taking their families across an ocean. Offshore sailing – Tips from the Pros… a new Sailing Videos series where professional delivery captains share their sailing tips and tricks for sailing boats across oceans…the things that work for them on an every day basis for decades and decades as they put on more miles in a year than many of us even with bluewater sailboats put on in a decade of bluewater cruising… First up is Hank Schmitt from Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO) -(Patrick Childress Sailing #41)

Hank shares his secrets about the role of crew, how to leave a dock, when and how to reef a mainsail, and other sailing tips while crossing the Atlantic Ocean on and beyond. Offshore Sailing Tips for crossing an ocean, and bluewater sailing. These are sailing tips and tricks previously only able to be done by learning in offshore sailing school.

Experienced, salty, full time professional delivery captains from all over the world that deliver sailboats and other boats for a living, full time sail every kind of boat from basic keelboat sailboats to luxury yachts along the east coast of the United States, or from one continent to another, They sail around the world like we take a bus. Many of them take on crew and teach offshore sailing to experienced sailors who become even more experience after learning how to cross an ocean.

Over the years these captains get sailing long distance, offshore passages and yacht deliveries down to an exact science, and we all have a lot to learn from them, especially about ocean sailing, and the different sailing maneuvers and sailing tactics to make the miles roll by in any rough seas, heavy weather, stormy weather, and when becalmed.

This week, it’s Hank Schmidt from Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO) passing on some sailing tips and tricks, and quick hacks to make sailing fun and easy for his crew. He runs the North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC) every year, twice a year from Newport RI, to Bermuda, and then on to St Marten, and then the return passage back north again, among other offshore passages that sailors looking for offshore experience can sign on it. Hank captains SV Avocation in this rally, his own private yacht. Other boats with other professional captains handle other sailboats in the rally…often Swan sailboats, which are fast raceboats, but also seaworthy amazing offshore sailboats ready to cross oceans. Private owners also sail their own boats in this rally with crew supplied by OPO. They always take paying crew with them. Crew are usually experienced boat owners themselves, smart and successful who want to learn from these professionals, how to cross oceans before they take their own families and yachts offshore. Many of these students will sail their own boats full time in a year or two, or sail around the world. . Others learn it’s not the life for them. But everyone enjoys pushing their limits and being thrown in the “deep end” on these passages. Everyone comes out part of Team with memories and friendships to last forever!

Patrick Childress met his wife on this same trip, when he too was a captain for OPO. Part of that story is summarized in

For more information On Offshore Passage Opportunities, or to get on their crew list, visit

Most Photography and Videography by Will Hogan, an experienced sailor and Videographer himself
All Editing by Patrick Childress.

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