Below are just a handful of testimonials from captains and crew who have used the services of Offshore Passage Opportunities.

Hank, thanks again for connecting me with crew and running an excellent rally.  I needed the support and appreciated all the hard work you put in to make the rest of us safe and confident. Thank you, Ruth, for crewing on Lady Slipper (this feels so inadequate for the gratitude I have for your support on the passage, thanks).

-- Doug, SV Lady Slipper, Owner/Skipper


Hank, I recently posted here for crew to go from the North Fork of Long Island to the Chesapeake bay on a short notice trip. An OPO Member named Bert replied to me and I brought him on-board. I just have to say, that was an absolutely wonderful experience! Bert had no experience with sailing off-shore nor sailing large boats but he was very much up to the task. He was a total delight to have along, provided fantastic input, suggestions, and was just a complete pleasure to have on-board. I don't know if in your web site here if there is a place for comments on folks that may be signed up, but I would love to give him a very positive review of such an area exists. I also want to thank you for this tremendous resource - it is absolutely fantastic. I expect to use it again in the future. Thank you very much.
-- DJ


Dear Hank, Again I would like to thank you and your service to assemble my crew for the September passage from Hawaii to the mainland (So.CA). I picked Ed and Mike after interviews and personal meetings. So far I had excellent luck and experiences with the crew I got from your service during my two longer passages and will continue to highly recommend you. I hope you had a fun sailing season so far and promise to report back after my crossing of the Tsunami debris field.

-- Eb Schenk, KOKUA


Guy and Pika here from the Swan 90 Leonara recently arrived non stop Tahiti - Victoria , 4930 nm  in just less than 23 days. We are 30+ year veterans as Superyacht Captain/ Chef-Mate. Our plans changed just after our two delivery crew left and we now are heading to San Diego then on to Antigua for Christmas. We contacted Hank at Offshore passages and boy we wish we met him years ago! We received eight fantastic replies to our request for crew. All experienced, mature and well rounded interesting people. We were spoilt for choice.
-- Guy and Pika


The response for crew has been fa-nominal !!! I just wanted to say "thank you" and I am sure we will have crew thanks to you. Keep in touch.


Almost immediately after your sending out my crew request, I received 6 qualified responses. Through Christmas Eve and day, I have received an additional 4 responses. In a word: Wow.... This is a terrific service that you are providing.    


The OPO announcement we put out earlier this year produced several very well qualified crew for my voyage from Annapolis to New Zealand. I’ve filled my crew needs from Annapolis to Galapagos and have one crew for the remainder of the passage to New Zealand, but I would like one or two more for Galapagos to New Zealand.


Thanks a ton for your help. I received a lot of responses from very capable seamen and have filled out my crew. You run a very good organization and I have given your contact info to a couple of broker friends of mine. Great job!


Thanks for your organization and the opportunity it affords many people that want to get out on the water. I for one appreciate it!


I just wanted to say hello and thank you for what you do. Because of Rick and you, I was selected to crew on Destiny (Hylas 70) in the ARC last fall and had a great learning experience with Graeme (Capt). Because of that trip, I was able to buy a berth for my 25 yr old daughter on Northern Child (Swan 51) for the BVI regatta .... Which now has her hooked on racing!! And I'm leaving this wkd to do St. Maarten to Halifax with Rick. So .... Thank You!!

-- Jim Dow


The sail this summer was great! The boat, crew and captain made the passage a great deal of fun and exciting. Everyone got along and even the weather cooperated with only a couple of rainy watches. I would rate this summer's the best sail yet since using OPO. Keep providing the best sailing opportunities for anyone that wants to have fun learning how to sail.

-- Tom Webster


Hank, I just wanted to drop you a quick note regarding the above trip. I reached out and got myself on the return leg from Sweden to the UK. I just returned to the States last night, and what a trip! First off, Ben is a terrific guy and great instructor. Between him and one of his race guys who made the trip home with us, I probably learned more about sailing in those 9 days that I have in the previous three years. The Swan 53 is one helluva boat. We had weather and sea state that was all over the place. Between sailing in a part of the world where it never truly gets dark, to the beautiful Kiel Canal Transit, to the very sporty North Sea and English Channel, it was a trip will always stay with me. We worked hard, didn’t sleep too much, but had a ball.

I happy that I took a leap and went outside my comfort zone to take on this delivery. A great confidence and knowledge builder. I just wanted to pass on my thanks to you and OPO for the opportunity to find such adventures.

-- Tracy


Offshore Passage Opportunities is the best thing I could have done to improve my sailing. Being able to practice what you know in various weather, wind and water conditions, OPO, has given me the chance to become a more capable, and smarter, sailor. It has also connected me with fellow sailors who share my rather unhealthy obsession for the water. They get it!

-- Lisa Beavers


Hank - Just a note to say I had a great experience with skipper Chris. I know he has used OPO before and I would expect him to say I was a well qualified crew member. Nice boat, great guy and an excellent sailor. I only wish I had more time to spend offshore. I am sure I will be looking for another berth. I think the OPO service has been worth every penny for me already just a few months in!
-- Chad


I continue to use your OPO notices, have had great times, and opportunities to sail up and down the US East Coast. I appreciate your efforts and the OPO website. I think I have been able to use the OPO website very well, and am pleased with its 'usability'.


My name is Ken Roche and I have been a member for 3 years and I finally went on a passage from St. Martin to Annapolis with a Captain Jan of the Yacht Delivery Team. Just wanted to thank you for making it happen, what a great organization you have. Another guy was on the trip that sailed with you and said it was a real experience (good). Hopefully I will get a chance to meet you at the Annapolis boat show in October and maybe be part of your crew and move a boat back to Tortola or St. Martin or anywhere south. Thanks!

-- Ken


I have just arrived home, having crewed with Richard on the 46 ft. Leopard Cat from the Dominican Republic to Ft. Lauderdale. Richard is a consummate pro, having sailed and sold hundreds of cats in most of the popular cruising venues around the world. He's a first class and amiable skipper. Also joining as crew was Joseph. He is very nice and knowledgeable and is also a decent cook! Thanks for connecting me with good guys on a very nice trip!    

-- Bill


Thanks for the welcome e-mail. I have sailed with captain Frank on a 14 day delivery and enjoyed the experience very much. His willingness to take on Kevin and myself for our first offshore experience demonstrates his patience and love of sailing and we both came away with even more excitement for our next opportunity to sail with an OPO captain. Thank you for providing such an amazing opportunity! I hope to meet you soon.

-- Russ Gore


In the past 3 years I have had the privilege to sail on about 4-5 boats with different captains/owners, and in fact, have been able to rejoin one boat for repeated cruises.


Hi Hank, First of all, I would really like to thank you for your kindness. I have been emailing and calling every contact I could find since November, and no one has come close to being so genuine and helpful as you have been in just this one email. It really means a lot to me that you would be willing to put in your own time, energy, and offerings into helping me pursue this journey. I think it is so cool that you were able to participate in such an intense level of competitive sailing at the age of just 18 - that must have been such a great experience.


Hi Hank! Just saying "Ahoy". Your OPO has changed my life, I showed off my sailing passage list to a friend the other day and he was impressed, I was too!


Just a word of Thanks. This is my third year to renew and OPO has directly or indirectly introduced me to many boat owners and opportunities to get out there and do something that thrills me. This year I will get five passages completed and I only own a Hobie 16! I think that is pretty amazing considering I do not own a cruising boat and I am doing this through a website organization!!


Thank you for all you do to create sailing opportunities for others and to create such a creative community. When I first called you I could have never imagined what OPO would mean to me. I have lifelong friends and lifelong memories. You make everyone feel welcome and valuable. Thank you! I appreciate you!!


Joining OPO has been great for me. I have had great trips and each has taught me a lot. Most recently I joined Jon on his Swan 40 trip from Southport, NC to Fort Pierce. This was the perfect trip for me in this stage of getting prepared to get our own boat. It was just the two of us and I really enjoyed getting to know him. All of these people became friends and we stay in touch. One day I will get a chance to meet you but in the meantime I want to say Thanks for doing what you do.

-- Ken


So nice to get to see you again — and to get a look at Avocation — in Newport and in Bermuda. You and OPO are responsible for me racing with Marcus, and I’m grateful. In the last 8 years or so I’ve gone from a pretty novice cruiser to steering a race boat at night through 30 knot squalls and big seas!


I just had a great trip with Rick and Peggy on their Sabre 426. If anyone needs a course in preparation for a passage they should definitely contact them. They are great people and a pleasure to journey with. Again I would like to thank you and for OPO and the opportunities it provides.

-- Tony


Hank Schmitt has asked that I reply to you regarding joining OPO. I am a 62 year old female have been a member of OPO for about 8 years. I sailed with Hank on Avocation and on passages aboard other boats by replying to listed opportunities. I was often the only female on board. I have never felt uncomfortable or threatened or not valued because of my gender. You do have to realize that you will be in close quarters and may not have the privacy experienced ashore and to make allowances for this. The interaction of personalities is important, but this would be the case on an all female boat as well. Most of my sailing experiences have been positive and the ones that were not had nothing to do with my gender. Sailors have a certain temperament and, in most cases, ability to get along under cramped circumstance and to go with circumstances. If you have this temperament you should not have a problem on board.

-- Ellen


 Just a short note to let you know OPO has been great for me. So far I did two deliveries in spring. I applied for some south bound trips, and I am looking forward to the spring deliveries again this year. Best from Boulder Colorado!


All I can say is WOW! I joined OPO on June 1st and already there have been 7 requests for crew nearly all of which I find favorable to volunteer for. I responded to OPO 23-63 as soon as it came out and the captain has agreed to take me aboard his Formosa 41 as he sails in late August from East Hampton, NY, up to the coast of Maine via Provincetown, and then back to East Hampton. I'm definitely looking forward to it and to seeing what other opportunities the OPO family has in the upcoming year.

-- Mike


If you're thinking about "sailing off into the sunset", let me emphatically suggest you sign on with OPO to really know if you (and possibly your spouse) are ready for it. Go on different boats. The learning curve is easier on someone else's boat. For everyone else -- What the hell are you waiting for? Old age? Come On, Jump off the porch and play with the Big Dogs

-- Ric Gottschalk, Bali Hai


I enjoy reading all of your emails, the crew requests, the news, and the PAYS updates. I applaud your hard work on the behalf of PAYS, and also on behalf of those looking for offshore sailing experience or for crew. While I assume and hope there is some monetary profit in operating OPO, it is clear that you are very conscious of everyone’s costs; I can tell that you derive personal non-monetary profit from your service.
-- Michael


During all these adventures I have had met people who have become great personal friends. Friends who share great stories, laugh at the toughest of times, and offer their backs while covering yours. I have sailed with many of my friends for four, five, and even 8 times. Each time we literally have spent weeks together 24/7. Priceless, truly priceless friends.


Hope all is well with you and your watery world. We bought a catamaran last year. She is a St. Francis 50, a strong blue-water cruising vessel built in South Africa. We keep her in Newport at Goat Island Marina. She is my future retirement home! Last May I brought her north from Ft. Lauderdale on a six day run with some friends. Would never have had the confidence to do it if I hadn't sailed with you from Bermuda aboard Avocation!


For over 14 years OPO has been an extremely valuable resource for me as volunteer crew, as captain, and a captain/owner. I have logged 14 voyages to Bermuda, St. Thomas or Tortola. I twice crossed the Atlantic, sailed the South Pacific from the Galapagos to Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas, and partied from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas with the BAJA Haha. For over four years I bounced around the Caribbean in my own boat from island to island with most crew coming from OPO. And I am getting ready to set sail again this Fall!


Thanks for all the NARC Rally support. We left last Sunday with fresh crew and the new weather window. Arrived in St John VI on Friday with fair weather for our 2nd leg. Ran into PROVEN here already which was a OPO request for crew out of Bermuda. We had a great time socializing in Bermuda and look forward to another chance to experience hanging out with passage makers.

-- Andy


I received a good response for a very short notice transatlantic passage crew spot and was quite pleased with the whole process. I confirmed a very experienced fellow after reference checking him with one of the Captain with whom he regularly sails. Thank you. I am sold on OPO! Of the 8-10 hits, at least 4 filled the bill for this particular spot (needed watch captain level experience) but all of them would have been fine to fill a berth and be able bodied crew.
-- John Youngblood, S/V High Cotton


I've arrived in St. Maarten for delivery to Norway. Met several 'old' friends, including Mike from a previous delivery to Abaco. He says OPO is BEST value in club membership. Good on ya, mate!

-- Capt. Dale Cheek


We're pulling off the dock with your crew at 12pm today for BVI. Thank heavens for OPO as none of the USA sailing schools ever came back to me with crew. OPO has been a lifesaver finding crew on this side - great idea! You do a great job connecting people. I am very excited!! Thank you.

-- Jeff, the Yacht Delivery Team


Running one of the beautiful Swans for OPO is always rewarding.  Each voyage we start with a group of sailors who would like some or some more offshore experience.  And we give it to them. During the voyage we have a chance to shuck our bay and coastal habits and evolve into a cohesive team, achieving our offshore goals.  We learn about weather prediction, reading the sea and sky, boat sounds, watches, helming, sail trim, electronics and healthy running of engines and systems.  All on great sailing Swans.  We keep each other safe, keep boat systems running smoothly, sail efficient and fast and importantly, have fun!

-- Captain Woody


Just saying hello and congratulations. I send people to you all the time. Your service was hugely helpful to my cruising life, both as crew and as an owner. Thank you for that!
-- Jim


I contacted you last month for crew to help me bring a boat from Miami to Connecticut, I got a great response, and settled on 2 people for the trip. Russ and Kevin joined me for the trip and it turned out to be a great fit. They were both great crew, and I would take either of them along again in the future. I have been a delivery captain since 1981, and have many contacts for sailing crew, but there is the time or two that no one seems to be able to make a trip, and so you have a great service going, and it has been a pleasure meeting new people who are able and willing to go sailing.

-- Captain Frank Lord


As this was my first true deep offshore experience, I really did not know what to expect and I came prepared for "anything". Capt. Woody and the first mate were amazing and very knowledgeable and patient.  The 5 other crew members on the first leg and the 3 replacement crew on the second leg were all pleasures to get to know and sail with.  Nothing like a challenge like this to develop a common bond and camaraderie.  The entire rally and organization was well done and the activities in Bermuda especially were a blast.  So many great people there. Your organization and the folks that participated in and help organize the rally were amazing and my Captain and crew were first rate and for all of that, I am thankful.

-- Doug


Thanks for letting me be a part of Aurora's crew in last month's St. Maarten to Newport run. It was a great adventure. I think that Jonathan Ishmael is a very good captain and the crew you put together was a fun, congenial mix of men. I have been working toward this trip for four years and it exceeded my high expectations.

-- Charlie


The Swan Passage experience totally blew open my sailing boundaries.  Coming in with some coastal sailing experience, I learned a tremendous amount about what it takes to make a blue water passage.  In particular, I learned how to assess weather with different apps, use various navigation tools, how to see squall lines coming (and when to reef) and how to deal with problems as they pop up with a positive attitude.  Woody was really great about taking time to teach and answer questions regardless of how basic or complex the questions, and particularly good at approaching challenges with a great attitude.  Going forward to help the skipper and mate bring down the main in pitching seas and a squall coming in didn't seem like a big deal with someone with as much experience and confidence as Woody. I can't thank you enough for all of the time and effort you put in to make this experience possible for all of us crew types - including the social events!

-- Dave


Offshore Passages in the Swan Program is for those wanting to fully enjoy and work with a Pro Skipper and like-minded Crew aboard a vessel designed and built for that sole purpose.  Swan Program provides an Opportunity like no other that will certainly provide you with long lasting memories and friendships designed around your own unique experience. Many whom venture into the Swan Program in turn take that knowledge and experience and pay it forward to their own sailing endeavors with friends and family.  If Offshore Passages are a bucket list item or you long for being away from the daily grind, then the Swan Program is for you.  If you are going to do something Offshore and want a lasting experience, a Swan will make that happen.  Do it now. Tomorrow is too late.

-- Jason


Your Swan Program made my goal/dream of experiencing a multi-day offshore passage a reality! From the first time I contacted you, your communication, follow up, and detailed logistics planning for the trips has been fantastic. The captains were eager to share their extensive knowledge, focused on safety, and made the trips fun with their stories of cursing the world. My fellow crew members were from widely diverse backgrounds and ages, and we all had an awesome time getting to know each other, and coming together as a crew. I'm already looking for my next OPO trip!

-- Steve


One of my new crew mates asked, "Are you always this happy? Is there ever a time when you don't have a smile on your face?" The freedom that sailing a Swan on the Atlantic Ocean gave me to be my own person, and to be happy. To test my limits. I'd been putting off making a life changing decision for some time. I realized that I wanted to remain being this person who was at peace and happy. So, when I returned to the mainland, that's what I chose.

-- Jim


Just wanted to let you know that NARC 2018 was a great experience. To me, the combination of Jonathan and the Swan 60 represented the absolute best in offshore passage making. I was very fortunate to be part of the adventure. Thanks for the opportunity, you and Jon have one big thumbs-up from me. I look forward to a long association with OPO.


I appreciate you running this program for those of us without offshore experience, I don't see how it would happen otherwise. Standing watch was probably the hardest part to get use to. But on the last day I was able to thoroughly enjoy it!

-- Jim Morrow


I took the abbreviated version of the NARC rally getting off at Bermuda but in no way did I get an abbreviated offshore lesson. In five words I can sum up my learning with Captain Woody and First-mate: current, wind, trim, autopilot, and chartering. The longer version: 1) Pay close attention to the current. 2) Any wind strength can have a persistent shift. The problem is recognizing it. 3) Captain sailed with the main sail reefed and off centered with the headsail slightly over-trimmed keeping the bow in the right position (not to far up or down). 4) I learned for the most part offshore sailors rarely steer their boats (most of my time at sea were races) for good reason - it's tiresome! 5) I have a goal that involves chartering and crewing a future sailboat. I couldn't ask for a better captain and first mate with better first-hand knowledge.

-- Paul