OPO is the #1 Crew Network in North America
OPO Sponsors the Newport Bermuda Race

Welcome to Offshore Passage Opportunities -- Sponsoring the Newport Bermuda Race

  • Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO) is delighted to be the newest sponsor of the Newport Bermuda Race, signing a three-race cycle commitment through the 2026 race.

    OPO is a free and efficient crew networking service that provides free crew for Captains when the outbound team is not available to make the return passage from Bermuda after the race. Now expanding to offer to connect volunteer race crew with owners.

  • Newport Bermuda Race

Offshore Passage Opportunities is the #1 Crew Network in North America and is:

Efficient – You need only share information about the passage, and we will issue a "Crew Request." Members will respond to you within one or two days with their written sailing resume. Your "crew request" is NOT exclusively posted on a website to sit and grow old with anyone to see. It is only issued once. Since everyone checks their e-mail several times per day, interested and available members will respond to you very quickly.

OPO crew sail for free and pay their own way to and from the boat. They also bring money for meals and drinks ashore. You simply pay for all boat expenses and onboard food. No money changes hands. All OPO members know how to sail (you will receive their sailing resumes and speak with them before agreeing to their joining you). You can expect them to participate as a full crew member. They will make their very best effort as they are experienced sailors and part of the OPO crew network. Many are looking to buy a boat in the future -- to go cruising or perhaps even take part in a future race. OPO is a unique win-win situation where the boat owner is happy getting free crew, the OPO crew is happy sailing a nice safe boat on an ocean passage. And I am happy providing this free service to you.

If you are looking for crew for the Race, we have some highly qualified OPO members who may wish to become part of your race team and make themselves available to practice. Just let us know your needs. In fact, if you ever need to move your boat, OPO is happy to provide crew (and skippers) for you anytime.

Best Regards,
Hank Schmitt

Hank Schmitt has been a delivery skipper for over 35 years. He owns and runs Offshore Passage Opportunity since 1993 and the Annual NARC Rally and Offshore Swan Program since 2000. Hank participated in the Centennial NBR race placing 3rd aboard the Swan 48 Avocation. He has over 65 Bermuda "Arrived by Sea" Stamps in his passport. The service and website, www.sailopo.com, has been active since 1996.


Helping Boat Owners Find Crew

Boat Owner Seeking Crew for the Race Down, or for the Return Passage after the Race

To hear from potential qualified crew simply tell us more about the crew position you are looking to fill and how experienced the crew should be. Usually, owners wish to race with crew they know and practice with. In years past our service primarily offered volunteer crew for the return passage. Part of our new sponsorship is also helping connect race crew for the race to Bermuda. Anyone who wishes to look for a racing crew berth can also use our service. Inquiring crew will be added to the pool of potential crew for free. We will send your "crew request" to them. If they are interested in joining you they will respond by e-mail only with their written sailing resume. Since everyone checks their e-mail often, you will hear back from potential crew within 24 to 48 hours.

We will help you prepare a crew request. Think about what you would want to know if you were going to join a boat for an offshore passage. You would want to know more about the boat, the skipper and the other crew. Tell us how much you may wish to practice with the new crew or if you just need a body or two for the return passage. Most crew do not want to take the extra time off from work or time home to make the return passage.

Below is a sample "crew request" (#21-117) that we already sent out for one participant recently (minus name and contact information.) If possible, we like to speak with the owner or skipper to better understand and meet your crew needs. Please call me at 631-423-4988 or better yet e-mail at hank@sailopo.com.

Crew Seeking Boats and Offshore Experience

If you would like to Crew for a Boat in the Race or Crew on the Post-Race Passage Home

If you are looking to get on a boat in the race or on a boat sailing back after the race we are happy to add you to the address book. You will then receive all the "crew requests" we get from any of the participants in the NBR looking for crew. This service is free to you. We will not share or give your e-mail address to anyone else. Please note that there may not be a lot of boat owners looking for crew to race with since most people wish to race and practice with people they know. More often we get "crew requests" to crew the boats back after the race. Expect some "crew requests" to come weeks or even just days before the race since there are usually some crew that have to drop out on short notice because of an emergency at home. Make sure you have a sea bag packed.

If you are a passionate sailor and wish to expand your offshore sailing options to more than just once every other year, then we encourage you to take a closer look at what we offer our membership.  If you have the desire to sail offshore more, have the basic sailing skills required to be useful, have time off and the means to get to and from boats, then we can provide quality offshore passage opportunities all year long. Many people get their sailing needs provided by OPO without having to buy an offshore ready boat. Join online or call for more information.

Sample Crew Request

Sample Crew Request

Once we get the basic information about your crew needs we will send out a "crew request"  to our membership. The crew will respond to you directly with a written sailing resume via e-mail only. You then contact them with questions and makes plans accordingly. We kindly ask you to respond to any OPO member who contacts you even if it is only to let them know you are all set with crew and do not need them. One of the benefits of our system is that the posting does not sit on a message board with contact information so you will not continue to get e-mails. Once we send out the crew request you will hear from potential crew right away since most people check their e-mail once a day of not more.

OPO e-mail # 21-117
Newport to Bermuda Race (NBR) Entrant
Race starts 17 June 2022

Newport or Bermuda – Boat owner and skipper xxxxxxxx has signed up for the NBR. He has two other crew so is just looking for one more. The other crew are his wife and another fellow racing friend. xxxxxx admits another woman aboard would nice to compliment his wife, but a competent pleasant 4th crew is the ultimate goal. The boat is a 2000 Pacific Seacraft 37 S/V named xxxxxx. He and his wife have owned the boat for two years and have cruised over 4,000 miles together.

Of course, this is a race, so you will want to meet the other crew and sail the boat before the race. The race itself is only 630 miles, but there is the passage up from Norfolk. The boat will sail from her home port at least two weeks before the race and will return to Norfolk from Bermuda after the race. The ideal crew will have offshore experience, but also have time for the sail from Norfolk to Newport for the start of the race, if not the return passage from Bermuda to Norfolk. He plans to stay in Bermuda for a week or more after the race, but plans to treat the wife and stay ashore. You do not have to make the final sail from Bermuda to Norfolk as they will be able to sail double handed.

I spoke with him and he seems like a very nice. He knows the boat would be tight for four crew if this were not a race, since this is a small boat even for a 37 footer, but the Pacific Seacraft is a well know and strong offshore boat. He adds:

The Pacific Seacraft 37 is cutter rig, safe and well-equipped sea kindly ocean cruiser (info below). The four-person crew includes me as captain, my wife who is a life-long sailor, and xxxxxxxxx member xxxxxxxxx who have thousands of ocean miles and crewed several times previously on xxxxxxx. You will be the fourth to round out the crew. The trip is a race, but we will be sailing more for the fun of participating and learning, albeit with some effort toward boat speed and smart navigation.

xxxxxxxxxxx, Captain: Lifelong Sailor, 4000 miles sailed in 2020, many trips in prior years, ASA and RYA coastal and offshore certificates, RYA Yachtmaster-Offshore planned, International Offshore Safety at Sea certificates, CPR, AED, First Aid, and Wilderness First Aid certificates, UK VHF Radio Operator Permit, US FCC License. The captain's wife has also sailed 4,000 miles sailed in 2020, many trips, International Safety at Sea Certifications, First Aid, CPR, AED Dean A - prior offshore and coastal crew on Destiny, thousands of miles logged offshore since 2019.

xxxxxx is looking for a non-smoker, someone fully vaccinated for overseas travel and has been offshore before. A percentage of all crew in the NBR have to have attended a "safety-at-Sea" Seminar and one person has to have some EMT or First Aid Training so this would be a plus for any OPO member looking to participate in the NPR, not just the return.

The opportunity is free with all onboard expenses included, but you need to get to and from the boat and have money for meals and drinks ashore. If interested please send your sailing resume and contact information to me at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com.

You can look at real "Crew Requests" we have sent out in the past on our message board to see what other information we like to include. The more information about you, the boat and any other crew aboard, the better. Remember we want to convince someone to take time off from work, buy a plane ticket and join you to help safely move your boat from point A to point B. The more information we have from you and the better the opportunity looks, the more responses you will get and a bigger pool of possible crew candidates.

If you are looking for crew on short notice or are looking for crew with more experience then you may want to offer a travel stipend or small per diem. However you will see that most of the crew requests we send out are 100% free and no money changes hands. The owner pays for the boat expenses and onboard provisions and the crew pay their own way to and from the boat and sail for free. We will be happy to write up a crew request for you and send it out to our hundreds of OPO members eager to help you with a passage.


Free Crew Networking Service for Boat Owners and Delivery Skippers

Free Crew Networking Service for Boat Owners and Delivery Skippers

If you ever need crew to help deliver your boat Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO) can help you get experienced offshore crew that will sail with you or your captain for free.

How does this work?

OPO is a crew networking organization whose niche is offering offshore sailing opportunities to members. Over 3,400 people have joined and sailed offshore through OPO since 1993.

Why do they crew for free?

OPO members sail for free for a variety of reason. Some are getting sea time towards a captain's license. Many have sailed for years, but do not live near the water or have a spouse that shares their enthusiasm for sailing. Many cannot afford or justify the purchase of a seaworthy offshore boat. They do have the time, the experience and the means to travel to and help sail other people's boats. The owner pays for all boat expenses and on-boarad food. The crew sails for free and pays their transportation to and from the boat and have money for shore side meals and drinks.

How do we know the crew will be any good?

OPO has over 450 active members at any one time. They pay an annual fee and wish to be looked upon favorably so strive to do a good job. Many are sailors who have sailed with us offshore before and that we would be happy to sail with again. Many have been offshore before or a veteran of our Offshore Swan Program. We ask OPO members to adhere to a "Code of Conduct".

What is my liability?

No money changes hands which limits any problems.

How do I get crew?

If you or a captain is looking for delivery crew for an offshore passage, simply contact OPO at 1-800-4-PASSAGe (or 800-472-7724) or 631-423-4988 or e-mail us at offshorepassage@sprintmail.com . E-mail always works. Phones might not be answered if I am offshore. We will need the details on when and where you want crew to show up. How many? Where are you going? How long the trip will take and a few details about the boat and other crew. We also need to know how to contact you. Once we have the information we need, we will send out a "Crew Request" to our member's and they will contact you by e-mail only including their sailing resume and contact information. The more lead time the better to give crew a chance to respond and make travel arrangements.

What does the service cost?

The service is free to boats owners and captains.

What if I like the crew and want to invite them again for another passage?

If you meet one or more OPO members that you like and enjoy having aboard, by all means call them up directly for your next passage or regatta. One OPO moto is: "It is much easier to meet new friends that sail than it is to teach you friends how to sail". Matching good crew with boat owners and captains is what we do.

What if I am looking to hire crew?

We are not a crew finder agency. However some owners like to hire a responsible person to help run the boat or "Boat Sit" while the boat is in port. What better way to interview someone than have them come and crew for you first for free.

What if I need to hire a skipper?

If you are looking to move your boat to another location or to a regatta and do not have a skipper, we have a handful of skippers that have captained in our Offshore Swan Program and that we trust and recommend. Once you hire the skipper he can take care of organizing the OPO crew that will sail for free and pay their own way to and from the boat. This way you only pay for the skippers' wages and his transportation to and from the boat. You save not having to pay crew and pay for crew airfare.

What if I want to crew with others?

We will be happy to help any owner who wishes to get more sea time the same opportunity to sail as our members. You can learn more and join at www.sailopo.com.

Who runs OPO?

Hank Schmitt has been a lifelong waterman, starting sailing in childhood racing in JYRA on Long Island Sound NY. Team racing 420's in school, then graduated to other offshore work on offshore oil rigs for 6 years off Newfoundland, South America, Africa and off the US East Coast (1979) and for a short time the Gulf of Mexico.

A delivery skipper for over 30 years with stints commercial fishing out of Montauk NY during the winter months from 1989 to 1994 with the year 1992/93 solo sailing to Spain and double handed back in the Jimmy Cornell event "The America 500" sailing Christopher Columbus's route to the Americas.

From this introduction to the Rally concept Hank started the NARC Rally (North American Rally to the Caribbean) which started in 2000. 2021 will be the 21st Rally. While offshore coming back from Las Palmas Gran Canaria in 1992 Hank came up with the idea for his Free Crew Network service OPO. Now in business since 1993 we have helped thousands of crew gain more experience. Many go on to buy boats and then contact us for their crew needs when making long passages.