Matching crew with boats
Helping sailors gain valuable experience
Helping skippers find qualified crew
Creating memorable offshore sailing experiences
The #1 crew networking service in North America

Offshore Passage Opportunities is the #1 Crew Networking Service in North America. OPO has helped thousands of sailors meet and make successful passages since 1993.

Offshore Passage Opportunities offers three services all focused around matching experienced crew with qualified skippers -- and helping those who seek more sailing experience to safely acquire it.

  • Experienced Crew Seeking Quality Passage Opportunities


    Your membership connects you with trusted owners and skippers looking for experienced crew. You sail for free since you're helping to move a boat. Some voyages require sea miles with solo, night watch capabilities while others simply need bodies to stand watch.

    New Cruises

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      If you're interested or qualified for some of the posted opportunities, then that is a good indication you should join now.


      Join Now

    • Sailors Seeking Additional Offshore Experience


      Our Swan Program was designed to help knowledgeable sailors gain the blue water, offshore miles required to crew on any boat.

      You pay to crew for a very experienced skipper on a proven boat who will push your comfort zone. You'll learn:

      • Offshore Sailing Strategy
      • Route Planning
      • Important Safety Tips
      • How to Stand Watch
      • How Systems Work
      • What it Takes to Crew

      After one or two Swan voyages, you'll be ready to crew on virtually any offshore passage.


      Learn More

    • Skippers Seeking Experienced Offshore Crew


      We help boat owners and delivery skippers find qualified, experienced crew. Some skippers look for crew in advance while others need crew on short notice. Once you "Request Crew" you'll know within 24 to 48 hours if we can help. Some skippers accept friendly, less experienced crew who are able and willing.

      This service is free to boat owners and delivery skippers. All you need to do is:

      • Complete our "Request Crew"
      • Answer any OPO questions
      • Thoughtfully vet crew inquiries
      • Select your crew
      • Have a great trip

      We welcome inquiries from owners and skippers we know--and those we have yet to meet.


      Request Crew

    Delivery skippers and private boat owners quickly realize their friends and family have jobs and cannot always sail with them. So they call us looking for crew. We collect their information and pass it on to our members to help them get aboard. Since you are helping to deliver a boat, you get to go sailing for free. Many are repeat skippers or members so we pre-qualify a majority of the opportunities for you.

    How OPO Operates During the COVID-19 Storm
    Dear OPO Members (and Skippers and Boat Owners in need of crew),

    For the past few days I have been informing Boat Owners frantically looking for crew that I cannot issue OPO crew requests if the plans may quickly change. Everything is fluid. Therefore, since the world is turned upside down so will OPO.

    If you would like to sail offshore (are healthy and can travel), let me know. We have one owner of a Swan 48 seeking to leave next week from USVI. We have an Amel owner searching for crew from Martinique to Newport in June. I know we will have many more owners looking to move their boats out of the Hurricane belt or back home in the next few weeks. I know we may disappoint many.

    OPO Members may have time due to temporary work hiatuses. Perhaps the solution is to self-quarantine at sea. If you think you may be sick or affected, please stay home and recover. If you are healthy, think you can get a flight, and want to help a Boat Owner who desperately needs crew, please contact me and I will add you to our crew short list. We want to serve OPO Members who wish to help Boat Owners in times of need. If an owner contacts me, I will put you in touch with them, but:
    I am checking email once daily and can make a list of potential crew to share with Boat Owners.

    I believe most people are staying close to home or self-quarantined at home. Many have an older parent or children to care for.

    Let's all hope and pray things go well soon.

    Best Regards,
    Hank Schmitt
    OPO


    What's new with Offshore Passage Opportunities

    Tips from the Pros: Watch Hank in Action

    Hank Schmitt is profiled in the several episodes of a new series entitled "Tips from the Pros." Regardless how long you have been sailing, you will learn something new by watching Hank share some of his techniques based upon decades of sailing.

    • Pro Tips #1
      Crew on an Offshore Sailboat Before you Sail Away!
      (with Patrick Childress)

    • Pro Tips #2
      Peeing Off a Boat ... How to Use a Sailboat Toilet / Head
      (with Patrick Childress)

    • Pro Tips #3
      What if you Hit a Whale and the Whale Strikes Back!
      (with Patrick Childress)

    • Pro Tips #4
      How to Clean the Bottom of a Sailboat Underwater!
      (with Patrick Childress)

    • Pro Tips #5
      Offshore Passage Preparation: Nothing Should Fall Over or Run Out!
      (with Patrick Childress Sailing)

    Please contact Hank with any comments and feedback!

    NARC 2020 Dates Announced

    Each year the traditional end of the hurricane season is November 1st and Election Day is always the 1st Tuesday in November. And we have been offshore every election year since 2000. Sometimes on our way to Bermuda, sometimes right after we depart.

    In 2020, waiting until after Election Day would mean moving the NARC departure date from Newport too late. So this year we will depart on Tuesday Oct 27th 2020. This date still allows for a weather delay and time to reach Bermuda by election day results on Tuesday night, November 3rd. The fleet will depart Bermuda no earlier than Wednesday November 4th and arrive in St. Maarten 5 or 6 days later. So now you have the dates for the start of the NARC Rally and everyone can schedule accordingly.

    2020 NARC Schedule Summary


    Your first offshore sailing experience

    Swan Program: A First Experience with Offshore Sailing

    If you've ever considering deepwater sailing but were not sure how to jump start your sailing career, our Swan Program is for you.

    Our Swan Program was specifically designed to introduce people to the world of offshore sailing by providing hands-on crew experience under the watchful eye of an professional skipper on a proven boat. During your tenure onboard, you’ll learn to keep watch, make log entries, navigate, use the radio, steer the boat  and perform tasks that are essential to safe offshore sailing. The Swan Program offers a fixed price for everything you’ll need aboard—you just pay for your travel to and from the boat. The Swan Program sails south from New England to Bermuda and the Caribbean in the fall, and north from Bermuda and the Caribbean to New England in the spring. Summer trips are also available.

    After your first Swan Program experience, you’ll have the skills to sail on other boats. Please view the video below to learn more.




    2020 Swan Program Calendar Summary

    We have opportunities to increase your blue water sailing experience in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Click either region to see the program overview, timing, ports and prices.

    Read more ...

    Recent Boat Owner and Crew testimonials

    Boat Owner

    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!

     

    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 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.

     

    Crew

    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!

     

    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.

     

    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!

     

    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!!

     

    Swan Program

    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.

     

    More Testimonials

    To view additional testimonials, please click here.