Matching crew with boats
Helping sailors gain valuable experience
Helping skippers find qualified crew
The #1 crew networking service in North America
Creating quality offshore passage opportunities for our members

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.

Our mission is to seek, gather and create quality offshore passage opportunities for our members.

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

    See all

    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):

Everyone is preparing for the new normal: going back to work, returning to school and sailing offshore at the end of the summer (and hurricane) season. Now, let's add new requirements when entering a foreign county. As an example, I visited Bermuda last July as part of the "Spirit of Bermuda Fundraiser Rally" and was part of four boats that sailed from Newport or the Chesapeake Bay. As the first crews to be allowed to go ashore, we were were required to follow these protocols. Ah, the "new" normal.

Skippers and crew should be prepared to follow these or similar guidelines throughout the Caribbean this season.

While we are not organizing an official 21st NARC Rally this season, we will be running our Swan Program from Newport to St. Maarten with a planned stop in Bermuda. We will allow others boats to join us as long as they know we are not responsible if countries close up because of a second wave of infections in the United States. We can all hope a vaccine is available this winter to allow more freedom of access once we get to the Caribbean after the New Year. But expect to see restrictions to join as crew on any boat. It is the responsibility of the skipper to make sure crew comply with entry requirements that may be fluid this season as it was last spring.

If you think you may wish to invite people to sail with you as crew this season, please call or e-mail and we can talk about your options.

Regards,
Hank Schmitt
Offshore Passage Opportunities
Call 1-800-4-PASSAGe or 631-423-4988


What's new with Offshore Passage Opportunities

2021 NARC Rally: What's Changed

While we are not organizing an official 21st NARC Rally this season, we will be running our Swan Program from Newport to St. Maarten with a planned stop in Bermuda. We will allow others boats to join us as long as they know we are not responsible if countries close up because of a second wave of infections in the United States. We can all hope a vaccine is available this winter to allow more freedom of access once we get to the Caribbean after the New Year. But expect to see restrictions to join as crew on any boat. It is the responsibility of the skipper to make sure crew comply with entry requirements that may be fluid this season as it was last spring.

If you think you may wish to invite people to sail with you as crew this season, please call or e-mail and we can talk about your options.


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!


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.




2021 Swan Program Calendar Summary: Not Everything is Cancelled

While we have watched many regattas and events cancelled over the course of the pandemic, one bright spot has been offshore sailing. If crew are tested (twice, several days apart) before departure for a long passage, offshore sailing is safe. What better way to social distance from the world by making a long offshore sail?

While the crew network services of Offshore Passage Opportunities has slowed with many boat owners deciding not to sail south to the Caribbean, their Offshore Swan Program has been the exception. Last July, one full crew sailed from Newport to Bermuda and back along with two other Swans and in the “Spirit of Bermuda” Rally organized by the Tallship Foundation of the same name after the Newport Bermuda and the Annapolis to Bermuda Race were cancelled. In October, three Swans with 17 paid crew successfully sailed from Newport to St. Maarten with a stop in Bermuda.

In May and June 2021 we have 43 deposited crew sailing from St. Maarten back to Newport after stopping in Bermuda. We also have four sets of crew making a one way, one-week sail to Bermuda or back the end of May and again in June. There is also a Swan 68 going Transat from Newport to a TBD destination in Europe in June. We have a short wait list in the event any scheduled crew cannot participate due to shore side topics.

So, while conditions seem to be getting worse in the near term as more borders and islands close their doors (all French Islands in the Caribbean are now off limits as of this week). Testing before departure and upon arrival with days at sea counting as quarantine, offshore sailing is not only still possible—but proven safe.


Recent Boat Owner and Crew testimonials

Boat Owner

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 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.

 

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

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!

 

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!

 

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!!

 

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.

 

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.