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.

NARC 2022 is Approaching: Join Us

  • Breaking News From Hank Schmitt

    The NARC (North American Rally to the Caribbean) and the Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) are coordinating to have a combined departure rally from Newport this Fall 2022.

  • Sign up for NARC 2022

    Register to join us on this year's journey from Newport to the Bermuda and St. Maarten. Boat fees range from $100 to $400 plus $150 per crew member to cover socials!

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!


Blue Water Sailing Club

Hank Schmitt provides an overview of Offshore Passage Opportunities to the Blue Water Sailing Club, complete with Q & A.

The discussion shares how you can learn to sail offshore, how OPO has helped countless sailors gain blue water experience, and the benefits of crewing on a boat delivery. Importantly, Hank also discusses the Swan Program, the annual NARC Rally (North American Rally to Caribbean) and other rallies. Enjoy!

Blue Water Sailing Club

Click to view
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.

2022/2023 Swan Program

OPO members get a head start to sign up for any of the Swan Program Passages. We are now inviting anyone to inquire about what we may have left or to be on a short wait list.

Anyone can sign up for the coastal Annapolis Boat Show one-week sails, but I need to speak to all potential crew before they sign up for the Fall Program south or the May Ocean Race sail back from Sint Maarten to Newport to make sure they up for the adventure.

Hank Schmitt
631-423-4988

 

2022 Swan Fall Schedule

Huntington NY to Annapolis Boat Show

October 8 to October 14. Sail aboard our Flagship Swan 48 Avocation from Huntington to the show. Crew arrive on Saturday afternoon October 8 and move aboard. We will depart early Sunday morning. We will stop along the C & D Canal Tuesday night and finish the sail to Annapolis MD by Wednesday late afternoon. We stay aboard the boat right next to the Boat Show and see the show opening day Thursday Red-Carpet Day and Friday. You make plans to leave the boat anytime Friday, October 14. Price: $2,000* all-inclusive except travel to and from the boat.

 

Annapolis Boat Show to Huntington NY

October 14 to October 19. Arrive in Annapolis MD anytime on Friday, October 14 and move aboard the boat. We will see the show on Friday and all-day Saturday. We will depart Sunday morning to sail up the bay and to the C & D Canal and then decide to push on to Cape May or wait on weather. We are building in one extra day just in case we have to adjust our float plan. Plan to leave the boat Tuesday night, October 18 or Wednesday morning, October 19. Price: $1,800*

 

Combined NARC/SDSA Rally Newport RI to Sint Maarten

This is the highlight of the fall season. We plan to depart with a fleet of up to 40 boats in this years combined rally. If you want to sail in one of our three Swans we have this year please let me know. We have a Swan 68, a Swan 65 plus our Flagship Swan 48 Avocation. Avocation is already filled, but we have berths on the other two boats.

Crew arrive in Newport on Thursday, October 27. We plan to depart on Saturday, October 29 if the weather looks good. It is a 4 to 5-day sail to Bermuda. We stay in Bermuda at least until Monday, November 7 and the bigger boats will arrive by Sunday, November 13. Fly home Monday, May 14. Price: $4,000*

 

Sneak Peek at Spring 2023 Ocean Race (Formally known as the Volvo Ocean Race)

May 4 to May 22. Sail aboard our Flagship Swan 48 Avocation from Sint Maarten to Newport RI and then stay aboard the boat for the start of the Race on Sunday, May 21. We then sail to Huntington NY by Monday, May 22. Plan to fly home Tuesday, May 23. You stay aboard the boat and we will be dockside in Newport RI from when we arrive (Most likely Thursday, May 18 or Friday, May 19) and then watch the start of the Race on Sunday and then we keep sailing to Huntington NY so you would travel home from NY on Monday, May 22 or Tuesday, May 23. We did this the last time the Volvo was in Newport in 2017 and we had a great time. Price: $5,000*

 

May 4 to May 20, 2023

We also plan to have a Swan 68 and Swan 65 to offer return passage with us. Fly into Sint Maarten Thursday, May 4 and move aboard and leave from Newport RI on Saturday, May 20. The price for the berths on the return passage are the same as the passage south in October. Price: $4,000*

 

*A $500 deposit will hold the October Boat Show sail and $1,000 deposit for the longer 18 days passages to or from St. Maarten. www.sailopo.com/store

 

Recent Boat Owner and Crew testimonials

Boat Owner

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.

 

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!

 

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.

 

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!

 

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.

 

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!!

 

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

 

Skipper

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

 

Swan Program

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

 

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.