Work Exchanges on Boats and Yachts

Work Exchanges on Boats and Yachts

From the traditional boat designs of Turkish gulets and Malay sailing boats to solar powered ferries, Workaway and HelpX provide a few opportunities for messing around on the water – once you’ve got everything shipshape that is.

A word of warning: while the idea of working on a boat sounds appealing most skippers will expect a lot of hard work. Though no stranger to graft, having worked in a Malaysian paddy field, blogger Sally Thelen’s stories of life on a Malaysian sail boat, from the endless sanding and varnishing to jumping ship, are well worth a read (via Wayback Machine).

Traditional sailing and classic wooden boat care in Southeast Asia

Each year this 120 year old sailing vessel delivers 15 to 20 tonnes of donated educational and medical supplies on an 8,000 mile voyage to remote island communities in Southeast Asia. Volunteers must be able to amuse themselves, learn fast, not get sea sick and work well with their hands. For the right person this position can lead to the training needed for a full skippers license.

Work on a traditional Malay wooden sailing boat in Malaysia

Stationed in Langkawi, volunteers on the Naga Pelangi can experience life on a traditional wooden sailing boat in a beautiful tropical setting, doing maintenance work, sanding, varnishing, painting and standard upkeep while the boat waits for charter work. No sailing skills are required but carpenters, mechanics and electricians willing to chip in for their living costs are welcomed.

Renovating a 60ft wooden boat, France

Help out with woodwork, painting, electrics and plumbing while the 50 year old boat is moored in Burgundy and time on board is offered when the owners reach the Med.

Help with a boat and mountain farm near Alicante, Spain

This German-Italian family living in Alicante have a sailing boat and glamping site in the mountains.  In return for helping out you will receive a comfy bed and delicious home-made food and many interesting projects to help with. Accommodation will be either in the family house in Alicante, on the sailing boat or in Moroccan tents in the mountains.

Help with a solar-ferry-boat in South Germany

In the summer months this host drives a solar ferry boat from his home island of Reichenau to the Swiss side of the lake. While he can do this alone the law says he needs a co-pilot in case of emergency. There are other tasks needing doing around the house and garden but for the tourism business volunteers should be reliable, honest females sure with the water.

Come to Lake Como and help with boats in Italy

Sanding and varnishing are the main tasks that need doing to keep two wood boats maintained for use on Lake Como.

Bar staff wanted for Turkish gulets

Workawayers, aged over 21, with previous bar and cocktail making experience are provided with free accommodation onboard, meals and drinks in exchange for tending bar on the Med. Applicants should be available for three months.

Help us with our boat, house and garden and discover the real Aussie lifestyle

Help wanted to finish rebuilding and refurbishing a 30+ft long sailing yacht with the chance to take it sailing if you’re lucky enough to be about at the end of the task.

Sailing and sewing in Tahiti

There is a lot of maintenance on boats, cleaning and repairs to do all year long, so the owner of a 48ft trimaran welcomes hard working people to experiment with life on a boat in a lagoon in French Polynesia.

42ft classic mahogany yawl in New Caledonia

At the time of writing this last host is currently on leave in the Maldives and not accepting volunteers but those able to hold a screwdriver or a paint brush correctly might like to check this one out in the future.

To determine availability and to apply for the positions listed above sign up to either Workaway or HelpX.


Image courtesy Ree Dexter.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Christina

    Your warning is probably a wise one. While this may sound like a dream, the degree to which you are required to work and the conditions involved do need to be considered.

  2. Shane

    Most people doing something like this will have a wonderful time but it’s always best that people go into it with their eyes open, knowing that there’s a lot of work to do on a boat.

  3. Alexander

    If I would have known about these things about 20 years ago, most likely I didn’t have a company. Because could I went to a family in Spain. Not necessarily Spain, any boat that isn’t like this will give a lot of pleasure =)

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