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What is CrewWithMe?

CWM is a form of collaborative consumption (sharing!) where owners with boats they don't get to use often enough are matched with crew who love to get out on the water. The owners ask for a modest contribution to assist with their running costs while the crew get access to a nautical experience for the day without the ownership costs. The owner is the skipper because you are joining them for a day on the water not renting their boat.

We love the water, and anyone we take on as crew does so too, so we passionately pursued this as a way to spread that love of the marine environment.

What is a Skipper?

This is the owner or person legally able to operate the vessel hosting the event

What is a Crew?

This is a water-seeking person with a keen desire to fish, sail, or participate in watersports who will help an owner get onto the water themselves, and share the costs for the day.

How does it work?

CWM makes it easy for owners to take invited guests on their boats and in exchange ask for a donation to cover their costs (we call it a "contribution"). On-board you are a guest of the owner, not a customer and share in tasks and sports undertaken.

Owners register their profile with details of their boat type, activities, and launch location, they then post a request for a crew-mate, or wait for guest requests. Crew search event listings by date, location, activity or vessel type, or post a request to crew. A message is sent to all owners meeting the requirements and they respond to the crew. Once a preferred crew-mate is chosen, the crew pays the requested contribution, and receives contact details and an email confirmation of the event. 

I'm an owner what is the process to create an event?

Once you have registered, you should fill out your profile noting details of your usual departing location, your experiences and some information about the activities you undertake and what you expect of people crewing for you, The next step is to add a vessel alongside a flattering photo so your crew can identify it at the event . Once done, it is only 4 short steps to create an event;

  1. Create an event using the button on your profile or from the events tab in the header
  2. Fill in details of the event using the options and text box. Agree to the terms and conditions by reading through them and confirming on the pop-up window and then post it to the events display
  3. As crew respond to your event, you are notified by email and on your profile. Select those you would like to join you.
  4. The successful crew are notified with a link to make their contribution payment. Once that is completed, they are provided with confirmation of the event and your details
I'm a crew, what is the process to create an event request?

Once you have registered, you should fill out your profile noting details of your preferred departing location, your experiences and some information about the activities you have taken part in before. Once done, it is only 4 short steps to create an event request;

  1. Click on Add a request on your profile or from the events tab in the header.
  2. Fill in the event request with some text about what you are looking for, when you would like to go, where you would prefer to depart from (and surrounding locations for us to match you to the most owners)
  3. Agree to the terms and conditions by reading through them and confirming on the pop-up window, then post it to the event request page
  4. Owners matching your activity type and location preferences will receive an email letting them know you are keen, and if suitable they will create a matching event that you can join.

Are the owners listed, CrewWithMe employees?

No - All crew (and owners) are members of our site seeking to share experiences just like you. Whether you accept or post an event, you are entering an agreement with that member not CWM who acts as an experience broker.

Does CrewWithMe monitor the events?

We care about your experience and actively encourage both parties to rate the event. If the event is not successful please make contact with us on support@CrewWith.me to report a breach of the code of conduct, or your concerns.

Is this a peer to peer rental?

No. In a peer to peer rental, the owner hands over the keys or control of their vessel in exchange for a rental fee. CrewWithMe, lets the owner stay on board and take additional guests in exchange for a contribution. That makes it much like what operates at many yacht clubs now, just with a wider group of boats and crew.

I'm a crew - Are there any extra fees in addition to the requested amount?

No the requested contribution you see posted by the skipper is all inclusive if paid for by PayPal or an Australian issued credit card. If you pay by a foreign credit card we will pass on any additional charges incurred.

I'm an owner - can I request a different contribution for each event?

Owners are free to request the contribution appropriate to their event. This might include the size of the boat, the duration of the trip, varying fuel costs, or how keen you are to get an additional crew. As a marketplace the contribution requested is available for all to view so its a good idea to research similar events and vessels to see the range on offer.

I'm an owner - what contribution should I request for an event?

We can't tell you how much it costs you per hour to run your boat , but there are some factors to consider when deciding what to request. As an owner you have event costs (such as ramp fees, petrol, and supplies for the day) that you will want to consider when requesting an amount. You will know your daily costs, and can use them when deciding on your event cost. You may have taken friends or family out in the past and had them make contributions, or you have done this on others boats. Those experiences can help you decide what to ask, or ask yourself what you would offer someone else to crew on a boat like yours in another location. For longer events you will probably ask more than for shorter events.

Whatever you decide to request - We require that the figure you nominate is the event total per person, as your crew will prepay and must not be asked to contribute further for the event. Crew who have been asked to pay an additional contribution are encouraged to report this to us.

Can users contact each other before an event is filled?

Yes we provide a forum below each event to allow for you and other members to ask and view additional information about the event. Please do not post personal information such as phone numbers or email addresses to protect your privacy. We will connect the matched crew and skipper with email and telephone numbers at the conclusion of the event listing.

I'm a crew - How can I be sure that the skipper will do a good job?

All skippers need to be licensed, and insured for the activities they undertake. We demand they agree to provide a safe, friendly, and clean vessel for the activities offered. We encourage you to review the ratings of previous events they have undertaken, and remember to rate those you have been on (helps the next person asking this question). If you are unhappy with the event or the skipper, we encourage you to address the issue at the time (without confrontation is best), indicating what you are unhappy about and why it concerns you. If you are still unsatisfied, contact us by email at support@CrewWith.me with your concerns as soon as the event has finished.

How can I report inappropriate behaviour?

As everyone has different standards of acceptable language, dress and behaviour, please consider the reasons you found it inappropriate so you can be clear in your report (check our code of conduct for breaches). We would encourage you to discuss it during the event to ensure there was no misunderstanding, however we do not condone unsafe boating, or activities that are illegal in Australia. Complaints about an event, the crew or skipper can be directed to us on support@CrewWith.Me

I'm a crew - how do I accept an event?

When a skipper offers you a place on their vessel you must accept or decline as soon as you can. This is because to guarantee enough people to undertake an event, a skipper may have invited more than one potential crew. Its important that you accept their invitation as soon as you are sure you can make the event. Once you have accepted, you will be sent payment details and need to complete this to guarantee your place.

I'm a skipper - How do I edit or cancel my Event?

If you have not yet accepted a crews offer to join your event, then you simply edit or delete the event as required from the events page. If you have already scheduled the event and accepted a Crew-Mate, then you should make contact with them directly via email or phone and see if you can reschedule to an agreeable date. If that is not possible, you should contact us to cancel the event, and we will work to assist the crew to find an alternative vessel. In this case all fees are returned to the Crew-Mate.

I'm a crew - Do I need to help out on the boat?

That depends on the skipper. We ask skippers to use their profile to note if they have special needs for extra hands during the event (e.g. help loading or unloading the boat, washing afterwards, folding sails). You are a guest on the boat and like any good guest you should be able and willing to assist with reasonable requests by the owner.

I'm an owner - How do I invite a specific crewmate?

The site works best when all events are open to all members, but we understand that there will be times when you want to request members of your own sailing club, or someone you have had experience with. To do this you use the "private event" email function to send a link from your event directly to their in-box. Under our fair-use policy we require the event arrangements to be made on the site.

How do I leave a review?

The review section is available for the crew who attended an event. You have the ability to upload pictures, video and comments about the event, plus provide an overall rating on safety, cleanliness, and your enjoyment of the event.

I'm an owner - How does this affect my insurance coverage?

All marine insurers issue a disclosure statement (their pds) which has a clause excluding you from taking paying passengers. This is to ensure that owners do not become de-facto charter operators without the necessary qualifications, boat inspections, and relevant insurance. CrewWithMe has spent considerable time working with major insurers to ensure that when complying with our guidelines, boat owners may take a reasonable number of passengers, on a reasonable number of events without jeopardising their recreational insurance cover. Should you be in doubt about your situation, please contact your insurer for clarification, or follow the links to the progressive insurers we have endorsed.

I'm an owner: how many events can I offer?

Unless you are a registered marine business "business name" pty ltd) with commercial insurance and your boat/s are in survey (http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/cv/vessel_survey.html ) then you may offer up to 36 1-day events per year . This works out to nearly 1 per week during warmer months and 1-2 per month when its cooler.

I'm an owner - how many crew can I take per event?

Your boat will be rated for the number of people (less the weight of your gear) it can handle safely. This must be the 1st consideration for any event you plan to hold. CrewWithMe is designed for the owner who needs an extra 1 or 2 crew to safely operate their boat and enjoy an excursion on the water. We do recognise that on occasion your regular crew is not available and you will want to take additional people, for these occasions we allow up to 5 invited crew.

I'm an owner - How do I re-assign an event to a new crew?

In the event that a crew member is unable to make the event, you can return to the event listing to view other crew who had originally responded, and select another from that list to invite directly.

Can a skipper ask extra money for additional expenses?

No, the amount they have requested is designed to assist to cover their costs and should be inclusive of your share of the fuel, launch fees, plus a portion of other costs. We do not condone requests for additional money, unless the event is extended by mutual agreement. Should additional requests be made and you consider them unreasonable, please make contact with us directly at support@CrewWith.me

How do I send a private message?

We don't encourage private messages as otherwise owners may answer the same questions about the event multiple times. You can post a message regarding an event which will be responded to by the owner

How do I unsubscribe from CWM notifications?

Click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email, then look for our email to confirm to you didn't do this by accident. If you are requesting this because you are dissatisfied with an event, another member or something else has concerned you, please contact us at support@CrewWith.me

I'm a crew - How does CrewWithMe safeguard events?

CWM acts as an intermediary to bring together boat owners and interested crew, however until you have spent some time with the skipper you are still strangers, and should proceed with some caution. Owners who register have been asked to provide an email address, phone numbers, a photo of their boat, details of their marine insurance, and their bank details for payment, which allows us to be confident they are who they claim to be.

As a crew you must take responsibility for your own determination whether to participate. We make available some tools to assist in this process. We recommend that you check the ratings of the skipper involved, see whether they have been recommended from previous events. You can also use other social media sites to find out about the owner, and finally we encourage you to use the chat sessions to ask further questions about who else is on the event, where it will go and what it will involve.

I'm a skipper - How does CrewWithMe safeguard me during events?

CWM acts as an intermediary to bring together boat owners and interested crew, however until you have spent some time with the Crew-Mate you are still strangers, and you should proceed with some caution. Crew who register have been asked to provide an email address, phone numbers, and their credit card details for payment, which allows us to be confident they are who they claim to be.

As an owner you must take responsibility for your own determination whether to invite a particular Crew-Mate to your event. We make available some tools to assist in this process. We recommend that you check the ratings of the crew, see whether they have been recommended from previous events. You can also use other social media sites to find out about them, and finally we encourage you to use the chat sessions to ask further questions about their experience, their expectations, and any gear they own. You should be mindful of your insurance obligations when taking crew on-board and be aware of whether your equipment is still covered if damaged (possibly) or stolen (probably not) during an event.

How does CWM make money?

We act as a "dating" service bring crew and skippers together. We make money by charging a service fee (already included in the posted event contribution amount) when the event occurs.

I'm a crew - How much does it cost to search for an event?

Nothing, zero, zip, free, free, free. It costs nothing to window shop on the site. We ask that you register first to get full details of an event, but otherwise we encourage you to search through events, and listings near you, for activities that attract you. You might find something you'd love to take part in, or that a parent, cousin, aunt, brother, or friend would enjoy.

I'm an owner - How much does it cost to post an event?

Nothing, Nada, zip, zero. It is free to post an event either as a crew searching for an experience, or as a skipper looking to gain some crew.

I'm an owner - How do I receive the contribution I requested for an event?

You will meet your crew at the agreed location (if in doubt about identity, ask them for their event registration), and enjoy the event. The owner payment process commences 24 hours after the completion of the event and you will receive notification of payment of your requested amount (less 2.5% for banking charges) to your nominated account within 5 days. The actual funds may take an additional 2-3 days to clear the inter-bank process.

I'm a Crew - What payment options are there to contribute to the event?

All payment is in advance, and includes, Mastercard, Visa, or PayPal. Upon accepting the invitation, you will be directed to a payment gateway that will offer you various payment forms. The event contribution payment is made to the owner commencing 24 hours after the event is scheduled to finish, so if you have any concerns about the event, you will have time to notify us and allow us to seek a resolution.

At the end of the checkout process, you will receive an event registration form which you can print or transfer to your smart-phone to show the skipper as proof of identity.

Is there a CWM mobile app?

Not at the moment but you can use the site on your smart-phone, receive notifications of the event, and store the calendar entry there.

I'm an owner - What if I've scheduled to host an event but now I need to cancel?

You should contact the crew-person via email or phone and see if you can reschedule to an agreeable date. If that is not possible, you should contact us to cancel the event, and we will work to assist the crew to find an alternative vessel.

What happens if the weather is too bad to proceed?

In order to manage a safe event you should use your discretion and weather warnings from the BOM site, to determine whether to hold the event. Some crew will be prepared to go in all conditions (some sailors love big seas and high winds, some fishermen will happily brave pelting rain), but you and your crew should discuss what the deciding factor will be, for a weather based cancellation. Your vessels rating and your experience will also be important factors in that decision.

I'm a crew - What do I do if I'm not happy with the event?

We would always encourage crew and owners to communicate before during and after the event to agree on expectations, and resolve issues. If you have tried this, and are still unhappy, please direct complaints about an event, the crew or skipper to us on support@CrewWith.me

I'm an owner - What do I do with Expired events?

If this event did not occur but you would still like a similar event to occur in the future, simply edit it to make it relevant for your next event.

I'm a crew - What happens if I'm no longer able to come to an event?

If you are unable to make the agreed event, you should immediately contact the Skipper via email or telephone to alert them and see whether alternative arrangements can be made. If that cannot happen, and no replacement crew can be found, then a cancellation fee may be imposed

I'm an owner - What happens if multiple crew want to join my event?

When a skipper posts an event, it is sent out to all crew who have indicated interest in activities like you posted near your location. Any of those interested will register that interest and as skipper you will be able to select those you would like to "invite"

I'm an owner - What happens if no-one offers to crew my event?

We are sorry to hear that as the intent of the site was to help you gain enough crew to complete your event. If the event details can be re-used (location / duration / activity type) then you can recycle it to a new date and relist. Its then worth checking other details to see if anything about the listing made it unattractive to potential crew (requirements / duration / past event ratings)

What is a "CWM Badge"?

To acknowledge owners and crew who have received consistent positive event ratings, a "Top Sipper" and "Top Crew" badge will be added to your account once XX ratings have been received.

I have a disability, can I still participate as a Crew-Mate?

Yes ! The owner will be in the best position to determine whether their particular event is suitable, as not all departure locations nor vessels will be suitable depending on your ability. If you note the support level you would need in your profile or event request, it allows a considered response by owners.

What is the best way to ensure my events get noticed?

Make sure you have a current shot of your vessel looking its best, then use the event description to highlight the features of what makes your boat special, and explain what you plan to do and who would enjoy it most . Apart from this site, you have a host of other promotional options, and friends who can help out. Use our template to create your own flyer to hang up at work, or on a local noticeboard. Highlight your event on Facebook, or local forums using the links provided. As crew looking to join an event will read past reviews, follow the code of conduct, and ensure your crew have the time of their lives on-board then encourage them to post a review or photo afterwards.

What payment options are there for event contributions?

You can pay to join an event using credit card, or with PayPal, using your credit card, or funds you've stored there (nice way to spend the money you received from selling those old fishing rods on eBay!),

I'm an owner - How do I get my requested contribution from the event?

We start the process of payment to you 24 hours after the end of the event (sooner if there has been a crew cancellation) and pay directly into your account if you have provided banking details, or into your PayPal account.

What type of events can I propose on CrewWithMe?

Anything water related. Our default settings let you choose between Watersports, fishing or sailing, or Diving but we also leave room for some free text where you can note the activities you have planned.

When do you charge the event contribution?

The crew's credit card or PayPal account is charged the contribution amount as soon as they accept and pay the requested amount. This is held by us until 24 hours after the event has taken place, at which time we forward your contribution to the host of the event. Should you need to cancel your attendance, please contact the owner immediately to try to arrange an alternative event, as cancellation fees may apply depending on how close to the event you notify.

What if a crew can no longer attend the event?

No shows for an owner can be a large problem, as they may have already fuelled their vessel and made other arrangements that can't be easily changed. In many circumstances, the loss of 1 crew will prevent the others from departing disrupting many other people. For this reason we ask that guests pay their "coverage" in advance and cancellations are notified to CWM immediately. Cancellations up to 24 hours in advance incur a 15% penalty and cancellations within 24 hours incur a 25% penalty which compensates the owner.

What is your cancellation policy?

As a cancellation by an owner is disruptive, we ask that an owner contact the crew-mate directly via email or phone and see if you can reschedule to an agreeable date. If that is not possible, you should contact us to cancel the event, and we will work to assist the crew to find an alternative vessel. In this case all fees are returned to the Crew-Mate. In the event of adverse weather or vessel malfunction, the same policy applies

As a cancellation by a crew can affect the enjoyment of everyone else scheduled to take part in the activity, we ask that you only accept an event if you are confident you will be able to attend. If you are unable to attend, you may contact the owner and explain the situation to see if you can reschedule or join a future event. If the owner is unable to accommodate this, you will receive your event fee back less 15% (for cancellations notified to us up to 24 hours before departure), and less 25% (for cancellations notified inside 24 hours to departure). This cancellation fee (minus our service fee) is then paid to the owner to compensate them for costs they may have incurred already in preparing for the event.

What is your refund policy?

If you are unsatisfied with the event and have spoken to the skipper about this without resolution, you should file a report within 24 hours of the event finish, to us using the email support@CrewWithMe.com.au. This will trigger a funds hold while we investigate the claim and speak to the owner.

When I host an event, how do I know a crew is who they say they are?

Successful crew you have invited will receive an invitation and email response which they should show you before you let them join the event at the meeting area.

Why can't I post my mobile number or email in an event listing?

CrewWithMe values the privacy of its members and will make every effort to protect your identity from snooping and random attacks. For this reason we refuse to allow private email or phone numbers to be posted. We provide an open forum for members to ask questions, or discuss details unclear on the listed event, and we then connect owner and crew upon a successful invitation to an event.

Will I be issued an invoice for the event completed?

If renting a boat from one of our commercial members, you may request a GST receipt, but not from a private owner. The owner is merely asking for a contribution to cover their costs and are unlikely to issue you a receipt or invoice.

Is there a location near me?

CWM will be rolling out progressively across Australia starting in 2013. As soon as we are ready, we will expand its scope across the country.

Why do you ask about my experience levels?

Owners will want to understand before offering an invite what they can expect from their crew. Have you sailed before, have you experienced all types of conditions, can you perform the watersports that you would like to crew for, or will you need advice and assistance? Your experience allows the boat owners to match their events to the appropriate people, and set correct expectations for all concerned.

Do I need to have my own gear?

Not always, but the owners will indicate what they will share. If they do have equipment to offer, it may not be suitable for you (e.g. wakeboards or vests may be too small or large), hence why we ask additional questions on the event page. Also note that the owners insurance may not cover you if the equipment is damaged or lost, so its worth bringing your own equipment if possible.

How much do I contribute?

The owner nominates how much they would like guests to contribute, and the value you see on screen is what they they feel is a fair contribution toward their running costs and ongoing maintenance. The figure you see includes our service fee so there's no more to pay apart from credit card charges.

How do I contribute?

Once you have accepted the owners invitation, you will receive a link to pay the requested contribution which includes our service fee. This link will take you to a secure gateway that will allow you to pay using a credit card, or paypal. CrewWithMe does not store your card details, and all transactions are encrypted for security. This way you are never asked for any contribution during the event.

Insurance Policy

Unless you are the owner, your equipment should be covered by your home and contents insurance as the owners policy will usually only cover their own equipment, and their vessel. As an owner please check the pds of your policy to determine what you are covered for. If you are in doubt please contact your insurer.

How do I update the boating map?

CrewWithMe has partnered with Note.is to embed their mapping architecture into the site. This allows you to annotate marine related points of interest onto the map which is then viewable by all other CWM members. To annotate the map, simply navigate and zoom into the point you want to note, position your mouse and the right click the map. This will open a dialogue box and allow you to select from a defined list of marine related points of interest. You can type your short comments in about each topic and they will be searchable from the hashtags (#boatramp, #fishing spot, #anchorage, #camping, #marina, #club, #recommended)

Great links to boat ramps

1. http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/recboatingfacilities/boat_ramp_locations

2. http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Fisheries/index.cfm?newscat1=&newscat2=&header=Boat%20Ramps

3. http://www.mast.tas.gov.au/domino/mast/facweb.nsf/f-web-tasmap?OpenForm&Menu=Marine%20Facilities

4. http://www.fishingboatingtasmania.com.au/forum/tasramps.html

5.  http://www.msq.qld.gov.au/Waterways/Boating-infrastructure/Boating-facilities.aspx

6. http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/rec_boating/boatramps.html