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Sailboat Crewing

Online Crew Exchanges are located at the bottom of the page


If you have sailing experience (and many times even if you don’t) crew exchanges are a way to get involved with sailboat racing on small and large boats alike. In most cases these exchanges are yacht  or sailing club-specific and are looking for participants for weekly club races. Agreeing to crew is not the same as a pleasure sail charter. Although there will be time for fun, plan on a sharp learning curve in order to know your position on the boat and on the team. If the thrill of sailboat racing is luring you to the sport, this can be a way to jumpstart your education.


Crewing on Dinghy One-Design Classes:

Most of the crewing opportunities available are for one-design dinghy classes in the 16-20' range. Within this range, the Lightning, Flying Scot, Scow, and Interlake classes are among the most popular. The crew positions for boats within this range will be responsible for any or all of the following: jib trim, spinnaker set & trim, boat balancing. Personal balance and mobility will also be important in moving about within the tight quarters of the cockpit.


Crewing on larger One-Design or Offshore racing/cruising boats:

Depending on the size and configuration, these boats can have crews of 6-12 individuals, many handling specialized tasks. Positions on offshore racers include: Foredeck, Mast, Pit, Sewer, Grinder, Trimmer, Main, Tactician and Helm. Each position as a specific set of tasks for each boat maneuver (i.e.starting line, tacking, gybing, downwind, etc.). It is good for crew members to be cross-trained on a variety of positions to be able to help out when situations arise. A discussion of crewing positions is provided here by Steve Steiner of



Online Crew Exchanges in Michigan


Major event opportunities (all skill levels, experience recommended)


Local/Regional opportunities (all skill levels)


Lake Saint Clair
Lake Huron
Lake Michigan
Inland Lakes


Other crewing opportunities may be found by contacting your local yacht or sailing club directly by phone or email. If you are a yacht or sail club and would like to be added to the above list, please send the link for your crew registration form to [email protected]


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