12 Best Ways to Find People to Sail With

May 31, 2023
Team Coboaters

What are the 12 best ways to find someone to sail with?

There are hundreds of thousands of sailors in the world. How many of them have their own boats? It is very hard to find out the exact number but what we know is that there are a lot of sailors without boats. The question for those sailors is: What are the best ways to find someone to sail with?

If you are a crew and wish to find partners to sail with, you need friends with boats who are willing to take people on board.

If you are a boat owner, you may need crew to use your boat more often, to sail for longer periods of time or to go offshore. You read our article and find out why boat owners need crew.

Crew, boat owners and skippers need each other to sail more and better. So, how can they get together? we found 12 best ways to meet with someone and sail.

12 Best ways to find sailing partner:

Your first goal if you want to find a sailing partner is to create and expand your sailing network!

  1. Join a Yacht Club or a sailing club

  2. Become a member of Crew finder websites or Coboating clubs

  3. Use social media and join sailing groups

  4. Find a racing team

  5. Volunteer with non-profit sailing organizations

  6. Check you local sailing and boating magazines

  7. Go on a sailing date!

  8. Join a meetup group near you

  9. Check sailing blogs

  10. Check sailing forums and online discussions

  11. Visit your local marinas

  12. Check the liveaboards groups

Join a Yacht Club or a Sailing Club:

Research local sailing clubs, yacht clubs, and sailing organizations in your area. These groups often organize events, regattas, and social gatherings where you can meet like-minded individuals who are interested in sailing. Participating in their activities can provide opportunities to connect with potential sailing partners. Check this list of American Yacht Clubs and the American Sailing Association

We also recommend that you taking sailing lessons with NauticED. It is a great organization to learn sailing on the web and then to practice with one NauticED affiliated sailing school. You will be able to obtain certifications and to meet other sailors. A great way to start building your newtork.

Use Crew Finder or Coboating websites

Crew Finding websites are online platforms dedicated to connecting sailors looking for crew positions with boat owners seeking crew members.

Sailing websites such as Crewbay, Find a Crew are good for worldwide experiences and long distance sailing opportunities, whereas Coboaters focuses on USA, Canada and the Caribbeans. They provide databases where you can create profiles, search for sailing opportunities, and connect with boat owners or captains who need crew members. Compare the 7 best crew finding websites before choosing one of them. This is probably the best way to meet motivated sailors.

Screenshot of Coboaters website. One of the best way to find people to sail with. The picture represents 3 crew profiles

Example of crew looking for people to sail with.
Screenshot of 2 requests from boat owners looking for crew online.
Example of crew looking for people to sail with.

Use social media to meet sailing companion

Another way to find sail buddies is to use social media like Facebook, Instagram and other apps. It is pretty easy to find those groups online and easy to connect with people. The problem is that you need to share your personal information right away. As we all know, there is almost no privacy on social media. Boats aren’t described, sailing experiences and skills are unknown. You may end up with the wrong people.

Join a Racing team for a season or a special event

You may think that you need to be very experienced to join a racing team and that most skippers have enough people to sail with and do not need you. Be aware that most recreational racers need crew on regular basis simply because they sail often and that there is always someone missing! Racing requires more people than cruising, more actions. You can meet skippers on crew finder websites, in yacht clubs or by walking the docks before the race.

US Sailing organizes a lot of racing events and you can find a list of racing events by checking Yacht Scoring.

Volunteer with sailing charities and organizations

Many sailing programs and organizations are in need of volunteers. By offering your time and skills, you can gain experience, make connections, and find potential sailing companions. Contact local sailing schools, community programs, or maritime nonprofits to inquire about volunteer opportunities. You will probably be able to meet and find people to sail with around your location.

Possible volunteering opportunities: Sail4cancer, Sail to Prevail, Clagett Sailing

Check your local sailing magazines

There are many sailing or boating local magazines. Pick up the one around you and browse ads and articles. Some of them provide crew finder pages where boat owner list their needs for deliveries, racing, blue water adventures or simple day or weekend sail.

Local sailing magazines in the US: Windcheck, Pointseast, 48North Magazine

Go on a sailing date!

You can try to use dating websites and specify you want to find someone with the same passion than yours. It may works. If you really want a sailing date, join a crew finder website listed above. You will have a better chance to meet with the right person to sail with.

Join or create a meetup group

You can try meetup and join groups and participate to events with them but you may not find the best or motivated sailors there.

Check Sailing blogs

Sailing blogs are a good source of information. You will be able to understand what is going on in the sailing community and be able to contact bloggers or their followers. Some bloggers describe their sailing adventures and voyage and you may find some who welcome people on their boats. Another good way to expand your network and find someone to go sailing with.

Some interesting Sailing blogs: Sailblogs.com, svdelos.

Join sailing forums and online discussions

Join online sailing forums, discussion boards and groups focused on sailing. Platforms or sailing-specific websites have dedicated groups where you can connect with sailors in your area. Post about your interest in finding sailing partners and seek recommendations or opportunities to join boats and sailing teams.

Some examples of sailing forums: Coboaters forum, Cruisers forum, Sailboats Owners forum

Visit your local marinas

It sounds obvious that you will meet with boaters where the boats are. However, very few people simply walk the nearest marina and ask if there are boating opportunities. Spend time at marinas, boatyards, and sailing-related establishments in your area. Engage in conversations with sailors, boat owners, and sailing enthusiasts you encounter. Sharing your interest in finding sailing partners may lead to valuable connections and opportunities to join others on their boats.

Marina listings and organizations: TPG Marinas, Marinas.com,Safe Harbor Marinas

Join rallies organizations

Sailing rally organizations plan and coordinate sailing events or rallies that often span multiple days or weeks. They establish a predetermined itinerary, including the start and finish locations, as well as waypoints or stops along the route. These events typically have a specific start date and time, allowing participants to sail together in a loosely organized group.

You can easily connect with members and sail with them for one of their event.

Rally groups: Satly Dawgs

Conclusion: It is easy to find sailing companions

There are many ways to find people to sail with around you or anywhere in the world. It seems that the easiest approach is to join a Coboating website because you can easily connect with hundreds of serious sailors, check their resumes and their boats before getting in touch with them and plan your sailing trips.

Find the way that best suits your need and goals. Sailors are friendly people, make friends and expand your sailing network.

May 31, 2023
Team Coboaters

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