Does the term Barcostop sound strange to you? Whether you want to discover a place that no other means of transportation can reach, because your economy does not allow you to pay for a ticket, because you prefer to avoid the plane or you are simply looking for a different and unique experience on Marinemax boats; whatever the reason that drives you to embark on a hitchhiking trip, here you will find tips to make it happen.
It is a way of traveling full of possibilities and unexpected adventures, in which the map expands and instead of thinking only of destinations on land, you begin to include sea and coastal crossings. As in hitchhiking, the journey is no longer just the destination itself, but the journey.
Ways to embark
Depending on what you are willing to do, the boat/skipper you find and whether or not you can afford it, there are four different ways to hitchhike and join a crew:
Many owners take advantage of their empty cabins to afford the trip and even make a living from it, the boat is their livelihood. Prices vary depending on the type of boat and what is included in the package. The person paying for this passage is usually dedicated to enjoying the voyage without having to intervene in the daily roles.
Qualified personnel are needed either outside for sailing or inside for cleaning and cooking. These are usually very well paid jobs and allow for travel at the same time and on a seasonal basis.
This system is the most common, it would be the most similar to a Blablacar or Airbnb. The captain wants to make a voyage and is looking for crew. He is in charge of the boat and, in addition, the crew and the captain share expenses for food, drinks, mooring, gasoline, customs, etc.
The prices normally range from 10 to 50 euros per person per day, but it all depends on whether you anchor in natural coves or go to the marinas, whether you eat on the boat or go to local bars or restaurants, etc.
It is possible to find Marinemax boats with everything already bought and ready to sail. In these cases, captains are looking to share their adventures and help with the daily chores of a voyage such as night watches, cooking, cleaning, etc.
How to find a boat?
If you are interested in living the Barcostop experience and traveling on a sailboat for free or just sharing expenses, you can do it either through the internet, hanging posters in the port or talking directly to the owners:
Show up at the port and talk directly to the workers and captains, as well as frequent the bar and exchange tips with locals. They can tell you who wants to make the crossing you are interested in, or even put you in direct contact with the Marinemax boats.
There are websites to put captains and crew in contact with each other. Some of them are paid, such as oceancrewlink.com or crewseekers.com. They are serious and work very well. Although there are also free and give very good results as findacrew.net, crewbay.com, floatplan.com or 7knots.com.