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Karaka Costa Rica

Update : February 19th, 2024

Karaka is now in the Caribbean.

We are now in Marie-Galante (Guadeloupe).

We are on the move and  the general idea is to head to the Rio Dulce in Guatemala for the cyclone season to do a refit in one of the boatyards there, so it gives us about 4 months to explore the islands on the way  : Marie Galante, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

For more details about us, the boat, and our way of operating, including our cost-sharing arrangement, please search in the menu for all the relevant pages. And if you have the time, try to dig further for all the little hidden corners and goodies, we tried to make the website as comprehensive as possible and there is a lot to it.

We have room for new crew members at various stages of our trip, so please contact us if you would like to join us along the way.

The details for contacting us by email and applying for a crew position are on the “Contact” page

Karaka is a sailing ship that has been sailing as a co-op since 2004.

The boat itself is an old school steel ketch, big, tall, wide, heavy, black, gnarly, full of character. She was found abandoned in Hong Kong, bought for 1$, and has circumnavigated since with a crew of sea vagabonds.

But Karaka is not simply a ship, it is also a concept. 

In an effort to share, learn and grow, we take as crew anybody motivated to join with an open mind, a willingness to become part of the team and a deep craving for this lifestyle.

The boat is operated as a non profit cooperative. We run on limited funds from crew contributions, and so we are more concerned with keeping the ship functional, strong and seaworthy, than in keeping her shiny and overloaded with gadgets. 

The crew is usually composed of a healthy mix of nomadic wanderers and non-conforming individuals, regardless of nationality, age, gender, worldview, background, or financial status. Most anybody is welcome, attitude is what matters.

This makes being part of the crew something more than just a cheap sailing opportunity. What this is, really, is a chance to experience what being a feral sea gypsy on a nice ship is all about.

Somehow, because of our exotic alternative lifestyle and eclectic past crew, plus a reputation gained in our younger and wilder past, people sometimes get the impression we are a full-on hippy boat. We’re not.

We’re down to Earth, practical, no nonsense and responsible sea gypsies. We try to select crew with those attributes also.