So, all of this intrigues you, and you think this is exactly the kind of boat you’ve been looking for, and now you want to get in touch with us to apply… Not so fast, read on first. In reality, we receive a lot of applications, and selecting a crew is challenging. Due to the constant influx, unfortunately, we have to turn down many applicants (quite a lot, actually). So before you write to us, ask yourself if joining us is genuinely something you want to do.

We provide maximum information on the website, assuming that if you write to join us, you’ve read everything and are in agreement. This ensures that everyone starts from the same baseline, saving us from repeating ourselves endlessly in response to applications. Therefore, if you haven’t already read everything, at least inform yourself about these pages: 

Here are some important points to consider before applying :

  • You don’t need to be Bernard Moitessier, but we prefer crew members with basic sailing knowledge. (We also appreciate it if crew members have a basic understanding of what it’s like to live on a sailboat in the tropics to avoid surprises upon arrival).

  • Karaka is not a luxury yacht. Crew members should not expect the comfort of a charter catamaran. We don’t have a fridge, no bathroom with a shower (we wash in the sea or on deck), no air conditioning, no private cabins (open bunks with curtains only), no outboard motor (we row), no electric windlass, no jib furler, etc.

  • We appreciate it when crew members have skills related to maintenance, DIY, repairs, etc. (even if they’ve never been applied to fixing a boat).

  • Being comfortable in the water is imperative. We spend a lot of time in the water, diving, snorkeling, spearfishing, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, etc. If you’re afraid of water or dislike getting wet, perhaps you should reconsider your life choices before applying.

  • Creative skills and talents: music, drawings, painting, sculpture, etc. We enjoy having musicians onboard, for example. Being on the boat is an excellent opportunity to be creative and is more rewarding than spending all your free time watching TV series on an iPad.

  • Being able to eat anything is necessary. After making considerable efforts to be tolerant and open-minded, we have decided not to take in vegans anymore and, to some extent, vegetarians either. If the idea of catching, killing, preparing, and eating a fish repulses you, Karaka probably isn’t the right boat for you. Unfortunately, it’s also challenging to accommodate people with specific allergies like gluten or lactose since all our meals are communal.

  • Being physically fit is essential for sailing an old-school ship like Karaka. We expect all crew members to do their part, participate in maneuvers, row the dinghy, raise the anchor, take down sails in storms, etc. We don’t have a maximum age requirement, but it’s imperative that you can do your part without special treatment.

  • We prioritize highly motivated individuals, crew members who want more than just a cheap ride. Over the years, most of our best crew members came with the idea of learning as much as possible before buying their own boat. Many of them became captains of their own sailboats. So, if that’s your intention too, make sure to mention it; we appreciate that and it will greatly work in your favor.

  • We are not your mum and dad, we are not social workers and we are not running a kindergarden. We expect our crew to be mature, independent and functional, and that they won’t need our constant attention to entertain them, reassure them and teach them how to put their own pants on, that they won’t freak out on us for weird reason and that they will be willing and able to be part of a sailing crew with all the compromises that it entails in regards to sociability and getting along with others. We are not interested in fighting your demons, do not bring them on board.

  • Speaking french will also greatly work in your favor. We frequently have other french speaking crew beside Tom and Emma and french is often the primary language on board.

  • We do not accept minors. No children. The boat is not designed to ensure the safety of young children or infants onboard, so we won’t accept anyone as crew who is not fully autonomous and legally independent. To be honest, we prefer people to be at least 20-22 years old.

  • We do not accept dogs. We already have a cat onboard, and we really don’t want to deal with somebody else’s dog, so dogs are categorically excluded. Due to the cat, we also have to say no to people with cat allergies.

  • Make sure you have read the page about our cost-sharing system and that you are okay with the 150 euros per week + food we ask for, and ensure you have enough reserve funds. Clearly mention this in your email so that everything is transparent and there is no confusion about it.

  • It’s very rare for us to take people for less than a month, and if you plan to stay less than three months, you’ll need to be very convincing for us to accept you.

Still here? That’s a good sign.

Now that everything is clear, the best way to convince us to choose you as the next crew member is to send us an email with a brief summary of your biography so we can understand your background, skills, and interests. Also, write a short description of what attracts you to sail on Karaka and what you think you can bring to the crew, along with your expectations regarding your stay with us on Karaka. What do you want to do, learn, see, etc.? How do you imagine it? If you can articulate these points, it’s an excellent way for us to have a better understanding of your thoughts. The reality of life onboard will inevitably be different from what you expect, but it’s good to think about it nonetheless, and we can also correct some misunderstandings if there are any.

We also appreciate a few recent photos of you, or even better, a short video where you introduce yourself in a few seconds. This will give us a good idea of your personality. Something like: “Hello, my name is — and I would really like to join Karaka’s crew between September and March (for example).” You can be creative with the video, but please keep it short (and low-resolution, as the internet isn’t always great where we are).

No need to send us a CV; we won’t even read it. CVs are not useful for this type of application; instead, send us links to your social media profiles.

It’s worth noting that we’re not looking for hitchhikers; the idea is to share the boat with people who share our values and want to experience our way of life. We’re looking for motivated crew members to join us long-term and form a community. In addition to the points above, the most important thing is a good attitude, a willingness to be part of a team, and a deep desire to live an alternative, nomadic life, the “sea gypsy” way.

Here’s the email address:

We also have a Facebook account for the boat; you can find it by searching for “Ketch Karaka.” One thing, though, we don’t accept just anyone as a “Facebook friend,” so if you send us a friend request, also send us a brief message introducing yourself.