Q. Do I need to know how to sail?
A. No, but you do need to be flexible, willing to learn and have a open spirit to be successful and have the best experience possible. Sailors of differing skill levels and experience get a chance to learn and improve their skills in navigation, watch keeping and sail handling. While we have a library of books that cover all aspects of Tall Ship sailing, there is no substitute for hands-on experience. It takes hard work, practice and desire to master the craft.
Q. Do I need any special qualifications to join the crew?
A. It is helpful to be flexible both physically and mentally. You need to be in reasonably good physical condition. Previous sailing experience helps, but is not essential. You will find yourself in the company of a variety of people from different cultural backgrounds and different levels of experience. Patience, tolerance and a sense of humor will greatly help the learning process. We have no hard and fast rules about age or weight but this can be a difficult place if you are over 50 or overweight.
Q. How do I get in touch with the boat?
A. For inquiries contact us at email@example.com or visit the "Contact" page
Q. How long does the vessel stay in port?
A. Alvei will usually stay in port from 3 days to several weeks depending on crew's wishes, the weather or maintenance. We usually lay at anchor and use the shore boat to go ashore. However sometimes, such as the present refit in New Zealand, we tie up to a dock and will be in the area for several months.
Q. Is the training program accredited?
A. We are not affiliated with a formal sail training organization. However the structure of our operation is based on traditional maritime practices. Learning is centered around traditional watch keeping experience. We have a reference library, navigation equipment, a tool room and materials and a capable crew to provide instruction.Your learning rate will be proportional to your level of motivation. After that, time and variety of experience will provide the needed background to polish your craft. When you request it, you will be presented with an official letter on ship's stationary outlining your experience and capabilities and the details of your passagemaking on this class of vessel. The sea time on Alvei can be used when applying for Coast Guard licensing.
Q. How much spending money should I bring?
A. The ship provides food and accommodation. Some people can make $500 last several months, while others may spend that amount in a week. Items such as postage, beer, snack foods or sightseeing trips are covered by each individual. Different countries have different standards of living; best to check a travel guide to learn average expenses. It is prudent to maintain access to your regular bank account in case of unforseen expenses or to replenish your spending money.
Q. How much is travel insurance?
A. There are a variety of travel insurance plans, we suggest you shop around for the one best suited to your requirements. Make sure you are covered for sailing voyages when you buy.
Q. I want to explore when I get into port will there be time to do that?
A. The crew is divided into 3 watches. Looking after the ship in port is shared equally by all watches. You will have one day on duty followed by 2 days off. If you need extra time ashore you may find another crew to cover your watch and make up the time later. If you would like all your time in port off watch we suggest you seek out one of the other tall ships who have a special "voyage crew" status. The cost of most voyage crew passages is usually 3-4 times what we charge on Alvei.
Q. Who is answering the e-mail and coordinating things ?
A. Right now email is answered by Captain Evan Logan when Alvei is in a port with an internet cafe or some kind of digital access. When the ship is at sea, she is not available to answer email so please be patient. Currently all crew coordination is done by those on board via email, post, telephone and fax. This depends on availability of these resources so try the email first as it is proving to be the most reliable. We will try to keep the website updated but invariably lag times do occur between Alvei reaching a particular port and that news being posted.
Q. Is there communication gear on the boat? Can I call home?
A. At the present time Alvei has a Single Sideband Radio for long distance communication. This is for ship's business only, not personal use. Alvei has a VHF radio with a range of 25 miles or so and she has a satellite EPIRB which is capable of sending a distress signal from anywhere in the world but no voice communication. You can call home from most ports that the boat stops in, but not from the boat while at sea.
Q. How do I book my bunk?
A. To join the crew, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bookings are confirmed in the order they are received, first come first served. Bunk or cabin assignments are a matter of available space on arrival. Bookings should be made as far in advance as possible, 2 months advance notice is recommended. Please wait for confirmation of requested time before arriving.
Q. What kind of electricity is available on board?
A. At this writing, Alvei has three types of voltages available on board. The boat itself runs on 24 volt power for lights and navigational gear. This power is provided by a generator that is run several hours a day to charge up the batteries. 220 volt power can be made by the onboard arc welder but it is rarely turned on and only for short periods when welding or other power tools are necessary, it is NOT available for personal use! There is a converter on board to make 110 volt power from the 24 volt system. It is capable only of recharging batteries for computers or other small devices and cannot run motors or other appliances. In general, electronic equipment does not do well in the salt sea environment and besides, there are plenty of books on board to keep you entertained. While we are in Nelson we will be connected to 240 volt 50 cycle shore power which will be available for use while we are tied up. At sea however we do not have the battery capacity to power the following types of items: electric tooth brushes, irons, hairdryers, cassette or CD players. Please leave this type of electrical appliance at home.
Q. I want to send in my deposit, where do I send it?
A. Set a date when (and where) you plan to meet the ship, agree on a deposit amount, then make arrangements for payment with Captain Logan. Alvei is run on a cash basis. Your deposit will be applied to your fee. If you can't make it during the time you planned, please let us know, you can use the money at a later date when there is room aboard. There are no refunds available.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Daily rates include 3 meals, your berth and sailing when Alvei is at sea. The daily rate varies slightly depending on whether it is during the sailing season, and comes to $250 USD per week during the sailing season.
January-March: 125 USD/ week
April – December: 250 USD/ week