A CoBoater’s experience: Elisabeth Shares Her Experience, Recommendations & Enthusiasm
Updated: Sep 3, 2022
Elisabeth lives in Montreal, Quebec. The interview was done in July 2021.
Elisabeth, you have just returned from a sea trip thanks to Coboaters. Please tell us about this experience.
First of all, can you tell us about your previous trips with co-boaters?
I discovered CoBoaters to follow up on the recommendations from a boat owner I sailed with in the Mediterranean in 2017. My first experience with CoBoaters dates back to February 2019 in the Caribbean with Jacques, the boat owner, and another crewmember. We sailed for three weeks between Martinique and Carriacou (Granada)—a great trip! Then in May 2019, I joined Philippe in Venice. He’s another skipper met on CoBoaters. We spent one month exploring the Adriatic Sea to Dubrovnik in Croatia, then the Ionian Islands via Otranto, Italy. It was a great sailing experience with a very friendly skipper and crewmember.
Around fall 2019, I started planning another trip to leave in June 2020 with Jacques and another friend from CoBoaters. Unfortunately, this trip was canceled due to the pandemic.
Finally, I got in touch with Didier, another skipper based in the West Indies and who was planning a long sailing. This was achieved despite the pandemic. We enjoyed the Caribbean with another co-sailor for two months, then we crossed the Atlantic to the Azores with a third crewmate. The end of the trip between the Azores and Lorient was only with Didier and me. So, I just came back from four months spent at sea. It was amazing, even though it was physically more challenging, especially by the end of our journey.
What is your takeaway from the fellow boaters you met boating?
I loved connecting with new people. We had a great time on board and on land too! The relationships between crewmates and with skippers such as Philippe, Didier or Jacques that you build while sailing together are very strong. We keep in touch even when we have no boating plans together.
What advice would you give to new members looking to experience an adventure like yours? How should they prepare?
You need to use the site to look for a boating event and to board in the navigation area you want. Then, my first tip is to read the captain’s profile, their boat description and their reviews by other members.
If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I browse other navigation areas. For me, security is paramount. You need to be able to trust your skipper, the skipper also needs to be able to trust their crew and be respectful and friendly so that the atmosphere on board can stay fun and friendly.
Then, you need to contact the boat owner and send them a message via the website. If your interests do match, my advice is to talk on the phone or on a videocall to get to know each other better, especially for long sailing trips. It’s very important for me to hear people’s voices to get to know them better.
When you decide to sail together, mutual commitment and loyalty are important. If this does not work out, it must be addressed and sometimes getting off the boat can be the best solution for everyone. This happened to me only once during on a CoBoaters trip. The perks of being a member is to that you have access to profiles with a lot of information, which allows you to check if you have the same goals and things in common before you even get in touch.
Are you ready to set sail again with another Skipper from the CoBoaters website?
Yes, absolutely! I’ve always enjoyed my Co-Boating experiences thanks to CoBoaters. I really think it’s essential to spend time searching for the right Skipper then getting to know each other. It takes some time to get used to the way the website works and the profile form can be a little tedious to fill up. Sometimes some information is unavailable (such as dietary requirements), but it’s already a very good start!
In a nutshell, what have you learned from your Co-Boating experience?
You learn a lot of things during this kind of trip—not only about yourself, but also about other people. Each boating event is different and unique. The greatest challenge is not the technical part, but the human challenge living as a sailing community onboard. These are unforgettable experiences that I’d recommend to anyone.