If you ask Doug why does he build a boat… he’ll answer, “Because it won’t build itself!”.
Drop in Tours are only on Saturdays from 10 am – 2 pm. Please email Doug to check on an availability for other times.
Please do NOT show up outside of designated tour times expecting a tour.
For 2017, we are reducing the amount of workers/guests that we will accomodate at a time and “crew” will be scheduled based on skills, experience,and the project at hand. We are no longer able to accept anybody or everybody at any time.
If you are passing through, you are always welcome to come take a tour and schedule a longer visit another time.
The most important skill that you can have, is the ability to work and live among others. (ie: Play nice in the sandbox). While graduate degrees look good on paper and scars might have a brave story behind them, the ability to respect and work well with others takes priority. It will take a crew to sail the boat and it takes a crew to build the boat. The only difference between then and now, is that you will be put off on a street curb as opposed to the nearest shore.
We are a bigot free zone. This means that we accept all people, no matter their culture, creed, gender or sexual preferences. We have women welders and male dishwashers.
SV Seeker is not handicapped accessible at this time. Access to the boat is up a steep 16′ ladder or a narrow gangway with limited railing. Our guest quarters feature a bed in a loft that is only accessible from a steep vertical (yes vertical) wood ladder. If you can’t climb the ladder to the sleeping loft, you will likely be unable to climb the gangway to the boat. Reaslistically, the work we are doing in 2017 is strenuous. You must be able to stand for long periods of time, kneel, bend, operate a handheld grinder for long periods, and possibly lift and carry 50+ lbs. If you have physical limitations, we suggest you respect your limits. Plan to tour the facilities on Saturday and spend a few hours working with the Seeker crew, possibly book a hotel for the night and come back for a half day on Sunday.
There are other ways you can help without actually visiting the shipyard. Please take a look at our On shore Support, where you can use your expertise, skills and talents from the comfort of your own home, work or shop.
Would you like to join our crew?
If you think you’d like to come help build Seeker, the ROV or any of our projects, we’d love to have you. For those who come from out of town, we can sometimes put you up in our guest quarters, but this must be booked in advance and space is limited. Please check the Calendar for availability and information. If the calendar says we are “closed”, then please understand that we are closed to all workers, tours and visitors.
NOTE: These guidelines apply to first time visitors and well as returning crew.
The work we do is mostly outside work and the weather in Oklahoma can range from below freezing to over 100 degrees fahrenheit so pick your season accordingly. Once Doug confirms your visit, please check the Calendar to make sure you’re listed. This includes truck campers, RVs, the apartment, patio, or shop. Seeing your name on the Calendar is your confirmation – no exceptions! Day workers (local and those staying in hotels) are also invited but we need to know if you are coming. Please PLEASE do not just show up to work without informing Doug in advance. Knowing who is coming also helps us with meal plans and whether we are working on the boat, shop or loft.
If you are from the U.S., you should consider a long weekend as the perfect visit duration. Those from overseas might want to stay a week or two weeks, but feel free to explore away from the shipyard during the weekdays.
Doug has a REAL job Monday-Friday and the shipyard is CLOSED. Little is done on the boat during weekdays although he does get a Friday off now and then. If you plan to stay for more than a weekend and will be here during the week, it is likely that you will be on your own. (Note: We do NOT have a television, but we do have Wifi) Entertaining visitors and guests 24/7 for days/weeks becomes tedious so please understand if we take a day “off” and leave you to fend for yourself.
The guest quarters has a shower, desk and a very steep ladder to a sleeping loft with a queen sized mattress. (Straight up vertical 10 foot climb — seriously, it’s STEEP and many cannot climb the ladder) Wifi, Coffee maker, microwave, and a small refrigerator with snacks are provided. We provide linens and towels but you are responsible for your own toiletries (ie: toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, etc). Walgreens is just a few blocks away and is open 24 hours should you need to pick something up.
If you have an RV or Semi, you may park on the street at your own risk but you must still be confirmed and on the Calendar. You MUST give us prior notice if you would like to stay overnight, work or for any meals as space is limited. There is a limit as to how many people are working and/or staying on the premises and street. Please plan ahead as we are usually booked weeks and months in advance although cancellations do sometimes occur. On our calendar you will see days that are CLOSED — please respect that. We apologize if our schedule does not fit your spontaneity. Come for a Saturday tour and then plan a longer visit somewhere in the future.
Once you decide to build a 75′ boat in your yard, the room left for “living” becomes smaller and privacy becomes a luxury. Please respect the privacy of others. We usually ask guests to retreat to their own quarters at 9 p.m. so everyone can have some quiet time.
Other guests and workers will share the aprtment bathroom and shower. We ask that you keep your sleeping/living spaces tidy. Same with the shop and any work spaces. Please put tools and other items back where you found them.
LEAVE IT CLEANER THAN HOW YOU FOUND IT….
We love guests and workers who clean up after themselves. There is no maid service. If you leave your space untidy, you can expect that you will not be invited back. Chauvinism and bigotry will not be tolerated, please treat everyone with respect while you’re here, even if that is not your normal behavior. If you expect to be waited on, then we suggest a hotel. It disappoints us to find beer/soda cans, water bottles, cigarette butts and/or trash on the ground or left lying around. We have trash cans — USE THEM.
Please Note: We are NOT a Workaway. We are NOT a campground. We are NOT accepting Couch Surfers. We are not a B & B. We are NOT a rest stop on your way to somewhere else. We are NOT a Hostel. We will NOT help you get a work permit. We do NOT have employees (ie. You will NOT be paid). We do NOT wait on you hand and foot and yes, we expect you to treat our home as it is yours. We do not and have no plans for full time crew members.
Keep it clean. Put things away and help out however you are able. If you’d like to cook a meal for us and the other workers, we’d love it! You might be asked to help with dishes, take out the trash or police the property for trash.
We drink water straight from the tap and we always have iced tea (unsweet) on hand. If you require soft drinks, bottled water, beer, wine or other beverages, please bring your own. We request that you do not consume beer, wine or alchoholic beverages during the time you are handling tools.
If you’re flying in, we will fetch you to and from the airport (TUL) any time of day as it’s just minutes away. Mass transit in Tulsa, is very limited. There is a bus service and the nearest bus stop is just up the street. Uber and Lyft are available at your cost.
If you plan to bring a friend, spouse or girl/boyfriend, they must also be cleared in advance and shown on the calendar as a confirmation. Again, we have very limited space. You may NOT bring your dogs or cats on to the property.
We try to mimic what life would be like on the ship where teamwork and a family atmosphere is paramount. If you’re hungry or thirsty, fix yourself something but ask if anyone else would like something as well. Depending on how many crew are present, we may or may not eat one meal out each day. Doug loves Mexican so if you don’t say anything, you’ll find yourself at a taco stand.
If you have food allergies, restrictions or specific tastes then you’ll be given some cash and pointed toward the grocery stores to provision for your stay. Picky eaters must notify us in advance. We shop weekly, and we’ll try to accomodate special needs when possible. If you don’t like what’s for dinner, we will take no offense, and McDonald’s is only a mile away.
If you’re staying over on a weekday while Doug is at his day job then we’ll help you find something to occupy your time. You’re welcome to borrow our car and go sightseeing but those expenses are yours.
QUALIFICATIONS: There are three things that we need to know before we set a date for you to visit Seeker and you must write an email to Doug listing them along with your request to be placed on the calendar.
1. What is your background? What have you been doing with your life? How old are you? What makes you tick? Work experience? Health issues?
2. What skills do you have? Be specific. Weld? Grind? Paint? Electrical? Cooking? Sweeping? If you haven’t done it in 20 years, then you probably shouldn’t list it. We want to know what are your skills TODAY.
3. This one is VERY important. What do you want to get out of your visit? Why do you want to come work on Seeker?
(None of this will be used as way to select or reject, however due to demands and the work we expect to do in 2017, we need to be more selective on who comes and when. There are some projects that some skills will take precedence over others.)
Days are 10 to 13 hours, but you can start and pack it in to suit yourself. We don’t want you working if you’re exhausted, it’s too far to fall. Safety is your concern, if you don’t like the look of something then stay away from it. No one but you decides what is safe or not safe for you. If you want to weld/grind/plasma/cast metal, then you’ll need clothes that cover your skin and don’t catch on fire. Think leather boots, not tennis shoes. Please bring work clothes! We have plenty of gloves, safety glasses, shields and earplugs should you need them. If dust or other inhalants are a problem, you might consider bringing some disposable face masks as we we may not always have those on hand.
The quality of your work is fine and will improve with time. Most welds do not have to pass an inspection and a grinder can wipe away our welding sins…and then you can do it again. If you weld it, you grind it; unless you weld better than me. The environment is friendly and supportive; nothing else is allowed.
There is no smoking indoors. If you smoke outside, you must stay downwind and you MUST use an ash tray, and —- by the way, we don’t have one. Please pick up your trash (including all cigarette butts) and dispose of it properly. We ask that you treat our home like your own, unless of course you are a total pig, in which case, we prefer you send your mother in your place. If you prefer maid service and a cook, we will be happy to give you directions to a hotel.
NOTE: Jezebel, the “Poh-lease Dawg”, is getting older and can sometimes be cranky. Therefore, for the safety of our guests, you no longer may bring your dog on the property. We apologize for this inconvenience, but there can be no exceptions. In addition, we ask that you do not enter the gate without ringing the bell and waiting for someone to greet you. Due to allergies and the courtesy of other guests, please keep the apartment animal free.
We’re happy to show off Tulsa and the surrounding area. It’s our chance to get out occasionally and it does not matter if it’s a church or a strip club or a museum. You should work hard, have fun, share your ideas and try things you have never tried. Not doing so is the only way you can make a mistake. We want you to enjoy your time and enjoy the work. If you are not getting the positive experience you expected then make your needs known and we’ll try to work something out or at least we can part as new friends.
Frankly I never imagined that so many people would take vacation time and travel from around the world to experience welding burns, and get covered in rust and grit, but for me it is an excellent way to meet adventurous and skilled people. We will pay you nothing. But once we are on the water and chartering to wreck divers, oceanographers, researchers or marine archaeologists, you will be welcomed on board.
But —- we will still pay you nothing and you still have to do the dishes if you did not cook.
And yes the work is dangerous, and all visitors and/or guests must sign a RELEASE AND WAIVER.
Q: Why are some dates “Closed”?
A: We too have lives and personal things to take care of. We need time to clean the house, shop, boat and apartment. We have a yard to maintain and vehicles to service. We need to repair and replace tools and equipment and gather supplies. We need to just sit around in our underwear and relax. Frankly, we just need some personal time to recharge our batteries. There are 365 days in the year and if the day you want to come is CLOSED… then please pick another day. We appreciate your understanding our policy.
Q: We don’t want to work, we just want to come see the boat. When can we have a tour?
A: Tours are typically on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weather permitting and when we are not closed. If this is not convenient then please contact us in advance for an alternative time. A tour can be completed in about 20 minutes — if you plan to stay longer, you will be required to pick up a tool and use it.
Q: How many days can a worker stay?
A: We have found that the more invested a worker is in Seeker, the more rewarding the experience for us all. If you fly from overseas, you should consider staying a week or so, but visits over two weeks are unusual. If you live in the U.S., you might consider a long weekend. We work the most on the weekends, so we encourage you to take the weekdays and go see the surrounding area. We get a lot of requests from people driving across the USA who see us as a stopover place for free lodging in exchange for a day or two’s work. We have found these stopover/layover visits are not always rewarding. Crew cannot get involved in a project, or develop skills in the period of 24 hours. Instead please consider stopping by for a tour and plan to come back and work with us another time when you can stay longer.
Q: Can I just show up to work?
A: This year we have made some changes, and we have set a limit to how many people can stay on the property overnight. In addition, we would prefer not to have more than one unskilled worker per workday. Different jobs take different skills, and we will try to schedule around available crew when we can, but in order to finish the boat, we need to take less time teaching and more time working. If you plan to come work for a day, please check with Doug and give us as much notice as possible as if also affects the meal schedules and tool allocations.
Q:I have years of experience (though it was years ago) and want to tell Doug all about it. How do I communicate with him?
A: Doug does not read long emails. Doug will (usually) watch a video that you post or email. If you just want to talk at Doug but don’t feel that you can physically hold up to the strenous work involved when staying on site, consider just coming for a 20 minute tour, then when you get home, send Doug a video.