If you ask Doug why does he build a boat… he’ll answer, “Because it won’t build itself!”.
Drop in Tours are Saturdays from 10 am – 2 pm. If you are passing through Tulsa you can email Doug to check on an availability for other times.
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 and so must you. 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. The work we are doing is strenuous. You must be able to stand for long periods of time, kneel, bend, operate heavy tools for long periods, and possibly lift and carry 50+ lbs.
If you have physical limitations, we suggest you respect your limits. Let us know what you can do and we will work you in. 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?
NOTICE — 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 . You will NOT be paid. We do NOT wait on you hand and foot and we expect you to treat our home as if it is yours and we do not have any plans for full time crew members.
WEATHER — The work we do is mostly outside work and the weather in Oklahoma can range from below freezing to a very muggy 100 degrees fahrenheit, so pick your season accordingly.
GUEST WORKER APARTMENT– Please check the Calendar for availability. 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!) 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. Other guests and workers will share the apartment bathroom and shower. We ask that you keep the apartment floor and its bathroom tidy.
OTHER WORKER ACCOMMODATIONS — You’re welcome to sleep on a cot on the shop floor, camp outside, bring your RV, or stay at a friends house or hotel, but you must schedule your visit with us. You must be confirmed in advance on the Calendar.
WORKER CONFIRMATION — We need the ability to plan our weekends so they are productive. Please PLEASE do not just show up to work without informing Doug in advance. Once Doug confirms your visit, please check the Calendar to make sure you’re listed. Seeing your name on the Calendar is your only confirmation.
TRANSPORTATION — 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. You are welcome to borrow our piece of junk car.
MORE THAN ONE — You are welcome to come with a friend, spouse or girl/boyfriend. We need to know if they plan to work on the boat or not. Working on the boat is optional. Helping out with meals and chores is not optional. Sorry, no dogs or cats on the property. Jezebel is getting to the cranky age and will likely put holes in them.
HOW LONG — If you are from the U.S., you should consider a long weekend, then come back for more if you wish. It takes time to acquaint you with the setup, find an appropriate job for you, get materials, setup tools, and so forth; so we ask that you plan of giving us no less than two days of your time. If you can not do that; then stop in for a Saturday tour and see if it’s something you might want to come back and invest two days on. Those from overseas often stay one to three weeks and sometimes explore away from the shipyard during the weekdays. If you’re already Seeker crew then you’re welcome anytime.
WHAT DAYS/HOURS — Doug has a REAL job Monday-Thursdays and every other Friday. We generally get going by 8:30 and are making noise only after 9 am. We work till 5 or sometimes 9 pm but you should quit when you have had enough. It’s like the safety thing. Stay in your limits. Some of our skilled and self-directed crew like working during the week, but the shipyard is CLOSED. Little is done on the boat during weekdays although he does get a Friday off now and then. Plan to arrive at the beginning of a weekend so you can get to know the tools and the work. If you do stay during the week then expect to be left to your own devices one or two nights a week. We do NOT have a television, but we do have Wifi. We usually ask guests to retreat to their own quarters at 9 p.m. so everyone can have some quiet time.
LEAVE IT CLEANER THAN HOW YOU FOUND IT — We love guests and workers who clean up after themselves. There is no maid service. You are here to help, not to make work for someone else. If you expect to be waited on, then we suggest a hotel. It disappoints us to find beer/soda cans, water bottles, dishes, cigarette butts and/or trash on the ground or left lying around. 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 will be expected to help with dishes, take out the trash or duties. Just like being on a boat and part of a crew.
FOOD AND DRINK — We drink water straight from the tap and we always have iced unsweet tea 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 alcoholic beverages during the time you are handling tools.
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.
TELL US ABOUT YOU — we want your time here to work for you as well as us. Help us plan and schedule work by telling us about you in an email to Doug along with your request to be placed on the calendar. Please keep it brief.
1. What is your background? How old are you? Work Limitations? Health issues?
2. What current skills do you have? Weld? Grind? Machining? Paint? Electrical? Cooking? Sweeping?
3. What do you want to get out of your visit? Why do you want to come work on Seeker?
SAFETY – It’s not safe. It’s all dangerous. All visitors and/or guests must sign a RELEASE AND WAIVER. 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.
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.
WHAT TO EXPECT — 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.
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 it 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.