Would you like to join our crew?
If you ask Doug why does he build a boat… he’ll answer, “Because it won’t build itself!”.
We are currently at Three Forks Harbor just off of hwy 62E near Muskogee, OK. If you’d like to meet Doug and see the boat, you can email Doug to check on an availability. Remember that when a tour is given, work stops. So please keep your visits short.
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 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. Our guest quarters is the crew cabin. 2 lower bunks and 2 uppers. There is no room for spouses or friends – only the working crew. 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 try to work you in. If you have limitations, we suggest you visit and take a tour before volunteering.
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/boat as if it is yours and we do not have any plans for full time crew members.
FOOD & DRINK — If you work we will provide you with meals and snacks. If you just watch us work, you can just watch us eat. We drink tap water and do not cook for restricted diets. If you have special needs you will need to bring your own food. There will be no consumption of alchoholic beverages while working on the boat or handling power tools. After we are done, you are free to have a beer or wine but we suggest bringing your own.
WEATHER — The work we do is mostly outside work and the weather can range from below freezing to a very muggy 100+ degrees fahrenheit, so pick your season accordingly.
Crew Quarters — 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. Wifi (limited), Coffee maker, microwave, and a small refrigerator and snacks are provided. We provide linens and towels but you are responsible for your own toiletries (ie: toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, etc). Other crew will share the space as well as the bathroom and shower. When at port, we try to use the shoreside facilities.
In addition, you are expected to clean the boat before you leave incuding the bathroom, sink, countertops, trash out, etc.
You must be confirmed in advance on the Calendar.
WORKER CONFIRMATION — We need the ability to plan our days 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 — Ports on the river and beyond are few and far between. You cannot always hop on and off at will. You must be flexible. We may or may not have a vehicle available. Airport pickups are your responsilbity.
MORE THAN ONE — We do not have the space to house spouses or friends that are not working crew. There might be hotels or campground nearby but that is your responsibility. Helping out with meals and chores is not optional. NO DOGS or pets are allowed and there are NO EXCEPTIONS.
HOW LONG — If you are from the U.S., you should consider a long weekend, then come back another time 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 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 work on the boat, we will feed you. If you take a day to play, you are on your own for meals. If you’re already Seeker crew then you’re welcome anytime however crew quarters are limited so please check in advance.
WHAT DAYS/HOURS — We work on the boat constantly. We generally get going by 8:30am. 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. Please be prepared to feed yourself on days off.
Plan to arrive at the beginning of a weekend so you can get to know the tools and the work. There is no TV and WIFI is limited. We might have it, we might not. Bring your own data plan and hopefully there will be a connection. We usually ask guests to retreat to their own quarters at 10 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. 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 crew, we’d love it! You will be expected to help with dishes, take out the trash or other duties.
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. There is no drinking beer or alcohol while handing our power tools or when underway.
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 and where we are, 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.
We do not provide a full breakfast. We usually have fruit on hand, breads, oatmeal and granola bars.
Those with food allergies should notify us in advance as we do all our provisioning BEFORE you arrive. If you are a picky eater.. take it or leave it! But… If you don’t like what we offer, then your food cost is on you. SV Seeker is about adventure and that means trying and exploring new things. If you are sheltered or limit yourself, we might not be a good match for you. Please notify us in the morning if you will not be joining us for dinner.
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. Please bring work clothes! 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. Going barefoot on Seeker can be unpleasant due to the nonskid surface, so be sure and prepare for that. We dress in layers and are ready for anything — hot, cold, rain, etc. Pack light – no check our destination and ask questions as to what you should bring. We have a washer/dryer onboard, so underpacking is preferred.
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 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: Please email Doug if you would like a tour. We have lots of work to do and our time is limited. If you do come by, please do not board without permission and keep your visit short.
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 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 BUT 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: Different jobs take different skills, and we will try to schedule around available crew when we can, but in order to keep moving down the river, 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 10 minute tour, then when you get home, send Doug a video.