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Old 21-04-2010, 11:17   #1
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How Do You Fund Your Cruising ?

Ok so I know this is supposed to be a "taboo" subject so if you don't want to answer then just don't.

I am currently saving up money by working my current deskjob in hopes to cruise for two years. But eventually I will run out of money and be right back in a desk. So for you constant cruisers out there, how do you do it?

How do you keep a constant income for cruising?

So far i've found retirement funds and renting out your house are two big ones.

I've figured we would need about $1000 per month to stay out indefinitely.

Thanks for the help!

s/v Bright Eyes
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Old 21-04-2010, 11:39   #2
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We would all enjoy $1000 a month for doing no work, but it ain't easy to get.

Not saying it's impossible, it just takes some doing.

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Old 21-04-2010, 12:11   #3
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You might call us "On Again - Off Again" cruisers as we work for awhile and cruise for awhile, and its not that we stop cruising to re-fill the kitty, as we've got a good amount saved, but it somehow seems to work for us..
We found that when we stop to work from time to time, we get to know the people the area, still living on the boat, and then its out to another place..
And the money seems to last a little longer, as we know we'll have to stop again soon, and work some more..
As for what we do, You never know...
15 years ago we started planning the adventure, and started working jobs just to get the experance to be sort of well rounded to do almost anything..
In the last 10 years, we've worked as welders, inspectors, retail, canvas work, sailmakers, plumbers, construction, house painters, upolstery worker, boat delivery,
teacher, Auto Mech, and a number of other small jobs along the way..
But at the same time, we traveled north to Alaska and south to Mexico and spent time in every port along the way..
we've always felt, to throw it up in the air and see what comes down with a dollar attached..
And now that the weather is getting nicer, we'll be going out for evening walks, and picking up cans to recycle..
And just talking to my brother thismorning..He's thinking of taking his boat and heading to south america to work as a Missionary for a couple years...
In anyway, we've been here long enough and come this fall, we'll be gone again..
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Old 21-04-2010, 12:22   #4
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Save a bunch, then go. Then come back, save more, and do it again. I've done it in the past in the multi month range. We're saving up now for a few years; we want to have enough cash in the bank for ~5 years of frugal cruising.

I'd certainly hop on any opportunity to fly back home and work for a few weeks / months to restock some money, then come back to the boat. Working in software, as an hourly contractor I can make a decent rate and will probably crash with a friend while in town to keep bills super small while back again.

My wife is a teacher and pretty good sewer (seamstress?), so we'll be looking for stuff along the way.

There aren't a lot of mobile, hard working, and flexible people who are out of work for very long.
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Old 21-04-2010, 12:46   #5
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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
My wife is a teacher and pretty good sewer (seamstress?), so we'll be looking for stuff along the way.
Does your wife know what you call her
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Old 21-04-2010, 12:47   #6
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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Does you wife know what you call her
Oh man I just called my wife a sewer.
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Old 21-04-2010, 12:50   #7
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My cruising so far has been fairly short time consisting of cruises from 2 weeks to 3 months. I budget the money to maintain the boat and go cruising from my regular job. it means spending less in other areas, such as home and housing than many people do, but it's worth it.

I'm putting more money into retirement than most with the hopes of some longer term cruising down the road.
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Old 27-05-2010, 01:37   #8
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We have been cruising for 6 months now, when we arrived in Tasmania we were totally blown away by the place. Decided to see as much as we can, so we are now staying a while longer. So we both scored jobs, Jen is a RN (nursing sister) and had so many offers of work she just picked the closest place(hospital), to the marina. I've walked into a job in my field as an OHS consultant. So now we will rebuild the cruising kitty while discovering Tasmania.
Note: We have spent a hell of a lot more than we expected, so to those who can do it on $500 per month, I tips me hat to you.
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Old 27-05-2010, 07:25   #9
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The $1000/mo has been working fairly well for me, so I'm glad to hear I'm at least in the ballpark. I'm living off investments and savings so I'm always looking for ways to add to the kitty; and adventure. It used to be that the investments were fairly constant but the last couple of years have killed that. FWIW, I was out 9 years before the kitty needed life support.

Here's what I've done:
varnish work
engine grunt (grunt = someone with a strong back and a weak mind willing to work _very_ cheap)
rigging assistant
diver (cleaning hulls, finding lost items, replacing zincs, plugging thruhulls, finding anchors...)
fiberglass grunt (sanding, cleaning, filling, fairing, painting)
deliveries and recoveries (as deckhand, watch officer, and Captain)
stock photography
computer skills (PC and Mac)
electrical work

I'm a dive instructor and licensed Captain so:
teach diving
lead dives
underwater video and photography
deliver boats
teach navigation, celestial, passage planning, seamanship

There are job out there especially if you're competent in refrigeration, engine/transmission repair and diagnostics, fiberglass repair, or sewing. Sewing seems to be getting pretty popular as does barber and hair stylist, though. I've known cruisers who taught fishing, cooking, canning, making bread, and how to brew beer. One lady I knew did very well teaching scrapbooking.

Doctors, dentists, nurses, and other high demand professionals don't seem to have a problem finding work although the difference in pay I'm told is astonishing. Some folks have found work in the service industry or retail sales. A few lucky ones got work at marine stores and were able to save on purchases as well as add to the cruising fund.

The money I make in achorages isn't always there or consistent but adding anything to the cookie jar means less time in line at the bank ATM.
Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
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Old 27-05-2010, 07:38   #10
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For seven years (some based in the UK, four in the Med) we have aimed to work less than half the year, and on average over that time we're about on target. One of us works as an interim manager and management consultant, taking contracts in the four to eight month range over the northern winter. RG either sits in the water somewhere nice and we go there for Xmas, the odd week and weekends, or we haul out, aim to do jobs at the end of teh season and beginning of the next and otherwise pile up cash.

The difference in what we can accumulate heading back to work compared to staying with RG and doing bar work etc is just too much to swallow. I miss being on board all year, but I don;t miss the limited sailing of a UK season!
Sarah & Pip
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Old 27-05-2010, 08:34   #11
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if you have the skills, is it unreasonable to think that you could support yourself indefinetly working on boats where ever you are?, a la james baldwin...,i know cruisers are cheap, but $1000/month aint hard to make if you do good work

thats kinda my plan, as i have the skills...
i wonder about the risk of working on boats in other countries now a days...
small jobs could keep you under the radar, but a big job could be your kitty for 6 months..

maybe brent swain will chime in, i think he has a good feel for this...
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Old 27-05-2010, 08:36   #12
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ex: if you charge $20/hr for labor, you could work for a week (50 hrs) then cruise for a month...

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