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Old 14-04-2010, 07:31   #1
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Most Valuable Skills to Make a Few Bucks ?

I know this has been covered before, but I'm hoping we can go at it again with a somewhat narrower focus.

I feel certain that if I am ever to cast off the docklines and head out, I will have to have a way to make a few bucks along the way.

I am, by profession, a writer, so I already know that while I can write (and have written) an occasional article for a yachting magazine, I cannot rely on that.

I also happen to be pretty handy. Out of monetary necessity and sheer pig-headedness, I have never hired anyone to do anything on any of my several boats, up to and including my current Tayana 37. I am a jack of all trades and master of none.

I took a Diesel class last year and had an epiphany about how simple diesel engine systems really are. I can do most if not all of the basic stuff right now and would consider an advanced class for my own edification as well as to acquire a marketable skill.

I can go up the stick and do any of the normal things that are required up there, but I am by no stretch a trained rigger.

Of course, I can do basic woodworking, brightwork stuff, etc. and can also splice laid line with no problem, though to this day I find the instructions for splicing braided line to be intimidating at best and inscrutible at worst.

I can do basic electrics, though my skill level there is rudimentary. I know absolutely nothing about electronics.

Anyway, if I were trying to expand any of the skills above with an eye toward making a few googoos in a remote foreign port, which do you think would be worthwhile?
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Old 14-04-2010, 07:38   #2
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I think most cruisers are much like yourself, stubbornly independent of needing or even wanting other peoples skills, which being independent is a good thing. It will be interesting to see what needs they have from others while out cruising.
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Old 14-04-2010, 08:23   #3
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I have very specialized skills when it comes to welding. I have had several various certifications thru my past 2 decades of construction work and I have welded on titanium, monel, inconel, basic carbon steel, and of course the biggie, stainless (which there's a LOT of around boats). With this type of skill I can get a job or do work on the side virtually anywhere there's a welding machine. [Ah, that's the problem... there's not always a welding machine where you are...] but... I have a small 120/240 TIG welder which is also a plasma cutter and I have a cylinder of argon so where-ever I went on my boat I had the generator and the proper tools to do most any job on a boat. Brackets, davet repair, cracks chased and fixed, brackets made for alternator mounts, watermaker pump brackets, etc. you get the picture. I also have skills as a crane operator (having been in refinery's operating up to 300 ton cranes) and I also have mechanical design skills. I have been the lead manufacturing design engineer here where I work for the past 4 years and use software called Solidworks which is a very high end 3-D modeling software which I use to interface with the waterjet cutting community to have parts made etc. so you see, the carry over into the crusing lifestyle is easily done if you have the right skill set. I think you are well on your way.
I know very little if anything about refrigeration so I need to do some homework on that skill but the gear required is pretty easy to come by and doesn';t take up too much space so there you have it.
In the hot tropical climates, refrigeration skills would be top of my list and welding would be second since there's so much stainless around boats and marinas.
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Old 14-04-2010, 08:24   #4
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So, is there a specialized skill, such as canvas-making, that most cruisers wouldn't know themselves that would be of use?
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Old 14-04-2010, 08:30   #5
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canvas making is a bigg one in my book as well. I know a family of cruisers down in mexico right now that used their Sailrite machine to repair their own very blown out main and saved them untold hundreds if not thousands of dollars and in my book if you know some basic skills about sewing the door is wide open to making stuff like bimini covers, seat cushions, covers for just about anything etc. Getting the materials might prove a challenge in some places but you're absolutly right.
The more you know, the more independent you are. and that... is what being a cruiser and spending very little money is all about.
Having the knowledge to hookup electronics and radio gear is a plus as well. The VHF, to e-mail, to internet wireless stuff... it all can be peddled to the general public and add to your cruising kitty.$$
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Old 14-04-2010, 09:00   #6
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Thanks, Dan. My second post apparently crossed your first. I have installed my own refrigerator and I believe recharging and/or repairing them shouldn't be too difficult.

So ...

Refrigeration
Welding
Canvas

My wife could easily master the last of those. Now, all I need to do is look for find a welding class at the local community college!
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Old 14-04-2010, 09:20   #7
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I would say being able to entertain wealthy older women, but viagra has kind of killed that market.
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Old 14-04-2010, 10:00   #8
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ROTFLMAO..... LOL.... YOU'RE KILLING ME.....
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Old 14-04-2010, 11:01   #9
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From what I've heard, the problem is actually collecting cash from cruisers for labor. We expect everything for free. Or at local prices, which is often equivalent to free.

I've had good profits from selling equipment to cruisers. They'll seemingly buy any load of boat crap: inverters, vacuums, tools, rigging, outboards, etc. whether they need it or not. So maybe load your bilges with stuff that breaks along the way.
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Old 14-04-2010, 20:42   #10
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why are you trying to reinvent the wheel? you already have a skill that is transportable...writing. Add in some website creation skills and start a GOOD website and make money that way. I know writers that are making around $40,000+ with good informative interactive websites. Their sites are popular and are bringing in real advertisers, not just google adwords or google placed banner ads. It takes several years to get a good solid following and it takes constant refreshing. But it can be done and is done by a lot of people. Plus you don't get all dirty/smelly/sore crawling over/under other peoples boats
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Old 14-04-2010, 22:26   #11
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neuman

why are you trying to reinvent the wheel? you already have a skill that is transportable...writing. Add in some website creation skills and start a GOOD website and make money that way. I know writers that are making around $40,000+ with good informative interactive websites. Their sites are popular and are bringing in real advertisers, not just google adwords or google placed banner ads. It takes several years to get a good solid following and it takes constant refreshing. But it can be done and is done by a lot of people. Plus you don't get all dirty/smelly/sore crawling over/under other peoples boats
I would like to know how those writers pull in $40k writing and creating websites. Monetizing a website other than through advertisements is hard for me to imagine. If they are good web designers, and they make their income from designing websites, then I can understand how they make their money from the web.
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Old 14-04-2010, 23:34   #12
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I have though long and hard about this.

You could have a boat load of sparse/consumables...but you would make no money at it......plus cruisers will already know where to get stuff cheap

You could have any number of skills, but cruisers aren't going to want to pay the standard rates.....they want to "barter/trade"...that doesn't put petrol in the jerrican.

I know of a couple that did do quite well with canvas and sail work.....but their boat was their shop. With a small living/cooking quarters.

Writing?....everybody and their brother has a book out there.

I think that the dream is OK but it is just that.

I know of no cruiser in this area that does it.

I am waiting for my ship to come in....she is still beyond the horizon
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Old 15-04-2010, 01:19   #13
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I would like to know how those writers pull in $40k writing and creating websites. Monetizing a website other than through advertisements is hard for me to imagine. If they are good web designers, and they make their income from designing websites, then I can understand how they make their money from the web.
The very site you're writing on, for instance, is probably extremely profitable
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Old 15-04-2010, 04:10   #14
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I would like to know how those writers pull in $40k writing and creating websites. Monetizing a website other than through advertisements is hard for me to imagine. If they are good web designers, and they make their income from designing websites, then I can understand how they make their money from the web.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. They are making money from ads. But not the 2 cents you make from google ads. They have ads they sell directly to the advertisers
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Old 15-04-2010, 16:14   #15
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Language Skills

- Teaching English to the locals (even in poor countries the locals are not all penniless peasants).
- Teaching a Foreign Language to other cruisers and locals.
- Using a Foreign Language to locate and then resell and manage services to other cruisers (cut out the middle man - unless it's you ).
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