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Old 15-01-2019, 19:59   #1
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Viable Professions While At Sea

Hello,

I am looking for a list of viable professions while sailing the world. Yes, billionaire playboy would be ideal, but I am out of luck on that one. I am currently a financial guy, and my wife is also in finance. The problem is, where are the banks in the middle of The Indian Ocean?

Anyhow, I would love to learn about what you believe to be viable methods of income while sailing.

All the best,

Matthew
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Old 15-01-2019, 21:37   #2
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

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Hello,

I am looking for a list of viable professions while sailing the world. Yes, billionaire playboy would be ideal, but I am out of luck on that one. I am currently a financial guy, and my wife is also in finance. The problem is, where are the banks in the middle of The Indian Ocean?

Anyhow, I would love to learn about what you believe to be viable methods of income while sailing.

All the best,

Matthew
Collecting interest.

OK, that was a bit of a wiseass comment, but it IS one that works. There are very few others, unless you have a special skill. If you actually had such a skill you likely would not need to ask about how to make money "out there."

Historically many people had set to sea planning on making a living writing. It's hard work, and unless you already have an audience, a very difficult one to get going. If you already had an audience for your written output you wouldn't have to ask the question.

A few (very few) make a living blogging. Also hard work. Far more people dream about it than do it. It requires excellent writing and photography chops combined with the soul of a salesman. (Do salesmen have souls?)

Very few countries allow you to enter "gainful employment" as a transient, so most physical activities for repair and other such things are hard to come by--legally at least.

If you cannot come up with a way to make money sitting at a desk in your house, it will not get any easier while you are out on the ocean.

It's hard. If it was easy, it would be crowded out here.
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Old 15-01-2019, 23:06   #3
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

As Bill said, it aint easy. Although remote work is becoming increasingly viable these days, as is land-based communications access from even some pretty remote places.

I do web development with a small network of US-based clients. An unlocked phone with a local SIM card and cellular booster onboard helps extend the range where a data signal can be picked up from anchor. It's surprising how ubiquitous connectivity is in this day and age.

My girlfriend is a teacher, ayurvedic practitioner, and recovering small farmer. She's currently working on getting an online-based educational curriculum off the ground.

A typical millennial hustle.

Others may wryly suggest starting yet another sailing youtube channel..

But bear in mind that even if you devise a good way to make money, you will have to sometimes balance large boat projects, a work deadline, and inclement wx impacting any kind of schedule you are trying to keep, all while keeping the family happy and afloat.

It's possible, but it aint easy! it may well be better to save and bring the money with you, or do the passive income thing.

At the same time, you are a few years out which would give you some time to try and get a few hairbrained ideas off the ground if that ends up being your intent.

Cheers!

Ryan
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Old 16-01-2019, 02:03   #4
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

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There are very few others, unless you have a special skill. If you actually had such a skill you likely would not need to ask about how to make money "out there."
This is really the answer if you want to cruise full time.

In a great many countries, the locals make drastically less and you are likely not even allowed a job in the local economy (at least legally).

If you can translate your current job to work remotely, that would likely be the best option (that's what we do).

Alternatively, can you work seasonally traveling home for 3-6 months and then go out cruising for 3-6 months? A related option is teaching english as a second language but again, you have to stop for a longer period and it's still likely to be much lower pay than your current professional positions.

Writing, blogging, etc..., very hard if you are a great story teller and dedicated to it. If you aren't a great story teller and dedicated to building a following, pretty much impossible.

The vast majority of long distance cruisers do it by having investments built up that pay for it or they live a bare subsistence lifestyle (which is fine if that is what you are after).
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Old 16-01-2019, 02:47   #5
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

Hmm... there are some traditional ones that come to mind:

Piracy
Sex worker
Card shark
Smuggler
Arms running (a special subset of smuggler)
Poacher
Exotic pet exporter



The pay may be quite good and no permits are required from the governments of the places you may cruise, but there is often fierce local competition, it is hard to get insurance to cover your activities and the retirement programs tend to be carried out in unpleasant locations (prisons etc).

On a serious note, a few years back we were talking with a kiwi who said he loved to hire Americans because they worked far harder than the locals. He was willing to go to the trouble of negotiating the visas for them to get them on board. This was a tech type firm, and it was, as I said, not all that recent, but there are some places where a serious job can be had. Banking is sorta international by nature, so there could be some possibilities if you can stop in one place for a while.

good luck with it... working in a foreign environment is one good way to learn about the culture that you are visiting.

Jim
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Old 16-01-2019, 03:49   #6
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

You are already a professional (Banker?). You need to find a niche that allows you to work remotely(internet) with flexible hours. I don't think you need to find a whole new profession.
If you identify niche, perhaps begin "moonlighting" to see if viable. And of course you don't want remote, but coming to office 1 x a week or even 1 x a month.
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Old 16-01-2019, 09:50   #7
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

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Originally Posted by LF4 View Post
Hello,

I am looking for a list of viable professions while sailing the world. Yes, billionaire playboy would be ideal, but I am out of luck on that one. I am currently a financial guy, and my wife is also in finance. The problem is, where are the banks in the middle of The Indian Ocean?

Anyhow, I would love to learn about what you believe to be viable methods of income while sailing.

All the best,

Matthew
professional banker.. ie: pool player.. not a bunch of cash but a lot of fun
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Old 16-01-2019, 10:48   #8
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

I tend to be technically inventive. I look for projects that are sailing related and ones that require a sailing laboratory for technical research and product development. Also the lifestyle allows for drafting and prosecuting patents. But this route is a long hard slog. Recent legislation has made the lone inventor nearly obsolete. One now needs to be an inventor and manufacturer. And in order for the manufacturer bit to work a good salesman needs to be involved. The viability of this profession remains to be realized, but it's been a hoot with a good sense of having a productive life.

She tends to be a good stock investor. Anywhere a wifi or cell signal can be found usually makes for a payday.
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Old 16-01-2019, 10:51   #9
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

Since you are Finance folks, one option might be training to become tax professionals (yes, it is a big change from Finance, but the aptitudes are similar). You could work during the US tax season (perhaps even remotely). You can cruise the other nine months of the year.
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Old 16-01-2019, 11:15   #10
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

Why don't one of you try to earn money from home before you travel? It would need to be internet based of course, but even in the middle of the Indian Ocean, you could get access to the internet via satellite? To pay for the satellite connection you would of course have been able to set up a reliable and profitable business first!
Earning money from home is going to be a lot easier than whilst travelling on your yacht, so do the experiments first.
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Old 16-01-2019, 11:23   #11
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

Wow! Such great and positive career recommendations...

Writing! Listen to the Muse of the Sea and you can emerge from a voyage with a novel. If you can download text at sea, do proof reading. It's amazing how few people these days can write readable English prose. Or contact the local newspaper and ask about becoming a "stringer" news writer.

And ashore:

Assuming you are a US citizen,
1) you haven't been engaged in any of the career lines suggested above that invoked law enforcement action (no judgment here but you need to pass a very basic background check),
2) you have a pulse and no visible symptoms of bubonic plague (pass a very simple physical exam)
3) you don't test positive for any street drugs (the feds still consider marijuana to be illegal),

...you can get the following ratings on a USCG Merchant Marine Certificate with no qualifications at all:

Ordinary Seaman (deck hand)
Food Handler (galley work)
Wiper (basic work in the engine room)

Then, with a big smile and a cheerful demeanor, walk the docks asking: "do you need crew?" And watch for arriving commercial vessels and show up at the dock to help them tie up (learn how to tie a proper cleat hitch) and ask the skipper then if he needs crew.

Fishing: If you can work a hydraulic winch or steer a motor boat straight, you can get work pulling crab pots and fishing. You'll need a good positive attitude, resistance to seasickness, a tolerance to being on a messy boat, the psychological fortitude to not freak out (or at least not show it) in moderate sea states on a wobbly boat, and a willingness to work your butt off for long hours -- but that's all you need to get on a fishing boat as a greenhorn. The fact that you don't get seasick standing on a floating dock puts you way ahead of the general population.

Skilled technical work: If you have the skills to sail long distances, you should have skills well above laymen in diesel engine mechanics, electronic technology and systems assembly, radio systems, rigging, painting, woodwork/carpentry, etc.

Sales: A person who knows a screw from a nut can get work in hardware sales. Most retail sales operations have no problem taking on someone who will commit to a fixed time availability -- especially in the summer and winter holiday months.

Put together a resume that lists your skills that are transferable from sailing to other occupations, including your past employment experience -- but focus on the basic skills not the specific job activities.
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Old 16-01-2019, 12:29   #12
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

Yes, my wife and I have found a viable way to make a living while sailing full time. I posted a rather lengthy, time consuming, thoughtful post on your other thread asking for advice, then........
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Old 16-01-2019, 13:22   #13
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

Its not ideal trying to earn A living offshore unless you have the type of Job that allows very flexible hours and near a good wifi signal,
ofc , people writing books , or doing accounts fora client over a period of time ,
etc will be doable , all other jobs will be trade related on boats , but this is intermittent work. and to establish one self locally will affect your cruising plans and also might upset the local tradesman.
There is some writing work for magazines you can do, but again loose pay and needs a deadline and internet
Or you can make very good sailing videos and put then up on UTube and go patreon ,
good hunting ,
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Old 16-01-2019, 13:31   #14
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

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Yes, my wife and I have found a viable way to make a living while sailing full time. I posted a rather lengthy, time consuming, thoughtful post on your other thread asking for advice, then........
Something weird going on here, i thought there was another thread so i just looked at the OP's statistics and it says he's made 9 posts, yet when you click on 'Find all posts/threads started by LF4' it only shows the one post and only one thread started, thats the one here...someone has stolen his other 8 posts!
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Old 16-01-2019, 13:32   #15
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Re: Viable Professions While At Sea

Find a product line that needs a worldwide market and visit potential outlets on your travels. A lot of manufacturers can't afford the travel costs involved in finding those customers but since you are traveling you can take samples or brochures with you.
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