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Old 13-12-2011, 13:58   #1
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Looking for positions/experience

Greetings,


I am writing this in an attempt to obtain more information to help guide myself down a path to reach a goal/dream of mine. I have been sailing for about 15 years now and for the last seven years I have been racing a j-24 as well as limited experience racing other types of boats. I have reached a proverbial fork in the road in my life and am in a position to make a decision on which path to take. I know there is a life to be lived that I am missing out on. That life is doing something I love while being able to survive. I have this dream of living aboard my own boat sailing where I please or where the wind takes me. More realistically finding a career that involves something I love and am passionate about. A career/job on the water sharing my enthusiasm of sailing and adventuring with others would be a big step.


There are many things about living/working aboard a boat that I donít know but am anxiously looking for ways to learn and apply this knowledge. I keep telling myself that getting involved in the field will open up many doors leading to fulfilling my dream. Finding a job that enables me to start learning these skills such as repairing the engine on board if something fails, learning more about electrical systems on board, navigation, sail repair and energy generation through solar and wind generators that would be applicable to onboard systems.


My idea at the moment is to find a venue that would enable me to learn more about these skills so that I may apply them to my own craft and othersí boats. I have the luxury of living debt free and have a burning desire to find a fulfilling lifestyle that I enjoy. This is an attempt to lay some ground work towards planning my future on the water.


I am hoping to at the very least open up some dialogue about reaching this goal. I am in need of some direction, encouragement (here in Montana most of my peers think I am crazy, as I think they are for wanting a 9-5 routine), and possibly an opportunity to achieve a fulfilling lifestyle. I have excelled at anything I have put my heart/mind into. I am service orientated and have been obscenely successful in customer service/relations as well as maintaining these professional relationships.



Thank you for your time and consideration of my ideas/thoughts.
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Old 13-12-2011, 20:17   #2
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Quote:
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Greetings,

I am writing this in an attempt to obtain more information to help guide myself down a path to reach a goal/dream of mine. I have been sailing for about 15 years now and for the last seven years I have been racing a j-24 as well as limited experience racing other types of boats. I have reached a proverbial fork in the road in my life and am in a position to make a decision on which path to take. I know there is a life to be lived that I am missing out on. That life is doing something I love while being able to survive. I have this dream of living aboard my own boat sailing where I please or where the wind takes me. More realistically finding a career that involves something I love and am passionate about. A career/job on the water sharing my enthusiasm of sailing and adventuring with others would be a big step.

There are many things about living/working aboard a boat that I don’t know but am anxiously looking for ways to learn and apply this knowledge. I keep telling myself that getting involved in the field will open up many doors leading to fulfilling my dream. Finding a job that enables me to start learning these skills such as repairing the engine on board if something fails, learning more about electrical systems on board, navigation, sail repair and energy generation through solar and wind generators that would be applicable to onboard systems.

My idea at the moment is to find a venue that would enable me to learn more about these skills so that I may apply them to my own craft and others’ boats. I have the luxury of living debt free and have a burning desire to find a fulfilling lifestyle that I enjoy. This is an attempt to lay some ground work towards planning my future on the water.

I am hoping to at the very least open up some dialogue about reaching this goal. I am in need of some direction, encouragement (here in Montana most of my peers think I am crazy, as I think they are for wanting a 9-5 routine), and possibly an opportunity to achieve a fulfilling lifestyle. I have excelled at anything I have put my heart/mind into. I am service orientated and have been obscenely successful in customer service/relations as well as maintaining these professional relationships.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my ideas/thoughts.
Welcome aboard Doaism.

Therre is a forum section on making a living aboard. I think your crossroads has more than one fork.

- buy a personal yacht. Live on it at a marina and make a living in the local economy. Doable, not too hard
- buy a personal yacht. Live on it cruising the world financing yourself with some sort of career. Doable, very hard, almost impossible. Writing books seems most viable. You need to make sure you have intersting things to write.
- become a professional seaman and work on a cruise ship or working ship. Not hard, requires dedication, lots of school, a bit of luck. Check out USCG website and learn about becoming a professional seaman
- become a professional cruise liner staff. Doable, competing with lots of people from low income places - i.e. Philippines

When I was a kid I lived in a place where ai went to school on a small ferry. The ferry delivered milk, mail and news. We were not accesible by land. I always thought I would grow up and drive the ferry. Family moved dream shattered - LOL

Alice asked the cheshire cat which road to take. He said it all depends on where you are going.

Gotta figure out where you are going and if you realistically can take the romance out of it and do the "work.". If so any destination is possible.
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:47   #3
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Welcome aboard Doaism.

Therre is a forum section on making a living aboard. I think your crossroads has more than one fork.

- buy a personal yacht. Live on it at a marina and make a living in the local economy. Doable, not too hard
- buy a personal yacht. Live on it cruising the world financing yourself with some sort of career. Doable, very hard, almost impossible. Writing books seems most viable. You need to make sure you have intersting things to write.
Thanks for your reply!
The first one was what I was thinking to get started. I figured the boat I bought would need some maintenance and gear before she was truly livable. I was thinking a reasonable option would be to hunt down a marina or some sort of job associated with this choice that would enable me to not only live on the boat i bought but learn more about the aspects I don't feel totally comfortable with. I've been looking at water makers, wind generators and associated equipment that makes a boat much more livable. I was thinking that getting involved in an organization as such would allow me time and knowledge to achieve some of these things.

Also, finding a few trades that I could offer while I was traveling would be helpful. Someone suggested marine refrigeration in another forum. I haven't spent much time offshore and certainly haven't discussed with other sailors/liveaboards what kind of services that would be desirable while moored up. This is down the road though. I could bring the abilities I have learned of course I just am not sure how they would be applicable to other travelers.

Another fundamental idea that I've had is doing some volunteer work in some Central American countries. I don't know how this sounds to you but being involved in a community is the best way to experience their culture, which I am interested in. Most of these programs don't pay much obviously but again I am not after riches.

This is me just putting thoughts down on this forum to strike up conversations... I am open to criticism as well as any dialogue. Bottom line seems to be that choosing the right craft, aquiring her and then spending some time close to shore working in the local community (hopefully with an organization that is in a related field to sailing and the ocean community) while I gear up my vessel. That doesn't sound too... difficult. Romance to me is setting goals and then meeting them. The position that I am in now has lost it's romance because of government regulation, threats and robbery. Sounds crazy right? It is. I am tired of these years of pressure and stress. Like I had said, I know there is a life to be lived, and I feel I am missing out on it.

Tacking!

Ian
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Old 14-12-2011, 13:18   #4
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

Oops, accidently double posted.
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Old 14-12-2011, 13:25   #5
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

I was in a similar situation few years ago. I went through a process of drastically changing my whole life, at the end of which, I had nothing but a fresh start in front of me.... I took a long hard look at what I wanted out of life itself. Sailing became the answer for me. Or atleast I had to give it a try... There's much to be said about finding fulfillment in hard work, simplicity, and a lack of (total) comfort

Buying a good old boat and living on it while you work is certainly not a bad way to live. In most cases, its much cheaper than living in an apartment, and certainly cheaper than owning a house. Which free's up quite a bit of money for saving up for a cruise (or for working on the boat. probably not both at the same time). For me, it's much more satisfying than regular land life. I love that I own my home (something I could never dream of before). And I'm always working towards self-sufficiency and creating freedom. Dreams quickly turn into goals once you have a clear path in front of you.

My advice: do a crapload of reading about sailing and boats (lots of book recommendations on this forum). Go ahead and start looking at boats in your area so you can get a clear picture of what you might be able to find in your price range. And then do a bunch more reading while you save up

As for careers on the water, I don't know how much money you're looking to make.. but, There's nothing wrong with working towards a captains license and working the fishing boats or inland transport boats. Could easily end up turning into a charter captain in some exotic locale... Also, if you have the money, you could go the full route of ASA instructor (which also requires being a licensed captain). I only mention that because the folks I took my ASA lessons from had a pretty nice thing going. They taught ASA on lake michigan (and chartered boats) during the summer, Then ran captained charters in the Caribbean during winter.. It's not exactly 'cruising', but seems like a darn nice way to live to me...

No matter which direction you go, start saving them dollars now
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Old 14-12-2011, 13:47   #6
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

Computer programmer?
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Old 14-12-2011, 15:50   #7
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I personally don't think a "cruising" living can be made working on other people's boats. First if you are overseas you will be in conflict with local labor law and likely need a work permit. You can work under the table for a while but likely to get the attention of then ocal mechanics who will turn you in. The second barrier is that most cruisers are pretty handy already. I see cruisers help each other out but not much direct, "I hire you for a wage stuff"

I did se. A young french couple arrive here, get jobs on land for 3 months to cash up, and then they left.
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Old 14-12-2011, 16:36   #8
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

Your first move should be to go to where the boats are. Montana won't do it.
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Old 15-12-2011, 05:57   #9
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

I've been trolling this forum for a while now, soaking up information, but this thread finally inspired me to register and post. So, thank you.

I came to the same realization earlier this year. And like you, am currently in discovery mode. First thing I did was, as previously mentioned, started trolling this forum and others like it. Then, as some have already mentioned, I did was started hoarding and reading books. I don't have the luxury of prior sailing experience as most do here (classes start next month though!)

Also, like you, I want to do more hands on work. Buying up a sea worthy 'fixer upper', I'd like to use it as my workshop so to speak, learning some valuable (profitable?) skills along the way.

I'm currently a web designer by trade, so I was also considering the possibility of putting my web savvy to work while traveling. If nothing more than just a source of passive income (ecommerce, blog, etc). But who knows, it may also work itself out as a source of income in various local economies. Every business needs a website, right?

I ran across a great community (Location Independent | Live and Work Anywhere) that deals solely with working location independent. Granted it's mainly geared toward those working on land. But with a little creativity there may be some gems of wisdom in there that carry over to our plan as well!

Cheers!
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Old 15-12-2011, 12:15   #10
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

Howdy.

Thanks for the dialogue.

I guess I should clarify a few things. Yes I was planning on moving to the coast and shopping around for the boat that meets my needs and budget. I also didn't mean making a 'living' while cruising I just was thinking that in my younger days, while on tour, I found having something to 'do' from time to time was rewarding. Not because of the income or what have you but because I was able to assist others with tasks they needed help with. I imagine being on an extended cruise there arises times that you come into contact with other cruisers that with your combined knowledge there would be tasks that would be easier to accomplish together rather than alone. I don't mean to scalp business away from local workers, I guess I was thinking that if I had something to contribute ...

Then again I am just assuming there is a 'community' afloat. Seems there is an unspoken community inside every niche way of life. You know musicians have things to contribute with each other... People that live out in the bush (i spent 14 months out there) had skills to contribute to each other. Many hands makes light work? I guess I wasn't so clear but I was hoping to have a few skills that would enable me to be useful to other cruisers...

I guess the biggest thing working against me is my lack of experience in that part of the world. I am very comfortable on a sailboat and understand most of the operating functions of a sailboat. Have skipper'd many many races although my home has always been on the sheets. Have sailed many weekends single handed and not just white sails, seems that bungie cord works well on the tiller for auto pilot (laughs) and have for the past several years felt at home doing so. Also, I am not too quick to pull the trigger on things. It's why I am here to have some decent communication about my plans or I would call it a dream.

Working on shore somewhere in the states while gearing up my boat is going to be essential. I don't have 50k sitting around, to buy and gear a boat up totally. I have about 15k in savings... Although by the time I moved and shopped around for the right boat, depending on the situation obviously that could wind up being a little less. Selling my half of the J-24 is an option although I am unsure if my partner has the cash laying around for that :P

Anyway, time for lunch.

Thanks for the posts, I love it!

Ian.

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Old 15-12-2011, 12:27   #11
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Re: Looking for positions/experience

I should mention I have worked in the digital realm before... doing digital photography work, architectural photography work (I didn't take the pictures I just prepared the images for publication). Also basic PHP and html programing for upkeep on websites. Most any kind of photoshop work really, restoring old photos, designing this or that.
Makes me think about putting out a net for myself doing things like that. Maybe get a few clients up and running before I head out. It's been a few years as that kind of work is mostly become a hobby. Running my own business has overcome most aspects of my working life. And I am over the industry I have so eloquently put myself into. Tired of the government breathing down my neck and wondering what is going to happen next. High risk investment, and it was doing really well... was.

Anywho :0
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