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Old 17-07-2007, 11:43   #1
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Everyone is asking about live-aboard budgets, so I thought...

What does a person cruising do to earn money..If you are not a trust-fund kid..or have a profession that allows you to work from anywhere in the world, etc. What do you do to earn money..? Teach sailing, charter, take others deep sea fishing, etc.? Use your sailing talent and boat to earn money in some other way.?
Even if you can live cheap while cruising, you still need to have money from somewhere.. For most people, saving 30K + is not likely..investing wisely could take even longer..
So, if you decide to cast off the ropes and take off with very little nest egg, what do you do to keep the money coming in.?
Anyone had any experience with living this way.?

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Old 17-07-2007, 12:14   #2
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It is increasingly difficult to work in a foreign jurisdiction. Some I have met work "off the books", mostly in tourist or boat related service jobs. In the US I have met many that work six months to cruise the winters. The work has ranged from IT contracts to truck driving and West Marine sales. Or you could do what most do -- work all your life, then go cruising.
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Old 17-07-2007, 12:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco
-- work all your life, then go cruising.
Ugh.!!
I'd rather forget the work part..
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Old 17-07-2007, 12:43   #4
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Here is what do - not that difficult and plenty of work.
Become certified in any number of trades related to boats, specifically

Diesel mechanic
Electrician

Find a local trade school and enrol in night classes during the winter months.
Just by reading the post here, how many people are having trouble with their "systems"...a lot!
You'd be worth your weight in gold in practically any anchorage.
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Old 17-07-2007, 13:06   #5
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Trades are said to be far more portable than professions. It takes a certain amount of time and effort to build a professional reputation. I remember a couple in the virgins that were being supported by his construction work but it was her psychology degree(s) that got them off in the first place.

Stuffing $30k in the cruising kitty is not that difficult, I did $20k last year. But you are going to have to work for it, not fool around four days out of seven and hope there is a broken boat around. There is a couple in my marina that is trying to make their boat mortgage cleaning other peoples boats. They are popular but poor and they won't be leaving the dock any time soon. I don't know a single "trust fund kid" out of all of the cruisers I know. They all worked their way into long term cruising happiness.

If you want a true study of how to apply a little money to cruising then read "Voyaging on a Small Income". But pick it up from the library, the twenty bucks you save goes into the kitty... and that is the real key...
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Old 17-07-2007, 13:22   #6
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At the moment I have kids at home..once they are out I can try saving more..I know that I'll need money in the bank to get started, I was just thinking that earning money along the way will help prolong the journey a bit rather than living fully off of savings..
I could probably squeeze 7-10K into savings to get started in a couple of years..but, most of that would be eaten up in outfitting a boat for the trip.
My thoughts are all in the preliminary (read "dream") stages right now..I still have to learn to sail first..
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Old 17-07-2007, 15:25   #7
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It's true that trades are better than a profession when out cruising. A good diesel mechanic is worth ten brain surgeons when out cruising ... unless you get hit in the head by the boom.
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Old 17-07-2007, 17:58   #8
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I resent the brain surgeon comment...

Just so happens that I am one. Come to think of it, I would be pretty useless on a boat without my power tools...
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Old 17-07-2007, 18:16   #9
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The Pardeys are a good example of those who work on the way. They turned what I believe was supposed to be a 6 month voyage into 11 years that way. It's been a while since I read the books, but I believe most of the income came from working on other people's boats in some form or another as well as the occasional delivery.
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Old 17-07-2007, 20:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scgilligan
What does a person cruising do to earn money..If you are not a trust-fund kid..or have a profession that allows you to work from anywhere in the world, etc. What do you do to earn money..? Teach sailing, charter, take others deep sea fishing, etc.? Use your sailing talent and boat to earn money in some other way.?
Even if you can live cheap while cruising, you still need to have money from somewhere.. For most people, saving 30K + is not likely..investing wisely could take even longer..
So, if you decide to cast off the ropes and take off with very little nest egg, what do you do to keep the money coming in.?
Anyone had any experience with living this way.?

scgilligan
If you are like this guy you don't need to earn it. You ask for it.

Set up a website, paypal account, and you are set.

A couple years ago, I remember some other couple, sailing a cat offshore, that made there money selling memberships to a somewhat obscure "evironmental organization", via the web. I suspect it was some MLM scam but they made enough to cruise for a coupleyears.

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Old 18-07-2007, 00:10   #11
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I won't mention any "normal" part time off boat jobs - waitressing, McDonals etc. which are all possible either on or off radar.

Here are some of the unique things I have heard of in Asia:

Teaching / Professional - Off boat
Scuba, English, Substitute teaching at "international" schools
I know of one person who does oceanic survey contracting
I know one person who is a marine "expert" witness & consultant
I know a couple of people who a part time contractors with Oil & Gas industry - geology & engineering

Crafting - On/Off boat
Jewelry made from collected shells & stones
Photographs
Paintings

Writing:
Books & Magazines & photography

Chartering:
I know one couple that are plugged into "regular" charterers and handle off-load work. That is if the charter boat is full they will take part of the load and raft up.

Laboring -
Unfortunately I know of no one in Asia making any money laboring - labor is too cheap
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Old 18-07-2007, 05:05   #12
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But pick it up from the library, the twenty bucks you save goes into the kitty... and that is the real key...
Now ain't that the truth
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Old 11-10-2007, 19:32   #13
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Power tools - off topic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ion View Post
Just so happens that I am one. Come to think of it, I would be pretty useless on a boat without my power tools...
Power tools in the hands of the right person can be a woderful thing.

I am a former Wilderness Emergency EMT-P. At a wilderness medical conference I oncemet a brain surgeon who actually did an emergency proceedure in the field (on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere) with chordless power tools. If I recall correctly it was a proceedure to releave pressure in a closed brain injury. The patient lived and made a full recovery.

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Old 11-10-2007, 19:41   #14
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One deal that seems like it might line up for me is flying back home to the states for a few weeks / months, living like a peasant while here, and saving away a bunch of cash. I can make more in a couple months doing software development in the states than I could doing nearly anything else all year long in another country.

If you're crafty enough to get a boat around the world, you'll be crafty enough to figure out a way to pay for it.

Saving up $20K seems fairly daunting, but just like working on a boat, it's about a continual effort spanning a long period of time. You can find some fairly stable mutual funds that are averaging 15%-25% (yes, even through the 2000-2002 slump). Janus Contrarian is one of my favorites.

The diesel / fridge tech / tradesman thing is right on the money. Rich as some people are, a busted engine in the middle of nowhere is what it is.
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Old 11-10-2007, 19:51   #15
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During our circumnavigation there were three groups of people who found work in many different places around the world.

There are shortages of school teachers in many countries, and while we were cruising down under, people took jobs as school teachers in New Zealand.

Every country in the world has an International School that runs on a USA style curriculum. You simply need to go to one of the job fairs to take a look at the hundreds of job vacancies that must be filled each year. School teachers can work easily overseas in the international schools. My wife taught school for more than ten years at the Riyadh International School, and we have friends still teaching in Asia, Africa, and South America.

The second group of people that get a job relatively easily are registered nurses. There are nursing shortages all over the world. Nurses can also do locums where they work for only weeks or months at a time.

The third group was people who knew how to do computer programming. They were in demand everywhere.

When I did my circumnavigation, I did locums to keep the cruising kitty intact. I did my locums in Saudi Arabia.

So it's possible to work your way around the world, but it requires a bit of imagination and preparation.
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