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Old 19-11-2009, 11:48   #1
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CAUTION: Too Much Work!

Just a word of wisdom to those that are looking to work and cruise.. It is possible but sometimes gets out of hand.. and you lose prospective on why you are working in the first place..
Just a short,
Back in March of this year we pulled into a marina here in the California Delta to take a break and do a little work on the boat as we've been goofing off for the past 7 years and sight seeing from Alaska to Mexico and all points between.
And a couple people here in the Marina found out we've been doing Canvas Repair as we traveled.. It didnt take long before we moved our work off the boat and into a shop in the marina complex and hung up a shingle with a name on it..
Well, that was 8 months ago, and we had planned on moving south for the winter into warmer climate, but things have changed... Our small business has grown to the point that we're setting dates for jobs as far out as 3 months and the wife is setting at her table on the other end of our shop sewing victorian formal wear for the Sacramento Opera...
And a week or so ago we went out and purchased a new "JUKI" sewing machine for doing canvas work on..
And On the way back home after making the purchase, I looked over to the wife and mentioned that the new machine has fixed legs on it..
We looked at each other and didnt have to say anymore as we were both thinking the same thing.. Our Dreams of Cruising have ended, at least for a time..
We still live on the boat, but she's tyed to a dock, and the birds are using the spreaders as a morning roost.. The business is booming and we have more work than we know what to do with..
So I have this cautionary tale to tell you.. We cruisers are a rare breed and we're known to do things right the first time as there may never be second chance, those that have been there know of what I speak. And when you take our vast knowledge and start working among the dwellers of the land, we excell in any trade we chose.. Its in us...
Beware that you dont get caught as I have with not only a job but a thriving business to hold you ashore..
And for the present, all I can do is dream of the next time I raise my head to smell the sweet aroma of salt air...........
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Old 20-11-2009, 01:04   #2
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Want holds you ashore. Your decision alone.
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Old 20-11-2009, 04:32   #3
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Aren't thriving businesses pretty easy to sell? Train your replacements.
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Old 20-11-2009, 05:28   #4
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We do the same work. We've been in the same location quite a while(since june) although we have a departure date set. I sure know how it could happen , every time we go to leave an area it never fails that we get a flurry of calls wanting work done. Were on the other coast working from mexico to canada. The good part is after being in an area a couple of times there's work waiting for us so we can hit and run before word gets out that were there. Sure am looking forward to unemployment I get between port of calls. In winter we turn into tourists again. Would be interested in checking out your onboard methods and if we evolved into similiar ways of doing things. The worktable is the biggest feat. I have a 5'X10' table that stretches between mast and forestay with a battened canopy that adjusts to block wind. Very functional and minimal windage.
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Old 20-11-2009, 07:33   #5
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Post CAUTION, Too Much Work

These days all arespending too muny hours in the work which is very harmful for them and their family. But increasing cost of the daily life styles force people to do so.
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Old 20-11-2009, 08:59   #6
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Steve
while we were on the boat, much of the work was done below.. our boat has a beam of almost 14 feet so the area in the main solon is quite large.. we removed the stock table and it allowed us to unfold to (24x48) tables.. Our machines were a sailrite sailmaker and a singer 221... and we ran them both off the inverter.. Much planning went into a large job and was planned around zippers if it was an inclosure.
on larger sails, we worked together, the wife and I, using the fore deck.
But often we had the pleasure of using dock space where we could streach out the larger tables.. the tables are the lite weight folding type and would be stored in the quarter berth area.. an area we turned into a pantery a few years ago..
Now with the shop, we are in a space about 20 by 60 and my layout table is about is about 12 by 16 feet.. a real pleasure to work on.. theres a couple shots of our shop on the website we're building for the business at Stitches-n-Snaps.com
Cruising is still in our future.. we havent given up hope, but its just such a great business, lots of work, easy living, very relaxed.. We just hate to walk off and leave it...
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Old 20-11-2009, 09:07   #7
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Sounds like great entrepreneurship to me, especially when the economy up in the delta as a whole is really depressed. One consideration is that you sound like a real business and at some point the state & local gov's will want their share. That might be the stimulus to get you back out on blue water!
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Old 20-11-2009, 11:08   #8
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Go now or you will end up staying!
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Old 20-11-2009, 12:21   #9
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Hi Randy:

Will your website have an online form so that I can order mynew dodger sail cover and a new mainsail? LOL. Good thing to have a job right now but don't forget about gravity. It takes a substantial effort to break the gravitaional pull of jobs and on shore security. Make sure that you have set a date or developed some other kind of rocket so that you can break the gravitiaional pull of a land based life. After the Ha Ha I was feeling pretty weightless and had thoughts of just keep on going. I'm home now but I wish I had a rocket to break the pull. Good luck with the business.
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Old 20-11-2009, 14:25   #10
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Want holds you ashore. Your decision alone.
Yes however if you are a person oriented to providing service - any service - it's hard to just say no. I will put myself in the same spot as I have a tired old boat and will have to work to pay for her refit. Fortunately I do refrigeration work and can make money about anywhere. So yes it's true you make your choices and live with them but life tends to comes in shades of gray for a lot of us.
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Old 20-11-2009, 14:26   #11
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Randy,

If you find you are too busy you could simply raise your prices way high. High enough to keep working and reach the magical number you need sooner.

Unless of course I need something done.
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Old 20-11-2009, 15:15   #12
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Randy,

If you find you are too busy you could simply raise your prices way high. High enough to keep working and reach the magical number you need sooner.

Unless of course I need something done.
Randy if you find yourself in the VI and need my services remind me you get the

"special discount rate"


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Old 20-11-2009, 15:25   #13
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Money has nothing to do with it, as we have more than we need to stay on the water without working..
We hit that magical number back 7 years ago.. The canvas repair has been more of a self-worth venture.. and a means to excape beyond the budget..
And that was the whole reason for writing.. If it were just a "job", we'd leave in a minute, but its become a very fun and enjoyable venture with rewarding benifits..
Its one of those things you want to play-out to see where it goes.. but in the mean-time.... we're caught with the, do we leave or do we stay..
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Old 20-11-2009, 17:36   #14
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Do you still do mostly repairs? I mostly do from scratch fabrication. Enclosures are by far the big money, but the vinyl is always a pita to work with. My favorite is biminis. I've developed some methodology that turns out some beautiful tight tops. In my profile I've described the steps if your interested, the real trick is in bending the bows during patterning. I have an adler 67 with a servo motor mounted in the setee. It runs off an inverter fed by 8 golf cart batteries fed by solar and wind. I've tried to keep everything aboard to avoid the situation you're in. I do have plans to rent some space in the coming years to hang out while my bottom dries out to peel and barrier coat. Google upholstery forum and look for get up and go in the address. Gotta good bunch of marine fabricators there and there's a wealth of information and tricks of the trade in their archives. Hope to see you there.
Steve
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Old 20-11-2009, 17:39   #15
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Money has nothing to do with it, as we have more than we need to stay on the water without working..
We hit that magical number back 7 years ago.. The canvas repair has been more of a self-worth venture.. and a means to excape beyond the budget..
And that was the whole reason for writing.. If it were just a "job", we'd leave in a minute, but its become a very fun and enjoyable venture with rewarding benifits..
Its one of those things you want to play-out to see where it goes.. but in the mean-time.... we're caught with the, do we leave or do we stay..

Nice to hear that but you still mentioned a budget.....but then even "rich" folks have a budget.................

You are playing. Continue to do it. Playing is fun. When the fun tide goes out, you can flow with it.
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