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Old 16-04-2008, 16:20   #1
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Cruise Half Year - Work Half Year?

I like this forum because it is exploring questions that we are trying to answer --- not having the full cruising kitty plus retirement $$ stashed, how do we get out and go while not draining our savings fully?

What are some work areas that would support seasonal employment -- work tons for 6 months, as a couple, and then cruise for 6 months?

My work is possibly compatible with this, although there are some details to work out in terms of currency and other things --- I could see trying to figure out a gig to fly helicopter fire or utility work during the summer tourist or fire season in N America, then try to go sailing during the winter. At first blush, this sounds ideal, but has a couple of tradeoffs that are hard to work around --- first, work like that takes me away from home/family for 6 months at a time, and then the other 6 months my partner and I disappear cruising -- so in short, there isn't "home time" built in, as well as extended absence from my primary partnership, not my ideal (we cruise together b/c we like spending time together....)

So, I think about things like:
- Getting my RN in a one year program, then working as a traveling nurse for 6 months, then being on the boat. Possible? Are there licensing and currency issues that would stop this?
- Construction trades in the Rockies with an on and off season?

What other ideas have folks come up with, and anyone doing them successfully?

There is always the "what do you do with the boat for the 6 months you are gone" question.........
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Old 16-04-2008, 16:34   #2
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I know a couple who are both RNs. They work for six months in the States, where hospitals are very happy to have them, and then they cruise in the Caribbean for six months. Works very well for them. While working in the States, they live on their boat in a marina in the city they're working in.
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Old 16-04-2008, 16:41   #3
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In the summer we have done prep and paint Awl-Grip, gone aloft, recharged refrigeration, repaired canvas and made cockpit line bags for people, cleaned interior & exterior of other's boats, and many other things. There is no lack of work and marine work pays well.
We've also worked carnivals, wine and bbq festivals, museum festivals, and we're looking at the boat show this year, too. I can say I've been a carnie.
The kitty gets fat quick on the hook 330+ days/year.
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Old 16-04-2008, 16:58   #4
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In the summer we have done prep and paint Awl-Grip, gone aloft, recharged refrigeration, repaired canvas and made cockpit line bags for people, cleaned interior & exterior of other's boats, and many other things. There is no lack of work and marine work pays well.
We've also worked carnivals, wine and bbq festivals, museum festivals, and we're looking at the boat show this year, too. I can say I've been a carnie.
The kitty gets fat quick on the hook 330+ days/year.
HP has the key here, I think. It's working while minimizing expenses. When we first started this lifestyle for fun (after working on megayachts), my wife and I didn't quite have it figured out, financially.

Doing as HP says is the key. We are finally turned around and are happy to have joined the "investing class"... now if there was only somwhere safe and profitable to put our little savings... lol

I like your approach, HP. I also enoyed reading your blog and seeing sights I have very recently experienced. How far north will you go this season? (maybe this shoudl be a PM... lol)
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Old 16-04-2008, 17:08   #5
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We've met public school teachers who cruise the Bahamas in the summer. Also, tenured professors who pretty much cruse whenever they want. However, nothing beats the RN gig - it's a growth industry and jobs are begging. My sister and my sister-in-law are both RNs; they don't need the money; and they make something like $40/hr working for temp agencies whenever they care to. Of course, they both think that sailboats are silly, but they had a good time visiting us in the Bahamas and St. Maarten.
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Old 17-04-2008, 10:12   #6
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We've been cruising the Med for the past 6 years and stopping up for winter in great locations like Rome, Sevilla & Venice to beat the winter storms. Living onboard in the winter here usually means good internet connections and lots of opportunities. I actually work all year around but do the main part in the winter including networking, marketing my business, and meeting clients IRL. I work as a writers coach and editor and get manuscripts by email from publishers and writers. I also run an email based writing course. During the winters, when I've gotten to know a place, I arrange writing workshops and IRL coaching on location for people from my own country. They love to travel and can afford it! I had 40 people come to Venice for 6 different classes (I also flew in established writes as teachers). This is the highlight of my year - I love cruising but sometimes miss talking to people with the same interests and during a couple of weeks with the classes I get my full share. Sure, it's a bit of work arranging the workshops, the registration, accomodation (I usually rent large apartments where the diningroom will serve as a classroom), the day-off-excursions and so on, but it pays well and is a great experience every time. My business is registered in my country - where my customers pay and I declare taxes. I don't compete or interfere locally, but do contribute with "creative tourism" which usually gets attention by the tourist offices. (In Istanbul the tourist office staff was so thrilled they came to take pictures in class :-)

Hopefully this will give some of you some ideas. Could you arrange workshops in your own field of interest?

In the summer, I can easily run my mailbased business (editing, coaching and classes) by visiting an internet café once a week for up- & downloads and work offline with preparations. Would that work for you?

Oh, and I "invented" this job one year into cruising as I was getting all these ideas and wanted more intellectual stimulation. I used to be an IT consultant/manager - anyone can change :-) I turned my hobby into a job...

PS. English is not my native language. should you think I write funny for a writing coach :-)
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Old 17-04-2008, 10:22   #7
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I have a decent job that pays well, but does not lend itself to a part time occupation. I am working on building my resume (capt license, sail instructor, dive instructor etc) to put me in the position to work when I need to. I have the feeling that if I stay with my current occupation and quit jobs every year and disappear for a year or so, that I will only be able to do it once or twice before they catch on.
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Old 17-04-2008, 10:31   #8
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Most occupations do not allow for part time or long hiatus. Jobs which involve long term efforts, like legal cases, architectural projects and so forth at the management level preclude time shifting and so forth.

Short term task oriented skills/work allow you flexibility. One mentioned was nursing, construction skills, working in the hospitality industry, waiting tables, maid service, and so forth. Some computer skills are both portable and time shiftable. And then there are things like writing articles, and so forth, selling photos. And of course mechanical and technical "fix it" skills work. Tailor or sailmaking are also applicable skills for this purpose. Model, musician, actor and artist do it too!

But who thinks of these things when one launches on a career as early as college.
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Old 17-04-2008, 12:39   #9
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Like Holding Pattern I do what ever it takes. Been out 5 years. This year been working in a Loft/ chandlery in order to get some new sails. Once you are out and want to stay out you WILL find a way, there is a lot of work out here. Some times you will need to stay somewhere a long time in order to get what you need ( aside from the sails I needed an engine rebuild this year, so have been here for a while), and sometimes you will not have to work at all or maybe only for a week or two..... just the way it is.
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Old 20-05-2008, 15:40   #10
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Most occupations do not allow for part time or long hiatus. Jobs which involve long term efforts, like legal cases, architectural projects and so forth at the management level preclude time shifting and so forth.

Short term task oriented skills/work allow you flexibility. One mentioned was nursing, construction skills, working in the hospitality industry, waiting tables, maid service, and so forth. Some computer skills are both portable and time shiftable. And then there are things like writing articles, and so forth, selling photos. And of course mechanical and technical "fix it" skills work. Tailor or sailmaking are also applicable skills for this purpose. Model, musician, actor and artist do it too!

But who thinks of these things when one launches on a career as early as college.
Genious. I agree 100%. From what I've experienced in contracting this is very true and, if one takes heed, can be very useful information. I also agree with the last statement about "launching on a career as early as college." If only I knew then what I know now... Although the lure of sailing would probably keep me from going to college now so maybe it's good that one is out of the way. Bring on the open water!
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Old 20-05-2008, 15:49   #11
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As my partner and I get slowly closer to live-aboard life, this same conundrum faces us; not yet financially comfortable enough to retire, but not wanting to wait to go any longer than necessary. My partner is a qualified occupational therapist, and is quite happy at the prospect of working for 2 or 3 or 4 months at a time wherever we happen to decide to drop anchor for a while. Her profession is much in demand, so finding work shouldn't be too difficult. I am design engineer, and undoubtedly could get work as an engineer, or even as a CAD draftsman (easy work), but frankly I find myself jaded by the design office environment and am hopeful of finding other work, preferably boat orientated.
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Old 20-05-2008, 17:18   #12
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This past winter while cruising we met:
~ two golf pros who worked in NY for 6 months, then the country club closed for 6 months.
~ an anesthetist and an RN couple who worked 4 month contracts, then sailed until the $$$$ ran out
~ a pastry chef who worked on the Catskill mountains for 6 months (apparantly a lot of resorts close during the winter up there)
~ a long-haul trucker who sailed till the $$$ was gone, then worked for 5-6 months

There are a lot of live-aboards who work in hospitality while saving to go sailing, but they never seem to go anywhere.
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Old 20-05-2008, 17:29   #13
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In the above posts where people are sailing for 6 months or so I am assuming they are doing so without health insurance.

In looking at this sort of life I seem to find that insurance costs are a large portion of the kitty.

??
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Old 20-05-2008, 23:55   #14
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Originally Posted by windsaloft View Post
So, I think about things like:
- Getting my RN in a one year program, then working as a traveling nurse for 6 months, then being on the boat. Possible? Are there licensing and currency issues that would stop this?
- Construction trades in the Rockies with an on and off season?
Hi Windsaloft,

Darn, I just replied to this and my computer had a melt down. I'll try to remember what I wrote.

I noticed you mentioned nursing, and I think I can answer a few of your questions (I am an RN).

First of all, most RN programs are at least two years (Associates) to four years (Bachelors). There are very few RN Diploma programs any more, and they are usually three years. LPN programs are approximately 10 months, but are becoming more and more obsolete, as many acute care hospitals will no longer hire new LPN's. (No offense meant to any LPN's out there! You are amazing nurses, it's simply the culture we are in).

Licensure for nursing is on a state by state basis. A few states have banded together and given automatic reciprocity, but I don't know which ones off hand. AZ and VA come to mind. If you are working with a travel company they will assist you in getting your license in the state of your assignment. This usually consists of paying a fee and getting the paperwork in order.

Also, most travel companies (and I have looked at many) require at least one year of acute care experience before they will hire you. Many of them also require a bachelors degree, although if you have your RN license and a bachelors in something else that may suffice.

Travel assignments usually last three months, so it is very doable to do two contracts in a row then take six months off. I plan on doing this very thing in the near future! During a contract, I'll live on the boat at whatever port I am working near.

That said, please don't enter nursing lightly. It is not easy by any means and takes a certain kind of attitute. Like so many professions, it simply isn't for everyone. Nursing schools are becoming more and more competitive due to the number of people interested and the shortage of nursing programs. I am not trying to dissuade you from entering nursing! It is an attractive profession for many reasons and one I love dearly... but it in many ways is a vocation, and one you truly have to be dedicated to to "make it".

If you have any more questions about nursing I would be happy to answer your questions by PM.

Sarah
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Old 21-05-2008, 07:15   #15
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Sarah-
On becoming an RN. I want to make sure I understand you. For me, since I have a bachelors degree in business, if I wanted to get into nursing the two options I would have would be 2 years in school (associates RN), or 4 years (_RN...I forget the designation)? Do you know if nursing schools take into consideration classes taken for an undergraduate degree? Also - Do you know what opportunities exist in hospitals for Paramedics?
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