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Old 16-12-2008, 14:42   #1
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Cruising/Liveaboard USA

I am planning a life change, I want to go to the USA to purchase a boat and live on board, sometimes in one place for a while, sometimes moving around. To fund this I will need to find paid work along the way. I have a B1/B2 and C1/d Visas, which allow me to work aboard foreign flagged vessels in the US, however I donít think this will allow me to work on land in the US. Because I will be travelling and not being in a place long term I do not have an employer to sponsor me.

Are there any visa options for me ? I am not planning on doing it forever but year at least would be good. Is it possible for me to start a business in the US, most of the work I am planning on doing would involve repairing boats or buying/fixing/selling boats. If I could make that a business would it be legal?

I am not a student, I donít have a university degree. I do have professional experience and qualifications in the marine industry. I am planning on doing this together with my American girlfriend. Is there anything I can do.

Many thanks

Ben
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Old 16-12-2008, 14:53   #2
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Greetings, and WELCOME aboard, Ben.

It seems that you may need an immigration lawyer.
It may also help to upgrade your girlfriend's status to "Fiancť” ("K" status).
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Old 16-12-2008, 15:05   #3
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Many thanks for the welcome, there are plenty, plenty more questions to come. However this seems to be the big one. As long as you can work you can do anything I reckon. Hope to get past this hurdle soon and on the good bit. Not sure which i'm looking forward to most. Choosing a boat or telling my toss pot boss to shove it !
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Old 18-12-2008, 17:05   #4
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Besides the visa thing which I imagine, could be an issue. How much money would you need to make? Unless you anchor out all the time, most of the marina's here on the east coast, at least, seem to be pushing livaboards out. Slips are now being sold as property in many locations. Transit slips charge as much as hotels in many locations. I'm sure there are Marinas that allow livaboards but they seem to be on the wane. But, I'm a " Where there's a will there's a way" sort.

I'm with Gord .... marry the american girlfriend and put her to work too....( grin )

Best of Luck.

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Old 18-12-2008, 17:13   #5
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Oh she'll be going to work married or not!! I was planning on anchoring out most of the time, although I haven't worked out if that is possible in places where there is work (ie superyachts, I can work on foreign flagged superyachts in the USA legally). However I need the option to work onshore even if it's flippin burgers.

I was planning on living cheap and not needing to earn much on a boat I owned outright, but when I buy the boat I'll be pretty broke. Any help gratefully appreciated.
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Old 18-12-2008, 17:34   #6
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Hi Ben,

Have you considered working as a couple on a cruising yacht?
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Old 18-12-2008, 18:21   #7
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That's what we do now and are trying to escape from, all work no fun...
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Old 18-12-2008, 19:23   #8
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There are still a possibility to live aboard anchored out, here in Florida (off Dinner Key, Miami) and they have there problems. It is really getting difficult. A live aboard dock in Fort Lauderdale is around $700 a month. The marine industry is really slow, I have many friends (as well as myself) well established in the Marine business, most are scrounging to get by. We have many International crew stuck here at the crew houses that are willing to work hard doing almost anything for $10/$12 per hour or less, most not finding much. Lots of Mega Yachts on the market due to the economy here. Buying boats easy/cheap and should be fairly available with a simple visa but Sell market is soft, Purse strings are tight. As usual Gord has a sound direction for Immigration. You need a green card to work here legally. I hate to sound negative but I would wait til next year for the economy to stabilize. The real crusing (and working) seasons are fall, winter and early spring down south and it is dead slow...summers are historically slooooowwww and Hot.
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Old 19-12-2008, 08:00   #9
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This is probably going to come out as a grammatically terrible stream of conciousness, but I have soo many questions or answers to other peoples points.

Granted summers in fla are slow and hot and dockage is an issue, however I would hope to be in new england by then and all though the mega yacht world is slow it is still alive and kicking down here in antigua, but thinking that in newport ri we could live on the hook (or mooring I forget) and work casually on the big boats.

Was also wondering if there are ways of making money with an internet connection, or postal PO box. Appaerntly most of these make money at home schemes are scams but there are a few OK ones. My other half is a US citizen so she could sign up to these, anyone have any experience.

On a different tack completely..... I was only thinking the USA as it would be an easy option ( ok there is no easy option ). But it seems a great place for a variety of good deals on boats. But my basic outline is this.

Buy boat with cash and tell me if this is ridiculous but spend appx $40 on glass boat appx 35ft that is strucurally sound with working engine and OK ish rig and sails.
This will leave me pretty skint and not expecting the boat to be ready to go to sea hopefully ok for a short trip though. So I'll need to work for a few months while getting the boat ready. If I can do this I feel I can do anything. Maybe there is a better starting point than the states.

The goal is to be able to carry on working most of the time probably doing US summers and caribbean winters. Fairly modest plans by most standards.

Any thought experiences, even telling me I'm totally unrealistic could save me a lot of heartache early on, but I feel that if I can make the first 6 months to year OK it will get easier to repeat and seems like a great life to me.

Thanks for your time

Ben
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Old 19-12-2008, 11:50   #10
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Ben,
As a Cruiser, I am currently in the US on a british reg. 38 foot sailboat. at the moment in Annapolis you will be hard pressed to find work, and I have heard its the same in the North East. I have been very lucky, with LOTS of friends here and am working , but there are an awful lot of people here who cannot find work, and they are willing to work for $8-10 and hour. IMHO if you have work in the islands then stay there....
On your secondary note Boats here are not much less in cost than most other places, there are just more very beat up boats going cheap
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:24   #11
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You can find a boat for the price point you are looking for- some solid plastic boats in the 30' range for that price can be had for a good deal right now. We were asking 35k for our CSY 33 in good condition and received an offer for 25k. The market is tough here for selling a boat and I see lots of good boats on the hard or stuck in a slip with green beards trailing the waterline waiting for their next owner.

I am a poster child for the American Economy. Broke real estate developer who is now living on our boat (paid for) with my wife and 15mo old child. Last year I could find work starting at $25/hr- now $10/hr is looking attractive.

We are on the cruise and work plan for the time being as well. We're currently sitting at anchor on the Ga/Fla border waiting out gale force gusts to head south to warmer climates and look for some type of work.

I have tried (still trying) the internet work and it's slow to build and VERY time consuming. I have earned some income writing for people on the internet but it is not steady or lucrative- I'm still trading an hour of time for an hour of pay at not a great rate.

If you have work now- I'd suggest looking for a boat closer to home. Maybe USVI you'll find some bargains. The US economy is in the crapper and looking to get worse in 2009 before it gets better.

All that said and done- I'd rather be broke on a boat in paradise than getting by working 60+hrs a week in the city.

Best of luck-
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Old 08-01-2009, 18:09   #12
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Ben check with Turner Marine Yacht Sales in Mobile AL. There is a 89 35' Pearson listed at 39 thou. but I know the people who own it and know they will take 33. Boat was and this is no joke owned by an elderly couple who lived aboard until Oct. of 08. boat is in great shape and ready to go. Several others like this around here. Work is scarce though. www.turnermarine.com
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