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Old 03-09-2009, 13:41   #1
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Cutting the Lines, Finally

We have been living/working on my dads sailboat for the past three years and now at the age of 32, we have decided that we aregoing to try a different lifestyle. My girlfriend is a teacher, my father is a retired general surgeon and my self ,an ex-Coast Guard with marine electricial training, have all decided to embark on a cruising lifestyle rather than the white picket fence lifestyle.
Of course when doing something totally new and drastic, one can become overwhelmed by questions. Several of the questions that we have are the following:
1) Who should we call for boat insurance. route is down the ICW to Flordia/Bahamas this fall and winter
2) Health care insurance providers. I know my dad is a retired doctor but just in case.
3) Is it possible to work for several weeks to months at one place and then take off again. I plan on using my marine electrician skills for work while cruising. I am concerned about my girlfriend and father finding work.
However, I don't think my father wants to do medicine anymore thanks to the government.
4) Any important advice to give.

We are looking foward to this and we fully understand that cruising is going to have its ups and downs. My father has always wanted to do something like this and my girlfriend and I want to travel and see places while we are young.

Thanks for all those who reply.
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Old 03-09-2009, 14:25   #2
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As a marine electrician I wonder if the IBEW hall (at wherever you end up) would be able to help. Do temp work. Under the counter on peoples boats. Talk to boatyards.
"Yes We Can" - just kidding....
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Old 03-09-2009, 14:28   #3
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Good on you and the crew.

Try BoatUS for USA insurance. I have had good results with them.

Fair winds and following seas.
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Old 03-09-2009, 14:48   #4
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Would your Dad be interested in providing on the air VHF (or via Skype) style health assistance? That might turn into a very full-filling (but probably not income producing) pass-time exercise. I also hear of cruisers who for whatever reason get injured (in the ocean, pinched on theboat, hit in the head by the boom, (LOL), etc. and if he was available on the radio and nearby might prove to be a "foot in the door" to a paying opportunity without the overhead of an office, etc.
The cruisers net is a good place to find opportunities... ask around.
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Old 03-09-2009, 17:14   #5
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3) Is it possible to work for several weeks to months at one place and then take off again. I plan on using my marine electrician skills for work while cruising. I am concerned about my girlfriend and father finding work. However, I don't think my father wants to do medicine anymore thanks to the government.

Yes, but try not to rely on such work as your sole supply of the cruising kitty. If you are good at electrics then you may consider building your skills to include engines, electronics or refrigeration - all these things break a lot on boats.

4) Any important advice to give.

Go for it.

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Old 07-11-2009, 22:13   #6
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sure marine electrical skills should pay off, but don't expect too much in terms of income. would recommend you get up to speed on radios and nav electronics. cheers!
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:59   #7
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I.B.E.W ? I've Been Every Where. Just kidding
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:16   #8
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Originally Posted by captden View Post
I.B.E.W ? I've Been Every Where. Just kidding
Truth hurts don't it? More relevant than some would like.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:10   #9
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Yes I did 40 years with I.B.E.W. traveled all over the country for work the good thing is now I'm RETIRED and now we will be traveling the ocean blue. If I ever get this boat done. Plan on leaving next fall when the wife retires CAN'T WAIT TO GO.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:51   #10
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1) Who should we call for boat insurance. route is down the ICW to Flordia/Bahamas this fall and winter.
BoatUS for the US portion. Get the tow package just in case. If you have problems, they will probably be in the begining.


2) Health care insurance providers. I know my dad is a retired doctor but just in case.
We have HSA's (a few grand on cards with MasterCard/Visa logos), plus some high deductable-catasrophy plans. Honestly I think your dad would have a better idea on how to structure something like that.

3) Is it possible to work for several weeks to months at one place and then take off again. I plan on using my marine electrician skills for work while cruising. I am concerned about my girlfriend and father finding work.
However, I don't think my father wants to do medicine anymore thanks to the government.

Yes, although finding something can be a little hit or miss. If you have any connections in advance, I'd do that. You might also want to consdier posting on craigslist on the town you're headed to next with your resume (or a "looking for work" thing), just to maybe get some leads trickling in.

You guys will probably need to be flexible, depending on how much you need to work. If you guys need cash, regardless of whether your dad wants to work in medicine (as an example), he might need to do it anyway. Sweeping up a boat yard, while not glamorous, is a couple hundred a week that you might not otherwise have.

If you're talking about getting jobs in the exact sector you want to work in, that's a lot harder depending upon sector.

4) Any important advice to give.

It's a lot of work, but that kind of work that you'll be happy to do and is incredibly rewarding. Compare it against a mindless office job where it's not a lot of work, but it's completely unsatisfying and you want to jump out of a window every day.

You're embarking on an adventure that so few people rarely get a chance to experience. Enjoy it, learn from it, and come back and let other sailors gain from your experience and share your insights.

May the wind be on your beam and the seas on your quarter.
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Old 10-11-2009, 22:43   #11
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Bear in mind that you will not be allowed to work in the Bahamas (and most foreign countries) without a work permit, which can be expensive to acquire.
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