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Old 03-09-2014, 20:46   #16
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

I don't know about how you all feel but the more I cruise the more I feel like a citizen of a global community and that community likes to keep the rules to a minimum.
Sorry to rant off topic but the can't do that mentality gives me the shits.
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Old 03-09-2014, 21:15   #17
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

Without a common language we don't have a nation. Immigrants that don't speak understandable English usually only find work in menial jobs. The same goes for our citizens that don't speak standard American English. You can be as PC as you want but the reality is we have a de facto National Language and you'd better learn to speak it or a reasonable facsimile. If you don't, you aren't going to make enough money to buy a boat. Has nothing to do with the color of anyone's skin but their ability to communicate with a majority of our citizens.

There is a difference about offering expertise that is not available or in very short supply locally and taking low level menial jobs that anyone with a little motivation can do. A skilled carpenter is something that is not available in a lot of regions just as a skilled engineer is in great demand in the US and skilled carpenters for that matter. Both are adding to the quality of life in the host nation by providing skills that make things possible.
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Old 03-09-2014, 21:31   #18
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

We used to be a melting pot before multi cultural became fashionable.



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Old 04-09-2014, 04:13   #19
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

As a full service provider for the marine industry in a developing country I am of mixed opinion. Recently I brought a cruiser's attention to the fact that his adverts for services on a cruisers noticeboard controverted Vanuatu law. I had no problem as he was not competing with my business but I felt he needed to know he could come under scrutiny of the authorities who monitor the noticeboard. The cruiser was very grateful for me pointing this out. Coincidentally, one of my trainee staff who is in the same field as the cruiser injured himself and the crusier has agreed to offer him diagnostic training in his field free of charge as he recuperates. End result, cruiser (who's a good bloke) was educated that what he was doing could be detrimental and same cruiser ended up contributing to the skill development of a local. This is my idea of a win for all.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:08   #20
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

If your friend is hired as a crew member, he can turn wrenches all day long.

If he is freelancing around ports... (foreign or domestic)...he is looking for trouble without a local business license, or work permit when overseas. Some places also require proof of liability insurance before you can obtain a local license.

You can get away with doing most manual labor anywhere if you keep a low profile. But when it comes to specialties like diesel mechanics, people start asking questions.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:58   #21
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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Originally Posted by Old Snipe View Post

You can get away with doing most manual labor anywhere if you keep a low profile. But when it comes to specialties like diesel mechanics, people start asking questions.
My experience is that when a hard working, skilled person shows up offering quality service at what may be a premium price and starts to make money - That's when questions get asked.

It's really annoying when local services are *****, someone does better and gets shut down because of "unfair" competition or some paperwork malady...

A lot of these places don't realize that although generally a tight fisted group, cruisers will actually pay for quality work if they need it and can find it.

90% of cruisers learn to fix stuff because they have to...
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:13   #22
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

Where there are cruising boats, there is need for diesel mechanics.

Mind most owners today have boats that are insured and will not be willing to pay to an unregistered party.

Mind local diesel mechanics will hate you.

The upside is if you anchor at the right spot you will have clear view of whoever comes in with engine problems. This gives you an edge.

Some places in the West Indies are more relax on "illegal" work, some are more strict. Beware.

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Old 04-09-2014, 06:24   #23
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
...when I start cruising, I intend to help others out, and will accept either trade in kind or money to help my cruising kitty, I thought this was common?
A little help with this for some fish, a little help with that for a bottle of rum. Yeah, that's very common. But you're not going to make a living that way. At best that's just a bit of a supplement.

Try to set up a business that earns you enough to live on and you WILL attract the attention of the locals who will NOT appreciate the competition.

What's more, it's one thing to find some guy in the anchorage who knows something about diesels and can help out with a problem in exchange for a case of beer, and it is quite another thing to pay someone a significant amount of money to fix a problem that you have. In the former case you understand that you are getting quasi-amateur help, with no guarantee offered or expected. In the latter case you expect professional work, done to professional standards, with all the potential for dispute that that entails.

So, to the OP, yeah, maybe your friend can provide a meager supplement to his income by doing some diesel work here and there. If he expects to cover the major part of his expenses that way, though, he is in for a big disappointment. Best case: he flies below the radar and never makes more than beer money. Next best case: he attracts local attention and gets run out of the country. Worst case: he attracts local attention, gets arrested, gets his boat confiscated, gets to see the inside of a third-world prison, and life as he knows it is over.

As I have said many times before... Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:52   #24
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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We used to be a melting pot before multi cultural became fashionable.



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Aha - someone who gets it.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:55   #25
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

fair notice...barra de navidad has a very excellent quality local diesel mechanic and electrician.
they speak NO english. they do superior work.
the local gringo is fail mechanic who rips off cruisers. i had been warned against him by previous customers who suffered his greed. yes, 10,000usd to evaluate an engine repair need is a lil pricey, ye think????
. i cannot recommend this individual, as i prefer to only refer excellence.
i will not recommend anyone over the mexican i found fair and square after speaking with the overpriced greedy gringo last christmas. ( he was "kicked out" of banderas bay some few years ago and is doing same things in barra tha the did in banderas, ie, fleecing cruisers and performing inferior works)
if you are planning on doing work in mexico, get your papers in order first. will require more than merely a turistica visa and a boat in an anchorage. mos tports here have diesel mechanics, you just need to find em. they do not appreciate losing ability to feed their families, so your welcome could be questionable.
yes, the work situation is monitored by the locals, as they are in need fo feeding families.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:14   #26
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
A little help with this for some fish, a little help with that for a bottle of rum. Yeah, that's very common. But you're not going to make a living that way. At best that's just a bit of a supplement.
That is all I want to do, help out, maybe make some friends. Usually people you help want to give you something or trade some work etc., makes them feel like they didn't take charity. Was given a beer bottle coozy made from a fishing float the other day
You may or may not be surprised at some of the nut jobs out there that try to call themselves mechanics.
I liked something I saw here the other day it went like this "Professionally installed only means someone was paid to do it, not that it was done right"
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:16   #27
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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I have a friend who is a skilled mechanic, thinking about living aboard and cruising in the Caribbean.

1. Is there a need for diesel mechanics in the Caribbean?

2. If so, is this a word-of-mouth, pay some cash or a fish or other trading? I mean, can he really make enough to sustain himself? (I've heard some cruisers are cheap, but diesel engines are in all kinds of yachts...)

3. Anybody supplementing this way?

4. Any regulatory things to worry about, i.e. "working" in a foreign country.

5. What kind of repairs are typical? I mean, he brings his tools to an engine on a boat at anchor, or will he need to work on shore?

Thanks,
~FollowingCs~
Just what kind of mechanic is this friend who is willing to work for fish? Has he had any formal training? Is he certified by any manufacturer or organization?

It seems to me to be a diesel mechanic, he would have to have a truckload of tools, access to a machine shop, access to repair parts for all brands and vintages of engines, service bulletins, etc.

All this in exchange for fish? I don't think this is going to earn him a living.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:28   #28
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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Just what kind of mechanic is this friend who is willing to work for fish? Has he had any formal training? Is he certified by any manufacturer or organization?

It seems to me to be a diesel mechanic, he would have to have a truckload of tools, access to a machine shop, access to repair parts for all brands and vintages of engines, service bulletins, etc.

All this in exchange for fish? I don't think this is going to earn him a living.
I don't know. All ya gotta do is find the right Japanese skipper needing diesel work done with the right fish on board...

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In 2013, Kiyoshi Kimura, the owner of a Japanese sushi restaurant chain, paid $1.76 million for the first bluefin at Tsukiji, which weighed 489 pounds. Kimura had paid $736,000—a world-record price at the time—for the first tuna of 2012. That fish weighed 593 pounds
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:47   #29
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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That is all I want to do, help out, maybe make some friends.
Fine for you. Sounds like your expectations are entirely realistic. The OP was asking about someone hoping to "sustain himself" in this way. That kind of expectation is not so realistic.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:13   #30
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Re: Demand for diesel mechanics?

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Fine for you. Sounds like your expectations are entirely realistic. The OP was asking about someone hoping to "sustain himself" in this way. That kind of expectation is not so realistic.
If the guy is a good mechanic, he can certainly find enough work to "sustain himself" in almost any part of the world. He just needs to keep a low profile. I remember a French cruising couple who "sustained" their family by roasting coffee beans on his boat and selling them in the anchorages. Best coffee I ever had.

If you want to stay completely legal, don't go cruising, because you can't.
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