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Old 14-03-2016, 08:11   #1
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Earning an income

Hi Guys,

I would like some constructive feedback on my Idea to earn an income while sailing,

The wifey and I decided to accelerate our cruising plans seeing that we finished off our Spirit 28 (V D Stadt) refit ahead of time and our worsening political climate in South Africa being another deciding factor.

With the shortened time frame our savings are not where I would have liked it to be and will be forced to work underway.

I am a I.T support specialist currently self employed servicing home users and small businesses to large corporations with big networks ,servers multiple branches etc...

Essentially i want to know if one can earn money offering computer repairs and maintenance to other sailors in ports at a small reasonable fee? I also have a lot of experience with open cpn and other laptop based navigation aids
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Old 14-03-2016, 08:44   #2
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Re: Earning an income

There have been a LOT of threads discussing this

Most recent one: Income for long term cruising?

I only know of one couple that managed to keep working while cruising, and earning enough to keep them going. Wasn't easy, but they managed. Just.
IT guy and graphics designer. They build a good client base and kept working for clients while away - mostly clients in their home country. Don't underestimate how stressful it can be, tho.

Cruisers, in general, are all on a budget and more often then not, you help a guy with his problem and he helps you with something you need. Or invites you for drinks. You can count on your fellow cruisers for a lot, but I wouldn't count on them paying you much, if anything, for fixing their laptops etc. and definitely not enough to keep a couple cruising.

I know many that tried, and none that succeeded. (Which is one of the reasons I'm not leaving any time soon. I'd have to make a living cruising ...).
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Old 14-03-2016, 09:08   #3
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Re: Earning an income

It seems like most boats have laptops and run things like OpenCPN these days.
I am sure you could find work out and about servicing these devices just as you could if you repaired sails or engines.
And the same devices will be on land in most places.
Let's face it, under the best conditions computers will need service at some point.

A good friend is out cruising right now, and is still actively employed in IT.
He works from his boat, either by a cell data or sat data signal.
His employer foots the bill for his data usage.
So while jobs like this do exist in IT, I am not guessing they are common.
But look at the bright side, they DO exist.

Good luck
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Old 14-03-2016, 09:35   #4
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Re: Earning an income

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneider View Post
Hi Guys,

I would like some constructive feedback on my Idea to earn an income while sailing,

The wifey and I decided to accelerate our cruising plans seeing that we finished off our Spirit 28 (V D Stadt) refit ahead of time and our worsening political climate in South Africa being another deciding factor.

With the shortened time frame our savings are not where I would have liked it to be and will be forced to work underway.

I am a I.T support specialist currently self employed servicing home users and small businesses to large corporations with big networks ,servers multiple branches etc...

Essentially i want to know if one can earn money offering computer repairs and maintenance to other sailors in ports at a small reasonable fee? I also have a lot of experience with open cpn and other laptop based navigation aids
It's uncommon but not impossible.

I work in tech and work from the boat and travel to clients. I have a 50/50 mix of travel and remote work.

I wouldn't think there is much call for opencpn and laptop repairs. Those using OpenCPN tend to be self sufficient. Lots of hacking by others.

As for laptops who repairs them by using an outside vendor? It's cheaper to replace them just about anywhere.

There might be some work in fixing network issues on boats but most of the instrumentation providers deliberately odfuscate their protocols.

The skills in demand by cruisers tend to be in refrigeration, fabrication and diesel mechanics. They tend to only be in demand as corrective maintenance. If it aint broke dont fix it attitude. Fabrication is probably the most viable option.

I am a qualified mechanic, airframe welder and toolmaker with minors in ac repair, electronics and instrumentation. I have enough of my own work to do so don't bother seeking work.

It would be very difficult to cruise full time and earn an income. Not to mention the restrictions on itinerant working these days. In the 80s it was achievable.

It's my 3 engineering degrees and my startup and cloud computing skills that are in demand these days. Getting work visas is easy, the money is good and working remotely is typical.

Sat comms, email over HF and ubiquitious cell phone coverage combined with efficient tech protocols like git, twitter, evernote, dropbox and lightweight vpns allow me to keep working anywhere.

Writing code or writing books are probably the best cruising occupations.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 14-03-2016, 12:12   #5
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Re: Earning an income

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
You can count on your fellow cruisers for a lot, but I wouldn't count on them paying you much, if anything, for fixing their laptops etc. and definitely not enough to keep a couple cruising.
Agree with this. I don't think you're going to make enough off of fellow cruisers to keep you in beer, let alone fully finance your life.

Better to try to establish land-based clients that you can service remotely.

I would also agree with the comment by leftbrainstuff. If fellow cruisers are going to be willing to pay for anything, it is going to be help setting up on-board networks. Even that, though, isn't likely to be enough to fill the cruising kitty.

Good luck, whatever you do.
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