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Old 01-05-2017, 11:28   #1
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IT on the high seas?

Hows it going, I'm seriously trying to make an effort to live off shore or at the very least on my boat in a slip. I know people make money off their skillsets, be it engines, carpentry, or some other sort of trade, maybe a charter or two. Im wondering if I can make money and travel with my skill set of IT, Im not a programmer, I'm more along the lines of a helpdesk , break /fix software and hardware guy, also familiar with small business IT consulting. So my question is , is there a market for this ? Would I be able to eventually use this skill outside the US? Or what type of skillsets should I look into as an alternative?
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:31   #2
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Re: IT on the high seas?

You will find it difficult collecting money for consulting outside of the US. You will find it difficult to collect a salary outside of the US. You will find it difficult competing with locals outside of the US.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:58   #3
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Re: IT on the high seas?

What languages do you speak?

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Old 01-05-2017, 15:16   #4
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Re: IT on the high seas?

Very doubtful.

Helpdesk = full time internet connection.
Break/fix software (non-programming, so I assume you mean installation problems) and hardware = physical presence.
Small business consulting = on site analysis, lots of talking with users etc.

None of which goes well with remote working from a boat.

The only people who make remote IT services work are the ones who don't need such regular/constant contact with their clients - i.e. programmer/developers, web developers, CAD/Graphic designers etc.

If you are looking for work outside the US, you need to have an already developed client base or you need to get on the various freelancer sites and compete with Russian/Indian etc freelancers who work for next to nothing
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Old 01-05-2017, 17:19   #5
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Re: IT on the high seas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
You will find it difficult collecting money for consulting outside of the US. You will find it difficult to collect a salary outside of the US. You will find it difficult competing with locals outside of the US.
I disagree.

You can use a regular old USA bank account like one by Charles Schwab or you can arrange to have your pay sent in the currency of your choice. There are lots of ops to work for IT companies as you move around the world, even places like India, if you are an American. US companies find it useful to have help from the good old USA in places around the world. IT companies are very very good at getting American's green cards to work anywhere.

The USA company I work for has offices in many countries in Africa (Egypt/Morocco/Kenya/South Africa), Asia (Japan/Korea/China), India, and Europe (England/France/Germany/CR) and if an American were to walk into one of these offices looking for work, they would be welcomed.
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Old 01-05-2017, 17:26   #6
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Re: IT on the high seas?

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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
You will find it difficult collecting money for consulting outside of the US. You will find it difficult to collect a salary outside of the US. You will find it difficult competing with locals outside of the US.
Hmmm. I have been doing US based IT consultant contracts from the Eastern Caribbean without any problems collecting money or competing with locals.

To the OP, start looking for jobs or contracts that allow you to work remotely from home. I'd you can do it from home, then you can most likely do it while cruising.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:05   #7
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Re: IT on the high seas?

I don't do IT but I do work remotely. A lot depends on what you do and how you do it:
- Working in another country on projects in that country is tough unless you have a local sponsor/work visa. It also often means competing against really low cost competition in many of the popular cruising destinations.
- Working on projects in your home country but remotely is very much viable.

The issue is what IT tasks can you do remotely.
- Anything requiring a regular physical presence is out.
- Help desk might work but being in a close time zone is important unless you want to work the night shift. Also that means limited time to actual move the boat.

Task oriented work is probably the easiest to integrate as you can work on it when you have time and send things back and forth when you have internet (within reason).

Another option to consider is short term work on site, if it fits with your background. If setting up a new server room, they might need someone for a couple months at a destination but then you can go back to cruising until the next project comes up.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:28   #8
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Re: IT on the high seas?

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Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
Hmmm. I have been doing US based IT consultant contracts from the Eastern Caribbean without any problems collecting money or competing with locals.
Are you working for Caribbean companies? Or are you working with US companies as a US citizen? I was assuming the OP was proposing the former. Getting paid as a US citizen by US based businesses while working remotely is completely different.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:34   #9
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Re: IT on the high seas?

A related question (no thread hi-jack intended, and I'll start a new thread if that would be better):

If I'm in a Central American country, working for a US company, for US based clients, with no loss of jobs caused in my host country, is there great resistance or legal issues?

Officially, yes, I would be "working" in Belize (as an example), but beyond use of electricity and Internet infrastructure (for which I'd be paying), and rent or taxes (which I'd also be paying), am I that different from a tourist, just with more time and disposable income?

[Note that I'm discounting visa issues a bit - "leave for 72 hours every 30 days" or something seems quite workable in the short-term]

Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:39   #10
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Re: IT on the high seas?

coding and development is the way to make a first world income in a third world location, just solve the upload problem
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:10   #11
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Re: IT on the high seas?

+1 for the coding and development while cruising. Also suggest starting your cruising locally in your country to work out the kinks where it is easy. Then when you have most of it figured out you can try moving to new locations. Each place you will have to figure out your communication paths. Sat Phones are not fast enough or cheap enough to use for most IT applications. You will need WiFi and voice communication locally where ever you are for most IT work.

I have been living aboard and working my 9-5 IT job for 2 years. The tough part is taking time off to move. To make the passage to the Virgin Islands I had to take 10 days off.
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Old 02-05-2017, 13:01   #12
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Re: IT on the high seas?

Ok
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind459 View Post
Hows it going, I'm seriously trying to make an effort to live off shore or at the very least on my boat in a slip. I know people make money off their skillsets, be it engines, carpentry, or some other sort of trade, maybe a charter or two. Im wondering if I can make money and travel with my skill set of IT, Im not a programmer, I'm more along the lines of a helpdesk , break /fix software and hardware guy, also familiar with small business IT consulting. So my question is , is there a market for this ? Would I be able to eventually use this skill outside the US? Or what type of skillsets should I look into as an alternative?
A lot of negativity going on I see. The answer to your question depends on your IT discipline I would think. For instance, what PLC training do you have? Ladder logic only or Siemens block logic too? How are you with control systems including VFD'S? Are you familiar with say what I would need to set up an online viewer to a laptop running on a PLC as a virtual machine so I can operate my plants remotely as long as I have internet.. are you familiar with setting up remote alarm system to where when a plant has an alarm issue, it triggers a device or rung set up in a server to send email notifications to a select group of individuals? Are you familiar with profi buss and simocodes? If you can do the stuff I just posted, you can make a mint and work anywhere you wish in the Caribbean. If you do just setting up networks and general office type of IT work, then I doubt it will be good for you here. Wish you well..
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Old 02-05-2017, 13:10   #13
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Re: IT on the high seas?

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Ok

A lot of negativity going on I see. The answer to your question depends on your IT discipline I would think. For instance, what PLC training do you have? Ladder logic only or Siemens block logic too? How are you with control systems including VFD'S? Are you familiar with say what I would need to set up an online viewer to a laptop running on a PLC as a virtual machine so I can operate my plants remotely as long as I have internet.. are you familiar with setting up remote alarm system to where when a plant has an alarm issue, it triggers a device or rung set up in a server to send email notifications to a select group of individuals? Are you familiar with profi buss and simocodes? If you can do the stuff I just posted, you can make a mint and work anywhere you wish in the Caribbean. If you do just setting up networks and general office type of IT work, then I doubt it will be good for you here. Wish you well..
I don't see a lot of 'negativity' here. I do think the scope needs to be more clearly defined.

Are we talking about a US Citizen working for US companies getting paid US dollars deposited into US Banks? If so, no problem. At that point you are simply working remotely.

Are we talking about a US Citizen doing consulting work in foreign countries with foreign businesses, getting paid from a foreign bank? This is going to be tricky.
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Old 02-05-2017, 13:40   #14
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Re: IT on the high seas?

Consider doing IT project mgmt work. A lot of this work is working with offshore (India) development teams and users all over the place, so it doesn't matter where you are. You will need to get PMI certified since you may not have experience in this area.
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Old 02-05-2017, 14:34   #15
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Re: IT on the high seas?

Great feedback so far, for clarification, my current goals are focused on leaving the Midwest great lakes area, moving (preferably sailing, not towing) my boat along the east coast , staying at a few live aboard locations along the way for a few months( Im green so not sure if there is free protected anchorage), and eventually make my way down the the Caribbean. From there I most likely will try to take the journey to the west coast , then out to Hawaii, back up to Washington state, and then decide from there if I want to take the hike to Australia or if Im done with my wanderlust. So probably for the premise of this post, lets say Im going to stick to the US, Caribbean and South American.

I have little to no programming / web dev exp, I would prefer to shy away from that as it would be a whole new skillset I would need to learn asap. I have exp with domain network setups at small businesses, which do utilize VPN tunnels, VMs. Ive been teaching myself sever administration and configuration, as I want to stop outsourcing that work in the near future. For my day to day, its just software support ,think like the kind u get when you contact quickbooks to troubleshoot, I currently work from home half the week, and I might be able to go full remote eventually.

Currently I live in a very 9-5 world, I know to cruise I will need to step out of that, but Im not sure if my level of IT can make the money to live comfortably in such a nomadic configuration ( maintain, repair, sustain myself, and save a few bucks). So I figure I reach out here to see if anyone with similiar skill sets is making ends meet, as I want to know what made it work out for them. Pardon any typos or if im writting in circles, Im on 2 hours of sleep and trying to get some feedback on what works, and how to adapt to this new frontier Im on .
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