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Old 15-05-2010, 16:59   #91
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A quick key to Aussie slang...

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Please forgive this unsophisticated middle Canadian his naive ignorance, but, what is a "lashing of muso's"?
Any word you don't recognize that ends with an 'o' can usually be worked out by taking the first part of the word, dropping the 'o', and seeing if you can guess it from there.... but it works on sound, not necessarily spelling.
Muso = musician
but arvo = afternoon
not a perfect key but may be helpful.....
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Old 16-05-2010, 05:17   #92
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I have spent the last 9 months studying stock market trading. This is where where you indentify stocks that are trending up. You buy in with a stop loss in place (5%) and trade for 3-5 days and sell when the price is up 20-30 %. Half the time you lose a small amount (5%) but the other half you win 20% or more. It takes time to develop a good system but with a laptop and wifi, it can be done even with a sat phone.
Any others out there trading?
That's the theory anyway. Many decades ago when the personal computer was a brand new toy for the masses, I used to write programs and one was a stock market trading program based on running averages and up and down trends. Worked great and I made tons of money when the market was going up and lost tons of money when the market went contrary to my trading program. After 5 years of it I had been "churning" millions but ended up with less take-home money than a convenience store clerk. And it took 6 to 8 hours a day on the computer watching the market and issuing orders.
- - If you have a natural talent for anticipation of financial trends and are willing to commit all the daylight hours of each day (and some night hours) you can literally take home millions. I know because my son-in-law has the talent and does earn many millions each year. But he works in a financial house in Philly and works no less than 16 hours each day. The reason for the long hours is the need to watch the European market which is 5+ hours different than North/South American time. Also he has to watch the Japanese and Asian markets which adds another bunch of hours after our sun has set.
- - So as a cruiser on a sailboat you would need some fancy high speed/data flow continuous internet access and give up all your weekday hours. You are competing against massive supercomputer trading programs which according to a news article after the 1000 point drop last week account for 80% of all the trading. That drop was caused by an input error in one brokers trading orders to the supercomputer. Trillions wiped out due to operator error - welcome to the new age of stock market trading. But it can be done as I know people who do make serious money on the market - but it is a lot, repeat, a lot of work.
- - I let a high power financial team "play" with my money and over the years they have done very well. But the average return per year is about 10% over a 30 years span. But to live on that you need to have a significant amount of cash to invest. Remember, the stock markets are actually just like a Las Vegas gambling casino, except the casino is more honest. People make serious money there but they are very few and far between. Good Luck.
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Old 16-05-2010, 09:16   #93
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If I am going to sail, I don't want to be a slave of this garbage (stock market and so on). I like to sail, not to think too much about work and money. There is always a nice way to make some money when you need it. A decent one I mean.
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Old 16-05-2010, 12:27   #94
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If I am going to sail, I don't want to be a slave of this garbage (stock market and so on). I like to sail, not to think too much about work and money. There is always a nice way to make some money when you need it. A decent one I mean.
In reality, the musician has the best access to a making a "little" money when in a foreign port. This past year in Grenada we have had about 3 or 4 different musicians off sailing boats perform in the various cafe's where cruisers hang out. There is not problem getting an "artist" permit and the bar/cafe spots you drinks and a little money. Each artist had their own sound equipment with them and the midi-box/computer for back-up while they played. We had guitarists, saxophone players, keyboard artists and a few other assorted instruments. One group was a regular band on their way back from Brazil and that was a really different experience - Dutch musicians playing Brazilian Salsa. Once they all got together for a jam with some local musicians and it was a night to remember.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:10   #95
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Here's what I'm planning on doing to keep the kitty alive:

SCUBA instructor - final 4 dives in an exotic location, classes, lead dives
Photography - stock, calendars, events, how-to's
Writing - blog my travels, how-to's, travel magazines
Computer skills
Electrican/electrical work
Boat Delivery - multinational license
Varnish Work
Bottom Cleaning - in clean anchorages only
Ham Radio - IOTA support
Rum quality control inspector

Skills I don't have but could be worth investigating:
cutting hair
selling shells to collectors
designer t-shirts - the more cryptic and esoteric the better
fishing lure designer
making jewelry from old beer bottles found on beach
selling sand from rare locations - certificate of authenticity included
finding an unnamed island and selling it on ebay
finding a new species of marine life and selling the name on ebay
writing a cruising guide - sorry, lost reality for a moment
write a book on cruising for $1/day per person
write a book on how to flip a boat
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:34   #96
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hahaha Very funny!
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Old 18-05-2010, 11:17   #97
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Originally Posted by capt_douglas View Post
Here's what I'm planning on doing to keep the kitty alive:

Skills I don't have but could be worth investigating:

selling shells to collectors - you may laugh, but I know of someone who many many years ago ended up with 3 Tourist Souvener shops who did a roaring trade in Sark Stone jewellery (Some form of Quartz)...........shipped in from eastern europe? maybe

write a book on cruising for $1/day per person - that's actually very easily acheived, almost a shame to charge folk for the knowledge. almost
My book is out shortly but with only a limited print run - to secure a copy I am now accepting advance deposits, but only to select applicants
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Old 06-06-2010, 20:50   #98
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I'm a little surprised by this thread. I've been building companies and products and selling services for my entire career. The moment you step onto your boat and cut the lines, the opportunity to "touch" vast numbers of customers reduces - if you need to physically be in contact with them. So businesses onboard and cruising (as contrasted from fixed location liveaboards) need to find a way to generate a lot of money from the single few prospects or they need to find a way to not have to "touch" the customer. The internet provides the latter solution.

Now I'm not saying that having a service business while cruising is bad. It can easily generate money. But it sure will take a lot of effort because you'll need to make contact with a lot of people to get a few sales. And since the point of cruising is to go out and explore, you're constantly in an environment of explaining what you do individually to other boats you happen to come into contact with. That's really tough.

If you have a business that is internet-based, you have as much access to the millions of people you'd like to reach as easily as anyone in an office in Manhattan. You'll need internet access and that will limit some cruising areas - it's hard to do a 19 day crossing and run an internet business for example.

Here's the easiest model for creating an internet business while cruising:

1. Find something you know a lot about. It's especially appropriate if it's something that cruisers would want - watermakers, chartplotters, anchors, inverters, LED lighting, holding tank vents, hose materials, sealants...it doesn't matter what the subject is.

2. Pick your mountain top and be THE expert in it. Create a web site that is the be-all information source on that one subject. Part of the subject selection process is looking around to make sure you can be THE site.

3. Don't write articles at first for others - write them for your own site. Write lots of them on every aspect of your subject area.

4. Have a place on the web site where you sell the products you talk about. One mistake people make here is to change the articles and information presented on the site based on the products they actually sell. That's a sure way to slit your throat in the short term. Be honest about the products you sell and be 100% truthful about the articles you write - even if it makes a product you sell look less than perfect.

5. Set up relationships with distributors who can drop ship their products directly to the customer. No inventory, no stocking, no return handling, etc. This will reduce your possible profit but a lot of this economic engine is just going to run without you having to touch it. This won't be without hassles. Every business has hassles.


A couple of major, odd things about this that are different from almost every other business and model - something the internet tends to produce:

- Your customer is the person who comes to your site to read your material. That customer might never buy anything from you. It is his needs you have to serve though. If you concentrate only on the people who buy from you, you'll lose the real marketing advantage of attracting large numbers of people. This is a very backwards way of looking at a "store". Most stores hate tire kickers. You have to love them.

- You pretty much have to know web site technologies to make this happen. If you have to pay someone every time you need to make a small change, you're going to eat up all of your profits. Learning html, css, shopping carts, etc. might seem like a lot. There are vast resources and to be honest, it's really not that hard if you have an open mind about it. Think about all of the thousands of web sites you've run across - the people running them aren't all experienced software developers.

- It takes time. It's not going to be like that UPS ad from a few years ago where the website goes public and the counter starts flying with the number of customers served. Any business worth anything doesn't happen overnight. It takes investment and continuous effort. For most internet businesses like I've described, the investment is your time. Every business requires time or money.


We are full-time cruisers. We've been operating under this model for a few years. We decided that the world was going to change from paper guidebooks (that we used and understood very well) to electronic guidebooks. I'm a software developer so our model is slightly different than I described above but it is very similar. Our primary mountain top is that guidebook type of cruising and planning information and the integration and capabilities it can provide. We have a secondary mountain top about mobile phones. See our 18-part article series about using mobile phones on boats - four hundred thousand people have read them. The series was the first ever recipient of a web-based Boat Writers International award. Today magazines come to us looking for information about electronic cruising guides and mobile phones on boats. My picture was in the November issue of Passagemaker and the April 2010 issue of Yachting along with articles about mobile phones and the iPad. We've been talked about in every major boating magazine - recipient of SAIL's Pittman Innovation Award for 2009, Power & Motoryacht - multiple articles, Soundings, Panbo.com (every month or so), OceanLines.com (multiple articles), and on and on. My point isn't to blow our horn - it's to prove that this marketing technique works with zero budget: (1) be THE expert, and (2) stick with it. Do that and the media (and customers) will come running to you, even if you're on a boat. Heck, especially if you're on a boat - it makes for a better story.
No offense to anyone else's posts or suggestions, but this is the most helpful and realistic solution to the question of a "cruising business", for the average cruiser, imho. My point is, I'm surprised that no one even commented on this guys model, as he wrote a very detailed and insightful post.

I think its the most realistic solution:
1. Because of the reasoning, which he provided, which evidences why the targeting other boaters as customers is flawed for consistent income and long term business, in most cases.

2. Because it requires enough work and planning to keep your competition out, but no too much work to where you need to slave away for 5 years full time to make it happen. Also, targeted keywords in you domain name, high ranking keywords in the domain name, a trademark, copyrights, and some decent branding can largely protect your business and efforts from significant competition for the rest of your life.

3. Because the work that you put in to get it started, will keep paying you for years to come. You are no longer trading labor/time directly for money. That means that you may no longer need to take time off to replenish that kitty.

4. Because the cash flow, in a low maintenance information based internet business, can act like the pension that you never had.

5. Because it doesn't have to cost a lot to go into business.

Of course, I may be biased, because I'm pursuing almost the exact model to a T, with some very minor differences. But if you asked me if the business models were 'different' I would say no. The only difference is in the product type to be sold.

I see my time and effort as a very low risk. And I've probably taken one of the more difficult routes that could be taken under this model, in terms of effort required. I'm at the 2.5 year mark, and I likely have another year to go before I start seeing a return. If I didn't create the product myself (a detailed technical book) then the process would have been a lot shorter.

But there is a learning curve, and there is a lot of different skills to learn. For instance, I absolutely had to have the front end of the website look exactly the way I envisioned it. The professional design of the website reflects the attention to detail and level of competence in the writing of the the book. It instills trust and I hope will improve sales. But no web designer could give me what I wanted at a decent price. The problem is, even if you pay a lot, you still don't know if you'll get what you want. So I learned photoshop and, through about 1 year of trial and error, finally arrived at my desired result. Did it take a long time to get the look of my website right? Heck yes! But now I have exceptional front-end web design skills. Now I need to finish editing the book and learn some of the web coding skills that the quoted poster mentioned. I'm sick as hell of this project, but I'm gaining skills that will allow me to duplicate a similar future effort in a much shorter amount of time next time, and which will also allow me to out-compete everyone who cant or wont learn these skills. Also, above average follow through in every aspect of the project protects me against future competition. I could be impatient and put out a lesser product, but I have too much respect for myself and my efforts to do that.

Tip: Spend 300-400 on the logo, and make the website design minimal with a lot of whitespace, and it will look very professional. I had special requirements which precluded me from having a minimalist designed website, but they most often are the best bet. The focus needs to be on the information. The logo will mostly make or break the professional look of the site.

The point is, if you pursue the above business model, take baby steps, and one day you'll have a very worthwhile business. Its not going to happen overnight. Also, absolutely put out the best product, website, and writing that you can envision yourself producing or commissioning. Don't cut corners, especially with the writing. Take your time, and edit and re-edit over a period of months. If you cant write, or if you haven't done A LOT of it, then buy some books on amazon on how to improve your writing. I though that I was a decent writer before, but I can see how its evolved by comparing samples before and after I wrote my 550 page manual. And no, this quick forum post is not a good example. And I still have a ton to learn.

You may not even have to do THAT much writing if you aren't selling something akin to a book, but the writing is what will make or break your entire internet business under this model. Make it grammatically correct, keep the syntax simple and keep the paragraphs to a readable length. The shorter the better.

Brainstorming for a business under this model is fun. Checking to see what high quality domain names are still available is fun (and its even more fun when you register them), making progress is fun (but tedious), skill building is fun, and best of all, the expected returns, for a well though out and well executed business, should lead to above average improvements in your quality of life.

Give it some thought. Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:17   #99
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Great posts, both by hydrogonian and Active Captain. And proof that if you want independence badly enough, it can be had. You just have to work at it and be persistent.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:21   #100
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After reading all these posts, you guys make commercial fishing look easy. I spend a couple of months killing fish (in an eco friendly way) (No sea mammals were hurt). Then the rest of my time going about making friends with the rest of the world. There is some very insightful posts here that gives one something to ponder. I tried the stock trading thing at the house and still do from time to time when something comes along that is pretty much a sure winner, but the old adage "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." comes to mind, my "education" cost me a lot of money and even if I don't make the same mistakes twice, I still have a ways to go to get back to break even. One definitely needs to be creative to step out from the organized work a day world and become a traveling wizard. Good luck to all.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:24   #101
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If I am going to sail, I don't want to be a slave of this garbage (stock market and so on). I like to sail, not to think too much about work and money. There is always a nice way to make some money when you need it. A decent one I mean.
Something you might think about .. cruising is NOT sailing.. sailing is the way you get from place to place.. you sail for 3 to 4 days and set at anchor for 2 weeks..
We tracked our sailing time 3 years ago when we made the trip to Alaska and back.. of the 365 days in the year, we were under sail for just over 27 days.. less than 10%.. and except for an ocean crossing, thats about the norm.
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Old 07-06-2010, 23:46   #102
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I have a couple of up-in-the-air plans for how to support myself when I start cruising. First of all I love scuba diving and Photography, so I'm hoping to at least make some supplementary income doing one or both of these things. I don't know much about boat/engine maintenance right now but I plan to learn what I can in the next 2-3 years so hopefully that will come in useful monetarily down the road.

As for a main income, the job I have lined up for after graduation deals with drug/alcohol and rape counseling, for one thing, this sort of counseling can be useful almost anywhere I plan to go, so if I really have to stop for a while to build up the kitty at least I have something to fall back on. What I really hope though is that after getting a few years of experience in the field, I'd be able to work for the emergency hot line. Some of those people are volunteers but others are actual paid professionals, if I could do most of the work over the phone it would be perfect for living on a boat and a 24 hour hot line makes for flexible hours.

But I'm not sure how much of this is really feasible as of yet so I'm always looking for possibilities. I'm not terribly worried right now, I have some time yet to plan and I'll find something eventually, I sing really well, maybe I can line up a few gigs in the Bahamas People keep asking me why I think I can pull this off and I always tell them that it never occurred to me that I couldn't. I think this is a good mindset for any cruiser, as long as you're sensible about it.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:31   #103
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There is nothing wrong with dreaming and having a positive attitude about living and cruising the world. But one rather major warning about the reality of the rest of the world. What you grew up with in North America or major European country is definitely NOT what the rest of the world is like. The standard of living, the value structures concerning health, environment and human relationships can be totally alien to the North American/European raised person.
- - What that means is any "grand designs/ideas" of transplanting your specialized skills that are valuable and useful in your home country are most probably of no use or have no market in the "rest of the world." Only the most basic skills like "primary medical" or basic craftsmanship skills have any value out here. Most of the natives are born, live (not very long) and die without advanced medical technologies and services that are taken for granted in North American/European countries. Educational and skill levels are very much closer to "simple existence" levels than the esoteric levels in your home country. Simply put they live "the simple life,"
- - Plans to "provide services" to the other foreign cruisers in anticipation of monetary rewards is not going to happen - cruisers are inherently "cheap," And the most unique characteristic of the full-time cruiser is to help each other without any regard or anticipation of monetary compensation. We are a community where we freely give of our talents and abilities to assist each other.
- - The major exceptions are primary medical talents like Doctors, Nurses and primary educational level Teachers (like TEOFL) and finally accomplished musicians. And in that last category monetary rewards are normally limited to free beer and a plate of food.
- - All this adds up to why the majority of cruisers who do not have deep financial investments use the 6/6 - 6 months cruising and 6 months back home earning more money to go cruising next season. Literally in the Caribbean there are a thousand boats put up on the hard in the boatyards for the summer season while the owners go back home - many to return to work to earn money so they can resume cruising next fall/winter.
- - You may find yourself a "stranger in a strange land" when you start and leave the comfortable cocoon of your home country. But you can quickly adjust if you are flexible - and - if not you end up sailing back home.
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:48   #104
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(I recently posted this suggestion in another thread, but wanted to repost it here)

I just wanted to list one more option for the 6 on/6 off lifestyle that most don't seem to know about. The most common options for such a flexible schedule seem to include:

Nursing
Physical Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Some teaching jobs (9 on/3 off)

The option that I want to suggest is:

Speech and Language Pathology (SLP)

If you already have a Bachelors Degree, it will take you about 3 years of additional education to get your license. You can do 1-3 of these years mostly online. (Its more competitive to set this up for the last two years)

It pays better than nursing, and in-line with PT and OT.
There are tons of jobs in every major city, and in most smaller towns.
You can work in a variety of settings, and with kids or adults.
Its a cognitive therapy, and so there is minimal to no physical contact with patients.
You can get the travel jobs that you can also get with nursing, pt, and ot.
Its easier school than PT.
Your in charge of the therapy. Your not taking treatment orders from a higher up (such as in nursing).
Many autonomous work environments.
Management opportunity (although, not in the flexible positions).


In addition to the web project that I described in my previous post, I am in my first semester of prereqs for SLP. I'm 33 now. I'll be 36-37 when I'm done. I guess that I'm trying to maximize my 'chances for freedom'. However, the student loans are hard to swallow. I'm hoping that my web project will eventually help to mitigate these.

Negatives
Work might not be that challenging(if your looking for that)
Female dominated profession (could be a negative if your a man)

Maybe this will help someone.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:22   #105
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Skills I don't have but could be worth investigating:
selling shells to collectors
selling sand from rare locations - certificate of authenticity included
finding an unnamed island and selling it on ebay
finding a new species of marine life and selling the name on ebay
Why is it that there has to be put a dollar sign on every £@‰!" thing? Also, picking up things like shells from the sea for sale is highly immoral.
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