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Old 23-02-2012, 10:48   #1
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Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising

Hello Everyone,

Perhaps a tired, but always relevant, question relating to making few dollars while cruising: What might be some of the barriers (skills assumed) to working on diesel engines while cruising?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mark.
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:51   #2
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

Being sued by an unhappy recipient of your labors.
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:54   #3
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

Also see this post:
Which Type of Cruising Work ? - Page 2 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:58   #4
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

Yes you guess correctly. Working while cruising has been discussed on the forum in great detail, both generally and specifically in regard to mechanics.

First big hurdle is if you want to work away from your home country. Pretty much any country in the world will have restrictions on tourists working in their country and, if it is allowed at all, will require permits, licenses and often fees. You can try to work under the radar but as soon as the locals find out you are infringing on their business (and they will, be certain of that) then you could be in a heap of trouble. At best a slap on the wrist but possibly kicked out of the country, fined or even confiscation of your boat.

Another big factor, the cruising community is pretty tight knit bunch and there is a long tradition of helping out your fellow cruisers without charge. Not to say that you can't charge for services, especailly if it goes beyond a helping hand and friendly advise (like pulling an engine and doing an overhaul would be far beyond friendly advise ), but simple routine maintenance would be hard to charge for.
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Old 23-02-2012, 11:37   #5
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

Thank you ... very much appreciated! Mark.
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Old 23-02-2012, 12:19   #6
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Being retired I don't want to work on other peoples engines for $$$ if I did I'ld go back to work. I don't really like working on mine but that is how I know it's done right.
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Old 23-02-2012, 15:23   #7
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

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Being retired I don't want to work on other peoples engines for $$$ if I did I'ld go back to work. I don't really like working on mine but that is how I know it's done right.

Forgive me, River Cruiser, but you seem to be answering a question that has not been asked.
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Old 23-02-2012, 18:41   #8
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Forgive me, River Cruiser, but you seem to be answering a question that has not been asked.
Well I guess now you won't ask for help, I do still help my friends when needed. I get to do it on my terms because no $$ changes hands.
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Old 23-02-2012, 19:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Ryer
Hello Everyone,

Perhaps a tired, but always relevant, question relating to making few dollars while cruising: What might be some of the barriers (skills assumed) to working on diesel engines while cruising?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mark.
People working under the table happens everywhere, all the time.

The issue is staying low radar while "advertising" enough to find work.

To find work you need to be somewhere there are busy marinas. Where there are busy marinas there are locals selling services. If you get on the radar there is likely to be conflict.

I have seen and met 100 cruisers or so pass through Singapore and southern East Malaysia. The only person I met making any pocket money was a lady who made shell jewelry. I bought a few pieces.

And not to be negative but...

- sail maker - we have one, actually two but one is a 30 minute drive away from the club
- diesel mechanic - we have several
- bottom divers - we have scads
- nurses - have hospitals and clinics aplenty
- welders, machinists etc. - got plenty

So you consider a more remote place - sure you may find work but you wont find volume

And finally, if I have a local service why would I choose someone who might sail away tomorrow. Hard to claim warranty or get follow up work done.

In the end I say try it but dont depend on it.
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Old 23-02-2012, 20:31   #10
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

Sorry, River Cruiser. I appologize. My comment was out of line.
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:16   #11
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

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Being sued by an unhappy recipient of your labors.
Succumbing to the urge to use grey market components to avoid the long wait for the correct spares.

Getting a bad reputation thereby (or for whatever disputation), which is then spread via cruisers' nets and dozens of blogs.

The offshore cruising community is small. Word gets out. Even if you do excellent work, a "customer" unhappy for whatever reason, can blacken your name faster than you can make a passage.
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:23   #12
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising?

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Thank you ... very much appreciated! Mark.
On the other hand, I would think barter or skills exchange is quite acceptable, and not subject to the same hard feelings. I will be carrying a number of specialty tools, including a small welder. If I spend some predictable amount of time welding brackets or SS tubing or some such, I would probably negotiate it on the basis of two jerrycans of diesel or a case of beer or something annoying for me to acquire.

I will carry a watermaker. If someone needs water and I have to start the engine to make amps, I wouldn't charge for the water, but I would expect some compensation for the amps, the diesel and the engine run-time I used specifically to run the watermaker.

Same with the locals. If I'm on a Pacific atoll, money's not in great supply and there's nothing to buy but Spam. But I would bring my Honda generator ashore to run lights for a feast or to drill beams for a schoolhouse or something that might get me local good will and all the taro and roast pig I could eat.

Beats handing out T-shirts and cigarettes, although there are times you may wish to do that, too.

I agree with the observation that you can't (and probably shouldn't) make a living from volume without ticking off the locals for whom doing stuff for cruisers is their livelihood, but in places where you own the only flapper-disk grinder for 500 miles, a little cost reduction is going to work.

The social aspect doesn't hurt, either.
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:43   #13
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising

The original post brings up an interesting dilemma from the consumer side regarding the question of who to patronize. When I'm abroad, I tend to want to patronize local businesses whenever possible. When cruisers create their own gray market economy, thus circumventing the local economy, they should not be surprised when local businesses begin to exploit them in return.

It comes down to a fundamental question of what it means to be a good guest. As was pointed out above, if you're the only owner of a grinder in 500 miles, that's different than if you're illegally taking business from a poor local businessman who invested a month's earnings to purchase his own grinder.
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:28   #14
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising

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When cruisers create their own gray market economy, thus circumventing the local economy, they should not be surprised when local businesses begin to exploit them in return.
Good point.
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:49   #15
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Re: Potential impediments to using diesel engine repair skills while cruising

Getting parts wil be an issue. Another issue is the fact that cruisers like to help each other out, and charging for help might not be very welcomed in the community....
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