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Old 11-08-2017, 16:21   #1
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Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

Here is my situation, outsiders looking in see me having a decent life. I have a house, some debt, but nothing compared to most people in America. I recently bought a sailboat, and i don't just love it, I want to make it my life. I had plans to join the military flying but those fell through so, I want to make a living off sailing now. So the big question I have is, is it possible to make around 40k a year doing it. I can and will be willing to survive off way less eventually, but I am curious if I can jump start my sailing career before paying off my debt, by crewing. I'm already working towards my Captains licence, but I want to invest my full time effort into this, and I am dieing for a career change that lands me outside the office. I figure with 40k, it be tough scrapping by but I would pay off my debt in less than 3 years. Also need to figure in health care and a dental plan. Im sort of down in the dumps, cause all the sailing blogs out there seem to keep their journey funded via youtube. I don't really want to have that be a necessity in my life. I apologies for not having proof read this post, Im just down and out because My friends are distancing themselves from me, and some of my family are actively making the switch to this career/lifestyle tougher.
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Old 11-08-2017, 16:39   #2
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

If you could sell your house and be out from under that debt you'd be well on your way in the debt front. If you can get rid of other debts (car payments, etc) by selling the items you owe money on would help as well.

Having once dreamed of making my living flying (and NOT having my flight training paid for by the military) I quickly realized that dream was just a dream. Yes, it can be done, but not easily and not by anyone not willing to dedicate themselves to that one mission to the exclusion if all else.

Hopefully the delivery skippers and charter captains out here will have some encouraging news for you.
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Old 11-08-2017, 17:56   #3
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

Sell everything and pay off your debts:
• Unless your home is in an area that has depressed prices, you should be able to sell and pay off the house.
• Sell the car and pay the "stupid tax" (Dave Ramsey)
• Sell everything in the house and garage. You don't need any of it.

Basically, if you want to do it, jump in with both feet. Don't hesitate. I started at 21, and no one in my family liked my choice. As a young man, I lived on less than $10 per day living and cruising on my boat.

If you really want to do it, you will do it. Only your thoughts will stop you. No one else will.
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Old 11-08-2017, 19:08   #4
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Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

In short, my opinion is no.
Sell everything and if possible live aboard and continue to work until your debt free.
Not to be too obvious, but it's a simple as living on less than you make.
I know that is a simplistic statement, sort of like saying anyone can make money in the stock market, just buy low and sell high.
But average person falls into the trap of thinking they have to have more than they really do, honestly, kids my Wife taught in school qualified for free lunch, but everyone of them had the latest IPhone .
If you work likely you need a car, but not a new BMW, a 12 yr old economy car will work just fine, you don't need an iPhone etc., etc.

Once you get debt free you just gave yourself about a 20% raise, then once you get debt free, start saving, before too long you won't miss those things you thought you had to have, and eventually you can sail off to the wild blue yonder.
Everyone wants instant gratification, they want to find a way to do it right now.
I'm afraid that may not be possible, sometimes you have to work for want you want, and do without now so that you can have later

The sailing blog people funding their lifestyle through YouTube are the 1% ers. Like Pro basketball or any other professional sport. Yes Tiger Woods made a fortune with golf, think you can?
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Old 11-08-2017, 22:23   #5
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

^^^^^^^^What he said!

Do you realize that the words "I" or "my" occurred 18 times in the 10 lines of your post?

Come to grips with the 20% raise A64 mentioned. That's what you are losing, annually, with your debt. And delayed gratification will finally earn you your freedom.

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Old 12-08-2017, 00:47   #6
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

Of course you can, if you're going to live on a boat you don't need a house. Then you just need to spend less than you earn. This may involve not going out as much or having the latest gear. (My favorite shop in the world is ebay, its second hand but everything is pretty much new!)

As for people trying to prevent you doing it, they're just jealous of being left dealing with the same nonsense you're getting rid of.

*Edit, just read the other responses, so what they said!
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:12   #7
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

I would say no. Not because it can not be done, I am sure there are people making that much money from sailing just now, but because you do not realise what it takes. First thing to grasp is that you do not need your own boat, you are sailing other peoples boats. So sell the boat, it only costs you money sitting there while you are away. The house you do not sell, it is a capital investment that can actually generate money in your absence. So find yourself some nice long term tennants or find a good rental management agency to do it for you. For yourself you only need housing between jobs. This would be something cheap, close to the major chartering and delivery hubs, and close to a major airport. Making money from sailing is not only a career it is a lifestyle decision. You have to be known in the scene and that means you have to be in the scene and be mobile. It will take a long time until you are known enough to be able to sit in your own nice home and be sure there will be enough jobs in a year to make the money you need to support an empty house, a still sitting car and your own boat in a marina.
Having other qualifications beside the captains license is usefull for getting a job in the first place and also finding employment in between jobs. So take courses in cooking, engine repair and maintenance (diesel and outboards), welding, electrical and electronics repair and install, refrigeration and Hvac, plumbing and anything else that this forum finds usefull. I would start with cooking, a good chef always finds a place on a boat and a masterchef captain always finds good crew.
In my opinion starting with debt is only possible if you have another steady source of income that can cover the monthly payments. Sailing will make you enough money to pay for food and drink while you are on the hard and it will take a long time until it can support your current lifestyle.
If you just want to sail it is better you keep your current job, sail weekends on your own boat, and charter once or twice a year in your dream locations.
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:11   #8
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

Work and save, pay off your debt (mortgage), rent your house and you should be able to move onto the boat and live on the rental income.
Healthcare is cheaper outside the US so don't spend on insurance.
Live cheap stay out of marinas.
and

Write a book
Sell it to a publisher
...
Profit!
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:32   #9
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by masonc View Post
Work and save, pay off your debt (mortgage), rent your house and you should be able to move onto the boat and live on the rental income.
Healthcare is cheaper outside the US so don't spend on insurance.
Live cheap stay out of marinas.
and

Write a book
Sell it to a publisher
...
Profit!
Last time I checked we are forced to spend on insurance ;-)

Learn a trade and go. If you can rent the house rent it. We maintained many rentals during our 10 years outside the US. It's possible and builds equity.

Live below your means.

Ain't rocket science :-)

Lots of good advice,
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:46   #10
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

One can make a living as captain or crew on boats but to make a decent living it is a full time job. I know people that have done it and are doing it. My cousin and her husband ran boats for years and did very, very well but had to sacrifice a lot to get there. They had no home (or boat) of their own but instead lived on board the owners' boats as captain and mate. Their schedules were dictated by the whims of the owner. Their possessions were limited to what would fit in their cabin. After many years they finally built a waterfront home in south FL and started a yacht management and consulting business.

If your goal is to work for a while and cruise for a while you will have a very difficult time making it in the business. Making money by doing deliveries you will never get rich, too much competition. If you want to make more than a basic living the money is in the big boats. Follow the money.

I agree that keeping the house and renting it can be a good idea. Can also be a huge pain if you get the wrong tenant so proceed carefully.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:53   #11
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

There aren't many paying crew positions. But there are some, but you are essentially a boat maintenance person or service person..... and away from home.
Once you get a captains license and sea time and a reputation, you could get a job skippering some rich persons boat. They are often demanding and change their minds about where they want to boat on a moments notice.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:13   #12
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

My tips:

Keep and rent house
Find a work in a good shipyard, become a pro in rigging, engineering, hydraulics, electronics, sail making... What fits you more....
Live aboard, or sell her

Mix with racers, or big boats crew, forget skippering for families
Get captain license, push hard, life will open doors if you have kindness, integrity, competence
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:10   #13
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

All answers or supposition. You hadn't given enough info. for an educated opinion.
Age, debt, locale, skills, etc..

Get your head right. And as they say Rome wasn't built in a day. Your dream is possible just don't go off half assed.

You sound young?
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:10   #14
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

We are currenlty on our way to a living debt free and here is how we have done it so far. My girl and I both (had) large houses. Mine came with a hundred years of multi family consumerism so its been a lot of work to undo that. We both sold our homes and paid off the few bills we had, the rest went in the bank and 401ks. I sold everything in my house worth more than $100.00 and gave the rest to charities, ( tax break there). That money..... went in the bank. She continues to work as I get the logistics to move to a location that will be more advantageous to our lines of work. She works in electronics, I am self employed in online sales, ( this is where you can make more than a little money with some persistence). Our car ( a minivan to save moving costs) is 13 years old and works fine. Its been paid off and the money we save from car payments ...goes in the bank. We never buy anything but we look close at "do we really need it", and 90% of the time its a no. We dont even have a flatscreen tv or fancy surround sound, we are saving that money...in the bank. We don't go to restaurants to eat, we cook at home, ( she is one of the best cooks), that money( up to 100.00 a week that we used to spend) goes..you guessed it..in the bank. So by now you see that saving money is a very big factor in being able to retire early. The other half of this equation is this a astounding simple thing. Sales of 'things' online. We have set up two stores online and worked hard for a year at the marketing of these stores. Once the world took notice of our items, sales took off and we receive regular payments right into our other ( business only) bank account. As an artist of some 35 years, I make the items right here in a minimum size workshop and every three days, we mail them out. We figure that in another 2 years we will be able to sell these two businesses for substantial money and its going...in the bank. The problem that I see with you doing this, is that you need a skill to make something that you can sell. (?) There is no free ride to making money. I spent those 35 years learning how to run a business and for the last 6 -7 years, the education into online marketing especially has paid off. As a side note, forget what people say about what you are doing, if they are not handing you money, they have no say, its your life, enjoy it the way you want.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:18   #15
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Re: Is it possible to pay off debt while sailing?

I lived aboard and did not see many others making $40,000 per year while cruising. If you can make mony renting long term to good tenants that will take care of your living expenses. I'm in Refrigeration and I found a need for it in every port In sailed into. Learn a trade, electrical on boats is always in need and doesn't take a lot of tools like I had to take with me. I sailed from Buffalo, NY to Brisbane , Australia and loved it. Take the plunge and enjoy life.
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