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Old 31-10-2013, 15:52   #31
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

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Being a good sailor helps.
Nah, you don't need to be a good sailor nowadays, you can find out all you need to know by reading forums and watching how to do it on YouTube.

Then, you can go back to the forums and tell everyone they are wrong.
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Old 31-10-2013, 16:34   #32
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

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Eric I agree with everything you said. You should be either fairly wealthy or be able to troubleshoot and fix every system on your boat. Labor is a killer getting anything worked on and I'm usually never happy with the results anyways. As far as making money while cruising I also believe the best way to make money while cruising is to make it BEFORE going cruising. I started my business for this exact reason. I'll (hopefully) make my money so when I eventually get out there of all the issues and worries there are working won't be one of them.
It's a decent approach. Again I know guys who have made some cash, but the guys who are doing it as a living are permanently parked in some place and have established a name for themselves. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but that's being a liveaboard business, not really being a "cruiser".

Mexico is really popular for people with businesses because you can have a boat down here and fly back and forth relatively cheaply and quickly for business stuff. Cross the Pacific or the Atlantic and not so much.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:28   #33
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

[QUOTE=rebel heart;1379420]..but the guys who are doing it as a living are permanently parked in some place and have established a name for themselves. ..QUOTE]

I am not really looking to "make a living" at anything. Was mostly curious as to how to make a few dollars here and there to keep the cruising lifestyle going. One person mentioned to make the money before cruising..seems to me that this attitude keeps a lot of people on land...trying to make "enough" to finance a trip for "x" amount of time. I guess it is like having kids..If you wait until you can afford them you will never have them.
Seems to me that if you can scrape together enough money to eat/live for a few months on a boat then you can take off..and find a way to make a little money here and there to keep yourself alive along the way. Maybe that requires a land based job at various locales along the way..In the states of course since working abroad would entail some paperwork.
This is all just a discussion since I don't even have a boat yet..
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Old 01-11-2013, 13:36   #34
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

[QUOTE=scgilligan;1379937]
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
..but the guys who are doing it as a living are permanently parked in some place and have established a name for themselves. ..QUOTE]

...and find a way to make a little money here and there to keep yourself alive along the way. Maybe that requires a land based job at various locales along the way..In the states of course since working abroad would entail some paperwork.
This is all just a discussion since I don't even have a boat yet..
I might be repeating myself, but IMO a "knowledge worker" doesn't have to be where they work. Many people I know are at their farm, cabin, boat etc. You mentioned Architect and IT support. Unless you hate doing that work, you'll probably make more money in less hours giving you more free time to do what you enjoy.
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Old 01-11-2013, 14:14   #35
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

Hi, there, scgilligan,

FWIW, I think what Wraith_Mac wrote and donradcliff, have some merit.

I'm quite sure if you're gifted at IT and keep up to date, you'll find someone along the way who will pay for your knowledge.

Although Jim is quite a gifted mechanic, and I'm not a bad canvas worker, we have always given our services, such as they are, for free. It seems just part of the "what goes around comes around" philosophy of the cruising community. But obviously that doesn't fit for everybody.

We did know an architect, who supplemented her cruising kitty by the process of finding pretty aspects of the places she visited, and painted miniatures of the areas. Some cruisers bought a few, and the locals snaffled them up as fast as she could put them out. No one seemed to feel like she was cheating the locals of income, which in some places can be a very hot issue, can lead to muggings.

Since you already have drafting ability, have you considered water colors or acrylics? You can pick natural or architectural subjects, and once you've a small portfolio, someone may even ask you to paint their boat under sail or such like. Something made by a real person is somehow a more personal memento of a visit, say to Bora Bora, and there are many aspects from which to paint the lagoon.

Just my two cents.

Ann

P.S. I noticed TekNav suggesting you sell internet time. It [I]might[I] work, although, I'd think the guys that know they have to have the capability wouldn't leave home base without covering themselves on their own boats.
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Old 01-11-2013, 14:43   #36
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

Another thought,- what about seasonal work. For many years I crusied part time with a contract to be employed for 190 days out of the year. I have known numerous others with seasonal work. Most recently, a chef who works in the New York "Finger Lakes" during the summers and cruises out of Florida during the winters.
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Old 01-11-2013, 15:08   #37
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

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If your boat is rigged to have access to the internet almost ANYWHERE while sailing, you can rent "internet connections" to fellow sailors; 15 minutes block rental time for $15 USD. Internet coverage is not available everywhere and some sailors MUST have dependable connections. The initial hardware/software investment is pricey, though.

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Excellent idea!
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Old 01-11-2013, 15:18   #38
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

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[SNIP
Seems to me that if you can scrape together enough money to eat/live for a few months on a boat then you can take off..and find a way to make a little money here and there to keep yourself alive along the way. Maybe that requires a land based job at various locales along the way..In the states of course since working abroad would entail some paperwork.
This is all just a discussion since I don't even have a boat yet..
Almost a year ago I bought a boat and have basically lived on it since then. Lots of the time moored at a marina but some serious cruising as well. It has been a real learning experience getting to know lots of folks who have chosen that life style.

I would not suggest scraping together some money and leaving. Even the best prepared boats will almost always require more boat dollars than expected. Often times food/drink/medications will be more expensive than expected. There also seems to be some sorta law that the big expenses occur at the worst time. I know mechanics, canvas workers, ect. who often seem to lurch from one job to the next. Sure you can get along like that but that is not my idea of fun. I did not start living on a boat till I retired and had the bucks to do it.

As an aside I know a few guys who make a living doing bottom jobs on boats. Generally they have a tank and a hooka rig and a very good wet suit/mask/hood/gloves.
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Old 01-11-2013, 15:28   #39
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

Oh, how silly of me not to have written:

Ques: What is the most useful skill on a cruising sailboat?

Ans: The ability to write huge checks you know will clear, and keep smiling the whole time!
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Old 01-11-2013, 15:46   #40
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

we stopped at nassau yacht haven for a few days to do laundry and shopping. we were next to a 40'ish couple on a hunter 40. he had been a skilled carpenter in florida before they semi-retired to live on the boat.

while docked at yacht haven the word somehow got around that he was a carpenter. at that time they were building condos across the harbor on paradise island and were not happy with the work the locals were doing. someone came up and asked him if he were willing to work. he said yes. they got him a work permit (probably paid off the right people). then they paid him $150 a day cash. he told me he could hang six or seven doors a day. the locals could hang one and they would have to come back the next day to fix it.

sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time with the right skills....
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Old 01-11-2013, 16:18   #41
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

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(snip) Just curious as to what would be a marketable skill for a sailor to possibly make some money or barter while in port or at anchorage. (snip)
Some thoughts from my observations in anchorages:

1) Underwater work with a self-powered Hookah system (and/or dive equipment). Bottom, through-hull, and prop cleaning; zinc replacement; checking on (or retrieving lost) anchors; untangling snarled anchor chains; retrieving dropped eyeglasses; and etc. Why? Because lots of older cruisers are/were smokers/drinkers and haven't the breath or the stamina for underwater work. Or have the equipment/training for diving with tanks or Hookah. Or like the looks of the harbour water.

2) Diesel motor repair. While many cruisers can keep their motors functioning, there are still folk asking for help. (One of my neighbors recently asked around for assistance doing a bloody oil change!)

3) WiFi internet connectivity. Cruisers without decent external antennas stumble ashore looking for internet cafes. Could resell your connection. Just a concept... {We pay USD 50 per month here in Pago Pago. Could have set up password protected connection to our router and asked, say, 10 or 15 bucks. Pretty sure some boaters here for a week or two would have jumped on it. But I'd warn folk not to download videos till after we went beddy-bye!}

4) Sail repair. Have tape, needles, palm, UV thread, patch material, various slides, decent sewing machine.

5) Line splicing: Fids and for three strand and double braid splicing, making loops, back-braiding, etc. {This is my beer earning skill )

Edit: I see that the internet theme already got mentioned above...
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Old 01-11-2013, 16:35   #42
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

joie de vivre
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Old 01-11-2013, 16:37   #43
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

CARRYING! You must, absolutely must be good at carrying stuff, like it or not.
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Old 04-11-2013, 17:56   #44
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

I am not a cruiser yet and since I am female with a husband who is handy mechanically, maybe I think differently.

Seems to me I often read about food on these forums. Is it possible to sell homemade breads, desserts, etc? Perhaps there is a market for 'food from home' that isn't made by locals?

Also, depending on where you are, you may be able to supplement your income by tutoring. Do you speak more than one language? Do you have a subject or skill you can share? Doesn't have to be a language, perhaps you are an excellent splicer and can teach the skill?

Just a thought.
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Old 04-11-2013, 19:04   #45
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Re: Most useful skill for cruiser?

Although its sort of been said already, if you develop the skills and business contacts to make money remotely (via computer and phone), then all you need to maintain that capability while on the boat is good communications equipment.
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