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Old 04-07-2013, 10:15   #1
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I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

Well hello, I'm Alan. I was born and raised in the farm lands of Illinois, but I didn't stay there long after I turned 18. Long story short for the last 5 years I have been traveling. I have worked from Alaska to the Carribean. I just moved to Colorado in the last year. The reason for that is I somehow managed to talk my way into my dream job. I work in basically the most high end custom shop that restores only vintage Volkswagens, you know like old hippie busses and Vw bugs. Being only 26 and working where I do is unheard of, and helping me gain a reputation as a premier restoration specialist. Pretty much I feel like the luckiest guy on earth.

That being said, I miss the ocean. I know in my heart that I'm supposed to be on the ocean. I have two ideas on how I would like to accomplish this. I am highly considering buying a pocket cruiser and living out my life bouncing around the Caribbean. The other route, maybe even my preferred route, is to be some ones permanent crew. I know there are a lot of people that have boats that they sail for a few months a year before having to return to the real world. I feel like I would be a real asset for some one looking to leave their boat in foreign ports. I am an extreme handy man, and have never come across a problem I couldn't handle. Ideally I would spend the rest of my life like this. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:48   #2
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

Hey Alan,

There are always boats looking for crew for a leg or two, and some post crew availabilities on this forum. There is also an area here where you can post that you're looking to crew. That's the usual advise..crewing on other people's boat until you're sure you want to buy your own and you know what your looking for in it.

I can't say it's impossible, but it may be tough trying to find a paid gig on someone else's boat with little experience/connections. Maybe you could swing it? Not sure and don't want to naysay. Temporary crewing is a totally different story tho, but you won't get paid for it. Your on-board expenses are paid sometimes.

Where are you at in CO? I spend 6 months on my boat on the east coast and 6 months in Boulder. The only thing CO is missing is water!

I'm originally from MN. I lived in CO before moving onto a friend's boat in NYC when I was 26. Spent a couple years on it and had a blast before buying my own boat 2 years ago.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:37   #3
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

There is (or was?) a VW restoration garage on Clement Street on Alameda, California. I say was? because for the past few years I haven't seen as many VWs outside waiting to get in. The shop's still there though.

Rather than trying the single jump to crewing, you might want to consider taking your "marketable skills" to a place that has saltwater (!!!) first and see how that works out for you.

Google "VW restoration, Alameda, CA".

Good luck. Sorry I don't know the name of the garage. I'm still mad at my ex-wife for forcing us to sell our '71 Super Beetle - she insisted she couldn't learn to drive stick, the dork!
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:39   #4
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:46   #5
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

If you are serious about the crew thing, there are many crew agencies-just google "professional yacht crews". Contact a few and explore their needs, services, and requirements. You can also contact charter companies, they generally have crews available in many of their locations as well as a need for maintenance people at their bases.
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Old 04-07-2013, 13:25   #6
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

Aloha and welcome aboard!
My old '57 bug would have floated had I got it near enough to the water to try it. Liked it too much to give it a float test. Probably the best quality car I owned. The '62 model I bought later was not as good.
Good to have you here.
kind regards,
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Old 04-07-2013, 14:00   #7
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

here you go. STRANGE FLOATING VW BUS!

Get your own boat and be free. Working for others is never a recipe for freedom.
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Old 04-07-2013, 14:53   #8
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

Did anyone say trade?
Im in central FL (Melbourne area) loads of old cars being fixed up here. My uncle just bought an Edsel to bring down. I'd trade my boat off for a V-dub!
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Old 04-07-2013, 15:18   #9
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

The '57 was so airtight you could not close the doors unless one window was open a bit. Amazingly airtight.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:51   #10
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

Thank you for all the replies, and for the record I would definitely trade my bus for a pocket cruiser.
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Old 05-07-2013, 16:53   #11
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

Alan, a Catalina 27 is the VW bus of the sailing world. Big enough to live in, sails well and is dirt cheap. I think bringing your skills to the shore is easier than the other way around. Fixed up a drove Bugs, Buses and Porsches for years. Last one a 62, best VW I had was a mint 69. Albuquerque was our VW mecca down in New Mexico. It had junkyards full of old ones.
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Old 05-07-2013, 17:13   #12
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pirate Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

If you want the marine equivalent of a VW camper... find yourself a Westerly Centaur....
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Old 05-07-2013, 18:56   #13
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

The Searunner trimarans have been called the VW busses of the Pacific. Check out that forum.
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Old 06-07-2013, 21:39   #14
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Re: I Wish My VW Bus Could Float

I'm would love to get my hands on a Westerly Centaur. Just got to save a some more cash.
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Old 07-07-2013, 15:29   #15
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Westerly Centaur - looks like he repowered to a Beta.

Lloyd's registered hull.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/boa/3919382505.html
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