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Old 24-08-2009, 23:11   #1
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Is This a Viable Idea to Make Money While Cruising?

Do you think there is money to be made cleaning the bottom of other cruisers boats. Who would take up this offer and what would you be prepared to pay?

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Old 25-08-2009, 02:51   #2
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I think you would get further with a skill/equipment not normally a liveaboard

e.g. welding, sail repair, upholstery

And I believe these are normally exchangeable skills rather than financial.

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Old 25-08-2009, 03:00   #3
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just a wild guess,but i reckon the most marketable service to cruisers would be cleaning/maintenence of marine heads but i sure as hell aint gonna be the one providing it :P
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Old 25-08-2009, 03:30   #4
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Some cruisers pay for that service. Prices really vary by area. A couple years ago in Norfolk I paid $100, it was $50 here in FL last fall before heading to Bahamas. Bahama prices vary just as much, Marsh Harbor they asked $125 (didn't get it from me) and in Georgetown I paid $65.
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Old 25-08-2009, 03:46   #5
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Guy here paid 150,000 rupia for a guy the clean the boat for a full day.

Thats about US$15

So, I'll pay you $15 to scrub our boats bottom....
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Old 25-08-2009, 04:04   #6
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If the price is right then getting the bottom scraped would be a valuable service.

Personally I would charge by the hour not the foot, plus expense of the gas bottle.

By the foot charges don't make much sense as bottoms have different wetted surfaces and can be anything from covered in slime to covered in stubborn barnacles.
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Old 25-08-2009, 04:24   #7
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I clean my own bottom with a snorkel where the water is clear, and warm. Here in Fl I $1.00 a foot, and it's a cat......i2f

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Old 25-08-2009, 04:24   #8
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About the only time I'm aware of that cruisers get their boat's bottom cleaned is when in a marina for a while. I hired a SCUBA diver once to clean my boat's bottom just prior to heading offshore in the Caribbean 1500. I can't recall what I paid him, but it was probably around a hundred bucks. Worth it; I sure didn't want to get in that water! In anchorages in the Caribbean, I did it myself with a snorkel. Not nearly as much growth there as in the Chesapeake.
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Old 25-08-2009, 06:22   #9
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Yes, there's money to be made scrubbing bottoms but not much. Most cruisers I know do it themselves. Many folks that are in marinas or have their boats in their backyards in Florida get it done regularly but it's done by the same diver every time. I doubt if you'd make much while cruising.
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Old 25-08-2009, 06:29   #10
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I just had mine done. The guy charged $3 per foot and $15 to change each zinc plus $21 for two zincs. All said and done, it was $143 after tax. Considering I don't dive and the fact that these little shrimp in the bay tend to get in your ears and die causing massive ear infections - I was happy to pay it.

However, I'll be doing a repaint in December, and probably won't be paying anyone to clean it again for another 4 or 5 years.
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Old 25-08-2009, 06:52   #11
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If you had a more rounded out menu of services to be offered it may be possible to make enough for drinking money and maybe a new toy now and again. I would not recommend it as a dependable source of food money or equipment money but you never know.

Once you get a feel for the different boats and what their characteristic problems are, you may be able to "talk-up" business to fellow cruisers. I've seen one really thin guy and his son do a thriving business doing work up masts, changing out lights for LED's (generally entire units not just bulb), new halyards for some of the boats where it is difficult to do without going up the mast, replacing zincs, even selling emergency SSB antenna you haul up with halyard, installing WIFI boosters at spreaders or top of mast.

Generally things many of us would rather pay for than do ourselves due to lack of specialized equipment, age, weight or prevailing conditions.

You would need to be careful in many places as this may not be very legal. Lots of places require Work Permits for non-citizens to perform any work for pay or other consideration. In the real world, among cruisers "things" can be worked out but you don't want to become too obvious which means that even good recommendations can land you in trouble.

BTW I've had my bottom done for $90 in BVI which was less than what some charge.

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