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Old 30-10-2021, 23:00   #46
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hi, there, rkarakai21,

The suggestion, upstream for you working part time in the US for large dollars makes sense to me, and would leave your good lady to be able to do a whole quarter of substitute teaching, or busking, if she prefers. We have some friends who, back in the 90's, did a little busking. You will be in competition with other, local, buskers. And in the Islands, you will make music because the islanders love it so much. Our friends had some puppets, and made little puppet shows out through the galley port for the kids, too. No money, but by golly the kids loved it. The lady wrote magazine articles with photos about the cruising that she sold. We knew a number of folks who did that.

What you will want to do is see how you can fit into the economy somewhere there is money to be made. For instance, if your good lady can get a certificate in teaching math, there IS a big demand for math teachers in Australia. A friend of ours made good money doing "relief" teaching (substitute teaching on an on call basis) here.



I'm quoting you back at you because you and your partner may want to consider the working at home strategy, together, too, leaving the boat in a marina, for the return trip. Then, you could cohabit the whole time. Best deal would be if you can save up a good sized kitty to start with (and allow for re-entry costs, at the end of the voyage). Perhaps part of your 5 yr. plan would be an effort to live as low on the hog as possible, and get serious about savings and investment.

For you, we knew a guy who was a diesel mechanic, professionally. How he worked it was, consultation aboard his boat was free; if he brought tools to your boat, it was on the clock and he was (at that time) charging $40/hr. to cruisers. So a diesel ticket might be of some use to you. Cruisers these days seem to have more money and less skills. You might be able to teach a bunch of them to make soft shackles.

We did know a guy who made ends meet in the Sea of Cortez, by mending sails. Today, with so many laminate sails, i don't know how practical this would be. One time I sewed back on the Sunbrella UV protection for a friend's headsail, but Jim and I gave away our labor (he turned the crank, I sewed), and the lawn where we did the work was also donated.

The most common problems cruisers have to solve in their first year cruising are usually focused on having enough power to run all the things they want to run, and finding that their refrigeration sucks down their batteries too much. (For your own planning, I'd suggest you plan for 25% more than you need in the beginning. People use a lot more power now than they used to.) Some of these people may well pay you to clean their hulls (used to paying for it), and possibly for consulting on refrigeration, insulation, and electronics. When you need to be paid, you need to find a comfortable way to ask that, while still keeping your integrity. The more you learn about being frugal, the more it will stand you in good stead.

Good luck with it, I think you're going to have a blast!
Good advice.

There are three kinds of long term cruisers, in my experience:

1. Retired or independently wealthy.

2. Digital nomads, doing their first world work or entrepreneurship remotely and cruising while they do it.

3. Seasonal workers in the first world; cruisers whetever the rest of the year.

I'm excluding YouTube stars and simple boat bums.

I would think #3 would be good for the OP. People I have known doing this were very happy; they enjoyed the variety. They enjoyed cruising more not worrying about money. Plus, the OP are young people who ought to have a good bit of career satisfaction ahead of them.

Trying to scratch out a living in the third world from a boat does not sound fun to me.

I am none of these; I am not a "long term cruiser. " I spend no more than half of the year on the boat. I have work that I really like and wouldn't give up just to be on the boat full time. YMMV, but I would suggest to the OP that at his age he shouldn't put himself in a position where he can't develop in his career and find work (or entrepreneurship) which will give him satisfaction.
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Old 31-10-2021, 04:23   #47
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

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I bet you have some great stories to tell.



This angle is definitely something for me to consider as I already have enough maritime qualifications to work on any commercial vessel as deckhand or mate up to a certain tonnage. The only part of that plan that is different for me is I did my solo transient years working aboard sail training ships for all of my 20's and now I am approaching the cruising goal as a team player with my partner and keeping that together is important, so I have edged away from working stints away from home, which of course hamstrings me from the most lucrative forms of maritime employment.. You win some, you lose some. It sounds like you found a real winning combination for your situation though! One has to be out there for us too.
Thinking long term,
..if your commercial qualifications can get you into the Guild and you hire on doing 4 to 6 month stints in coastal towing
Good money as a mate,
Develops excellent Seamanship
No overheads when working
Turnaround time with your partner.

Alternatively, .

Hire on as a sailing couple to caretake a small yacht (>90ft) for a wealthy couple looking for a compatabile couple to help them do a circumnavigation.

This way you bank 100% of your salaries.
See the world on someone else's dime.
Shortlist where you will eventually take your own boat
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Old 31-10-2021, 07:50   #48
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

Ryan, I’ll try to provide some real life experience without becoming too negative.

We cruised the Pacific picking up jobs wherever we could find them and earning money as we went. It wasn’t enough. Our cruising kitty quickly became exhausted. We changed our plan and continued on around the world, but funded by periods of “first world” employment.

Here is what we found:

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Originally Posted by rkarakai21 View Post
1. For those who have sailed the South Pacific route how difficult is it to pick up odd boatyard jobs and or maintenance jobs on other peoples boats?...

Boat yard jobs are going to be where there are boatyards, in more urbanized locations, and will put you in view of the local workers. Most boatyard managers won’t go down that path, they are more at risk than you are. As a freelancer, working directly for the boat owner, you might do some, but as soon as you start showing up regularly it will lead to trouble.
Other work you can do for boaters on a one to one basis may work. It will be better if you have a skill and treat it as a profession. Many cruisers help each other and don’t expect to be paid, but if you get known as a refrigeration guy, welder, diesel mechanic, etc. you could have some success. I worked as a sailmaker (sail repair and canvas work), on my boat, with an industrial machine and I carried several hundred dollars worth of supplies. I worked hard at this going across the Pacific and made some money but I gave it up when we got to New Zealand where competition with locals didn’t seem right to me and the money just wasn’t there anyhow.


2. How stingey are most of the south pacific nations about work visas and official permits etc... I realize we will need certain visas to enter certain countries but are they extremely strict about people picking up piece work?

Very strict.

I’ve seen immigration officers apprehend foreigners on the spot when they were working for pay and been escorted directly to the airport for deportation. (I actually witnessed this.)
Work visas are difficult unless you find a corporation who wants to sponsor you and in that case you are going to be reentering the formal work force. We did this in various countries for periods of around 1.5 years. This can be rewarding financially but you have to have a marketable skill which is in demand. I did IT project management. Judy did mostly legal stuff. We had work permits. One thought, often if a person gets a work permit the spouse is awarded one as well. Teachers are sometimes in demand. That might work


3. What did you guys do to keep your cruise afloat?

We started out with an established income stream, something we build up before we left. We had a plan to work along the way to extend that because we knew it was not going to be near enough for long term. And it wasn't. We quickly exhausted it nad re-entered the formal work force, (overseas, not in the US). That turned out to be awesome. Fantastic experiences and good money. We lived on the boat where possible.

We don’t recommend going cruising hoping to find work and make a living at it. We ran out of money and had to re-enter the work force.


4. Keeping mostly out of marinas and anchoring out, cooking yourself and trying to keep things economical how much were you able to live on per month in the South Pacific?

We budget regularly and keep very detailed records as do some others in this forum. Our lifestyle cost us around $2000 per month excluding marina fees. You can estimate this by tracking your current expenses. Some things, like car insurance, and rent, you can delete, but mostly you’ll buy the same things and they will cost as much or more while cruising.
So much for the negative.

You might make this work if you are creative and have a good entrepreneurial approach. Others have done so. It will be your personalities which will make it work. But it’s best if you have an income stream when you start and a real solid plan, which you have tested, before you start. Do your due dilligence. If you do these two things you have a good chance. Otherwise, well maybe you can just go for it. Like I said, others have done so.

We’ve cruised for 25 years and it has been the best possible life for us. We started when I was 50. Now we’re in our 70’s. We're still doing it, and still sailing (a lot). We're are now retired and living off the money we put away while working in good jobs in Asia. We would not have traded it for ANYTHING. Working formally in other countries was a major plus. Getting into the workforce and cultures is completely different than visiting a country or doing boat work.

By the way, we worked a total of 7.5 years (interspersed with years of cruising) out of 25 years since leaving the USA.

Photos: Judy's commute in China and her work colleagues
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Old 31-10-2021, 09:45   #49
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
Ryan, I’ll try to provide some real life experience without becoming too negative.

We cruised the Pacific picking up jobs wherever we could find them and earning money as we went. It wasn’t enough. Our cruising kitty quickly became exhausted. We changed our plan and continued on around the world, but funded by periods of “first world” employment.

Here is what we found:



So much for the negative.

You might make this work if you are creative and have a good entrepreneurial approach. Others have done so. It will be your personalities which will make it work. But it’s best if you have an income stream when you start and a real solid plan, which you have tested, before you start. Do your due dilligence. If you do these two things you have a good chance. Otherwise, well maybe you can just go for it. Like I said, others have done so.

We’ve cruised for 25 years and it has been the best possible life for us. We started when I was 50. Now we’re in our 70’s. We're still doing it, and still sailing (a lot). We're are now retired and living off the money we put away while working in good jobs in Asia. We would not have traded it for ANYTHING. Working formally in other countries was a major plus. Getting into the workforce and cultures is completely different than visiting a country or doing boat work.

By the way, we worked a total of 7.5 years (interspersed with years of cruising) out of 25 years since leaving the USA.

Photos: Judy's commute in China and her work colleagues
Fantastic reply WingSail! This is the kind of post that makes me keep coming back to this forum. I can only hope my wife and I have 1/4 of your success. Congrats on a life very well lived to you both!
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:46   #50
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

[QUOTE=rkarakai21;3508076]I'd like to start a discussion where people can share their experiences of funding the cruising kitty while abroad, and or saving for the initial leap into the voyage.

I'd Like to exclude the whole youtube sensation, go-fund me approach from this discussion as my partner and I have discussed this and neither of us feel that this would be the best approach...


Reply: You're right that YouTube and crowdfunding are not the way to go. Too many outstretched palms already. You'll pick up hands-on work as you go, I suppose, but there is the problem of local work permits, taxes, liabilities, licenses, etc. in each locale. The Internet and a tightly focused website are a sure bet that can go anywhere with you. For example, your wife's experience in teaching can translate to one-on-one tutoring jobs with wealthy families anywhere in the world. Some such gigs pay five and six figures.



I know of a woman who, after a few months on an island with a large military base, did very well with a website advising newcomers from the home country on where to shop, local customs and other tips specific to the needs of that specific group of newbies and soon-to-transfer newbies. The site was monetized by ads and/or subscriptions. The key word is FOCUS on your most unique, most marketable skills and how to use them to make money online. Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:17   #51
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

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I can’t see this going down well with the locals.

Rich westerners come in on their boats that cost more than a year’s salary.
Then take away income from the local traders.
Particularly in New Caledonia with it’s French cuisine.
I agree with you here. Have cruised extensively and always tried to not displace the locals. Best to do something that they can’t or create new business and include them. Some of the things that I have done part time.
Watermaker tech: Including stocking need hard to find parts. No one else with the skills nor parts to do it.
Musician: But when we played, we INCLUDED local musicians. Also created gigs that would not have existed otherwise. And again always included local musicians. And local support (catering, transportation etc)
Yacht Chartering: AS you had to have a proper yacht and the licenses and insurance to run it. We employed locals where ever possible for support and when possible crew. I trained and certified locals into Scuba for no charge. These kind of efforts paid off in so many ways. You get back what you put out. I like Win Win scenarios.
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:09   #52
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

OP fast forward to November 2021 and you can walk up to an Amazon distribution center and earn $17 an hour tossing packages around. Even more if you have white collar skills.

How about spend the next two years:
1) getting your boat prepared;
2) get a job paying as much as you can earn based on your skills and education levels;
3) spend as little as possible saving every dollar you can;
4) go sailing at the end of that period, strictly watching your monthly budget and not trying to sell paraffin and Bics at remote islands.

As my Bronx-born grandfather would tell us “get some woik ya joik “
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:10   #53
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

BTW don’t cruise up to the Solomon Islands and try to steal jobs from the locals - you’ll wind up with a knife in your neck
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Old 03-11-2021, 15:14   #54
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

If as a visitor to Aus. you wanted to try fruit picking, then there has recently been a relevant court case over income tax. Up to that court case, visitor workers were paying tax on the very first dollar earned (19 cents per dollar). That has now been rescinded and I believe (happy to be corrected) that farm workers and other visitors pay no tax on earned income. Consult the Aus Tax Office.
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Old 09-11-2021, 09:31   #55
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

[QUOTE=JanetGroene;3513647]
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Originally Posted by rkarakai21 View Post
I know of a woman who, after a few months on an island with a large military base, did very well with a website advising newcomers from the home country on where to shop, local customs and other tips specific to the needs of that specific group of newbies and soon-to-transfer newbies. The site was monetized by ads and/or subscriptions. The key word is FOCUS on your most unique, most marketable skills and how to use them to make money online. Good luck!

I totally agree. Becoming a "digital nomad" is the way to go. Your hard skills are great if you want to have a land-based job to top up the kitty but if your goal is to be cruising full time then you need some way of generating income that you can take with you. You are active in this forum so you know how to participate, send emails and so on, so you have all the tech skills you need to run an online business. The great thing about this way of making money is that it is "scaleable", in other words, you can work as hard as you need to to make the level of income you require.

The link in my sig may help you.

Whatever you end up doing I wish you all the best - I'm sure you'll figure something out.

Paul

p.s. If you haven't read it I can thoroughly recommend "Get Real Get Gone" by Rick Page - a great read and some great advice (no, I don't get paid by Rick! )
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:08   #56
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

“I know of a woman who, after a few months on an island with a large military base, did very well with….”

I seriously thought this comment was going in a different direction
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:56   #57
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Re: The nitty gritty, Making money while you're cruising The South Pacific

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“I know of a woman who, after a few months on an island with a large military base, did very well with….”

I seriously thought this comment was going in a different direction
That's because you are a bad Bad person! Honestly, for a brief moment I thought the same . . .
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