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Old 16-04-2017, 06:51   #1
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Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Isn't this the #1 problem for most? It seems like money never lasts a fraction as long as I thought it would. Life is expensive.

Computer geeks may be able to do geek work whenever they have a good internet connection. What about the rest of us?

Just started thinking about this. My liveaboard goal is a few years away. That is why I bought a 26 footer, to gain significant experience first.

Here are a couple current ideas:
1) Buying old, broke down outboards and learning how to fix them. I have seven that need fixing and four that run. I have rebuilt a few motors, I am mechanically inclined.
2) Diesels? Lot harder to do the same thing with diesels. Concentrating on outboards for now. Most cruisers have an outboard on their dinghy, many also use them on their sailboat.
3) Solar? Been meaning to go solar professional for awhile. Have the knowledge, just too busy with other demands.
4) Water? Been a custom aquarium specialist for 24 years. Filtration, pumping, plumbing.......plenty of experience here.
5) Carpentry? Built my own 8000' shop. Then the county assessor measured things and quite literally drove me into the seas. I've been a cabinet maker as well.
6) Underwater services such as hull cleaning? Well....it pays and is good exercise while performing a vital function. Master diver with good strength and endurance. Nine scuba tanks.
7) Photography/Videography? Was a wedding and event photographer and videographer for a decade. Spent tens of thousands on gear that is now often worthless. Oh well. We have all been down that road.
8) High seas gigolo? Ummm.....no.
9) Own two S Florida rentals. Sometimes they make a little money. Sometimes they lose a lot.....air conditioners and drain fields etc.
10) Edited in a bit later. Advertising always proved to be very necessary. I can update my own web site. The challenge would be advertising. I'd rather not name my boat something commercial like Boat Mechanic. Then get banging on the hull at all types of unwanted hours. Being on call 24/7 is pretty much hellish.

Expecting to get beat up a bit. Hopefully yielding more wheat than chaff. Reasoned responses may be helpful to dreamers and newbies alike.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:03   #2
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by softdown View Post
Isn't this the #1 problem for most? It seems like money never lasts a fraction as long as I thought it would. Life is expensive.

Computer geeks may be able to do geek work whenever they have a good internet connection. What about the rest of us?

Just started thinking about this. My liveaboard goal is a few years away. That is why I bought a 26 footer, to gain significant experience first.

Here are a couple current ideas:
1) Buying old, broke down outboards and learning how to fix them. I have seven that need fixing and four that run. I have rebuilt a few motors, I am mechanically inclined.
2) Diesels? Lot harder to do the same thing with diesels. Concentrating on outboards for now. Most cruisers have an outboard on their dinghy, many also use them on their sailboat.
3) Solar? Been meaning to go solar professional for awhile. Have the knowledge, just too busy with other demands.
4) Water? Been a custom aquarium specialist for 24 years. Filtration, pumping, plumbing.......plenty of experience here.
5) Carpentry? Built my own 8000' shop. Then the county assessor measured things and quite literally drove me into the seas. I've been a cabinet maker as well.
6) Underwater services such as hull cleaning? Well....it pays and is good exercise while performing a vital function. Master diver with good strength and endurance. Nine scuba tanks.
7) Photography/Videography? Was a wedding and event photographer and videographer for a decade. Spent tens of thousands on gear that is now often worthless. Oh well. We have all been down that road.
8) High seas gigolo? Ummm.....no.
9) Own two S Florida rentals. Sometimes they make a little money. Sometimes they lose a lot.....air conditioners and drain fields etc.

Expecting to get beat up a bit. Hopefully yielding more wheat than chaff. Reasoned responses may be helpful to dreamers and newbies alike.
No, I'm not here to beat you up. I could sense from your other recent threads about "live-aboards" that you wished to somehow make money while sailing. A lifestyle.

Well, other than "YouTube movies and Patreon support", one primary method is having a private Internet business that you can run from anywhere there is Internet access. That's what I have, and that's what I suspect SV Delos is doing ... when they are not editing their home movies.

That aside, maybe try the "search" function here. There's on super long thread, titled something like "How to make money while cruising". Many pages.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:13   #3
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Your list here is good. It shows you have some skills that are valued.

Wether you can get work due to visas is another matter. Doing odd jobs for other boats is good but it's few hours compared to a full time legal job.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:21   #4
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PortClydeMe View Post
No, I'm not here to beat you up. I could sense from your other recent threads about "live-aboards" that you wished to somehow make money while sailing. A lifestyle.

Well, other than "YouTube movies and Patreon support", one primary method is having a private Internet business that you can run from anywhere there is Internet access. That's what I have, and that's what I suspect SV Delos is doing ... when they are not editing their home movies.

That aside, maybe try the "search" function here. There's on super long thread, titled something like "How to make money while cruising". Many pages.
The search function? Yes.....one can eventually find almost anything on the internet. Some discussion boards want new threads and fresh discussions. Others say "Can't you use the search function?"

Some of us vastly prefer fresh discussions to older discussions by who knows? I use a boating discussion board where they flat out say "Don't restart old threads. Start a new one with fresh input."
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:39   #5
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Don't try to compete in foreign ports with local service providers.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:47   #6
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

In many places there are farms and plantations that need temp work. You compete with local and migrated workforce. Where we are you can make USD5 per hour no tax. Not too bad other than the work can be teens of hours in the sun - most Westerners are too soft for that.

Another cool method is to go for the opposite - train as a bartender then apply for jobs at tourist restaurants, beach bars, etc. This is nice because you work in the shade or at night. A good bartender can easily make USD25 plus working in a popular beach bar in West Indies or the Med. This is minimum work maximum income method. Many bar owners chuck in free food in situ.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:48   #7
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

It strikes me those things work better from US coastal town, with a shop, than from a 26-foot boat, which is nearly too small to exist on. That would probably be more relaxing. Perhaps one of the S FL rentals.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:51   #8
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Don't try to compete in foreign ports with local service providers.

Yes....likely a good way to get boarded by pirates/government officials.

I plan to stay out of ports. I have a compact 50's vintage Mercury outboard that offers 40hp that I can also carry by hand. My dinghy will haul ass. I like to have a couple hundred yards between the neighbors and me.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:55   #9
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
It strikes me those things work better from US coastal town, with a shop, than from a 26-foot boat, which is nearly too small to exist on. That would probably be more relaxing. Perhaps one of the S FL rentals.
The 26' is for experience. The liveaboard will be at least 40' and quite possibly more than 50'. Tools represent a lot of space and weight.
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Old 16-04-2017, 08:03   #10
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
In many places there are farms and plantations that need temp work. You compete with local and migrated workforce. Where we are you can make USD5 per hour no tax. Not too bad other than the work can be teens of hours in the sun - most Westerners are too soft for that.

Another cool method is to go for the opposite - train as a bartender then apply for jobs at tourist restaurants, beach bars, etc. This is nice because you work in the shade or at night. A good bartender can easily make USD25 plus working in a popular beach bar in West Indies or the Med. This is minimum work maximum income method. Many bar owners chuck in free food in situ.

Cheers,
b.
Thanks...that is a highly practical idea. My own experience has been that tending bar can be a road to alcoholism, a disease that killed a grandfather. I hardly drink at all though a favorite joke is "Life is full of problems, margaritas fix everything."
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Old 16-04-2017, 08:11   #11
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
In many places there are farms and plantations that need temp work. You compete with local and migrated workforce. Where we are you can make USD5 per hour no tax. Not too bad other than the work can be teens of hours in the sun - most Westerners are too soft for that.

Another cool method is to go for the opposite - train as a bartender then apply for jobs at tourist restaurants, beach bars, etc. This is nice because you work in the shade or at night. A good bartender can easily make USD25 plus working in a popular beach bar in West Indies or the Med. This is minimum work maximum income method. Many bar owners chuck in free food in situ.

Cheers,
b.
Nowhere in Central America at least pays $5/hour for ag work. $5-10/day for a long hard day is more typical. I dont think the typical aging cruiser could even make it thru 1 day.

But, there are lots of cruisers who work illegally for other cruisers at much better rates.

Competing with the locals is the fastest way to get busted or just plain old fashion run outta town.
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Old 16-04-2017, 08:21   #12
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

When I was down on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala years ago there were two guys doing well and probably returned to the states with more money than they started with...

One knew how to repair outboards as you said. Almost every cruiser has a dingy that has an outboard that's going to quit on them. If you know how to fix 'em you can make money.

The other guy knew how to repair VHF radios. He left the states with a ton of crystals for the radios. My main VHF went belly up and I had a backup but it only had a couple of channels. The guy repaired my VHF in a day at a very reasonable price and I was back in business.
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Old 16-04-2017, 08:39   #13
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by softdown View Post
Isn't this the #1 problem for most? It seems like money never lasts a fraction as long as I thought it would. Life is expensive.

Computer geeks may be able to do geek work whenever they have a good internet connection. What about the rest of us?

Just started thinking about this. My liveaboard goal is a few years away. That is why I bought a 26 footer, to gain significant experience first.

Here are a couple current ideas:
1) Buying old, broke down outboards and learning how to fix them. I have seven that need fixing and four that run. I have rebuilt a few motors, I am mechanically inclined.
2) Diesels? Lot harder to do the same thing with diesels. Concentrating on outboards for now. Most cruisers have an outboard on their dinghy, many also use them on their sailboat.
3) Solar? Been meaning to go solar professional for awhile. Have the knowledge, just too busy with other demands.
4) Water? Been a custom aquarium specialist for 24 years. Filtration, pumping, plumbing.......plenty of experience here.
5) Carpentry? Built my own 8000' shop. Then the county assessor measured things and quite literally drove me into the seas. I've been a cabinet maker as well.
6) Underwater services such as hull cleaning? Well....it pays and is good exercise while performing a vital function. Master diver with good strength and endurance. Nine scuba tanks.
7) Photography/Videography? Was a wedding and event photographer and videographer for a decade. Spent tens of thousands on gear that is now often worthless. Oh well. We have all been down that road.
8) High seas gigolo? Ummm.....no.
9) Own two S Florida rentals. Sometimes they make a little money. Sometimes they lose a lot.....air conditioners and drain fields etc.
10) Edited in a bit later. Advertising always proved to be very necessary. I can update my own web site. The challenge would be advertising. I'd rather not name my boat something commercial like Boat Mechanic. Then get banging on the hull at all types of unwanted hours. Being on call 24/7 is pretty much hellish.

Expecting to get beat up a bit. Hopefully yielding more wheat than chaff. Reasoned responses may be helpful to dreamers and newbies alike.
An important factor to consider is venue. There are places where cruisers congregate and where boat work gets done (Several in the E Carib like Grenada and Trinidad, USA Ft Lauderdale-Miami/Key West/Kemah-Clear Lake..., W Carib Rio Dulce, Colon/Linton Panama, Cartagena Colombia...). Tons of work in these venues. If you want work you must go where there is work...remote cruising locations...not so much. Most foreigners working in the non-USA venues are working illegally, but since these skills mostly dont compete with locals they are usually ignored.

Youve got some good skills. Add some training/certifications/experience to beef them up.

Outboards have problems all the time. Usually just a good carb cleaning needed to solve 95% of the problems. Easy money. Carry tools for that, maybe a rebuild kit or two for the more common engines (like Yamaha Enduros). A small ultrasonic parts cleaner would be great.

Basic marine diesels are not in fact much more complicated than outboards, but experience counts and you dont have it...yet.

Carpentry...cabinet maker level skills certainly could be in demand.

Solar, meeh not much work there since usually zero maintenance required. New installs/upgrades usually get done when not actively cruising in venues where lots of boat work gets done. But most cruisers do the installs/upgrades before they leave cruising.

Water = water makers = maintenance = work. Get some training/experience with water makers. Spectra offers tech classes.

Diver services...yes, often a need for that. Carry a nice big magnet for recoving all those things boaters drop overbaoard too.

Advertising is usually intentionally word of mouth only amonst the cruiser community in a given venue. Locals/Authorities will usually ignore a bit of low profile illegal work, but if you put up a billboard then its gonna be harder for them to ignore.
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Old 16-04-2017, 08:58   #14
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Welding - There are several ways to go with that:

1] Readywelder, 24v battery input, $600-700 Ready Welder » Products Page
2] Small stick welder, 100a output, 110v input, $100-200
3] Small wire feed welder, 100a output, 110v input, $150-250.

Also need protective helmet, gloves, jacket, grinder, wire brushes, chipping hammer, torch and consumables (lenses for helmet, rolls/sticks of weld metal, gases for torch).

For the torch I would get an oxy/propane torch so the only special gas to carry and replace would be oxygen.

For weld metal make sure you carry sticks/rolls for 304, 316 and mild steel and maybe also something appropriate for welding cast iron.

With the Readywelder and inert gas like CO2 you might also be able to weld aluminum.
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Old 16-04-2017, 09:00   #15
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Re: Non tech ways of supporting the cruisers lifestyle?

Where are the Condos? Sell them if not making $$$.
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