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  #1  
Old 01-02-2007
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Sources of income for full time cruiser and LA

Upon completion of building my Voyager 388 (http://sailboat.creatica.org), I'm thinking to change my life style of a computer professional to full time cruiser and LA.

I'm far away from being retired and have no savings. On the other hand, I have no illusion for sole circumnavigation in my 60s. Life in my mind is short and I'd better do it now while in good shape and health.

So I wonder if it's possible making enough income while full time cruising and living aboard, especially in remote destinations, countries to self-finance this kind of life style? Has anyone done it?

The things that come to mind are sailing tourists, fishermen, divers, harbour labour as I can do pretty much anything from computer repair to welding.

My concerns are that working in foreign countries may not be allowed without proper visa and certain jobs require licenses, permits such as elecrical wiring, etc.

Any thoughts, ideas, experiences are appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2007
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AC repair and diesel repair. But you are right, it is frowned upon in many courtries, flat illeagal in others. You don't want to end up in some Mexican Prison over a few bucks. What about photography? You can do it anywhere and send it back across the pond for money. But if you make enough to buy lunch, I would be suprised.

Computer repair: Yes, but it would probably require being in or near a city.

Fisherman: Fogettaboutit. Half the locals in a Tu-tu with a spear can outfish most tourists (since that is what you would be).

Diver: Requires tanks, compressor, etc. Are you a registered PADI instructor? If not, you are just teaching someone to swim and breathe.

Sailing Tourist: Do you know the waters better than the locals, and who is going to pay for it? Locals find out you are taking their money to sail around tourists, the police might knock at your companionway (or worse). Unemployment is sky high in many/most third world countries.

Electrical Wiring. Are you a master elecrician? They are sought after in many countries, from what I undersatnd. That one is not too bad... unless you don't know what you are doing and burn someones boat/house down. If so, I hope your boat can exceed hull speed.

I cannot remember the issue (seems like it was Cruising World about half a year ago, you might have to search their web site) but there was an article about a couple that found ways around the laws of a country(s) to earn money. They did it, but it was illegal. What is it worth to you? Better to live meager in the US, save everything you can, then go out sailing on a tight budget. This statement might be debated, but: You have to EARN the right to go cruising... one way or another.

Hope it all works out for ya.

- CD
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Old 01-02-2007
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The Internet might permit you to write for U. S. based firms from wherever, provided you have a the skills and perhaps a literary agent.

It might also permit you to operate a U. S. business from afar, provided you have product, a market, and trustworthy staff that will do the paperwork and shipping.
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Old 01-02-2007
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Arkadi,

You seem skilled enough, why don't you become a Consultant at what you do best, and fly from and to the Customer's and your boat.

I have a friend, he is a power Plant Engineer, he cruises the world on his boat, (believe he is in Brasil now) and plans his stops so he can get on a plane, do a 2 to 3 week job for a customer, then fly back to where he left the boat, and move on to another location. He deals directly with his customers, and in exchange of not charging travel time he gets the customers to pay for the airfares. Of course it helps that he is one of the best in the industry and the customers call him all the time. He just plans his assignments and his travel.

By the way, welcome to Sailnet, Happy New Year and let me tell you I am trully impressed with your assignment, your boat, being bulit by you, alone, I don't even know where!!

All the best and good luck.
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Old 01-02-2007
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You could also...teach English! I believe there are companies that recruit people to teach the English language. I knew a couple of people who did that tight out of college. Maybe you could hunt one down and work something out.
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Old 01-02-2007
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you can always work for cash,which in the US is a common and accepted practice.The problem is what do you do in micronesia where daily pay for a welder 20 USD a day?I agree with the poster who suggested diesel and refridgeration repair.
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Old 01-02-2007
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When I was sailing full time I had no problem making money. The obvious sources like making a deal with local hotels to take guests out for rides or teaching sailing and delivering boats are well known but I found most of my job and I might add the most interesting ones by just asking around the locals and taking anything and everything interesting.

I also did a lot of boat repair but most people doing cruising back then were skilled and independent so shore based work was the best bet. Learn as much as you can about as many subjects as you can and keep your ears open and you will be fine.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Old 01-02-2007
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the internet and paypal come to mind....
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Old 01-02-2007
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Thanks everyone, especially Robert for the most encouraging response. It has been done!

To summarize the ideas: local competition is likely a problem; possible other sources:
  • writing
  • photography
  • teaching (English, sailing, scuba diving if I get PADI certification)
  • computer consulting (this is unlikely to work for North America but might work in less developed countries providing visa restrictions are dealt with somehow)
  • boat maintenance and repair
  • remotely operate US business (Canadian in my case, which I don't have by the way)
  • work over Internet (doing some kind of computer/software related work in my case, I guess that might actually work for me if I find a job like this)
  • do whatever job is available locally for cash
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Old 01-15-2007
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cuising and money

Like the adm said,and the first thing that came to my mind with your skills was computer support and paypal seems like this could be done with an internet connection,set up a good website and let people come to you.
just a thought,I know I often screw this thing up and is fixed via remote or an email,

good day
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