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  #1  
Old 09-24-2002
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USVI Marinas & Jobs

My boyfriend & I plan on sailing to the
US Virgin Islands Summer of 2003. I have
reviewed many websites looking for a
marina and employment without any luck. He is looking for carpentry or construction work. Does anyone know the name of any construction companies or marinas we could start contacting in advance. Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2002
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Although this sounds like a great and logical idea, I''ve found that it is not as easy as one would think. Most of the Marinas in St. Thomas lock in local subcontractors. This is a difficult barrier to work through. I was in St. Thomas during and after the Hurricane Marilyn disaster. FEMA was every where but the locals got most of the work.
Much resentment to "continentals"
Rightly so I suppose in that it is a "third world" situation. I have seen ads lately for work with CYOA charters. They were located in Crown Bay. Ask for John. Independent boatyard near Redhook is pretty much locals only. The facility at American Yacht Harbor may be open for employment, ask for Dick.

Discount Marine has pretty much got the Marine retail sewed up but may be worth a try.

Independent diesel mechanics seem to do okay and the Charter companies may be an option although they will try to fill positions with locals first.

Think about transportation, agood "island" car will really help. There is ocaasional work on the docks but not enough to buy groceries. (Pnut butter at 3.50USD)

Living on the hook will save bundles but is tough to maintain landside networks.

Let me know if you might need additional info. I still have many friends and contacts in both the US and BVI.

Good luck.
The Waternut.
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Old 09-24-2002
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Thank you so much for the information but
I think I may have not made myself clear.
Sorry. We are actually looking for a
full service marina to live on the boat year round. He is actually looking for work at any
kind of construction site. We have heard
of construction companies hiring but we
have not had any luck finding the names of
these companies. Thank you.
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Old 09-24-2002
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TMC, I''d start by reading the Caribbean Compass (http://www.caribbeancompass.com/) and All At Sea (http://www.allatsea.net/) thoroughly, most especially the ads. I''d follow up where the ad suggests construction activity is planned or underway - you often see new marinas, slipways, etc. being announced when the work is months away. I think you''ll need to subscribe to the actual publications vs. just using the web sites, but you''ve got the time and they can be sent USPS First Class.

Also, I''d encourage you to start building a network of USVI contacts, accepting invitations like Waternut extended. Talking to folks already there is essential, from what I can tell, altho'' being there is preferred. Emailing and phone conversations might produce some info not otherwise well distributed, and which you can follow up on.

Finally, my own impression is that things are slow there post-9/11. I''d encourage you to expand your consideration to include Puerto Rico, where much more economic activity goes on, where cruising sailors don''t seem to struggle to find work (at least at the E end of the island), and where the U.S. infrastructure''s benefits is even more at hand...along with the offshore tax advantages.

Jack
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Old 09-25-2002
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I may not have been clear as well. When I was living in St Thomas. I was living at Independant Boat Yard in Jersey Bay.
Im a licensed Architect/Contractor. One of my dockmates Jeff Zucker owned a construction company. I asked him many times for work and even though I was qualified He would not hire me due to his local staff not accepting "outsiders" Thought that it would create bad "juju" I know this sounds Third World but in all honesty , it is.
Think of it as an Island wide Union.
My intent here is not to discourage you. Not at all. Again I''d be glad to provide some inside info to try and help you along.
Puerto Rico is a good idea. St. Johns is really nice but is a very laid back artists community.

Best bet ,as much as I hate to say it, is hope for a nasty hurricane. Even then FEMA will bring in outside US subcontractors.
The utility guys will make bundles but the locals will survive with blue tarps for a long time.
At your service;
The Waternut.........
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Old 09-26-2002
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From my experience talking with island folk, the Nut-ster seems right on mark. You have little to no chance with unskilled or semi-skilled labor. I''ve also heard the other end, highly skilled/professional, is just as difficult. Make your money up north...work for an extra month before you leave. That said, I''ve heard diesel mechanics have a better than average shot.
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Old 09-26-2002
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Thanks halyardz;
I really don''t want to discourage any one from cruising South. The sailing is unmatched, short tacking the Sir Francis Drake thru the Narrows at sunset is one of the most memorable times in my sailing career.
I''m simply providing a reality check. Been there done that.
I mentioned in an earlier post that a good diesel mechanic can make pretty good bucks working the docks. Maybe think about taking a course. Lots of Perkins,Westerbekes.
Dave''s diesel in Compass Point/Jersey bay
is almost always looking for good mechanics as most are transient and move on after making some cashola.
If you think about it ; if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. Again, feel free to E-me for any references or contacts.
You may want to also subscribe to the Daily News. The St. Thomasian news paper.
Best of luck.
halyrdz keep in touch.

The waternutster
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Old 09-26-2002
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Thanks halyardz;
I really don''t want to discourage any one from cruising South. The sailing is unmatched, short tacking the Sir Francis Drake thru the Narrows at sunset is one of the most memorable times in my sailing career.
I''m simply providing a reality check. Been there done that.
I mentioned in an earlier post that a good diesel mechanic can make pretty good bucks working the docks. Maybe think about taking a course. Lots of Perkins,Westerbekes.
Dave''s diesel in Compass Point/Jersey bay
is almost always looking for good mechanics as most are transient and move on after making some cashola.
If you think about it ; if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. Again, feel free to E-me for any references or contacts.
You may want to also subscribe to the Daily News. The St. Thomasian news paper.
Best of luck.
halyrdz keep in touch.

The waternutster
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Old 09-26-2002
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Marinas: American Yacht Harbor; Compass Point; Independent Boatyard; Lavida Marina; Per Dohm''s Water Taxi; Saga Haven; Tropical Marine (shallow draft); Sapphire Beach Marina (we call ''em dickominiums); errr. Living on the hook in, say, Elephant Bay or False Entrance would work with a reasonable tender and an umbrella. Vessup is a little rolly most of the time, but people do it. Construction: R&R Caribbean (a subsid. of Reed & Reed of Woolwich, Maine); O''Brien Construction (ask for Kevin); Majestic; Apex; blah, blah, blah. The best bet is to bankroll yourself for a six month stint screwing around down here. Make the contacts. Meet people. I haven''t had the "continental" problem, although I''ll admit it exists to a limited extent if you don''t play local. Preferential treatment abounds in both business and government. Get over it and weekend in the BVI. Wife tripled her salary when we moved down here, finding a job within weeks (once she got done "vacationing.") Qualified, service-oriented people get jobs. Many create their own. Dockage in the high rent districts is in excess of $350 a month. Probably $600 at Sapphire. Low as $150 if you can find it. I just got back from "up home" in Maine and CAN''T fathom moving north. Live here, vacation there. Asta Langusto. KW
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Oh yeah. See www.onepaper.com and click on St. Thomas Source the Daily News is online at www.dailynews.vi.
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