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post #1 of 8 Old 11-01-2002 Thread Starter
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

Have read that diesel mechanics can get work fairly often while cruising. I am an experienced automobile mechanic with experience working on Perkins 4-108 (as well as Atomic 4) marine engines. Is my experience sufficient, or would it be beneficial to get ASE Diesel Certification???
Neil
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-01-2002
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

N:

IME in most locations (U.S. islands excluded) your issue isn''t certification but rather a govt. work permit. Your ''market'' is the anchorage and quietly scaring up jobs amongst the yachties. Alternatively, you''ll need a sponsor (e.g. charter operation or yacht maintenance company) to seek a permit on your behalf.

In the U.S. islands (USVI, PR) the challenge will be to break into the local network. Employment is tough down there and jobs go first to islanders, in most cases.

Jack
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-03-2002
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

I was told a while ago, that down in the USVI and surrounding areas, the locals don''t want to put in an honest 40 and most visitors just want to be tourists! This left a real big labor deficit down there! This came from some cruising friends who were working at one of the big hotels there. One as a bartender and his wife worked cleaning the rooms. The owners loved them and gave them everything! Room, meals, vehicle, etc. along with a great paycheck!
I''m a mechanic as well, but I don''t specialize in just engines. “Quietly scaring up jobs” isn’t going to require any licenses or permits. It means being able to do what will pay, from electronics, plumbing, carpentry, sewing, whatever! And don’t just look in the anchorage, but all over the waterfront!
I can relate two stories of cruising “down-east”. The CG pulled in a small cruiser from the dead fog this one night. Their loran had failed and they were completely lost! In the morning I rowed over to say Hi and they told me the story. I offered to help and found a bad crimp-connection on the ground wire at the back of their unit, which I quickly fixed. They were so ecstatic that they gave me $50 for my 5 minuets of work!
Another time there was a barge offloading lumber onto one of the islands up there and the operators were looking rather apprehensive and quizzically looking down the engine room hatch. I rowed over and was asked if I knew anything about diesel engines. I jumped aboard and went below for a look. I found a loose battery connection, cleaned it up and got them going before the tide turned. $100 bucks, thanks!
By the way, both of those jobs were handled with nothing more then a leatherman tool! I think you could make a fairly good living that way and still keep cruising. Dedicating yourself to a specialty would require you to have a garage, tools, engine stands, hoists, machines, etc. Perhaps, if you had 100 feet of boat, you could section off a good 2/3s of it for the purpose…
By the way, those people never asked to see my certifications!
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-06-2002
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

My friend and I were wanting to sail around central and south america and were wondering what kind if jobs we could get. Is it possible to get a hotel job in Mexico or Panama or anywere in between if you are a couple of white college age kids. I am good with my hands but I have always liked a stable source of income to back up any $50 dollar crimp jobs I might come across.
Jason
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-07-2002
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

The stories above are NOT the norm. My husband can fix just aout anything on just about any boat and has. Most often you barter or get a huge Thank You w/ a bottle of booze. If you make money put in the kitty and consider yourself lucky but do not go down island and depend on making money that way.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-11-2002
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

Neil
Where are you located right now? My husband and I will be cruising to the Caribbean right now, but our engine needs some work on it before then. We have a Perkins 4-108 and are located in Galveston.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-12-2002 Thread Starter
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

Hi
Sorry we can''t help you this time! We''re in Maine refitting for departure in 2003....
Best wishes, Neil
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-21-2002
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Working in the Caribbean: diesel repair

Hey. Do me a favor and hook onto my Bristol 35 in SW Harbor and tow it down to the VI with you. After over 40 years in Maine, I''ve finally gotten over missing "up home." The Weather Channel has a lot to do with that. That and overnight mail for scallops from my diving friends. Now, if I could just find the time and/or $$ to get the boat down here. KW, formerly of Peaks Island, Verona Island, SW Harbor, Deer Isle, Sandy Point, Bangor, Dixmont and beautiful downtown E. Holden.
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