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  #31  
Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

Start a business. Follow these three rules: 1. Choose an expanding industry. 2. Choose a unique and consumable product for residual income. 3. Choose a business where the majority of tasks and functions can be outsourced.
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
Start a business. Follow these three rules: 1. Choose an expanding industry. 2. Choose a unique and consumable product for residual income. 3. Choose a business where the majority of tasks and functions can be outsourced.
Easier said than done. It's the cruising holy grail.
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by Razcar View Post
Easier said than done. It's the cruising holy grail.
Go read "The Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss. He lays it all out and at the end gives countless opportunities and business ideas.
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
Go read "The Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss. He lays it all out and at the end gives countless opportunities and business ideas.
I have, 3 times. Have you actually tried doing what he says? His writing is compelling, and his ideas have merit. But having taken his advice and spent thousands trying to kick off a half dozen of my own businesses, using his very methods, I can't say it's as easy as he makes it appear to be int he book.

Without turning this into a Ferris convo, I'll just say that he had a business set up a running for years before he virtualized it... and even according to him, you have to blood/sweat/tears the thing before you get there... it's VERY tough to just jump into a totally virtual, turn-key, business requiring nothing more than a couple of hours to run, in a couple of weeks or months.

Looking back on it, I should have just bought a boat. At least I'd be on the water now.
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  #35  
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by Razcar View Post
I have, 3 times. Have you actually tried doing what he says? His writing is compelling, and his ideas have merit. But having taken his advice and spent thousands trying to kick off a half dozen of my own businesses, using his very methods, I can't say it's as easy as he makes it appear to be int he book.

Without turning this into a Ferris convo, I'll just say that he had a business set up a running for years before he virtualized it... and even according to him, you have to blood/sweat/tears the thing before you get there... it's VERY tough to just jump into a totally virtual, turn-key, business requiring nothing more than a couple of hours to run, in a couple of weeks or months.

Looking back on it, I should have just bought a boat. At least I'd be on the water now.
I have. I have two businesses going that are all outsourced for the most part. One is an online advertising business focused on display ad campaigns. We are a publisher. The other is a healthcare company that acts as the division of nutritional medicine for the doctor's practice. I have nutritionists and dietitians who work with the patients.

It does take time and I have not completely let go of what I planned to outsource when I started both businesses. Had I not chosen businesses that were designed to be outsourced then I would be just like every other entrepreneur who has a poor work/life balance.

Don't quit trying. The principles are sound.
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

Working while voyaging has been a dream of mine since I began sailing in the early 60's. Unfortunately, it really is not something that can be easily done.
As mentioned above, most countries will not allow non-citizens to take work from locals, so you must find something locals cannot do, like friends who got the contract to set up the government computer network in Samoa, when there were very few computer literate folks out there. As a captain or crew or fisherman, etc.; forget it.
Deliveries are a good source of income if you choose to be in an area (like the VI) at the end of the charter season, but you must leave your boat while on delivery; not the best plan, especially in hurricane season. And 95% of sail boat deliveries are plagued by break downs, unreliable equipment and worn out boats, or the owner would do it, because a delivery is just like cruising, but for money, right?
A few folks I know make some money sewing, doing electrical, mechanical and refrigeration repairs on cruising boats. But cruisers are notoriously cheap and if one is a capable professional, most cruisers won't pay for the quality work, which leaves you making little money doing a less than proper job. Also this is not a steady income.
Then there's chartering. The pie in the sky; sail and earn thousands of dollars a week. Well, the booking agents have a saying; you are only as good as your last charter. Which means that if you have 25 perfectly fantastic charters and your last one was with a really unpleasant creep, you will not get another charter until the agents are desperate and need you again. Giving someone a great vacation aboard your cruising boat is not an easy thing to do. You must be pretty familiar with the area you are sailing in, be able to provide 3 full, extraordinary meals and afternoon appetizers each day, never mind the little things that aren't in the "guide to successful chartering". With the internet, it is possible to get a few bookings a year, but again, one unhappy customer can ruin that, too. Getting hits on a charter site is not all that easy, as we can attest.
I would suggest amassing a bit of cash and investing it in an annuity which will give you a steady, reliable income, because, unless you get extremely lucky, you will not be able to earn enough to live comfortably on while sailing.
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I would suggest amassing a bit of cash and investing it in an annuity which will give you a steady, reliable income, because, unless you get extremely lucky, you will not be able to earn enough to live comfortably on while sailing.
My plan is to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE... live as cheaply as you can now and have a nest egg large enough to not have to worry about working for a living while cruising... We try to live on my wife's pay as a tenured teacher as much we can and put all my consulting engineering pay in the bank... by the time it's quitting time for me in 4-6 years... we should have enough to support our happy lives... my spouse has 7 more years till teacher retirement kicks in... I can continue in this field working since it's all computer/desk mundane analysis stuff... we're halfway there in terms of savings... can't wait!
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I think there are very few jobs that can be done while cruising if you wish to keep moving, ie actively cruising.

The IT idea sounds fine but I think there are very few in our size boats actively cruising because the Internet is so iffy in many places. And the person who can spent $10,000 per month on satelite broadband would be in a bigger boat...

There are some who may be making a few spending dollars but not a reasonable portion of a budget and probably investing lots of hours.

If you are going to profit by $30,000 per year there must be clients who do Ned to see you, and have good land based system.

The yacht delivery people need to be in a good area to work... A week delivery from Ft Lauderdale will not fly in a skipper from Pago Pago.
It takes years to get the reputation and what do you ,do with your boat when away? Marinas can be expensive so you are on half dollars!
Many have to crew for a long time for free to get the reputation.

Sowing, covers, sail rite machines.... God there are so many older ladies trying to offer this one. But once cruising the need for winch covers just doesn't exist! (Btw if looking for someone to do some work, just stop past any boat with winch covers! They do it!!)

Hull cleaning. Locals come cheaper than you. Venuzalea was $10 per DAY for labour so how much can you charge for 1 hour?


Hair cutting not many do this one. But you only get $10 per cut. Many have very long hair cruising (males mid life crisis means they grow a pony tail! Women how can you bare it? I'm single. give him the heave Ho and come live with a shaved short haired non smelly man)

Consultancy work from old profession. There are few that can hide away even just giving advice. Lawyers, but is all their info now on the web or do they still need a law library?

Doing jobs for cruisers... Other cruisers seem pretty independent and don't need paid help. Making this more difficult is that most cruisers will volunteer to help someone's problem for no pay to get Karma Points.

Marine mechanic, electronics, etc. need to be in one place for a long time. Local laws etc. other cruisers won't pay. Cruiser mechanics charge too much... Generally $30 to $50 per hour when the Yanmar guy charges $50 with parts, warranty, specialist knowledge. I prefer to use the Yanmar guy at the higher rate unless I absolutely know the cheaper person.

Lots of bum alcoholics are cruising the world looking for any dollar and if you say can you do x they say yes and stuff it up. It means few will use another cruiser unless they have a great reputation.

So how would I earn money?
I think I would do the 6 months at home, 6 months cruising. No matter how poor you think your economy, it's vastly better than some island in the middle of nowhere, and in your country the dollars are real and substantial....

It's difficult... And a question asked so often... But in my four years afloat I have met NO ONE making a dollar more than just small pin money. Certainly none who are making good money.


Mark
I like this as it is most grounded in reality. However, there are ways to make money without white collar work or long-term sessilization (just made that up).
Biggest factor is going to be where you are cruising.
For me, right now, my cruising is focused in the Bahamas. A few hours a day diving with a spear gun at some good reefs will net you enough fish to sell at the local docks toward late afternoon. Right now its crawfish season (spiny lobster). Guys go out and spear 50 or 100 per day (much more using traps) and sell them for 7$ per lb.
That same lobster tail at 8 OZ goes for 28.99$ at Red Lobster right now.
So I would say small scale fishing. However, you will have to be wary about the other local fisherman. I would think to avoid confrontation you would need to either work with or for them, or limit your stays in any one place to three or four days before moving on to the next locale.
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  #39  
Old 02-03-2013
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Maybe go find yourself a nice secluded area that you can easily access with your boat and make yourself a small garden. Grow whatever is in season in that region and choose hardy plants that don't need very much care. Like Potatoes for an example. Stay for one full growing season checking the plants once a week. And after you harvest set up shop in a crowded marina? Just food for thought (huehue). Probably wont be enough money though unless you have a rather large garden. Maybe this is a bad idea. Im just trying to think of something that goes with my skill set since I majored in agricultural science.
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

Coastal sailor here... I feel like during my entire career I have been acquiring skills I need to survive off the grid. I have tended bar for 10+ years. I have an automotive education and spent 6 years working in a shop. Lastly i have spent the last 8 years working as a certified IT professional with formal college training. I also just received my diving cert. One more thing on this old preppers bucket list before I set sail will be formal paramedic training. I find the dream motivational. I feel like the more knowledge I have the longer i can survive living the dream. All those things i mentioned I believe can save me money and make me money with. How old am I? without looking at the profile.
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