Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Thanked 46 Times in 43 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Agree with Tempest. More certificates (or experience) in more disciplines makes you more employable in something close enough to pure sailing to enable you to sail a lot while still having enough to pay the rent.
So the Coast Guard license is a real advantage (100 Ton, not just the 6-pack) because then you can moonlight in the oilfield (at least down here) on crewboats or supply boats, where the decent money is, to subsidize your sailing or sail teaching. The teaching certificates are good, but with the license, the lack of an ASA teaching cert may not be that big a deal, or may be something that sailing school will help you get.
Also a good idea is a scuba cert, since some larger sailboats also make dive trips. Get the basic cert, then work your way up to Rescue Diver. The dive boats don't pay nearly as well as the oilfield boats, but better than most of the just-sailing gigs.
I'd like to do a little of all the above when I retire. For now, I dive recreationally and teach sailing or do charter-capt as a weekend thing.
Then there's the racing world. Hard to make a real living at that since it's mostly amateur, unless you're *really* good (Russell Coutts comes to mind) or are not just really good but a sailmaker too.
Basic problem: you're trying to make a living doing something that's so much fun (or it seems so to those in offices on shore) that many will do it for nothing. So when you do get paid, it's in "sun dollars", which don't spend as well as "work dollars at a job you'd like to quit so you can sail full-time".