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Old 08-30-2011
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Career in sailing?

Hey guys and dolls I have been trying to figure out what to do with my life I am a philosophy and psychology major in college and bought a boat to live on however work and life at school have not really allowed me to make the boat really comfortable to stay on during winter I live there but summer is just to hot. I also recently took over the marina/outpost at the place I work I am only 22 so being a manager is a huge learning curve and allowed me to write grants and such where I hope to soon get a few more hobie cats, 6 lasers and 6 sunfish and want to start sail training. I am getting a cert through the navy (I work at a navy rec park) But that wont transfer to the real world sadly enough. So I recently volunteered to help teach some boy scouts to sail at work not for any kind of cert as I said that I cannot give them any cert. or anything and they understood I was however surprised how little the sailing guys knew about points of sail apparent wind, basic parts of the sailboat and sail roach of sail etc. etc. Well that was really quite enjoyable so I was wondering what could I do as far as a career as a sailor? I know there are such things but not sure where to start or anything about such a feild. Well Sorry for such the long passage but I feel the background is important in helping people understand yes I am young dumb and often full of cow manure but this is something I could see doing for the rest of my life but I would like to make sure I could at least eat and be a sailor because there is really nothing that I have found that I enjoy more than being on the water being pushed around by the use of wind and know how.
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My Journey to find instability living aboard.
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Old 08-31-2011
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Anyone?
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My Journey to find instability living aboard.
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Old 08-31-2011
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Well Solman it sounds you are headed in the right direction! You are doing my dream also! Wish i was as smart as you at your age! Keep up your direction and things will work for ya nad maybe you can hire me! I am 41 recently got my BS degree but i have no direction myself, i am a PC Technicain for 10 years now and i have always craved the ocean breeze every morning! But once ur married its not easy to achieve!
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"""Here's a toast to you on the coast and the sailors out at sea Drink your ales, hoist your sails Ride the windssssssssss and think of me,,,,,,,,,, 'cause Oh I wish I was there tonight"""
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Old 08-31-2011
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Solman,

Teaching sailing can be rewarding in many ways, However, in my experience it's not very financially rewarding. Many instructors are either college students working summers like yourself, or retired or semi-retired folks like me. IF someone is making a good living at it, full time ..I'd love to know the secret. It's often seasonal work.
If you have the flexibility to move with the seasons, you can probably keep busy.

If you start your own school, you end up being an administrator, and hiring guys like me to teach...unless you pay someone to do all the admin work..

Some sailors end up doing private or brokered deliveries...or both.

There's charter companies that use captains..for inexperienced charterers or for those that simply would rather have a captain

There's the racing world which I know little about..

I am not trying to discourage your passion and desire to teach and be on the water, I'd just point out that everyone that I know that teaches sailing has multiple sources of income. They are regular teachers with summers off, musicians, retired folks, etc etc.

I would keep building your resume obtain the sailing certs from one of the associations ASA, US Sailing, RYA..etc...and maybe a Coast Guard license...pick up knowledge and skills regarding Engine's, Electrical Systems etc etc.

If being on the water is what's most important to you, I wouldn't rule out getting as much experience as you can in power boats as well.. Sailors tend to be cheap SOB's
( ducking) lol. Folks that think nothing about spending $15,000 + at the fuel dock..
To move their boat from Newport to Florida..for instance..are not bad connections to have.
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Last edited by Tempest; 08-31-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 08-31-2011
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Solo, not a whole lot of viable career options that are just "Sailors," not in the sense you mean anyway.
Putting "sailors," like Merchant Marines and Navy/Coast Guard types aside and focusing solely on sail-powered vessels leaves you looking at many options however.
One: If you love sailing then continue your schooling and work on YOUR boat. Upon graduation take your boat and begin exploring other places. This is the wanderer approach but I am willing to bet some of the most fascinating lives ever lived started in such ways, though many different modes of transportation were used I am sure.
2: Try to gain work with accredited sailing institutions and or businesses such as ASA or Sail Laser. These provide real 9-5 jobs that pay you to do exactly what you are asking. The local manager of the Sail Laser in which I have been a member spends his time going to boat shows up and down the east coast selling Laser boats and parts. He also manages the local franchise so actually takes out groups of people regularly for outings and excursions. Then on his time off (so he has said) he races J boats at a local Yacht Club.
Conversely my Uncle does the same thing but for Boston Whaler. His job consist of flying around the world selling foreign governments and private people alike Boston Whalers. Usually he spends half his year away from home and the other half he works 9-5 and is able to still enjoy family time. He has expressed a growing dislike for the travel though, but at our age I think that is hardly a concern!
This is the 9-5 sailor type. If you love sailing but love even more having a set address on land I would investigate these type routes.
Route three is a mix of 9-5 with adventure. Look into charter businesses that can use crew members. This is a way to get on a boat and work your way up. Lots of forums and advertisements exist that offer positions both paid and unpaid for crew on a sailboat. If you get with a business or make a name for yourself you will be able to have a stable amount of business that allows you to take people out to amazing places, teach them the joys of sailing, and then go home afterward with nice paychecks and deep tans. At your age with no commitments (Marriage, kids, ect.) this is a very nice way to live.

The reality is that unless you get lucky and land a JOB with an actual sailing industry; be it builders, testers, charters, schools, clubs, whatever. You will most likely find you will have to work to support your hobby. It will take some time to get your skills up and your reputation up to be able to make enough money to live as a "sailor." However it can be done!
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Old 08-31-2011
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You didn't mention how far you've gone in college; i.e. where are you in terms of graduation? Sadly, I've not seen a "Sailor Wanted" in the classifieds that has anything under the compensation section, outside of the standard "Great conversation, great sailing, great wind", etc. etc. that you can find. Lots of folks dream of hanging out on the boat full time, but usually find that's reserved for the "end" of one's career and rarely at the beginning. Now, if it's being around a dock and boats, and you don't mind some hard work, one could always redirect their studies and focus on something marine diesel mechanics, etc. There are tons of folks in the world earning a small living writing magazine articles, etc. while cruising or circumnavigating, but I'd imagine that particular field is a very competitive and not highly compensated one. You could consider directing your focus towards sales and attempt to become an agent for one of the many brokerage houses that exist. Wouldn't necessarily allow you to hang out on the boat all day, but, you would at least be around the boats when showing them to prospective buyers. I can say this, however, if there was a "job" that consisted of people with experience to teach others to sail or something in that area, then that particular field would more than likely be extremely over-crowded. Speaking for myself, only of course, I'd sure look at a "mid-life-career-change" without blinking an eye. The best path is to "Bill Gates" it: design something that everyone just HAS to have, sell it for billions, then you can do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. Oh, or you could just win the PowerBall Lottery and be done with it. Best wishes.
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Old 08-31-2011
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Or, I did just think of a partial alternative. I know a few Public School Teachers that are also sailing charter "captains" or "instructors" in the summer. One particular individual sails his 35 footer to Key West and takes Boy Scouts sailing all summer and is paid for it. He makes a little bit more than living expenses, and enough to keep the boat maintained annually. Don't decide to become a school teacher because you want to be a sailor, however. These kids today are getting plenty of "I Don't Wanna Be Heres" served up to them daily. But, if you have a passion for teaching kids, then that's priority #1 when it comes to the classroom (the Admiral in my house is an Elementary School Teacher).
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Old 08-31-2011
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I am soon to get my BA in Philosophy and psychology I have less than a full year left, I have thought about just sucking it up and getting my masters which is the plan so far an become a professor at a college or something like that. Being a teacher is something I have defiantly thought about but I guess I will just have to keep playing around get some certifications and try to at least crew on a boat.
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Old 08-31-2011
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" however work and life at school have not really allowed me to make the boat really comfortable to stay on "
I'll take it you're neither a dock rat nor a Bhuddist (life is suffering, then you die) but somehow...What odd philosophy says you can attain comfort if you let material things and surroundings bother you? Capitalism doesn't count, that's not a philosophy.

"what could I do as far as a career as a sailor?" Look into Bhuddism, or join the Navy? There are very few folks who make a buck at anything boat related, and either they're working it as a job which is only coincidental to boating, in a very competitive field, or they're enjoying the boating and accepting a low income and some material discomforts.

For a lucky few, they can do SOMETHING unique that few other people do, and few people are willing to pay for. You have to figure out, what can you offer that isn't commonly available cheaper elsewhere? That there's some kind of market for?

Or take up bank robbery, and sail in your free time. FBI statistics used to show that something like 95% of the big robbers were never caught. Not your 7-11 heist guys, but the ones who went after million+ hauls, and did their research. As opposed to some 90% of all new businesses failing within their first five years.
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Old 08-31-2011
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Solman,

If you can, stay in school and get your masters; since you're already thinking about it.
Get a professorship if you can! That's one of the best rackets around imo...
The Trend today...is Hybrid and Online courses...so you could work from your boat if you wanted...


I taught sailing part-time for 6 or so years for a school whose owner was an accounting teacher at a county college. His school year was perfect for owning a sailing school. I was working full time at my career at the time..( end of career)
I taught part-time... to gain the experience and the credentials..for the day when I would retire..and look to do something else.

Now, I teach part time at a University in the Spring and Fall Semesters and teach saling and safe boating courses in the summers......among other things

Most of the money I make teaching...goes right back in to my own boat...
The sailing instruction pay..is pretty....scant....considering all the credentials they want and the hoops and hurdles you need go through to obtain them.

I would have obtained my CG Masters license anyway..but it takes awhile to make back the instructor's sailing certifications investment..

So far, I have turned down charter business on my own boat..and deliveries of Op's boats..
And I don't schedule my summer too heavily..with teaching...but could..the work is there...
The Pay isn't.
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