Sailing instructor as a retirement gig - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-16-2016 Thread Starter
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Sailing instructor as a retirement (Hobby) gig

Last summer I volunteered as on board sailing coach for a local sailing club’s beginner's class. I guess I did okay as I was asked to help coach their sailing 2 class…I found really enjoy teaching and can’t wait to do it again. Retirement is just over 3 years away and we plan on moving to the middle peninsula of Virginia. I’d like to continue to teach sailing then. I looked in to it enough to know besides the ASA training and requirements, I also need USCG 6-pack captains license (I've seen all the requirements).

I’d like to hear some thoughts a about pursuing this goal. I’ve read enough other threads that would lead me to believe it’s not feasible to it on my boat. I see there are schools in the area. Do school usually cover all instructor expenses? Insurance, whatever else? Is there potential to make any money? Or ways/places to it as a volunteer without the USCG license and ASA certs?

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post #2 of 25 Old 12-16-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

As long as you retire rich, it will work out great for you. Look around for another thread for "Teaching on your own boat." A member here has taught for years and the school is changing the game and the boats being used to teach are being pulled out from under him. He is not sure if it is economically feasible to continue.

As long as you do it because you love it and think an extra $10,000 + a year is adequate compensation for your effort, it would be a great way to share what you love doing. Retiring early and moving to a nice house on the coast to be supplemented by the big bucks you will make teaching..... not a good retirement plan.
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-16-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

Won't be rich, but should be okay without extra income. (Gig in the subject was a bad choice of words). It'd be more of a hobby. It'd great to make "beer" money doing something I'd do for free. Yes, I saw the thread about teaching on your own boat. It sparked me to post this. What I'm wondering is about. Could I find a job? Would a school hire a newbe instructor? Could I even make gas money? How often do you get students that are a PIA? General thoughts about being a paid instructor.....

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post #4 of 25 Old 12-16-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

I earned by USCG Master License and ASA instructing credentials back in 2005. I knew I wanted to do this when I retired. I have been teaching since 2005. ( I will not be retired for another 10 years.) It is ALOT of fun. As long as you see the income as "play money" and not depend on it for living expenses or retirement then go for it!

You can't make what I consider to be a descent living just teaching sailing.

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post #5 of 25 Old 12-16-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

JoCo: That teaching on your own boat thread started my head thinking in the same direction as you. That same day, I got an email from ASA with links on how to become an ASA-certified sailing instructor. Check it out:

https://asa.com/become-a-sailing-instructor/

Note that they have a section where ASA schools are seeking instructors. Some require experience, but I recall at least one of them accepted applications from newbie instructors. And there are non-ASA schools as well where you might find a gig.

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post #6 of 25 Old 12-16-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

Something I have thought about, but never actually tried is hiring myself out as a coach that people can hire to teach them how to boat handle, specifically, dock.

I see quite a few people who really struggle with boat handling and docking, I have one guy at my marina who seems to even get nervous watching other people dock.

But like I said, I've never tried it, because I have never had the time.

Any way, I just thought it might be another angle to consider, hiring yourself out as a free Lance coach on other people's boats with whatever skill they want to work on.

Another thing retired guys do for beer money in my neck of the woods is hiring themselves out as deck hands to help people take their boats through locks. Not sure if there are any opportunities like that around where you are.

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post #7 of 25 Old 12-16-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

Many delivery skippers add to their income helping new owners familiarize themselves with the equipment aboard and handling of, their new vessels. It's not really 'formal' sailing lessons, but it's always an interesting and rewarding experience. These gigs are often through the yacht brokers, so it behooves a skipper/teacher to build a relationship with a few good brokerages.
When I worked for a national sailing school, they had their own boats and the instructors were straight paid employees, not subcontractors or 1099. Personally, I think that's the only way to go.
I've seen plenty of ads for sailing instructors for organizations like the BSA, NY Yacht Club and the thousands of summer camps around the nation, each spring. These are probably much more lucrative and well run operations than those who expect the instructor to supply a boat, insurance and whatever, thinking to save a buck and maximize THEIR profits.

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post #8 of 25 Old 12-16-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

I've taught part time at captain's course school as a 'retirement gig.' My wife's view (which was pretty close to accurate) was that the pay covered gas to get back and forth to the school, and occasional drinks out with other staff and students. I'd think of this as a way to take a hobby and reduce it's cost, rather than a way to supplement retirement income. Talking about boating all day, honestly, I'd be willing to pay for that privilege.
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-16-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

I have a few options I might do when I retire. I am approaching retirement, From next year on I could theoretically retire. A few more years till I can afford it.

Teaching sailing is one of my options. For me it would be just something to do. Keeping me occupied. For retirement.

Instructing is not going to help me to afford to retire.

To answer some of your questions.
A lot of sailing schools run basic instructor courses just prior to their spring instructing season often with an offer of opportunities to work as a new instructor. Down side is you often just make enough to cover the course fee.
what schools cover will depend on the school and local rules.

Working for a Sailing School.
Two options,
Employee.
If you are an employee, Instructors are usually, Part Time, Paid a daily or hourly rate. Insurance Covered and other liabilities covered by the school, Think carefully about this. Insurance from Association is very limited. You sail on boats owned by school, chartered by school, or the School is agent for boats owner. Owner gets Owners portion of Charter rate from instruction fees.
Or
Self employed Contractor. You have your own boat. Still Part time. Contractor, You form your own small company(sailing School) get contract from sailing school. Higher Rate, Fee or Charter For Boat. As a small company you are responsible for Insurance and all other liabilities.

Which ever works for you.

The Biggest advantage of being an employee is if you are hurt on the job. You are covered by school. In most jurisdictions as a contractor you have to provide your own cover.

It is fun I enjoyed instructing.
It will pay your expenses and some beer.
If I do it its to pass the time,

But I still want to work a bit on my terms. But I don't want to have to work.

The sailing school I used to work for is still in business and would be happy to have me come back again.

I can choose which weeks or weekends I am interested in. I can work if I feel like it. Or not If I don't.
The hourly rate? I haven't asked recently.

I did contemplate forming my own small one man operation with my own boat. So far its a pipe dream.
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-17-2016
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Re: Sailing instructor as a retirement gig

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoCoSailor View Post
....Is there potential to make any money? ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoCoSailor View Post
......It'd great to make "beer" money doing something I'd do for free.....
This kinda says it all with hobby jobs. There is always a supply of folks that feel this way, so the wages are going to be low.

Still, I hope you enjoy it and others get the benefit of your willingness to help out.


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