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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I spent the summer volunteering to get cheap lessons to learn to sail. Love every aspect of the sport and would like to here about opportunities and just learn from veterans.

I live in Athens, Georgia and I am currently enrolled in my last year at University of Georgia. Ive tried searching for ways to become crew members but all i can find is taking the STCW 95 certification will allow me to crew larger yachts.

As a young adult i feel like i need to do whatever is necessary to gain experience and become more comfortable with the sport. Ive read books and guides and know pretty much everything you can learn within a book, but my experience on the water is lacking.

Any ideas on getting acquainted or getting my foot in the door without spending loads of money that i dont have? Thanks!

Jared Jackson
 

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Siren 17
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There are a couple of career paths you can take. It's pretty easy to get into the game if your not stuck on one idea. You can go for yachts but the pay sucks and you spend most of your time washing the boat. Racing is about the same, your pretty much part of the ballast and don't really get paid. Both change when you have lots of experience and a captains license. then they pay better.

For me I went into tall ships. There are plenty still around and they go though crew pretty fast. The general rule is the father north, the more traditional, and the longer they cruise the less they pay. They're are exceptions. I worked on the Tole Mour out in Hawiee and got paid $1750 a month which is above adverage for a boat doing week long cruises in an exotic local. Best was in Boston on the Liberty Clipper, it paid about $1800 a month but your talking six days a week, two to three sails a day, never leaving the harbor.

By comparison, my buddy sailed on the Harvey Gamage, did three months up to and around the Canadian Maritimes. He made $290 a month. He was also the third mate. Generally any boat thats part of a foundation relies on Volunteers for they're deck hands and doesn't pay well. But if you don't lead an expensive life you can bop back and forth between day sailing and cruising and still put away a ducket or two.

To really enjoy, as well as affoard the life you need to get rid of extra expenses. Sale your car, go to a prepaid cell phone. Sale, toss, or donate most everthing that you don't need. You can store some of it at your parents but it isn't really worth it. If you want to be able to take up that offer to hitch a ride to Europe or catch the next flight down to Brazil to help on a delivery then you need to be free of extra baggage both physically and mentally.

Don't worry about where you start. I started as a gally steward ( dish washer ) three months later I was a deck hand, three more months later I was the ships engineer. You'll pick up sea time quick and will be able to test for a near coastal master license with in about 18 months. Then you can work as first mate on bigger boats or captian on smaller boats. Less then three years and if you've spent time on the larger tall ships you'll be able to get a bigger license. You can also hop on the snokle catamarans or the party boats for short stints to build up cash reseves. They pay alot more but don't let you live on the boat. Bit of a catch 22 but I'm assuming that your a friendly guy, the trick is to boat or house sit while pulling in the bigger money.

Early spring or fall are the best times to get hired on. All the college kids are still in or heading back to school so the supply of sailors drops. You don't need any sailing experience or special training, just a resume. Remember that in the old days they recruited new sailors by getting you really drunk, knocking you out, then waking you up after they had put to sea for Shanghie. Good luck and if you want you can PM me and I'll see what links I have on tall ships.
 

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Yes...it is....actually..it's almost impossible...

you must be a top racer, win almost everything there is there to win, before you can make money out of sailing..and only then will you get hired....as a crew..because you can get hired to drive a truck for alinghy and still be in a sailing "crew"....

If you want to make a salary, (which may not be all in money), get to work on charters, or cruise ships...Since you are in college...you already missed out on the million buck contracts with the top racing crews...so you are left with charters, really bad money and a lot of handsome competitiors with natural biceps and blond hair...

So...sorry...but not much hope for you...
realistically...I call it as I see it.

Don't be mad at me...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes...it is....actually..it's almost impossible...

you must be a top racer, win almost everything there is there to win, before you can make money out of sailing..and only then will you get hired....as a crew..because you can get hired to drive a truck for alinghy and still be in a sailing "crew"....

If you want to make a salary, (which may not be all in money), get to work on charters, or cruise ships...Since you are in college...you already missed out on the million buck contracts with the top racing crews...so you are left with charters, really bad money and a lot of handsome competitiors with natural biceps and blond hair...

So...sorry...but not much hope for you...
realistically...I call it as I see it.

Don't be mad at me...
Well, i'm not mad. Im not looking for a career in racing. But just being on or around the water, preferably a boat broker or anything to do with sailboats.

I will have a Degree in Economics and Real Estate when i graduate, so i'll have something to fallback on. But i'm a person that can live off of Ramen or in a shanty on the beach if i could sail a every day.
 

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Well, i'm not mad. Im not looking for a career in racing. But just being on or around the water, preferably a boat broker or anything to do with sailboats.

I will have a Degree in Economics and Real Estate when i graduate, so i'll have something to fallback on. But i'm a person that can live off of Ramen or in a shanty on the beach if i could sail a every day.

Let me give you a piece of advise..for free...

been in the water for more than 35 years..and loved everyone of them (well maybe when I lost my girlfriend in a swell and a few other incidents)...

You are a smart man...be a smart Economist..make a poopload of money..start your nice company, make it serious, properous and good (that is the real chalenge)..then get employees to work for you..while you sail....

I do that...everyday...(I do work sometimes)....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DanJarch,

Thank you for all that. Looks like you've done some time on the water.
As for the Catching a ride to Europe or going to Brazil for deliveries, i wasn;t quite sure what thats all about but it sounds interesting and something i would definately do.
 

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Gui is right. any career that is attractive is overloaded with wannabees like you. Do something else for a career and sail as a hobby with the money you make. find work or make work near coastal cities so you have easy access to water

Or take the long gypsy life of boat captain, working up from dirt cheap rates to trying to captain a big boat for big bucks. but most of those big bucks are in power yachts

diesel engine mechanics make decent money, are you interested in greasy hands?

a lot of this really depends on the kind of life you want...long term
 

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I agree totally with Giu on this one. There are a lot of sailing related jobs around, but not many which I would consider a career. Most don't pay that well either. Also just because you say you love sailing and being around boats, doesn't necessarily mean you will enjoy being a boat broker. I know people in the business who by the end of the day, no longer want to have anything to do with boats.

Focus on your education, and in finding a job that you love doing and will afford you the time and financial stability to enjoy sailing in your offtime. That being said, you might consider taking a crew position as a summer job. You will gain some experience, meet people in the field, and get an idea if it is really the field for you.
 

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You could have gone to a maritime college I know of a few by me such as Kings point and SUNY maritime(which by the way has some of the top paying starting salaries in the country) You could also go for the captains way but now that your out of college i must also agree with giu keep as a hobby or live the cheep life. I can second the tall ships i spent some time on one as an apprentice in maine and you would definately get alot of hours from them but it can be rough living and cheap. they sure aint you helipad luxury yachts but theyre tons of fun.
 

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Siren 17
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Once you get into the life you'll get offers. I got flown out to Haweii and worked out there for five months. This happened because one guy I had sailed with got a call from the captain who was looking for crew. He mentioned that he had just talked to me and knew I was ready to leave the Keys. I then got a call.

Had an offer to sail to Cuba and back, that wasn't paid but had already agreed to stay till enough people where hired to take the Clipper back north then for my replacement to be hired and trained. Got a call from the outfit in Haweii to help refit then take a new boat from FL to Haweii. Had a few offers for deliveries. The whole thing is to be flexible. One guy I knew missed out on a paid trip to the Fijis because he had just got a puppy.

It's kind of like Hollywood. Thousands have day dreams of being Captain Ron, but you've got to pay your dues. That means working charters for a while. Doing day sails till you've given the same bit of interesting trivia so many times that it starts to blend together. Then your varnishing the the taft rail or some other such when the captain asked if you want to be watch leader on the up coming more to so and so. Or your sitting around the Marina have a cold beverage on warm night when that delivery captain mentions that his deck hand took off for this or that and he's got to move a boat to this cool place.

Once your in your in. Its the same in any business. If you go into real estate your going to have to ride the front desk waiting for walk ins. You do everybody else's open houses till you really get your name out there. Just like real estate though, if you don't get in whole hog, you may get one or two really good deals in your whole life but for the most part your going to pay retail plus comisions for any property who touch. Like Giu said you could go into business and pay for your sailing hobby. Over your life time you'll get a neat trip or two for free.

If your the adverage you'll spend two three years goofing around then either head back to real life where you can make real money, or go professional seaman and work on tugs or other commercial boats. Now if you put your time in that you can make big money, but your talking years on bigger and bigger stink pots.
 

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Wow, everybody is agreeing with Giu so I will too! Seriously, he's right. Go make a decent living doing something you can stand and, instead of making sailing a job, set aside the time to make it a real pleasure! If you can, try not to be like me and find a home where it does not snow. A boat on it's cradle for five months serves no purpose.....

Happy Winds!
 

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Roadkillibus Texanis
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Gotta disagree . . . slightly with Alex. With those degrees coupled with sailing knowledge you could hook up with a sailing school or charter business. Not great money but if you have the passion and commitment you could get there.

I would shy away form Manufactures like . . . say . . . Tartan. Job security, good management and integrity of the business are important.

I have an uncle who owned a sailing school in Austin several years ago and he loved it! He say's those were some of the most enjoyable years of his life.
 

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Here's a thought. Just a thought. Maybe oil prices will go up (someday) to the point where it's more profitable to transport stuff via sailing ship. Guy in False Creek Marina (mostly commercial boats) this past July told me most of the fishing boats hadn't gone out yet because even assuming a full catch they'd lose money on the venture.
 

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just my 2 cents

Like in many others businesses, the money are made by dealing with people, not boats.
You already spend couple of years of your life (and most likely some money too) learning something. Use that, unless you really hate it!!!

As in real estate, the most profitable part (and the hardest) is in working with clients. Houses, finances etc. - not that hard to learn.
It is easier to sell boats, for example, if you like, use and know them. But it is not really prerequisite. If you are good with people, you could outsource, delegate, etc.

And I belive it is the same with delivery captains. It is not enough to know seamanship. Forming a relationship with both clients and crew is what would make you succesfull.

Correct me if I am wrong, but in any boat related business the boats' part is the lowest paid unless it includes interaction with other human beings whether as employess or customers.
 

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It is better to own the million dollar boat than to work for the guy that does.
I disagree....I would much rather be a deckhand on a nice expensive boat or deliver it for 2 reasons.

1. I do not have to pay for maintenance which I was once told by a previous stewardess on the yacht Parlay that it costs 1/3 of original cost to pay for maintenence fees for a year....Please correct if you have heard otherwise but it does cost alot for one of those boats.

2. I would enjoy the variety of situations and boats and the way they handled rather than sailing the same boat always reacting the same with no adventure.

just my $.02 on that phrase.
 

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I disagree....I would much rather be a deckhand on a nice expensive boat or deliver it for 2 reasons.

1. I do not have to pay for maintenance which I was once told by a previous stewardess on the yacht Parlay that it costs 1/3 of original cost to pay for maintenence fees for a year....Please correct if you have heard otherwise but it does cost alot for one of those boats.

2. I would enjoy the variety of situations and boats and the way they handled rather than sailing the same boat always reacting the same with no adventure.

just my $.02 on that phrase.
I Was the Capt. of a 78 ft Palmer Johnson. The phone would ring and He told me where I was spending the weekend or the next few weeks, his whim.!!! The guy was 48 years old when I worked for him and a nice guy. But you give up your kids birthdays and any other family times for a buck. All I saying is "it is good to be king"
 

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You could join the Coast Guard. They've got some great boats, the training is free and when your hitch is up you will probably have more marketable skills than you have now. Pay is probably better as well.
 

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You could join the Coast Guard. They've got some great boats, the training is free and when your hitch is up you will probably have more marketable skills than you have now. Pay is probably better as well.
There is a man with a good idea!! I understand the CG got a boat with lots of sails. I think it is called the Eagle.
 

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Siren 17
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I'll second what bubb2 said. You give up a lot more then you can imagine. Little things like hobbies. Your basiclly living in someone else's house. It's fun for a bit. I stopped when I got to the point of becoming a captain or having to answer as to why I hadn't.

I was already getting to the point where I didn't want to go sailing unless it was perfect out, even then it wasn't exciting anymore. That point where you not just a little iritated that the new guy got the dock line wet and now you have to catch it. Tired of living out of bags.

There is an alternate. You can voluteer on tall ships for a week or two at a time. Of course if you make enough money you can charter a boat in all the prettest places and you don't have to give up the rest of your life or sail through the cold and rain.

I wouldn't give up my experiences or do things differently but I would think more in terms of doing it for a few years then heading back to reality. The one thing I can say is if you do it, in the future you'll never look at your wife and kids and think "If it wasn't for you guys I could" or have your boss give you a ration of crud and feel like your trapped.

I've never felt like I didn't have enough since I went sailing. I know how to live and be happy with far less so it's changed from not being able to have the latest gadget, to being really grateful for not to have to stow the Tv every day. A bunch of little things like that, you'll never really get it till you've spent not days or weeks, but months and years having to live with out them.
 
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