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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
for those that live aboard and especially those doing long term cruising away from any home ports, what do you do to make money? i am especially interested in career options that would allow a person to work wherever they happen to be; with either no time at 'the office' or very infrequent time at 'te office'.

please be detailed. just saying, "i work with computers", isn't going to be very insightful since that could be just about anything.
 

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I've never met any cruiser who was really making a living *while* cruising. The life style makes work difficult. Work ruins the lifestyle. My suggestion? Do one or the other, not both. In the first world one can earn enough money in 3 months to finance the other 9 in the third world. Suggest one lives an almost impoverished life while working, if one is serious about this, so one can live like a king while cruising. The pay is huge in the first world, but it is easily wasted on cars, sissy condos, bars, designer foods, all the crap one is trying to escape.

So I lived in California working like crazy at a Silicon Valley engineering job, for just 25 years. All my co-workers did the fancy house, BMW, profligate spouse, spoiled children thing and are all still working. I lived in comparable poverty and saved everything. Retired early. Now the dividend checks just auto-deposit into the bank account so that third world currency come pouring out of third world ATMs. And life in the third world is about 6000 times better than life in the first world. I could make a long list of why, but basically it's just warmer in *every* way.

So if you are young, find a 3 month job you can come back to once a year. Engineering contract work is a great one. Probably similar jobs in most of the tech fields. Good union jobs could work to: healthcare, construction. If you are older...well it will be tougher, but its never too late.

Many cruiser do this. They cruise around in the tropics for a year or two, then go back to Australia or California or France or whatever and work at serious high pay jobs.

Most people I know cannot control their spending while working. Hopeless.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I write high school textbooks on the side. This means that I am very busy for about a year and the royalties come in for the next 6 or 7 years and then it is time to do a new edition. The one that pays the best is coming out in its sixth edition this month. I am working on the teacher guide stuff on the boat in Grenada. Should be done in another few weeks. This may be the last one since the next edition would come out when I am in 72ish.
 

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I know several that live aboard full time, but they don't work. They're retired.

Others, work seasonally and cruise while not working.

I've gone to work from the boat, meaning dressed on the boat and left, as opposed to go home first and dress for work. Total buzz kill.
 

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Most live aboards that I have met are retired. We live aboard our boat during the summer, not cruising though. We're docked at the marina, but we started a hull cleaning business. We did okay by our standards, but we survived off of a lot of ramen and canned soups.
 

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Beneteau 393
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In 6 years the only person I know who makes an actual and real living whislt cruising is Fatty Goodlander.

It's taken all his life to build up a huge reputation and a foredeck of hard word daily to feather his nest.

He is the ONLY one ACTIVELY cruising who I have met doing it.

There is one other person, but he is restricted by employment to the Caribbean, where Fatty can mooch worldwide. Even an internet share or money trader needs to be somehwere theres excellent internet, or its just investing.

Mark
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've never met any cruiser who was really making a living *while* cruising. The life style makes work difficult. Work ruins the lifestyle. My suggestion? Do one or the other, not both. In the first world one can earn enough money in 3 months to finance the other 9 in the third world. Suggest one lives an almost impoverished life while working, if one is serious about this, so one can live like a king while cruising. The pay is huge in the first world, but it is easily wasted on cars, sissy condos, bars, designer foods, all the crap one is trying to escape.

So I lived in California working like crazy at a Silicon Valley engineering job, for just 25 years. All my co-workers did the fancy house, BMW, profligate spouse, spoiled children thing and are all still working. I lived in comparable poverty and saved everything. Retired early. Now the dividend checks just auto-deposit into the bank account so that third world currency come pouring out of third world ATMs. And life in the third world is about 6000 times better than life in the first world. I could make a long list of why, but basically it's just warmer in *every* way.

So if you are young, find a 3 month job you can come back to once a year. Engineering contract work is a great one. Probably similar jobs in most of the tech fields. Good union jobs could work to: healthcare, construction. If you are older...well it will be tougher, but its never too late.

Many cruiser do this. They cruise around in the tropics for a year or two, then go back to Australia or California or France or whatever and work at serious high pay jobs.

Most people I know cannot control their spending while working. Hopeless.
some good points. not so sure about constrction, anymore. it used to be guaranteed good income and easy to come by but, times have changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I write high school textbooks on the side. This means that I am very busy for about a year and the royalties come in for the next 6 or 7 years and then it is time to do a new edition. The one that pays the best is coming out in its sixth edition this month. I am working on the teacher guide stuff on the boat in Grenada. Should be done in another few weeks. This may be the last one since the next edition would come out when I am in 72ish.
writing. that's a good thought. i just discovered two companies that require writers. both are work from home deals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've gone to work from the boat, meaning dressed on the boat and left, as opposed to go home first and dress for work. Total buzz kill.
i presently do that for half the week. better than going to work from land. the sunrise over the bay is a great way to start the day. sets you in a good frame of mind even though you are going to work. at least, it does for me.
 

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Not aboard yet, but my employment fits the lifestyle -- I'm an ETL Architect. Or, more colloquially, a data plumber. I hook disparate databases together, pretty much "by any means necessary". Like when one company buys another one and they want to run both side by side for a while? I provide the connections between to allow them to do that, then help with the integration. If I need to meet with clients, I go to them, but 99.44% of the work never needs anything more than a laptop, a cellphone, and a set of virtual private network keys.
 

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When I was actually cruising, I didn't do a damn thing. I liked it that way. :)

But, I funded myself through savings and annuities.
 

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We are not living on the boat yet, but we do have a plan. My wife works in software as a project owner and will need 2 to 3 days a week of great internet access to continue in the field. So coastal cruising will have to be enough at first.
I was certified in scuba so I could clean the bottom of our boat. In doing this I have had a few boats just right around mine that have asked if I could catch theirs while I was down. They expected a charge of $70 to $75.00 Bucks Per cleaning. If you don't let it get to bad it only takes like 30 min to clean a 35 foot boat.
I have another revenue stream I have will begin to work on this week. "Insurance" I know, I know, But, here me out. It pays you for the sale a fare $ dollar amount up front. The part I like is after the first year has passed and your client is still in the program it pays like $17.50 per month every month after residual income. So get this, if you sell 150 people the new policy this year and they stay in the program, you will receive a $2,625.00 monthly check each month. Now it is not a get rich plan. Its dam hard work. But it does pay off. I know a man personally that made $10,000 his first year and $40,000 his second year and this being his 3 completed year working in the industry will gross over $100,000. He sold right at 150 policies each of the 3 years his monthly income is $7,875. Not bad for residual income. So you get to a point in the program where you don't want to sale new clients, DON'T. Go sailing spend a few weeks a year working the clients you have making sure they are o.k and don't need anything. Go sailing.
The last money stream I have is from consulting in the industry I have been for the last 30 some odd years, transportation.
I do training on the rules and laws set forth by the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration and the Federal D.O.T . I come into trucking businesses and do a mach audit of their operation and teach them the things they need to know to stay safe and legal as a shipping company. I train their drivers on hours of service rules and daily vehicle inspection reporting. I do D.O.T inspections on their tractors and trailers. I train drivers how to do there log books properly.
There are all sorts of ways to get cruising kitty for sailing. However I think the biggest hurdle for most is to pay down their debt. Get rid of the overhead. I have not had a new car for over 10 years. Not because I can't have one but because I don't want the debt. Stop buying stuff. Nobody needs stuff. If it will not fit in 30X10X5 I don't purchase it. Do this first. Get rid of your overhead baggage. You will find you don't need much money.
P.S if you want to look at the insurance thing here is the link.

https://www.careimprovementplus.com/default.aspx
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
wow. thanks to all the posters. so far, this thread has gotten some really good, detailed responses. really good ideas on how to fund your live aboard/cruising lifestyle.
 

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...."Insurance" I know, I know, But, here me out. It pays you for the sale a fare $ dollar amount up front. The part I like is after the first year has passed and your client is still in the program it pays like $17.50 per month every month after residual income. So get this, if you sell 150 people the new policy this year and they stay in the program, you will receive a $2,625.00 monthly check each month. Now it is not a get rich plan. Its dam hard work. But it does pay off. I know a man personally that made $10,000 his first year and $40,000 his second year and this being his 3 completed year working in the industry will gross over $100,000. He sold right at 150 policies each of the 3 years his monthly income is $7,875. Not bad for residual income. So you get to a point in the program where you don't want to sale new clients, DON'T.......
There are plenty of insurance agents/brokers that work part time. Usually as a transition to retirement, rather than how they built their business. I know a few. The only fly in the ointment of you plan is handling the claims experience. If you're not there to hold their hand and available 24/7 at any time, you will not keep that client and your reputation for selling your next policy will be mud.

The semi-retired folks I know have someone back in the office that gets a piece of the action for backing them up on the 24/7 need.
 

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There are plenty of insurance agents/brokers that work part time. Usually as a transition to retirement, rather than how they built their business. I know a few. The only fly in the ointment of you plan is handling the claims experience. If you're not there to hold their hand and available 24/7 at any time, you will not keep that client and your reputation for selling your next policy will be mud.

The semi-retired folks I know have someone back in the office that gets a piece of the action for backing them up on the 24/7 need.
That's how it works. Thanks for bringing that up. we have a 7 person team that work as a group to help each other with the clients when one of us is out of pocket. I know 15 or 18 that do this as a means of cruising. There is always reasons one can find that will prove to be a hurdle in any venture. I would give some though to that type of business that you invest hard your time and talent that will bring residual income in the future. Don't have to be insurance. That's just my means to a cruising life. Mixed with bottom cleaning and engine work, Bar tending and a host of other marketable skills.

What ever you do plan to work and work a plan. Remember that the goal is your freedom in time not to get rich. If you are free to catch Mahee-mahee and eat ramen while watching the sun sen over Jost Van Dyke than you are rich already.
Peace
 

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Winding down my work and handing over to a younger and I think better architect, but will still be available to consult until I become irrelevant, which means being within a day or two of Philadelphia for the next year or so. I still may do work at a reduced or no fee for non-profits if it is interesting.

Then longer sailing trips funded through good investments (or just dumb luck) over the past few decades.

Oh, and the Affordable Care Act, which is making all this possible.
 

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....Oh, and the Affordable Care Act, which is making all this possible.
Let's not get political, but was this serious or a joke? It's my understanding that many cruisers would buy very basic catastrophic coverage with huge deductibles and then pay for cheap clinic services in the islands and come out way ahead. Those plans were deemed illegal and require upgrades in coverage and resultant cost.

Truly interested in the plain perspective. Not an argument over the ACA.
 
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