Cruising Income

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Manie B, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 2,041
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1818
    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Gents I have done a hell of a lot of reading on the subject of how do folks earn their daily bread whilst cruising around the world, some of the stories are "interesting" and some are "bull". I am sure that a lot of "cruisers" are not shy to admit that money is a problem and many of them are too old anyway to still have a rich daddy in the back pocket.

    The general feedback that i get is that a couple could be comfortable on US$ 20k per year. This is based on a paid up sail boat 28 to 36 LWL. The 20k seems to cover basic food, reasonable maintenance issues, entry and exit fees with cheap moorings and limited onshore entertainment.

    I am sure many of you are now saying no way 20k, but if you read a lot on the net, you would be surprised too see that how many folks are able to do this.

    To the Many Experienced Designers and Builders that visit this forum - please share your stories that you have heard and seen with your customers and what is your take on this subject and

    How do they do itwhere and how do folks make that extra buck to "keep the boat afloat" without being tied down to regular job / career.

    Trading is difficult because you will need import permits where ever you go, unless someone has some tips on buying and selling goods?

    We are entering a "new world" on planet earth, what would you do, any suggestions / info would be rather nice.
     
  2. Trevlyns
    Joined: Oct 2006
    Posts: 689
    Likes: 34, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 461
    Location: London UK

    Trevlyns Senior Citizen/Member

    Manie, this should be an interesting thread which I shall follow with great interest.

    Unfortunately, I am not one of the Many Experienced Designers and Builders, but I just finished reading Lin and Larry Pardey's book The Self Sufficient Sailor. I can highly recommend it and there are lots of ideas in there.

    From doing basic maintenance work and repairs on other peoples boats (assuming you have reasonable skills of course :p ) to writing magazine articles, pictures and even yacht deliveries - there seems an endless flow of ideas to make money on the trot.

    They keep a basic minimum budget in mind and when funds get close to that amount, they just haul up for a couple of months and get whatever work they can find to fill the cruising coffers - then it's off into the blue yonder again.

    I think I just might be able to handle an existence like that... don't you? :cool:

    Onwards and forwards! Less booze, more sawdust! :p

    Looking forward to meeting you in some foreign port someday.

    Beste ou maat
     
  3. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 2,041
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1818
    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Thanks Trevs

    I will most certainly get this book and read it
    it is always nice to read something that was recommended, very hard to look at a list on the internet and decide whats good
     
  4. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    Manie, sorry bout the rugby
    I would say, 20 k is enough, more than enough
    It all depends on where youa re in th world
    Say if you wee in the Med, greece turkey , you can anchor for free, you can dock long enough for free to top up water etc, food and food is cheap
    Same for Pacific and I am sure the African coast
    Europe canals same thing, trying up on rivers is free
    Not so USA and here, keep away from Australia cos you will pay heaps for dockage and food
    If you set aside enough for new sails every 10 years, you should make it
    I will pm the address of a couple who cruised for 4 years around the world on a boat i built for them
    nimbus my last build is cruising now, they have big freezer, they catch one large pelagic a week, easy where youa re, fish 3 times a week is very good for you, watch your westline shrink,
    In the Pacific, veges are cheap and plentiful, as are fish, New Cal is expensive for tucker, but if you stay away from the town, it is cheap♦
    good luck I have done it, a long time ago
    Stu
     
  5. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
    Posts: 279
    Likes: 54, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 658
    Location: Phoenix

    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    This is an interesting topic. The first person I met who made it work well was a commercial refrigeration contractor -- this was in 1988. He was just over 75 at the time. He kept his business, and had a trusted manager take over the bricks and mortar portion of his business. He did all of the estimating, bidding, and technical drawings. When bids were requested, he received the specs by FAX over radio, did his work and radioed his plans back to the office. He did this for the three years while sailing the world. This was pre-Internet!

    The first thing, as I see it, is you almost have to be self employed. You also have to be in a business -- or restructure your current business -- so that you're not required to see people face-to-face. You have to make sure you've got great communications equipment -- because clients are going to tire of working with someone who is difficult to reach when things go wrong. To get an idea of how widespread distributed work environments are in todays world, read "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman. Friedman is a fourth rate economist (writes for New York Times), and an absolute fool who manages to draw the wrong conclusions from absolutely everything he analyzes -- but he IS a great reporter, and the book is a great primer (if only he would stick to reporting).

    The second important point is that you have to plan ahead. I've been an independent programmer for over 30 years -- and about 5 years ago I quit taking clients who needed to have meetings, lunches, conferences, etc. I told them very straight forward that if they wanted to work with me, it was going to be completely "virtual" -- emails, video conferences, etc.

    I'm now in a position where I can relocate myself anywhere I want -- and I'm still in business. I can spend summers in Alaska, and winters in Phoenix -- my clients don't have any idea where I am.
     
  6. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 457
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 247
    Location: usa

    BHOFM Senior Member

    I spent 17 years on my GulfStar 41! I was a free lance
    photographer and traveled most of the world, so where
    I lived was of no importance! I managed to get around
    the world twice and made a very nice living at the same
    time!

    I am now retired as is my wife. We have a very comfortable
    income! Rent properties, trusts, investments!

    My biggest expense is Grand Kids!

    I have a new boat trailer, but no boat??
     
  7. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 3,897
    Likes: 44, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 696
    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    i read a story of a dude and dudette that sailed around, and stopped at certain places and did boat repairs,, said they've been sailing like that for 15 years,,,started out with a small sail,,, and are up to a 60' i think.,, i always thought i could do that,,, sail around doing glass and painting,,,but the "ole lady" wont even step on a dock,,,,,,,,, man i need a boat,,hehe ;):D;)
     
  8. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 6,823
    Likes: 120, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1882
    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Like me Jim, 'cept, my Lovely Lady will come along, or, not see me for a long time if ever????? so is resigned to give sea time a good go - once she has her "default" option - a McMansion - yeuck - - - - - 'Just nike', but convince your kids first, that it would be a great (the best) adventure and good for their education/life experiences....
     
  9. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 3,897
    Likes: 44, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 696
    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    its either the boat thing,, or a camper,,,either way i wanna just be going,,,as long as its not some place ive already been hehe :)
     
  10. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 6,823
    Likes: 120, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1882
    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    OK Manie I will try to be on topic... In the Melanesian Islands (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu... - - which I know fairly well, - - and probably also in New caledonia and Fiji as well as other Pacific outposts), endeavour to carry tradable items like fish-hooks and cheap fishing accessories, casting nets, t-shirts, powdered milk, sugar, "butter" flour (make bread) stick-tobacco (bought in local trading centres) and such like to trade/barter for fruit & vegetables - fresh meat to cut up and freeze down as a change from fish - or trade your fish - this will help extend your cruising budget.... carrying some tools can be handy if you have better than modest skills

    Be aware what is dutiable goods on entry to another country and what is prohibited (vegetables, foodstuffs -most not all- - - and other potential trading items or be seen as "trade ready to be suspected of doing illegal work - 'without a work permit'".....
     
  11. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 2,041
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1818
    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Thanks guys

    very good response so far
    please keep it coming:D
     
  12. joz
    Joined: Jul 2002
    Posts: 166
    Likes: 0, Points: 16, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    joz Senior Member


    If you wana make some money out of sailing I have seen some yachts that are designed to carry cargo, one of those is a Dudley Dix designs shows that his design carries a car. If you look at Bodens designs to which you will find in the 1960's he design Island traders in sail configuration of wooden construction which carries cargo. It's thought that this could be the future for sailors to make money and enjoy sailing at the same time.
     
  13. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 6,823
    Likes: 120, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1882
    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    The registration and licencing in Solomon Islands and PNG preclude that also must be locally crewed and under a local captain..... Nice idea but forced out for the foreseeable future.... I briefly ran a day charter yacht in Vanuatu when a local crew was required.....
     
  14. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 2,041
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1818
    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Hi Mas

    in view of the fact that you have done "day cruises"
    how would you do it, if you had to do it again
    assuming the boat is a 11 metre CAT fitted out as a "home and office" and not the purpose built day boat desings

    please expand on the idea
    how many passengers at what average cost / fees
    what do you give them - food and drinks - snorkelling?
    when captain and crew must be locally employed at what cost?
    with small groups could this turn any worthwhile profit / pocket money even if it is only for a few days per year when the owner sees fit to tolerate the ********
    i like the basic idea because i saw that i could do it easily in Mauritus, just dont know how much **** i would get from local authorities, but the idea would be to do it for a week or two and get going

    Joz i looked at the "cargo" idea some 6 years ago to accomodate the small 10 foot containers on a sailing vessel, it did not work then, maybe things have changed now, i wouldnt know. However when you have gone through the endless paper work dealing with the "DHL" and others you will realise that it is a MAMOTH task. This would not fit into a flexible "cruising" program. You would have to be a import / export / foreign exchange expert and be prepared for MOUNTAINS of paper work.

    BHOFM i loooove the idea of internet photography and as Mas pointed out in another thread "prostitution" these kind of things are very different in todays "computer world"
    BUT one thing that i have come across where there could be opportunities is a "SEXY TRAVEL SHOW" a-la Caprice on DSTV. I have even found that blog pages of certain "travel diaries" that contain scantily clad / sexy females get more hits than the boring ones filled with endless technical details trying to sell books that are no different from any older books. With you been there for so long please give us some pointers as to how you would do it now in todays world if you had to do it again. How often, to what kind of customer, what kind of fees?

    Sheetwise your ideas are good if one could pull it of. My business sucks, it is plant hire to the construction industry. I have tried everything you suggest and more and every trick in the book. Take me (hands on owner) out of the business and it is fu3ked. To those of you that can make it work over the internet as an "E business" count your blessings, the rest of us that are stuck with workshops, plant and equipment, can only sell out and watch our little bit of money loose its value day after day in the bank.

    I can assure you that when i arrive in a foreign harbour and i start to repair small petrol engines (which is my specialty) and do general basic electrical work the local mechanic / technician will **** in his pants and report me to the local police. So yes i would have to do this kind of thing on the sly.

    Aneeeeewaaaay
    nice talking to you guys
    keep it rolling
    the more ideas the better
    who knows we might even start our own little BD.net business community
     

  15. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 2,041
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1818
    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Hi Mas
    The interesting thing that is saw when i was on hoilday in Mauritus was the "honeymooners" they were French and English. With the pound and the euro being strong they were spending money like it grew on trees, it was very interesting for me to sit and chat to them and explain that i come from South Africa with a very weak exchange rate and that this holiday is an absolute luxury for us and very expensive.

    We went on a "daycruise" on a sailing cat to one of the northen islands to do snorkelling and were served a basic "barbeque" lunch which was nice on the beach. Some honeymooners were with us on the boat and he commented that he wished he could be alone on the boat with his lady (and a skipper of course) and not 16 other strangers.

    I feel that i could easily get this kind of customer, meet them in the pubs and beach bars, without upsetting the locals. This could be good money??? When you see what they paid for rooms and drinks, hiring a private cat for two for a day and coming back in the evening to have drinks on deck at sunset is cheap ****.:idea:

    What say you,
    how would you go about this
    and what are the pitfalls:cool:

    Forget about the naughty stuff unless you can put your business plan forward with facts and figures:D :D :D :D
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.