Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Making money cruising...

One of the big questions, right after "How much does it cost to cruise?" is the flip side of the coin "How can I make money while cruising?"

In my own case not being independently wealthy when we made our first foray into long term cruising we really did not have a clue. Figuring we were smart and had some skills and that something would come up... and to misquote that line from "Shakespeare in Love", something always did!

As far as the nitty gritty goes though, having all of the tools we used to build Loose Moose 2 and the skills to use them was a help. These days there are a lot of people cruising who don't have basic boatwright skills and are always needing something done. Having the necessary tools, I also made dinghies, self-steering gears and so on... On boats people always need something.

But you don't need lots of tools (well you do but that's another thing entirely) and for instance, if you wanted to set yourself up as a rigger, a couple of Crescent wrenches, a vise, a tension gauge or two, a hack saw and Bosun's chair is pretty much all of the tools you need to set yourself up as a rigger... Well you can't forget the skill set involved as that is the main deal... Your talent!

Since we also had a sewing machine, we did sail repairs and made flags (lots and lots of flags in fact)!

One of the things we had invested in was a Hookah rig and whenever I took it out and used it, people would find things they needed done underwater... Cleaning hulls, finding stuff, underwater repairs, salvage and such became a regular part of our income. That hookah was one of the best investments we ever made!

Of course its not all boat stuff... Over the years we have seen people supporting the cruising habit by cutting hair, doing computer work, building websites, baking, freelance Chef for charter boats, and running websites that bring in income. All sorts of stuff! By and large lots of services and products are needed in the cruising community, and more often than not a cruiser would be much happier buying hand-made fishing lures from a cruiser rather than a store.

While these days we have a Yacht Charter company, plus I still shoot and make films, so we're more of a nomadic sailing office these days as opposed to a sailing workshop, but as we begin another cycle of cruising and voyaging we still have the Tools, Hookah and Sewing machine because diversity is a good thing. And, in these difficult times, being versatile gives us confidence that we can make a decent living whatever the economy does! Fact is, we are looking at all sorts of alternate earning streams from website income producers to doing our own book and film publishing.

Mow your lawn Lady?