What can you do to make money whilst sailing?
Are you a sailor in need?
I even dressed to make money sailing
The other day I was filling out a form which asked for my occupation and I was not quite sure what to put. Am I unemployed, a water gypsy, a liveaboard, a sailor, or am I just an idiot?
I had to think quiet a bit about it so I jotted down a few things which I think makes a sailor. I can say yes to each one but does living aboard a boat make you a sailor and is a sailor an occupation?
I don’t class myself as a sailor as they have to know all kinds of things whereas I am just here to hang on and enjoy the ride or get scared to death.
What makes a sailor?
- When someone asks “What do you do all day?” your reply is “I don’t know, but it takes all day to do it!”
- A throwaway line is rope less than six centimetres long
- You think sugar was invented by Satan, duct tape by God
- Three squares a day references toilet paper, not meals
- Opening your fridge is like playing Jenga
- You always buy extra beer because your neighbours will be over the minute they see you sitting in your cockpit drinking.
- Having sex involves turning on a dehumidifier
- You know the exact combination of computers, microwave, toaster, and kettle to run without tripping the circuit breaker on the dock.
- Anytime you consider buying something you wonder what you’ll have to get rid of to make room for it.
Where there’s muck there’s brass
Now I am a northern man through and through although my wife says I am more akin to Neanderthal man without the manners or looks. Being a northerner means I like to look after our money and am loathed to spend it unless I have to. For us, living on a boat means that money is always an issue but the lifestyle sure makes up for it.
Making money whilst sailing.
Trying to make money whilst sailing is a whole different kettle of fish. In fact over the last five years not making money is the only thing I have become a real expert at. Believe me, I have looked at other websites that describe how you can make money whilst sailing and still managed to make nothing. They do give good advice on somethings you can do to add a penny or two to the sailing budget but usually you have got to have some basic skill. My previous occupation when I was a grown up means I don’t have diddly squat to work with.
How can you earn money when you live on a boat?
Rent out your house.
Good idea and yes it can bring in a substantial monthly income. We know of many people who do this successfully. We have also met others who have had renters who don’t pay, have totally wrecked the house and one whose house was turned into a cannabis farm. The trouble with this is that you have to have a property to rent out in the first place. We sold ours to buy Cygnus III.
Being a mechanic, electrician, hairdresser or having some basic skill means that from time to time you can find work amongst other boaters. Certainly in winter the mechanically minded amongst us, the diesel gods, get no rest. Their help and advice is constantly being sought. The same goes for all that electrickery stuff modern boats have. I have trouble putting batteries in a torch the right way so my advice is neither sought nor needed. I am however willing to cut hair. We have those electric clippers and I feel I have a bit of an artistic streak. My first victim however was my last.
Finding a land based job.
Who would you prefer to be served by?
In summer this is a bit impractical as we tend to do the odd bit of sailing. In winter you could always try to find some land based job such as working in a bar and it would suit me down to the ground. The trouble is most of the countries we spend time in speak in languages I don’t understand. A lot of the shops and restaurants are tourist driven so there is little work in winter. Also there are these things called females who are far more attractive to look at than me when being served.
I have the clothes and looks for it and you get paid for sitting around all day. Having a dog with a handkerchief around the neck doubles your income or so I am told. One beggar we saw in France had a beautiful boat just behind us. After a hard day’s work he would come back, change into decent clothes and go on the town living it up. Sounds like a good option to me. Besides that, being married means that I have had plenty of practise in begging but still never got what I wanted.
Writing Magazine articles.
Apparently some joker said you can make some money from writing. Submitting articles and photos to sailing magazines is one way. I tried it on a couple of occasions but found that they want pretty boring articles that could inspire an insomniac to hibernate. Most never replied and one wrote back to say the only word they could use out of the article was “and”. I am still considering selling my soul to the devil and changing my writing style to see if I could make money this way. We did have one article on a website but we did not get paid. It is a start though.
Writing a sailing blog.
You could make money from writing blogs. Well after 6 years of writing a 3 legged cat would have more chance of burying his business on a marble floor than I have of making money. In fact I actually have to pay for a company to host this website. I could put adverts on it which would give me about a penny if someone clicked on them but I always said I would not put adverts on the website. Besides I don’t think Viagra and incontinence pants fits in with the website or maybe they do.
If a blog is particularly popular you may be able to get sponsorship or products from marine companies in exchange for mentioning them or writing a product review. We are still waiting to be offered anything and 99.3% of the companies I have written to didn’t reply. The only thing I every got was from the “Dyslexic Sailing Society”. I asked them about a sailing glove and they sent back a dog eared Karma Sutra on “making love”.
Making sailing videos.
We could make videos of some of our experiences of living on a boat on a tiny budget but then again I am told you need a video camera to make these. Some sites do this and can get contributions for making them. I fact one such site earns about 360,000 dollars a year and have just been given a million pound catamaran. I have morals though, I don’t mind wearing a bikini but there is no way will I be captured on film sailing a catamaran.
Help us button.
We used to have a “Help Cygnus” button where donations could be made. It is like begging without sitting around or having the dog. In five years we received the grand total of just under £50. Most of that was from Terry, a wonderful 86 year old sailor who has forgotten more about boats than I will ever know. On this new website we decided to get rid of the button and stop looking for a dog although I did try a little experiment first to see what my wife actually thought of me.
Obviously I have not covered every way of trying to make money whilst sailing but with my skill set begging seems to be my best option. Of course I could put Angelina to work but then who would cook, wash, get the food and generally do everything aboard Cygnus III. Obviously that is not an option unless she could do it all after she has finished some paid work.
If you can think of ways we can make money whilst sailing or you have found a way yourself please let me know.