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Old 10-18-2006, 02:46 AM   #1
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Default How to get out there

Hey everybody,

Iīm new to this forum, and I have a few questions that I hope someone could help me answer. First of all, Iīm a Norwegian, 21 years, and Iīm pretty addicted to sailing and all I really want is to travel abroad and go out cruising, as soon as possible. But my problem is the economy part. Iīve got no money, so I will have to save up a bit before I buy a boat. Iīm used to saving money and spending little, so I guess to live a simple cruising lifestyle wonīt be any problem. But Iīm a bit unpatient, having dreamed of this since I was 11 or something. So I really would like to get out of this country as soon as Iīm finished with my studies (june 2007). In other words, what I want to do is working abroad and saving up money until I can buy a boat. So I wonder if anyone has any advice on how to do this? Is it possible to get any kind of job in popular cruising places like the Mediterranean, Gibraltar, the Carribbean and do you earn well enough to be able to save up in a few years? Has anybody been in my situation? How did you get out cruising? And how about income along the way, do you have to save up everything before you go, or is it possible to earn money along the way? Any ideas? ... I guess if I donīt succeed Iīll just find a boat to crew on instead. All answers are welcome
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:42 AM   #2
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I don't think that there is any neat way to make a heap of money while cruising (if there was, we would all be doing it!). Most jobs associated with popular cruising places will not really earn you much more than enough to get by and save, maybe, a little bit. It is something of a catch-22 situation - you can stay away from the water and earn plenty of money or you can be on the water and earn little.

Frankly, owning your own boat costs a chunk of money up front and then a smaller chunk of money each year. If you are really serious about owning your own boat and being your own cruising captain, I would suggest finishing your studies, getting as well paid a job as you can and then working as hard as you can for 5-10 years, and saving every penny that you don't spend on food! You can continue your passion for sailing at your local yacht club or marina - many boats are happy to take on good competent crew.
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:32 AM   #3
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Great advice Weyalan. Do whatever you can to make as much money as possible. Live frugal, save, invest and shop for the dream boat as a hobby. Join OPYC, learn from salty captains and 10 years from now when you are 31, marry the daughter of the guy that owns the largest boat in the marina.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:09 AM   #4
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All right, thanks for the advices, guys. I guess there isnīt any easy way of doing it, I guess I was just hoping to discover a great way that I havenīt thought about before! But Iīll definitely go out travelling next year anyways, and hopefully get to sail a bit also. I guess buying the dream boat will have to wait for a few years, but in ten years time I definitely think I will manage it! And I guess Iīll still be quite young even if Iīm 31..
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:07 AM   #5
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There are other options, but most if not all kind of do away with the owning your own boat thing. You can get a dive instructor certification and go almost anywhere as a dive master.(Pay isnt good, and it would take decades to save enough to buy a boat if at all) You can work towards being a captain for a charter company. (not sure how much they make, but you need experience and I assume it would be helpful to have Coast Guard certifications and/or certifications from associations like RYC, and ASA, etc.)

I think that if I were your age, I would finish your studies, probably get a dive instructor cert (I am an avid diver with over 500 dives) and do that for a year or two. Then depending upon how things were going, return to the real world and get a decent paying job, save up and buy a boat to sail away in... But that is me and I tend to jump into things without really counting the cost.
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:18 AM   #6
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hm, that sounded interesting. Just a pity I havenīt got any experience with diving, but it must be a cool job. Captain in a charter company sounds difficult - I guess you need a lot of experience then. But on the other hand - I have thought about being crew on a charter yacht. But someone that I spoke to said that jobs like that were very low paid, which I think is true, and the people working on board were called "boat niggers", independent of their skin colour. Perhaps someoneīs got any advices here?
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:34 AM   #7
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When I was your age and just finishing my studies (in Scotland), I worked for a couple of years to pay off my study debts and save some, then I took off and travelled for about 2-3 years... Mexico, Central America, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Nepal, India... I learned to scuba dive, I did a little bit of casual deck-hand work, some mountain guide work, but mostly just bummed around having fun and seeing the world, on a shoestring budget. It was probably the best 2 years of my life... but you know what? These days I wish that I had knuckled down and saved that money... maybe just travelled for 3 or 4 months and then got straight back into working. That might sound dumb, but its true.

See, I am not yet 40 years old, and I own my own 40' blue-water capable yacht, bought and paid for with cash money that I earned myself. I have a chunk of money saved, and am saving at a rate that in about another 5 - 6 years I will have enough money to "retire" and take off on my yacht and never work again unless I want to. But, the point is, that if I hadn't spent those 3 years having fun, I would probably have enough saved to retire now and take off.

Having said that, if I hadn't had that time seeing the world, I might not have fuelled my imagination enought o motivate me to go down the path I am now taking... catch-22 again.
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:38 AM   #8
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All good things in life come with time and effort...unless you're born into money.

You're only 21...finish school and then take a year off to crew on a charter boat. Use the time to meet interesting people and learn from them. Somewhere along the way you will find your path. Whatever you do, don't let money or salary dictate your choices and stay out of debt.

Debt is the modern day form of slavery...not the low salary on a charter boat.
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:42 AM   #9
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Just another quick word:

Paid deck hands on charter yachts generally don't get paid much - enough for food, digs and grog. If you are a qualified skipper, or even qualified mate or engineer or coxswain, you can earn quite good money (depending on the boat and the charter company), but you need the certificates and qualifications. In order to get the cerificates, you need to get the college qualifications AND you need to get a lot of hours logged on commercial vessels. Generally, there are plenty of places to get the qualifications, but it is pretty hard to get enough hours logged to get the certificates.

Scuba Dive Masters are kinda similar to deck-hands: You get paid enough to live and maybe save a little bit, but it certainly isn't enough to save for a big expense item like a yacht. Really, being a Dive Master is a way to be able to afford to live on a tropical Island and have a lot of fun. I have a couple of hundred dives logged, and I really enjoy scuba diving, but it sure as heck ain't ever gonna make me rich.

You can make some pretty good money in commercial fishing, but it is damned hard work. However, if you did a mate or cox or engineers qualification and got a position on a commercial fishing vessel, you would be earning pretty good money while logging up the hours needed to get your certificates..... just a thought
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:55 AM   #10
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There are obviously a lot of possibilities here! I guess I just have to start with something and then find "my path", as Trim50 said. I think the best way for me is to get out and travel/work for a little while now, since I have dreamed of it so long, and then settle down to work. If I continue to work at home or study for more years, I think Iīll maybe forget my dream and give up, and thatīs not what I want. But I will of course finish my studies, since I graduate next spring. I think I need to get a small taste of what travel and cruising is like, to keep me motivated, but perhaps working on a charterboat or something is the way to do it, since you donīt spend money then, but earn some instead. And good luck to you, Weylan, I hope that you soon can set off and cruise into eternity.. I hope I will one day, too!
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:43 AM   #11
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One that I keep on my office wall...from Sterling Hayden's book Wanderer.

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

- Sterling Hayden: Wanderer
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:39 AM   #12
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Hi Aventura

Something not yet mentioned is that you do not need huge bucks to go cruising. One can purchase a basically seaworthy vessel for less than you'd think (not in Norway for sure) and with a bit of hard work get her into shape for a serious voyage.

many people haven fallen into the "5 year"trap i.e. let me wait one more year because then I can do this and that. Fact is, if you really want to go cruising, gain as much experience as possible by perhaps crewing on a transatlantic passage and see if that is what you really want to do and then focus on how to achieve your aim.

Good luck with your dreams and follow them!
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by SV Gwendolyn

many people haven fallen into the "5 year"trap i.e. let me wait one more year because then I can do this and that.
So true! I can attest and am myself in that trap...for reasons of business, boat preparation and female. If I din't feel the need to bring the female, I wouldn't need the Genset, watermaker, solar panels, new refrig unit, remodeled head, microwave, newer dink...but I wouldn't do the trip without her
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:42 AM   #14
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Yeah, I agree with you, I guess you donīt need a huge lot of money, and that there are better places to buy a boat than Norway. Things here ARE expensive. Iīll try not to fall into that 5-year trap, I see what you mean about it. When you have a "life" at home, have family, work etc. it must be much more difficult to go. Luckily I donīt have any of this yet, itīs just the economy part that is my problem, but I guess itīs not too much of a problem really. Trim50, thanks for posting that stuff from Wanderer. I totally agree on it! It really keeps your spirits up.
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