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How to make money with boats
- 50 proven cruising careers

By Captain Scott Fratcher

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A book that will make you money!

How to make money with boats reviewed here by
"Picks up where sailing the farm left off"

This book has magic in it. Contained within these pages is a formula developed over the last 20 years. This formula is the key to using a sailboat as a mobile platform to run a small business.

This book will teach you the basics of running a small business from a boat. It will also start you on the road to developing a few of the skills needed to change your life. No commute, no office, no boss, just true freedom.

You will learn how to identify profitable everyday situations in the yachting world and how to turn these situations into a win/win ending.

>> To buy this book now - Click Here

Every Business Listed is ‘Tried and Tested’

Allison and I have either run each of the businesses listed over the past 20 years, or we personally met people that had worked these business from their boat. A few others we just considered a dang good idea but have never gotten around to doing. You will notice on many of the business I clearly state “we made money this way” or “we met a boat and they profited in this manor”. This is important as many people try these business and don’t turn a profit.

Topics Covered Include50 potential cruising careers, including:

  • yacht deliveries,
  • sail repair, massage,
  • beach equipment rentals,
  • hair cutting,
  • surfboard repair,
  • outboard/dinghy repair,
  • kids water delivery,
  • video and radio production,
  • artwork,
  • bounty hunter,
  • computer-based work
  • Picking your working location
  • Working for other yachties
  • Working locally for local wages and the tourist trade
  • Working for the first world while living in the third world
  • Finding your clients
  • Getting your business off the ground, marketing, advertising and getting paid

Click here to buy "How to make money with boats"

Excerpts from the books

The delivery game

Delivering boats from one exotic location to the next sounds like the perfect job, and in fact it can be. Deliveries and charters are normally the first two moneymakers yachties think of when cash start to run low...This is one of the most sought after positions in the yachting world and competition is steep. Luckily you don’t have to compete on price, and in fact being the least expensive guy on the block can be a disadvantage in this case...Being the most expensive guy on the block often is best if your reputation can command it...

This chapter continues with information on locating delivery jobs, what to bring, inspecting the vessel, keeping out of trouble and more.

Kids water delivery

This small business can be run by just about anyone, but for some reason it always seems to be the teenage kids that provide this service. This is the mobile fuel or water refill. Only a few of the larger ports in the world have a fuel or water dock you can pull your boat up to. For the rest of the ports its break out the jury jugs, load them into the skiff, carry them to the fuel depot to be filled. Then lug the jugs back to the boat. For many boat owners living on a retirement they would much rather go see a museum, fish, or just read a book rather than heft water jugs.

This chapter continues on with information on how to keep the children occupied while earning pocket money. You get specific instructions on how to sell the service and allow the children to run their own growing business.

Sewing, sail repair, canvas work, and the mighty Pfaff 130

Sewing is one of the best moneymakers for the traveling yacht. Making sun hats, fixing sails, building canvas or general canvas repairs all bring in needed work in far off locations. Sewing is one of the sailing professions that can be completed anywhere in the world, learned as you go, and the farther off the beaten track you are the better. Best of a sewing machine should be aboard the self-sufficient yacht your sailing in remote areas anyway.

This chapter continues on with what machine and supplies to purchase, how to locate sail repair jobs and how to complete the special reef points and hand sewn grommets.

Leading yoga, meditation or massage at resorts

Take a course before you sail away from the first world and you have the perfect skill to sell to resorts, hotels and all inclusive holiday makers.

This chapter continues on with information about how to sell your services, locating clients, and building a one off service business.

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"How to make money with boats"

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“Live aboard, Work aboard: How one couple manages to stay afloat.”

Like most of us, Scott Fratcher, a marine engineer, and Allison Thompson, a 200 Ton Sea Captain, spend a lot of time working on their boat. But here’s the catch: they’re not just working on the boat, they’re working from the boat. So far, they’ve managed to scratch out a living and they want to share their experience and knowledge with other metal boat owners who are interested in doing the same thing. For a price.

While many of us daydream about extended cruises or one day pointing the bow toward the horizon and never coming back, few of us have the resources to do so indefinitely. Cruising can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you make it, but no matter how lavish or how frugal, it does require an income. Some folks manage on retirement accounts, savings, proceeds from investments or even trust funds. Others stop off every now and then to work ashore and refill the cruising kitty. What Scott and Allison do is set up shop along they way. And they self-publish accounts of their experiences, dispensing how-to advice and knowledge as they do so.

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Freedom comes when you’re ready to sail away. True freedom comes when you don’t have to return until you decide to.

Were going to discuss working from your yacht as a means to support your cruising lifestyle. We’ll start with by discussing a formula developed over the last twenty years. This formula is the key to using your boat as a mobile platform to run a small business. This mobile business is designed to support your sailing or cruising lifestyle. If followed, you may never have to return to the “real” world to earn your cruising money. You may be able drop out of the modern world of bank loans, credit cards, and the daily grind, and become a truly free citizen of the world. You will no longer feel the claws of society dragging you back to another day of work. No more sitting in traffic. You won’t be worried about money; instead you’ll be trying to dodge work. You’ll have to leave port at night to get some peace and quite.

In my book “How To Make Money With Boats” I teach you the basics of running a small business from a boat. It will start you on the road to developing a few of the skills needed to change your life in ways unknown to most wage slaves. No commute, no office, no boss, just true freedom. I don’t mean to imply you will have no responsibilities or that you don’t have to get up and go to work. It’s a whole lot of work. Maintaining your own boat is enough of a challenge, but start adding in other people’s boat problems and your responsibilities can grow out of control.

You will learn how to identify profitable everyday situations in the yachting world and how to turn these situations into a win/win ending. This ending will so impress other boaters that they will begin to talk of your prowess. Word of your arrival will precede you to new cruising grounds. When you arrive people will greet you and say, “I’ve heard about you and I’m glad you’re here, when you’re ready to work I have a few projects I would like you to look at”.

Click here - Every business listed is ‘Tried and Tested’

Allison and I have either run each of the businesses listed over the past 20 years, or we personally met people that had worked these business from their boat. A few others we just considered a dang good idea but have never gotten around to doing. You will notice in the book many of the business I clearly state “we made money this way” or “we met a boat and they profited in this manor”. This is important as many people try these businesses and don’t turn a profit. Importing Native Art Work is a classic example. We have known over twenty people attempting to import native artwork. Only a few made money doing it. We include their individual methods along with many others.

These are legitimate small businesses that turn a small profit every year. Small is just fine since you’re not spending much money. You only need a little to live comfortably. For me “a little” is enough money to keep the boat maintained, sailing, and let us fly “home” every now and again.

Life outside the first world can be inexpensive. In Ecuador lunch is a buck. That includes soup, meat, vegetable, and desert. A maxi comfort bus in Peru is a dollar and half an hour, stewardess, video, and dinner included. If you decide to, you can step into another economy, but you can return to your old economy any time you want. It’s the best of both worlds, and one of the biggest advantages to traveling on a first world passport.The trick to making this happen is to pick up a trade you can work while you travel.

The Boat is Your Mobile Work Platform

The yacht is a mobile platform that carries a special set of tools and provisions designed to carry you almost anywhere in semi-comfort. With a little effort you can add supporting your family to that list of your yacht’s description. You can work at almost anything. Whatever you do now you can probably transfer those skills to the water. Well that is unless you have some job shuffling papers here and there, or sitting in the bureaucracy. If you have a “real” job that you get up every day and produce or maintain something then chances are you’ll already posses some of the skills to support yourself in the cruising lifestyle. If you have ever felt overpowered by some bureaucrat sitting behind a desk pushing papers then the working sailing world is your chance to turn the tables. Take a look down the list of boat jobs and find one that corresponds to something you are good at. You don’t have to have any special training; you just have to have the aptitude and the motivation and start to build your skills.

Doing it Well, The Real Trick

Now comes the real trick. Whatever job you choose you have to learn to do it expertly. Not just well, but spectacularly. You can start by reading the manuals pertaining to your new occupation. Read before you go to sleep. Turn breakfast into lesson time. You will have to study until you can talk on this single chosen subject so well that those with an interest will seek you out. Take courses, and send for correspondence material. Every time you meet someone working in the field ask questions. Get a job working in the field even if you have to take low pay. Consider it school. It’s okay, the jobs are not that difficult, and there are easy learning techniques on almost every aspect of them. It’s really a matter of your motivation. You have to be able to identify a need you can fill, and then sell yourself to the person with the need. That is what “How To Make Money With Boats” book is all about. Teaching you how to identify the opportunity and then starting you on the road to learning the skills you will need to support yourself.

Next comes the most important part. Do what you agreed to do very well. It may sound simple, but it’s rare in the world. Those who arrive, on time, tools in hand are highly valued. If you produce a wonderful service or product your customers will seek you out the world over.

Here is an excerpt from one of Scott Fratcher and Allison Thompson’s downloadable PDF, on making a living along the way through welding:

Making the big bucks as a welder

“A mobile welding shop is one of the best methods of supporting yourself, your boat, your family and your dog. The work will find you! In fact being able to work metals is about all you have to learn to be able to support yourself anywhere in the world”


Dockside Gossip

That is what we are told on the docks before we leave anyway. It’s not exactly true. You will need two more things. The first is to follow the rules of business laid out in the first chapter, and the second is a reason why someone might need your services. If you’re to make a business out of being able to weld then you need to create a need, and then fulfill that need. Sure you may make a few bucks here and there when someone breaks a chain plate, or cracks an engine mount, but in reality just about every out of the way nook and cranny of the planet has a welding machine stashed here or there. It’s not that difficult to find a guy to come and make a repair when needed. The trick is to offer a service that needs a welding machine somewhere in the process.

For example, being able to offer the installation of a second high output alternator to fast charge a yacht’s batteries will bring the amp suckers crawling to your aft hatch. Selling custom made aluminum skiffs that fit a yacht’s deck layout will give the people about to purchase another inflatable skiff a reason to search you out. Yachties will sail hundreds of miles if they know the end of the sail contains the man who can build a set of davits that match their new skiff. The guy that just purchased a brand new 40 horsepower outboard for his fast skiff will loose sleep at night wondering if someone is planning to steal his new toy. Your security lock will change his life.

See what I am getting at here? You have to offer a special service that nobody else can build because they don’t have the welding machine. It’s not the welding machine, it’s just the tool. You will still have to run a business, market your idea, sell it and finally build it. Still the big bucks are waiting for the person who is willing to work this industry.


How to build your own alternator welder

Some of Scott Fratcher’s advice is practical and some of it strikes us as being ingenious, whether you use it to make extra money or simply as useful how-to knowledge in an emergency. Take this example of making your own welder, using an alternator:

The welder you already have on your boat is your high output alternator.

I have installed many different forms of welding machines onboard our boat over the years. From the small MIG welder powered by the boats gen-set to a huge aircraft starter motor that had to be spun at about 7000 rpm’s. Then one day someone mentioned to me he saw a guy welding on a farm with nothing but a lawnmower engine belt driving an alternator. With that I began experimenting and came up the “Scotty Weld”. Now the plans for the Scotty Weld are yours free just for reading this book. When I explain this simple system you might say “that’s too easy” but I assure you this works. In fact I have welded for hours straight with this simple system and then merely changed the wires back over to use the alternator to charge the batteries. After the first few alternators burned up in the testing I have not had to replace the welding alternator again.

You will need at least a 100 amp alternator and a 120 amp is about perfect (the Delco CS144 is a great alternator for this application). A 110 volt 60 watt (or more) light bulb and socket, a few cables you can weld through (#4or larger) and (here is the important part) a variable resister capable of passing 4 amps continuous. You can expect to pay about thirty dollars for this special variable resister. It should be look rugged and be at least two inches across.

To use your alternator as a welder you will have to first attach your welding cables to the back of the alternator. The ground lead will be attached to the negative of the alternator and the positive lead will be the welding electrode or stinger as it’s often called. At the same time wire the light bulb across the positive and negative of the alternator. This is important as the light will glow bright any time the welder is not burning a rod. This light is what takes up the extra current and voltage when the welding is stopped. When welding the voltage drops down to about 20 volts and the light goes out. It kind of works backward from what you would expect. Light on at rest, light out while working.

The variable resister is wired in line from positive of a battery, through the variable resister and into the positive field brush, through the field and back to the negative of the battery.

Your alternator should be a P type. In other words one brush should be grounded and the second brush should need 12 volt positive to produce current. Almost every high output alternator is wired as a P type.

When you’re ready to weld, start the engine, turn off the battery switch connecting the alternator the battery. Gently turn up the variable resister. The light should begin to glow. Turn the light up bright, but not maximum and get ready to weld.

Note- Normally turning off the battery switch with engine running would ruin the diodes of the alternator. This is because, while the alternator is producing power, the stator or outside of the alternator has an electrical field formed. When you disconnect the load, (battery) that electrical field has to go somewhere. It looks for a path to ground. It finds the shortest path through the diode, thus ruining it along the way. The light bulb run in parallel with the welding leads prevents this from disaster from happening and gives the electrical field somewhere to go.

That’s all there is to it. Sounds too simple to be true? Well maybe it is and that is why it took me years of using complicated welders before I finally found this simple solution.

Tip- If you find yourself in an emergency and just need to weld but don’t have a variable resister you can use a 12volt light bulb wired in place of the variable resister. Put two in parallel or even three in parallel till you get the right resistance. This is kind of crude, but it will work in an emergency.

Tip- Don’t try to back feed a battery switch as a simple method of switching between battery charge and welding. The switch will arc inside and weld itself together. I went through three battery switches before I worked out why this happens.

Warning- Make sure you are using a good 110 volt light bulb and a secure electrical connection to the alternator. If the light comes disconnected or the bulb burns up the diodes in the alternator will immediately fail. For this reason if you’re planning on using the Scottyweld then carry a spare set of alternator diodes

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   © Team Yachtwork 2007