The Sailing Podcast

Make money while cruising

How to make money while cruisingEpisode 48 of The Sailing Podcast is with Paul and Sheryl Shard of Distant Shores TV who share some of their experiences on how to make money while cruising. There are many ideas on how to keep money in the cruising kitty once you have started your journey and plenty of examples of people who are making money while cruising. You will find links to the people mentioned in the interview in the show notes below.

If there are some ideas that you have on how to make money while cruising, please add them into the comments below. I am collating this information into an eBook on the topic ‘Make money while cruising’ so if you would like to sign up to receive a copy just visit the page and enter your email address to receive a free copy of this eBook when it is completed.

During the interview we hear about:

  • Writing or filming while you sail
  • Creating a product to sell while cruising
  • Using your existing skills to provide a service
  • How to put your sailing skills to work
  • Contract work, sabbaticals and seasonal work

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The Sailing Podcast

Make Money While Cruising

Our interview with Paul and Sheryl Shard of Distant Shores TV covered some of the following topics regarding how to earn an income while cruising and here are some of the topics that we talked about along with examples of the cruisers who earn money while sailing:

Producing video content

We began the discussion with Paul outlining how they came to produce their TV series, Distant Shores. Producing quality content is key to gaining a following as a film or TV producer. The ability to share your content has become much easier with the formats such as YouTube and Vimeo and it can be a great way to increase your audience. We have had a few producers recently on the podcast such as:

  • Teresa and Ben who made ‘One Simple Question Movie’
  • Nick Jaffe with the ‘Between Home’ Movie
  • Chris and Jessica who sailed the North West Passage

Is making video content enough to live off? Maybe it is a better strategy to include video production as a way to grow your audience in the current environment? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Writing about Sailing

The traditional method for earning some money while cruising was to write for one of the prestigious sailing magazines. In this new age of multimedia and internet, anyone can become a writer online through writing a blog or by submitting articles to online magazines such as Sailfeed.

Many sailing bloggers start their site as a way of communicating their travels to friends and family, only to find that their blog becomes popular with many aspiring sailors and grows beyond their original estimates. Once you have a popular blog you may then have the opportunity to promote other products by advertising on your website. Some examples of popular blogs are:

  • with Brittany and Scott
    • when are you coming on the show Brittany???
  • with Behan and Jamie
  • Zero to with Mike and Rebecca
  • Fatty Goodlander was also mentioned as the prime example of a successful writer and if you know how to contact him, I would love to catch up with him at some stage!

You can check out these sites to see how they use advertising/affiliate sales to earn some income from their sites.

Creating Products

This is the most obvious but least utilized opportunity to earn money while sailing.  Our guests, Paul and Sheryl Shard are the best example of having created a product that they can create and sell as they travel. They are able to distribute their product (videos) via selling DVDs and by having them sold online via sites such as Vimeo.

When you think about products, just try and remember the last trip you did to the market. Remember all the stalls that you saw with art, pictures, plants, fruit, etc? Each of those stall holders has found a product to sell – either by buying it off someone else or creating it themselves.

Do you find anything frustrating when you go sailing? Your frustration could be turned into a great product for sailors – you just need to solve the problem with your product. If you have some great examples of this, just leave them in the comments section.

A great example of this is Yves Gelinas – the famous French Canadian solo sailor and film maker. His movie is ‘Around the World with Jean-du-Sud‘ and is available from The Sailing Channel. His product, which came from his experiences sailing, is the ‘Cape Horn’ Self Steering device.

Another example of making products was mentioned in the interview – Zig Zag bags – who are a UK firm that make cool looking bags from sail materials for sailors –

Skippering and delivering yachts

This is a common way to earn some part-time and casual income while out sailing. This may require you to have some qualification so I would suggest that you have a look at some of the examples of people who earn money by delivering yachts and running skippered charter yachts to see what qualifications they have. I think the most common one is the ’12 Pax’?


If you are interested in seeing what sort of work is available for experienced skippers you could check out these great crew finding websites:

Providing a Service

Most people have a skill that they have spent most of their life working on. This could be as your occupation or maybe it is just your hobby? There are always opportunities to make money while cruising by putting your skills to work. The biggest restriction on this is often caused by problems with visas and work permits.

Saved by the internet

If you have any administration skills such as typing or data entry, or skills in IT such as Photoshop, web design, writing or transcribing then the internet is here to save you.

If you have not visited these sites yet, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. There is tons of work available for location independent workers:

Of course, you may just have a skill that every yacht owner needs. Some of the popular skills are:

  • Diesel mechanics
  • Sailmakers
  • Boat repairers (working with epoxy etc.)
  • Hairdressers
  • Dentists (mentioned in the podcast)

If you have more skills that you think could be valuable or have seen someone making some money while cruising because they know how to fix stuff – add it to the comments section below

Keep your job and go sailing!

In the interview we heard about how some teachers in Canada can choose to take a salary cut of 20% (or only take home 80% of their wage) and be able to take a year sabbatical ever 5 years. Wow, that sounds great, especially if you take into account the tax benefits as well – earn less, pay less tax.

Maybe if you have a plan to go sailing in the future you can start to think of how to maintain your current position by developing it into a contract work scenario. Even if your current boss won’t look at this flexibility, you might have a skill that can be used as a contractor anyway.

Other articles


As you can see, there are ways to earn money while cruising – only limited by your imagination. If you have more thoughts about how to earn money – or if you know someone who is earning money while cruising, let us know about it in the comments section below.

After putting all this information together in this blog post, I have decided to expand on some of these ideas and examples by putting the post into an eBook format. The eBook will be ‘Make Money while Cruising’ and you can enter your details below to be notified of when it is completed and ready for download –

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AMSA interview on safety and EPIRB emergency beacons

Episode 47 of The Sailing Podcast is an interview with Mal Bettanay of AMSA – The Australian Maritime Safety Authority. AMSA is a federal government body responsible for rescue coordination over 10% of the earth’s surface. I caught up with Mal and discussed emergency beacons at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, held in Queensland, Australia in May, 2014.

Although the Australian population is about 0.5% of the world population, under the SOLAS Convention AMSA are looking after approximately 10% of the earth’s surface. Their Emergency Response Centre deal with around 10,000 incidents per year (including beacon activations, searches and medical evacuations). This includes around 500 search specific tasks and on average 300 lives saved every year.

During the interview we hear about:

  • AMSA’s role in Abby Sunderland’s rescue in the Indian Ocean
  • Tony Bullimore’s rescue in the Southern Ocean in 1997
  • The importance of registration, safe storage and correct disposal of EPIRBs

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The Sailing Podcast

Show Notes for Emergency Beacons and AMSA

Well thanks again Mal for chatting to us about AMSA and the importance of looking after and registering your beacon. I know that there are many listeners outside of Australia and I would invite you to leave a comment in this blog post if you know where to dispose of old beacons in your country or if you know who looks after the registration – maybe you can leave a link in the comments so that it can be a quick resource for people who find the interview and want to register their beacon or update their contact details in their own country.

You can visit the AMSA website at for more information

Other rescues

Mal referred to a couple of well known rescues that AMSA was involved in. The first was about the rescue of Abby Sunderland in the Indian Ocean in 2010. Her yacht, Wild Eyes, had been dismasted and Abby activated her emergency beacon. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged to charter a Qantas Airbus passenger jet to fly out to the vessel, which was over 2000 miles off the Australian coast.

Their goal was to locate the vessel and establish communication while a French commercial fishing vessel made its way to the site.

You can read about the story of Abby Sunderland in her book –

On the RadarOn the Radar

I recently had a nice comment on one of the website pages about a listeners yacht. It was from John who found the page with information about an Arthur Robb designed yacht – Akala owned by a listener also named David. John says:

Thank you David for sharing your beautiful yacht with us. Since purchasing Princess Persephone I’ve searched the web for any Robb content and now there’s Akala; maybe I’ll be inspired to do my part. Persephone was launched in Auckland in 1960 and now can be found in Mangonui Harbour in the Far North.

It is always great to help owners connect and see each others yachts so I would like to invite you again to send me photos of your yacht and I will update my listener gallery which has some yachts in it. Just email me a couple of photos and a bit of the background of your yacht and I can add it to the website. You can email me

I would also invite you to download the new app I have had created for The Sailing Podcast. At this stage it is available for iPhone and iPad – with an android version coming soon– You can just search for ‘The Sailing Podcast’ in the App store and you should be able to see it. If not, please let me know and I will send you a direct link. You can download episodes with the app and it has a cool feature that lets you download them to listen to later, when you might be offline – all you do is ‘star’ the episode and it will download for later. There is an android version coming, I just have to get all the images together so that it can be created. If you do get a chance to download it please leave a rating or review for the app – again this just helps it to show up in the search results for apps.

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Sevenstar and DYT Yacht Transport

Episode 46 of The Sailing Podcast is with Peter and Laura from Sevenstar and DYT Yacht Transport. We caught up at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) held on the Gold Coast, Queensland in May. The SCIBS management gave me the opportunity to carry out some interviews using the Channel 7 stage.

The concept of transporting yachts from sailing destination to sailing destination came up in a previous interview with Bill and Judy Rouse about the Costs of Cruising (one of our most popular interviews). Bill and Judy had decided to ship their yacht instead of sailing through the pirate infested waters off Somalia in 2011.

During the interview we hear about:

  • How Sevenstar Yacht Transport began helping cruisers avoid the Bay of Biscay
  • The common routes used for yacht transport
  • How the DYT Yacht Transport vessel submerges to pick up its cargo
  • How the business is still about helping the average cruising sailor to explore new cruising desinations

Click on the media player below to listen

The Sailing Podcast

Show Notes for Sevenstar and DYT Yacht Transport

Well it was a surprise to find a couple of overseas guests at the boat show, but I guess that is why it’s called the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. If you would like to check out the boats that Peter and Laura were talking about in action please head to the website – and if you have used Sevenstar to transport your yacht somewhere interesting please let me know – I am really interested to hear about how people have used this service to their advantage. You can leave a message in the comments section or send me an email –

It was great to have the stage to use although we were competing with the helicopters landing and taking off in the background as well as the ‘My Kitchen Rules’ cooking team who were setting up in the background as well – I guess that is just part and parcel of a live recording and it does add a bit of ambiance to the interview.

On The Radar

Sailing news Sailing blogs

I still have the Speakpipe link operating on the website so that listeners can record a message directly from the and that is just what Neil Davies did. He has left a message to say thanks for producing the podcast and to let us know where we could check out his blog about their travels.

Here are the links to Neil’s websites:

The other news that caught my attention this week was the Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov who landed at Mooloolaba, just a half hour from my house, after 168 days at sea, rowing from Chile in South America, non-stop to Australia. I think the reports said it was a 16,000km journey. I also saw one of the reports saying that he was inspired by the Kon Tiki Voyage, but just a bit of trivia for those of you playing at home, there was another raft voyage from South America in 1970, which ending in Mooloolaba as well, that was the La Balsa voyage led by Vital Alsar.

Coincidentally, another interview I did at Sanctuary Cove was with Mel from AMSA and he mentions a couple of times that AMSA has coordinated rescues for rowers crossing the Indian Ocean.

The AMSA interview covers some of the roles they have in Marine rescue as well as how to care for your EPIRB so that it can give you the best results should you have to activate it.

I also have an interview with Paul and Sheryl Shard recorded and it is on the subject of ‘How to make money while cruising’ so I will get these extra episodes up as soon as possible.

Available for iPad and iPhone

Available for iPad and iPhone

If you get them as soon as they come out, you can download my new app for iPhone and iPad – just search for ‘The Sailing Podcast’ in the App store and you should be able to see it. If not, please let me know and I will send you a direct link. You can download episodes with the app and it has a cool feature that lets you download them to listen to later, when you might be offline – all you do is ‘star’ the episode and it will download for later. There is an android version coming, I just have to get all the images together so that it can be created.

How to support the show

If you do decide to use the links on my website and decide to buy a book or something else on Amazon, I do get a small commission which helps to support the show. It actually helps me out if you are looking to buy anything on Amazon, if you access the site through one of the Amazon links on the Sailing Podcast. I will set up a link that is so that if you are heading to Amazon you can help support the show at the same time.

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