Episode 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 www.thesailingpodcast.com/ebook 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
Click on the media player below to listen
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’
- interviewed in Episode 39
- Nick Jaffe with the ‘Between Home’ Movie
- interviewed in Episode 38
- Chris and Jessica who sailed the North West Passage
- interviewed in Episode 29
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:
- Windtraveler.com with Brittany and Scott
- when are you coming on the show Brittany???
- SV-Totem.com with Behan and Jamie
- interviewed in Episode 32
- Zero to Cruising.com with Mike and Rebecca
- interviewed in Episode 25
- 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.
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 – www.zigzagbags.co.uk
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’?
- Mike and Rebecca Sweeney from Zero to Cruising are now working on ‘One Love’
- Scott of Windtraveler who has worked as a skipper while they travelled
- visit them at www.windtraveler.com
- Peter and Tina of www.freebirdsailingadventures.com
- who run a skippered charter yacht in the bahamas
- David Ryan of sailingmontauk.com
- interviewed in Episode 17
If you are interested in seeing what sort of work is available for experienced skippers you could check out these great crew finding websites:
- Desperate Sailors website – www.desperatesailors.com
- Find a Crew – www.findacrew.net
- interviewed in Episode 3 of The Sailing Podcast – wow how time flies!
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
- Boat repairers (working with epoxy etc.)
- 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.
- By Paul and Sheryl Shard
- By Brittany of Windtraveler
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 –