Propellers and Prop Walk

Propellers are something that you don’t always think about while sailing. These little machines play a huge role in how your time on the water will be spent!

This video shows you the ins and outs of propellers and also helps shed some light on the mystery of prop walk.

Integral Soft Shackle on your Sheet

Having a soft shackle at the end of your line is a great asset. A soft shackle lets you securely attach a line to something without the need for a knot. This means that anyone can connect the line without you needing to check their work for a proper knot.

What could fail with a soft shackle on an eye splice? Easy: someone could drop it overboard!

The best way to make a bullet proof soft shackle is to have it permanently attached to the end of your sheet. Making the soft shackle integral to the sheet itself!

How Many Propeller Blades for an Electric Motor?

Propellers come with all different numbers of blades. In general, the more blades you have, the more thrust you will be able to generate. For a fuel burning engine, this is the only concern. For an electric motor on a sailboat, there are other factors to consider.

The ideal number of blades is an odd number. On a smaller boat, 3 blades; if the boat can fit it, 5 blades.

The reason an odd number is ideal is because this keeps the same number of blades exposed to the water around the keel the same which makes regeneration of power from the motor a lot more uniform.

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When a propeller spins behind the keel, the blades exposed to the water will oscillate as such:

  • 2 blades: 2,0,2,0,…

  • 3 blades: 2,2,2,2,…

  • 4 blades: 4,2,4,2,…

  • 5 blades: 4,4,4,4,…

When an even number of blades spin, the propeller will oscillate between all the blades showing and then two of the blades hiding behind the keel.

When an odd number of blades spin, there will always be just one blade hiding behind the keel. This will oscillate between being up or down blade behind the keel, but the number of blades exposed to the water will always be one less, not two, than the number on blades on the propeller.

This means that an even number of blades will oscillate in power while an odd number of blades will remain steady and constant while you sail.

Guiding Clouds

Sunset is always a magical time of day. The sky takes on a wide palate of colors, making the sky look like if God got creative with his brush!

While sailing down wind with an approaching cold front, the whisky cirrus clouds stretched out overhead with wonderful streaks of colors.

We have been having a significant lack of wind lately and these clouds symbolized the promise of wind in the right direction to come!

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Funding a Cruising Lifestyle

There are two ways to go cruising, and both involve money. The most popular idea is to work your whole life and then retire to a Cruising Life! Most cruisers we meet did it this way and also have health problems associated with old age.

The other option is to go while you are young and work along the way, transforming the Cruising Life into your way of life. Cruising turns from a vacation into a job, but a really fun job!

Along this path, you can do it by working regular jobs in the places you sail to, or create a mobile job that lets you work from anywhere.

We have gone with the “mobile career” route to find our cruising and it has opened up a whole new world of opportunity to us.

There are many things you can do for money, and none of them pay very well which is why it is best to diversify and have a large number of revenue streams.

We have:

Rigging

I started my Rigging business with the goal of being able to find our voyage. I figured that we will arrive in places where other sailboats are and stuff on sailboats is always breaking; which means there is always work to be done!

This career choice has saved us more money than it has earned us as I do all the work on my own boat but most cruisers first go to a marina yard for repairs. Work permits are difficult to come by in some countries which makes advertising your trade impossible.

Rigging jobs have earned us a few hundred dollars here and there, but not enough to consistently count on as an income source.

Paintings

Maddie is an artist and paints portraits on a commission basis. This works very well in the boat because the paintings are already sold before she starts painting. As soon as she is finished, we mail it to the new owner which means we don’t have to carry around a bunch of paintings in the boat.

Paintings earn a fair income, but the timing is inconsistent. Around the holidays, Maddie is swamped with work, then we will go several months without a single commission, then a flood of work comes into her email inbox.

As with all the other income sources, this one is very inconsistent and can’t really be counted on as a guaranteed meal earner.

Amazon Store

Everyone shops on Amazon, and when someone buys something through one of our referral links, we get a small commission. A finders fee, if you would. Some months we make $100, some months only $5.

We consider this “free money” because it took no work to make it. We just show links in the description of our videos and if someone is interested, they can click on the link to buy it. Over time, the revenue adds up and is quite nice, but also not consistent.

T-Shirts

We sell shirts through Teespring. All we have to do is design a shirt and create it on the webpage. Teespring then displays it on our store and handles all the rest. They are in charge of printing, shipping, and returns. We simply get paid a percentage of the sales. This takes a bit of work at first to design the shirts, but after that: Free Money!

Websites

Having a website can help earn some extra money. Ads can be displayed on a website to then generate ad revenue. This is a small source of income for us, but it is consistent! The bigger your site, the more you can expect to earn, and expect to earn it every month.

I currently have two websites:

RiggingDoctor is a bit bigger and earns about $30 per month while AdventuresOnBoats earns about $0.30 per month. Not really something you can live off of!

Once your website is big enough, you will get contacted by other companies who wish to advertise on your page in a rather sneaky fashion. They will pay to be one of your posts, posted under your name, as if it were your content. They also pay more than an entire months revenue for that one single post! This isn’t a consistent source of revenue as the paid posts are infrequent, but it is a nice boost to the Cruising Fund when it happens!

YouTube

In the world of social media, YouTube is a great way to earn an income and exposure. YouTube will pay you a consistent pay check as long as you post consistently! This one really is able to find a voyage, as long as you are good and interesting. We started our YouTube Channel as a vlog for ourselves in the future but quickly grew! Now we consider it our job and work really hard at making videos and tending to the site.

YouTube is also a great platform for presenting links to all your other revenue streams which makes them possible.

Lastly, YouTube funnels into the next big revenue stream.

Patreon

Patreon is a platform where people can support creators. In our case, they help support our creation of videos.

Making a video is simple, pull out your phone and record something. This works but not very well. To make it better, you need better camera gear, then editing software! All these things cost money and Patreon can help you afford them.

With Patreon, we have been able to upgrade our cameras, but a drone, and upgrade our editing software. There is also money leftover after these purchases to live off of so that you can continue to travel and create content for your patrons.

Patreon and Youtube are our biggest sources of income, and they make all the smaller sources possible by giving us a platform to display them from.

By working as we sail, we are able to sail farther without needing to stop and work a regular job along the way. This has let us venture off into the ocean and arrive in new lands without having to worry about where the next meal will come from.