Cruising is great, you live where your boat is and don’t have to go to work in the morning. The problem with this plan is that money is a thing you need if you want to eat, and not going to work means you won’t have any money.
Well, you don’t necessarily “go to” work, but instead, you “bring” work with you.
Cruising means that you are going to have a mobile lifestyle and it would be best if your work was also mobile. We fund our journey through a variety of sources, and each one is rather small, but collectively, they add up to be enough that we can buy food and sail on.
First, there is the blog that you are reading right now. I started this blog back in 2015 and have posted a new blog post daily since then. This is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time, but it is a labor of love that pays me thanks to the ads that are displayed on the web page. The money comes from Google AdSense, and I get paid monthly.
Second, there is the YouTube Channel Rigging Doctor which also pays from ad revenue generated by ads that play on the videos we make. Filming requires equipment, and equipment is expensive. Editing the footage takes software, which is an additional cost, but the end result is a wonderful video diary of our adventure. The channel started out as something my wife and I were doing for ourselves to document our voyage, but it grew in popularity and has actually begun to pay us a comfortable amount.
Third, Patreon. This is a system where Patrons can donate to your adventure, which helps give you a steady income and lets you know you are going to be able to buy food this month! Now, Patrons don’t want to just give random people money, they want something in return, and that something is usually content that you create for them in the form of YouTube videos. The moral of the story is: if you make videos, make them good videos that people will want to watch!
Fourth, T-Shirts. We design shirts and then sell them. This is far from a guaranteed income source, as some months we don’t sell any shirts, while other months we sell a bunch! Teespring has a great setup where it costs you nothing to submit a design and attempt to sell, so anything you earn is pure profit as there doesn’t have to be any initial investment on your part.
Fifth, Amazon Associates. Basically, you are paid a finders fee if someone buys something from your link. These links look like this:
When someone buys something through a link, you then get a percentage of the sale as a finders fee. This works well for the sellers because they only have to pay advertising when a product actually sells instead of paying a whole bunch of ad money and hope to make a sale. This also means that you wan’t to use and promote products that you value so that others can benefit from it the same way you have, and it helps pay for food!
Sixth, Brand Ambassadorship. Meeting people while you cruise will open up business opportunities. As you come in contact with these people, you will be offered new ways to earn income that you may have never even thought of. One friend has created a website that connects people who want to travel with local tours and local knowledge. This means that they can plan and book their next adventure, all from home. They can take vacation time from work and quickly have the experience of a lifetime, then get right back to work with no wasted time. He calls it TravelGnu, and just like with Amazon Associates, you earn a finders fee from the booking company that hosts the tours and hotels.
Lastly, your old job. If you are able to work part time, you can simply go cruising for a while (until you run out of money) and then return to work. This will let you earn and save up money quickly so that you can then get back to cruising. This has been our main course of action whenever we need more money than we have on hand, or our funds start to dwindle. I fly home and work as a dentist for about a month, then head back to the boat. The reason I work for a month at a time is I have to make the trip worth it. Yes, I could probably earn what I need at the moment in a week, but I just had to pay for flights to get back, I’m going to take full advantage of being back and do everything I needed to do while I am here before I head back to the boat. This minimizes the amount of flights I need to take in a year and as a direct result, minimizes the amount of money we spend on flights for the year.
Cruising is a much cheaper way of living than being on land or tied to land, but it is still not free. Finding ways to earn money while you sail is important to minimize the amount of time you need to spend back at home working and maximize your time on the boat working in exotic places!