Budget and Money

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.

Eating Limpets for FREE!

Cruising allows you to visit incredible places for free, which means you can travel the world on a very small budget. One thing that even poor cruisers like to do is eat, especially eat delicious meals!

Limpets are small snails that live on hard rocks in the tidal zone. Limpets are also delicious and expensive!

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Mainland Portugal is blessed with sandy beaches that contain large rocks that are encrusted with limpets. Do check with local fishing laws to make sure you are not fishing illegally! In Portugal, you can fish for shellfish between certain hours of the day, around from 10am to 2pm where we are right now, and this time happens to coincide with their low tide; and they have a 12 foot tide!

At low tide, you simply stroll out on the sandy beach and walk over to one of these large rocks. On the rock, you will find all of these limpets clutching to the stone as they await the return of the incoming tide.

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To remove a limpet, you can either strike it with a stone at a low angle or pry it off with a knife. You get one try at it and you have to do it fast otherwise they will express water and clamp down onto the rock so tightly that you can not remove it without breaking the shell! If you fail, try the next one.

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Keep them in a bucket of water while you fish and change the water frequently to keep them alive. You can add extra salt to the water to encourage them to expel any sand that might be in them.

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Once you have all you want to eat, simply set them alive and on a tray shell down and put a lot of garlic butter on each one. The butter will keep them tender while they grill. You want to grill them just to the point where they pop off their shell, any more and they will get rubbery.

On my first time, I over cooked them and some were like rubber bands while the ones that got less fire time were AMAZING! The best part of this meal is that it is free! You can comb the beach at low tide and spend the rest of the day preparing your delicious treat for later.

BOAT LOANS AND FINANCING OPTIONS

Buying a boat is a dream for many water-lovers, whether for sport or pleasure. However, a boat can be a significant purchase that is not easily covered with cash on hand. The purchase price range of a new motor boat is between $20,000 and several hundred thousand dollars, while a pontoon boat averages around $35,000. 

For most boat enthusiasts, this is not something they can pay for out of pocket. That’s where boat financing and boat loans come in to lend a helping hand.

Types of Boat Loans

Boat loans are specifically designed to cover the cost of a new or used boat for a qualified borrower. Some lenders offer loans for boats, with special terms and rates, while others do not offer this type of financing, even if the borrower is qualified. 

Like other types of financing, boat loans may be available with a wide range of interest rates, repayment terms, down payment requirements, and other up-front or built-in costs. It is necessary to understand your options before purchasing a boat.

Types of boat loans may include the following:

  • Fixed interest rate boat loans with a set interest rate and repayment amount over the life of the loan

  • Variable interest rate boat loans with a fluctuating interest rate and fluctuating payment over the life of the loan

  • Balloon payment boat loans with a smaller monthly payment due for the majority of the loan term and then a large, lump sum payment at the end

  • Personal loans for boat purchases that do not require the boat to be used as collateral to back the loan

  • Home equity that uses a borrower’s personal residence as collateral instead of the boat itself, with either variable or fixed interest rates

In addition to these traditional options for financing a new or used boat purchase, there may be specialized boat loans that combine one or more of the features listed above for qualified borrowers.

Any type of boat may be financed, so long as the prospective boat owner qualifies for the new loan. Lenders may have specific requirements for minimum and maximum loan amounts for boat purchases, as well as specific terms for how long repayment can extend. However, just about any boat purchase, including speedboats, yachts, pontoon boats, and water sport vehicles, can be financed. 

Borrowers should note that boat loan lenders may differentiate between used boats and new boats, similar to how auto loans are priced. Because used boats represent more of a risk, loan terms may include a higher interest rate, a shorter repayment term, or a combination of the two. Typically, new boat purchases have the best available loan terms.

See the full article here: Boat Loans and Financing Options

BOAT LOAN CALCULATOR: ESTIMATE YOUR PAYMENTS

Financing a boat is a big decision. If you’ve used the boat payment calculator and have some more questions, here are a few things worth considering.

What Factors Affect My Rate?

Our boat payment calculator takes into account the interest rate, loan amount, and loan term you provide to calculate your estimated monthly cost. However, the rate and term you are offered will ultimately be determined based on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and other financial factors. You should obtain a quote from several boat loan lenders to get an idea of the loan rates you’re eligible for.

What Credit Score Do I Need to Get a Boat Loan?

Boat loans may be available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500 to 550 but you will pay a higher interest rate. Boat loans with the most affordable terms usually go to borrowers with applicants who have good to excellent credit—generally, scores of around 690 or higher.

How Long Will My Repayment Term Be?

Boat loan terms vary by lender and are determined by the amount you borrow, your desired monthly payment, and your creditworthiness. It is possible to finance costly boats with loans that are repaid over terms as long as 20 years. However, with interest rates being equal, the longer your loan term, the more interest you’ll pay and the higher your total costs will be.

Is a Boat Loan Similar to a Mortgage?

If you are financing a very large boat that could double as a residence, such as a yacht, local laws may mandate your boat is registered with the Coast Guard or with other federal marine authorities. In these cases, a formal boat mortgage may be required.

However, most people using our boat loan calculator won’t need this type of loan. Instead, most borrowers will take out an installment loan. While mortgages are also a type of installment loan, boat loans require much less paperwork and are treated more like a standard personal loan or auto loan.

Does Your Boat Loan Calculator Pre-Approve Me for a Loan?

Our boat financing calculator is for informational purposes only, so entering your desired loan information won’t pre-approve you for a loan. However, you can either get pre-approved or submit a full application to the lenders shown above after entering a few additional pieces of info.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Loan?

The length of time it takes to get approved for a boat loan will vary by lender. Some lenders provide decisions within minutes and funding within a few business days. But it is common to wait for two to four days for a decision, and it can take an additional week or longer to get your funds after approval, depending on the lender.

 

Calculate your boat loan payments here: Boat Loan Calculator

Being back, but not being home

We flew back to the states to visit family, our pets, and earn some cruising money! Last time we came back, I waited a full week before I started working so that I had plenty of time to be with our pets.  

A full week just for the pets was awesome! They quickly forgave us for leaving and greatly enjoyed having us home again.  

Then I went to work and only saw them after a hard days work. This was fine and after a few weeks of working, we returned to the boat.  

We didn’t desperately need the money, so there wasn’t a desperate urge to go to work. The real desire was to be with our pets. This last time was different; we really needed a lot of money and had a very limited amount of time to earn it. 

My first day back, I started working like a dog! I was pulling wisdom teeth on multiple patients per day, drilling crowns and fillings, and even doing cleanings. If I was at the office, I was working hard! This went on for a solid 4 weeks, until the day before we are to return to the boat. I have earned the money that we need to pay for our year on the hard at the marina, so the stress of working has been lifted.  

I spent all day today with our pets and I realized that while I have been here for a full month, I haven’t really been “home”.  

Everyday was work work work, then I would see the pets in the afternoon while I worked on the blog or YouTube vídeos. Then I went to sleep and began the process again.  

After a full month of this, we have earned enough money to continue and are ready to leave, but we will greatly miss our pets, and friends & family. This month back home didn’t really feel like “home time” and instead “work time”.  

Hopefully, the next time we come home, I won’t have such a chunk of money needing to be earned so I can be more relaxed about it and enjoy our time away from the boat.  

Tomorrow we begin our journey to the boat and shortly thereafter we will shove off from the Azores and head to mainland Portugal!