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Before there was organized currency I imagine that people relied on trade or barter. For many cruisers who, for legal reasons, can not work in foreign countries, trading services with one another is one way that helps them to get by. But, having spent the last 20+ years teaching people how to punch, kick and wrestle (or depending on how you look at it, how to get in shape) our services are a bit harder to trade to boaters, at least when compared to those who can fix engines, troubleshoot refrigerators or, as our friend Kelly does, cut hair. What I think we can offer though, through this blog and our other social media outlets, is some pretty decent publicity for those who run actual businesses. While some companies see the value in our doing that, such as Conch Republic Bikinis, Grenada Bluewater Sailing and Polar Navy Marine Navigation Software, others haven’t quite caught on.

Just a few days ago I received a nice email from a lady who looks after the marketing of a popular resort in the Bahamas. She offered to have us visit there, free of charge, in the hope that we would be able to write about our experiences. Regrettably we won’t be back in that particular area to take advantage of the offer. I did just recently email another service business here in Dominica and asked if they would be interested in providing us with a tour in return for online promotion of their business. They, sadly, failed to see the value. I found that surprising given that, to my knowledge, they would be out of pocket no real money by making such an arrangement (I assume there would be no or little hard costs incured for us to do the tour), and how much businesses typically will spend to get even a little bit of advertising. Oh well.

Moving on, if you run a business with products/services that you think might be compatible with our lifestyle, and are interested in some online press, we’d love to speak with you. I’m sure our followers would love to read about your products/services and how they relate to cruising on a boat. We can be reached at zero to cruising ATT gmail DOTT com. 🙂

Need a good haircut? Look for Kelly on s/v Earthling!

She gave both Rebecca and I a great haircut yesterday.

22 Comments

  1. So glad you can get regular hair cuts Mike 🙂

    I think your concept is a great one I hope you get bites. If I thought I could sell knitting related supplies through your lifestyle I would. Ha

  2. Hello, Wondered if given your training skills, there wouldnt be a demand to be personal trainers for other cruisers, and also provide your personal training services at resorts in the islands?, be well Mark

    • Hi Mark

      “Working” at a resort in many places would require a work permit. Personal training is also one of those things that typically needs to be repeated, which would require us to stay in one place. While we do stay in Grenada for much of the H season, we can not work there without jumping through some hoops (and spending some $$$ I believe). As for other cruisers paying us to train them, unless they’re based on a mega yacht, it’s not likely going to happen. Most cruisers, like us, are “frugal*.”

      *PC word for cheap 😉

  3. We are still 5 years away from our cruising life but we think about it all the time. In addition to owning a Farmers Insurance Agency, I am also a tax accountant. I have thought often of rather or not I will try to keep my small tax office because even now I currently have clients in several states and we do everything electronically. Wonder what you think about how feasible it would be to try to keep it? You seem to have really good internet most of the time, but if I decide to try to do taxes from the boat we would probably have to be at dock for 3 months with a stable internet connection. Since you’re out there living the dream I thought you might be able to give some insight. Thanks for your blog it’s fabulous!!

    • Definitely doable in my opinion. Internet can be found almost everywhere. If you already have clients who electronically send you their data, nothing much needs to change!

      • I concur. If you can run your business entirely via computer, you should be able to transplant it to the boat. Even a fairly involved, communications-heavy business can do this; Steve and Linda Dashew, for example, run their yacht design firm from their (admittedly rather large) boat for much of the year.

        You’re likely already aware of the need for strong encryption and VPN connections if you’re handling customer data over public WiFi.

        Mike, I’m actually quite surprised by how often you seem to be online down among the islands. There are huge areas in Ontario, even quite close to towns, where there are no cell towers and no way to get DSL or cable signals for WiFi hubs.

  4. Thanks for all the great tips. When you mentioned Polar Navy couple weeks ago, I downloaded the trial version. You were correct, it is an awesome program. I purchased the license today and cannot wait for warmer weather to take it for a spin. One of my favorite features about the program is the ability to switch to google maps with a single click to see a satellite photo of the location on your chart.

    Thanks again for all the great tips and products.

  5. “She gave both Rebecca and ME a great haircut yesterday.” 🙂

    Sorry – I can’t help myself sometimes.

    I have thought about how I could make some money if I were to cruise full time. I could do proofreading on line and also script revisions but I was also a hairdresser back in the day. I have wondered if cruisers would be willing to pay for haircuts and colours though. Did you pay for your cuts or did you barter, and if you bartered – what did you offer?

    • Oh wait…. was it the advertising on here for her?

    • If you only find one grammatical error every few months, I think I’m doing well. 🙂

      Cruisers will definitely pay for haircuts, unless they’re prepared to do it themselves. With that said, the guys on Earthling are good friends with us so no, we did not pay cash. We have been trading things back and forth for some time. Kelly offered to make us look pretty so we accepted. She succeeded wonderfully with Rebecca. Me on the other hand… she could only do so much! 😉

  6. A cruising friend of ours who offers haircuts to other cruisers was not allowed to advertise ‘haircuts’ on the cruiser’s net each AM in Marathon. (Something about licensing.) So, instead, she offered ‘follicular reductions.’

    • In St. Martin they couldn’t care less. In Grenada, if you tried to say that you were cutting hair over the net AND charging for it, the radio-police would be all over you.

  7. Monetizing a website is tricky. One key seems to be finding a way to live off of non-monetary (goods, services, etc.) web profits. With your web presence and ability to reach more sailors/cruisers than most, I’m betting you’ll get some valuable offers.

  8. When I cruise full time, I dont want to work……Isn’t that the point of cruising…..Leave the stress behind, work responsibilities, problems, ties to being a landlubber, etc….By the way, if you come across a “massage barter girl” with happy endings, let me know….

    • For those cruising without sufficient money to continue indefinitely, there is still stress. We know many people like that. In fact, we ARE people like that!!!

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