Resources

We thought it would be helpful to create and share a page full of tools and resources that you can always come to for all of your sail loot needs. We’ve included links to the tools that we use for the Sail Loot website, the Sail Loot Podcast, and tools that help to make web-commuting a little easier so that you can set up your business and start making some sailing money to fill your cruising kitty. We also include links to sailing websites, all of the cruising blogs that we follow (in no particular order), and all of the websites of the cruisers that we’ve interviewed for the Sail Loot Podcast.

That being said, we are constantly adding to this resource page. If, for some crazy reason, we’re not already following your cruising blog before our Sail Loot Podcast interview, then we will definitely add it to this list when we find you. We will also add to this list of resources as we find new tools and learn more about sailing, blogging, and internet business. You’ll notice that we reference this page quite often in the future. Add it to your bookmarks for your reference and convenience! Enjoy!

Disclosure: Are some of the links below affiliate links? You bet! I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. If a service that I use and recommend has an affiliate link, then I use it. After all, I could use a little sail loot to fill my cruising kitty too! I highly suggest you do the same when you set up your website! Is there any additional cost to you if you click on and use these links? ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Please understand that I recommend these companies because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions that I make if you decide to buy something. I have experience with all of these companies and websites. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. 

MOST RECOMMENDED

If you scroll down no further, and check out nothing else on this page, you should know about these. I find myself recommending them over and over again, in emails, on podcasts, and whenever else somebody is looking for the services that they provide. They make my life easier, and who doesn’t want that? I’m sure that you’ll agree.


Amazon: I’m an Amazon Prime member. I use Amazon to order almost everything. Christmas and Birthday Presents? They’re definitely ordered via Amazon. Is there anybody out there that isn’t using amazon to purchase SOMETHING? Even if it’s that kindle book you wanted to download and read on your next passage? Help support Sail Loot and the Sail Loot Podcast by using our Amazon Affiliate links. No additional cost for you, and a little change in the Sail Loot piggy bank sounds like a win-win situation to me!

 

 

West Marine Affiliate 15 off 125x125

West Marine: Every body does know that West Marine is one of the most awesome places for anything and everything on the water right? West Marine has rigging, hardware, clothing, parts, accessories, stand-up paddleboards, fishing gear, shoes, chart plotters, filters, belts, and so much more! Not only that, but I even got you a little bit of a discount too. Click on the link, or the West Marine picture over there and when you’re going through the checkout process make sure that you enter the code WMAFF for $15 off when you spend $200 or more. Who doesn’t like savings on boat stuff?

Sailing DVDsDistant Shores: Paul and Sheryl Shard have been cruising the international waters for almost 16 years. In that time, they have found their Sail Loot by becoming award-winning filmmakers,  sailing authors, and the awesome, amazing, fun-loving, and charismatic hosts of the Distant Shores sailing adventure TV series and DVDs. Over here at Sail Loot we have a Distant Shores episode loaded and ready to be watched at all times (Yes! We absolutely watch them more than once!). Go ahead and check out their awesome videos. The Distant Shores DVDs are so good that they are required “training” for all Sail Loot employees (so far that’s just me, but it’s still required!)

 

bh_125x125_whiteBluehost: Sail Loot is hosted on Bluehost. I have a few other websites, and they’re all hosted on Bluehost. Why? Because Bluehost is awesome! They make things super easy. They’ve got 1-click automatic WordPress installation, UNLIMITED domain hosting, UNLIMITED hosting space, UNLIMITED file transfer, and UNLIMITED email accounts. They’ve got excellent customer service via phone or live chat. I’ve contacted them with stupid questions at 1am via chat, and they’ve always made sure that I got my answers. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Bluehost for all of your website hosting needs.

99designs

99 Designs: Need a boat name and logo? These guys can probably figure it out. In fact, they’ll have top designers competing for you! I used 99 Designs for the new Sail Loot logo. I had 33 different designers competing to show me what they could come up with and 87 different designs to choose from! You can send messages to the designers and make suggestions about fonts, colors, and how things should be laid out. Really, you can make suggestions about anything for them to try when designing your name and logo for your boat, your website, your business, your blog, your automobile, your mobile app, your t-shirt, or your book cover! 99designs is awesome and a great way to get any of your design and logo needs accomplished!

OptinSkin1OptinSkin: Collecting email addresses is one of the most important aspects of growing your community and connecting with like-minded people that want to know all about the content that you’re creating. OptinSkin is a fantastic tool that was created in order to help us easily embed opt-in forms into our websites. I use it at the bottom of every post, and over in the sidebar of every page.

 

Aweber_125x125_v3

Aweber: The most powerful email marketing, broadcasting, and opt-in service on the internet. This is what we use at Sail Loot to build our email rally, send updates, and give the Sail Loot community access to special insider tips and tricks to web-commuting and starting your online business so that you too can start gathering some sailing money to add to your cruising kitty.

 

4 Hour Work Week

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris: I recommend this  book all the time to people who want to escape the claustrophobic, drab walls of a cubicle or office. I really love this book for the tips and tricks for convincing your boss and your coworkers that you will be more productive if you’re allowed to telecommute. Just copy some of the email examples that Tim provides, hit send, and see what happens! There are tips on outsourcing, productivity, and all types of resources for creating your Sail Loot lifestyle. All I ask is that if you found it here, come back and use these links instead of his! ;) Trust me, Tim is doing just fine.


 WEBSITE

  •  WordPress: Free, yet Priceless software that you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. The #1 blog publishing platform. Easily customizable with fantastic support. All of my websites use the WordPress Platform. – Note: Did you notice we said “platform”? We DO NOT recommend (and don’t get confused here) using their free hosting services. In fact neither do they. From their own site: “If you don’t need the flexibility of a full web host, you may consider getting a free blog on WordPress.com.” The platform that you install on your website with one click from your Bluehost hosting service is from WordPress.org. If you want to see how this is done, head on over to our Weigh Anchor page!
  • ThemeForest: The ultimate resource for premium, responsive, professional looking WordPress themes.
  • Max Mag: This is the Responsive WordPress Magazine Theme that Sail Loot is currently running on. Max Mag promises an out-of-box retina-ready and responsive design with unlimited color choices, drag-and-drop homepage design, and SEO Optimization.

 PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

  • GoPro: If not the GoPro Hero4 that I’ve linked to here, figure out which GoPro you need and pick up what we consider the most awesome camcorder ever. I say NEED because what other device can you find for $400-$500 that allows you to shoot video with 4k resolution (a picture with about 4 times the pixels as a standard HDTV) at 30 fps? You can also attach it to just about anything, in just about any environment. 133 feet underwater? No problem. Want to attach one to your pulpit or one of your stanchions to grab some awesome video of you and your crew sailing? No problem. Have you checked out any of our sailing videos on the Sail Loot YouTube Channel? They were all taken with a GoPro camera.
  • Canon EOS 60D: The GoPro is amazing and is small enough and tough enough to be taken on any adventure, but we’d also recommend having a high quality DSLR camera and the Canon EOS 60D fits the bill. It takes super high quality 18 Megapixel photos, has ISO settings from 100-6400 (expandable to 12800) for shooting in bright or dim light, can also shoot HD video with manual exposure control, and has an external microphone IN terminal for access to improved sound quality. This is the camera that we use to take high-quality, professional looking still photos. In fact, professional photographers use this camera too, we just don’t know how to use it as well as the pros do!
  • Camtasia: A screen recorder for PC or Mac that is both powerful and easy-to-use. It’s the application that we use to record video tutorials when we need to show what we’re doing on our computer.
  • iStock Photo: I’d much rather use the photos that I’ve taken with my own camera, but sometimes I just don’t have the right image. Photos of sailing, water, underwater, or the outdoors – I’ve probably taken a few of those myself. But I don’t necessarily have images and photos to use for posts about web-commuting, or SEO. In order to find an image that I need for Sail Loot, I first turn to iStock Photo.

PODCASTING

  • Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone: This microphone is under $60 and it is A-MAZ-ING! Want a great sounding, microphone that you can connect directly to your computer via USB? This is your microphone. OR, do you want to have the flexibility to connect to a mixer or pre-amp? The ATR2100 does that via it’s XLR output and included XLR cable. I’ll spare you all of the technical jargon about the sound, frequency response, and sampling rate. This is the microphone that we use for the Sail Loot podcast and the sound is comparable to that of some $300+ microphones.
  • Call Recorder for Skype (Mac): Have you ever wanted to record your Skype conversations? Have you ever wanted to record the audio and/or video from an interview for later use? Ecamm’s Call Recorder for Skype is the answer for you Mac users. We’ve heard that Pamela works great for Windows.
  • GarageBand: GarageBand is the music creation studio that I use on my Macbook Pro to record and edit podcasts. In fact, it is one of the reasons why I bought my first Mac. I am a fan of Apple’s  products. Am I an Apple fan-boy? I wouldn’t say that. I don’t wait in line for every new gadget update, and I don’t follow the live twitter feed of their conferences. In fact, I’m still using my trusty iPhone 4S (as of this moment, the iPhone 6 and 6Plus were released about a month ago). However, I do REALLY enjoy the robustness, stability, and ease of use of all of Apple’s products. I also enjoy that they incorporate almost everything that you need not only for media consumption, but also for great quality media creation (audio/music, photos, movies, etc.) into their products.

Sailing

West Marine Affiliate 15 off 125x125 West Marine: Yup. I’m putting in another link to West Marine just in case you didn’t see or use the one up at the top of the page. I did mention that if you use these links and enter the code WMAFF at checkout that you get an extra $15 off purchases of $200 or more didn’t I? After all, who goes to a boat store and doesn’t end up spending $200? Am I right? West Marine has just about everything you’ll need. I just went over to the site and saw that they even sell slippers. That’s right…slippers. To keep your feet warm.

  • Rob Swain Sailing School: Not only did we have a great time in the British Virgin Islands, and meet some great new friends, but we also learned a whole lot about sailing and boating during our 8 days of sailing classes. We now have our Bareboat Cruising certification, and hope to learn more! The next time we’re looking for a sailing class, we’re going to look up Rob Swain Sailing School first.

Sailing  Blogs:

  • S/V Delos: Our first podcast interview was with Brian and Karin from Delos. A fantastic, fun-loving, amazing group of people that love to sail, love to travel, and love making videos about it all. Seriously, their videos are awesome. Head on over and read their blog posts. Check out their videos and you’ll be hooked. Then, get Patreonic!
  • Sailing Totem: Jamie and Behan are sailing around the world with their three kids Niall, Mairen, and Siobhan. Behan is in charge of the blog and recently announced that she is starting to write a book about voyaging with kids! They also have tons of great information over at their blog. Check it out!
  • Sailing Wanderer: Bill and Trisha are transplants to the Florida Keys from upstate New York, but they headed south a little earlier than most in their early 30’s instead of waiting to “retire” and move to warmer climates in their late 60’s. They sold all of their non-essential stuff on Craigslist, headed down the East coast of U.S.A with their dog, Riley, and decided that it was time to follow their dreams of cruising on a sailboat!
  • Turf To Surf: Tasha and Ryan are currently living on their boat Hideaway in the Dominican Republic. Tasha is in charge of the blog and all things social media, but it was Ryan’s dream to sail around the world. At first, Tasha thought Ryan was crazy, but then they started a TESOL certification school together called Teaching House in New York City, started making a little bit of money with their business, and bought a boat.
  • SV Yolo: Matt and Courtney just started their sailing adventure with their 2 kids Presley, and Colter. They also brought their dog, Zoe, along for the ride! They saved up their cash, minimized their lives, and boarded Yolo on 11/30/2014. Yolo was splashed and they released the dock lines on 12/8/2o14. Head on over to their blog to follow along on their adventure!
  • Lisa Dorenfest: Lisa is a breast cancer survivor. She grew up on Lake Michigan and has always had an attraction to the water. Lisa was working her dream job in New York City for Credite Suisse, but she figured out that she had another dream to circumnavigate the world by sailboat. Lisa decided that she should make her sailing dreams into reality while checking items off of her best friend’s, Mary Davenport Cook’s, bucket list. Mary had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and taught Lisa to enjoy the beautiful moments of fair winds and following seas. Head on over to Lisa’s blog to read all about her adventures and follow her future ones!
  • Zero To Cruising: One day, while sitting in the hot tub sipping on what was probably too many glasses of wine, Mike and Rebecca decided that it was time for them to take off and cruise the world on a sailboat. They knew nothing about sailing, but took a few years and all of the steps to cruise from Canada to Trinidad. They chronicle their adventures in Zero To Cruising to this day.
  • Quit Your Job and Live On A Boat: This is a blog that is kept by Ed Robinson, author of Leap of Faith: Quit Your Job and Live On A Boat. There are some great boating stories here, and of course they’re all written with Ed’s great sense of humor!
  • Ottsworld: Sherry Ott has shared her travel stories, and amazing pictures on Ottsworld since she ran away from corporate America to travel the world.
  • MedSailor: Franz Amussen produces the Sailing the Mediterranean Podcast and this is the website where you can find it!
  • The Nomad Trip: Nate Niehuus is sailing on his 2000 Lagoon 380, Nomad, to find the best, untouched spearfishing and freediving spots in the world.
  • S/V Terrapin: Phil and Aimee Nance decided that they were spending too much time commuting and not enough time with their kids, Jessica and Emma. They decided to release the dock lines and live afloat for a few years. This is the blog where you can read about all of their adventures!
  • Pigtails in Paradise: The Nance kids, Jessica and Emma, have their own blog! Check it out!
  • Active Captain: Active Captain is a boating tool created by Jeff and Karen Siegel. Active Captain is an interactive guidebook that was created by boaters, for boaters.
  • Good Anchorage:
  • With Brio: Leah and Jonathan lived on their boat this past winter…in Maine! Needless to say it was a little cold. They’ve been full time sailors, sailing around Mexico, and from Mexico up to Maine. Their plan is to continue sailing, but to sail 6 months at a time and work the other 6 months of the year.
  • Pizza Pi VI: Sasha and Tara put together a food boat! That’s right, you’ve probably heard of a food truck, but this is a food boat with the best NY Pizza in the Virgin Islands! Go grab yourself a pie when you pull into Christmas Cove after a fun day of sailing!
  • Have Wind Will Travel: Annie Dike is a lawyer, writer, business owner, vlogger, blogger, oh and yeah…a sailor! She’s got an amazing blog over at Have Wind Will Travel. Check it out!
  • Leela Life: Emmanuel and Saxony quit their jobs for a little while and decided to go sailing. They tell us all about re-fitting their sailboat and their sailing adventures over at Leela Life!
  • MJ Sailing: Matt and Jessica decided that living life on their couch wasn’t what they wanted to do. They’ve been featured on The Today Show, and they are currently in the middle of the re-fit for their next adventure! Check out what they’re up to!
  • Cruising Outpost:
  • Moment Sailing:
  • Chris Bartick Art Design:
  • Couchsailors:
  • Pam Wall:
  • Where The Coconuts Grow:
  • Venture Lives:
  • 59-North:
  • Distant Shores:
  • Bummfuzzle:
  • Windtraveler:
  • LahoWind:
  • Sailing Britican:
  • Noel & Jackie Parry’s Journeys:
  • Finding Paradise:
  • Follow The Boat:
  • Don’t Pay The Ransom:
  • The Boat Galley:
  • Sailing Chance:
  • Active Planet Travels:
  • Astrolabe Sailing:
  • S/V The Red Thread:
  • Katie & Jessie On A Boat:
  • Cygnus III:
  • S/V Smitty:
  • Cruising For Good:
  • Sailing Rewind:
  • Adventures On Boats:
  • Trippin Turpins:
  • S/V Midnight Sun II:
  • Sail Libra:
  • Monday Never:
  • SailMeOm:
  • Shooting The Breeze Podcast:
  • Cruiser TV:

Sailing Books:

I’ve read the ones listed, or at least perused. Suggestions are always welcome.

Sailing Blogs and Websites that have awesomely used Sail Loot’s Bluehost affiliate link in the past few years (all of the other blogs up there are awesome too, but they were put together before Sail Loot started so they have an excuse!):