- Sail Loot Podcast 048: Neil Davies Sails to Cuba and Works Remotely for Sailing Money
- Sail Loot Podcast 042: Wiley Sharp, Part 2 – Owning and Operating a Virgin Islands Sailing Charter
- Sail Loot Podcast 037: Salty Times Sailing to find the Surf with Base and Jamie
- Sail Loot Podcast 027: Couchsailors Jose and Gina Rent All of their Rooms for Sailing Money
- Sail Loot Podcast 020: Leah Kruger Makes Her Sailing Money With Brio
- Sail Loot Podcast 019: Good Anchorage, Get Paid To Cruise
- Sail Loot Podcast 013: Investing Money to Make Money While Sailing the Mediterranean with Franz Amussen
- Sail Loot Podcast 012: From Corporate America to Ottsworld with Sherry Ott
- Sail Loot Podcast 010: Zero To Cruising To Chartering One Love with Mike and Rebecca Sweeney
- Sail Loot Podcast 009: The Overnight Success Dream – It’s a Myth. Get Over It
Sail Loot Podcast 025: Peaks and Troughs of Sailing, Life, and Money
Where do I start?
I’m posting this because I’ve been re-inspired and I have decided that maybe I should share a few things that have been going on in my personal life.
I actually have Andy Schell to thank for that. Yes, I produce some podcasts, but I also enjoy listening to other podcasts, especially if they have something to do with sailing. The 59 degrees North Podcast hosted by Andy Schell is one of them and I recently picked it back up and started listening again.
The first episode that I found, titled “Ups and Downs”, is about the ups and downs of starting a sailing business. I then rewound, and started back in February, where I had left off with the 59-North podcasts. I noticed in these episodes that Andy was sharing some fairly personal thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
I also wrote an article and recorded it for a podcast called, “Sail Loot Podcast 007: To Hell With Keywords, Be Yourself First”. So here I am, following my own advice, and being myself first.
What’s Been Going On?
Wow, this is actually really hard to say.
I think I just have to spit it out.
Unfortunately, Megan and I are getting a divorce.
I was shocked, just as you may be now. In January we were happily looking for sailboats (or so I thought). In February she didn’t want to continue our relationship as husband and wife. I came to find out a few weeks later that she had started having a relationship with another man.
It’s a little cliché. He’s the trainer at the gym at her work that teaches the boot camp she’s been going to every morning. I’ve met him on a few occasions. He’s one of the people that she did an adventure race with, and trained for that adventure race with.
I don’t mean to bash Megan here, or say that it’s all her fault. My therapist says that I probably tell people this is how it happened in order to get some sympathy. Maybe I do. He also says that’s okay.
These are also the facts. These things did happen, and I wish that nobody ever has to go through a similar experience.
I’m not sitting here saying that there aren’t things that I could have done better. I could have. But what I’ve come to find out is that nobody’s perfect, and I don’t believe that I ever broke a vow the way she did.
So, Enough of All That. What Have I Been Spending my Time Doing?
- I tried to work on us for a while. Work on our relationship. Make things better. Win her back.
- Couples couseling.
- Lawyer counseling.
- Lots of conversations with the most awesome group of friends and family that a guy could ever have. If you’re listening, you know who you are. I love you and thank you so much more than I think you can ever comprehend. That’s what brings me to tears. The joy in the fact that there are people in this world that you can always turn to, will always help you out, and will be there no matter what. I would do the same for them, and we all know it.
- I’ve been working on myself physically. After all, I can’t just let this model for male sexiness break down and turn to crap.
- I’ve been working on myself emotionally. You know those awesome friends and family that I just talked about? Yep, they really are amazing.
- The spring and summer also bring activities, music festivals, green trees for amazing hikes, warmer water to allow myself and Barley to cool down after those hikes, and more amazing people out and about and enjoying what nature has to offer.
- It also brings Wednesday evening sailing races. Over the winter, those races are mostly on the weekends. After all, it’s already dark at 7pm on a Wednesday night in the winter. My least busy day of the work week is Wednesday, and during the Winter I was putting together the interviews, and show notes, and blog posts, and podcasts on Wednesdays. Sometimes I would work on them until 10 or 11 in the evening. Now, I have to leave the house around 5pm to get to the lake by 5:45pm, help rig the boat, and sail until 9 or 10pm.
- I’ve tried to work on myself intellectually, and that usually involves trying to learn something about sailing, or something about small business so that I might be able to get myself on the water sooner rather than later.
- I’ve also been trying to work on myself spiritually. I’m a terrible Catholic, but for me, getting out into nature, getting onto the water, and experiencing more and more of this beautiful world and the people and cultures that share it seems to re-energize my spirit.
What’s next? What’s my plan?
All I can do right now, or the next logical step that I can think of, is to get all of the legal and financial aspects of all of this done and out of the way in the most efficient manner possible.
Some of that will end up being beneficial for me. I’m not sure if this will make me sound like an asshole, but I won’t have to help pay off the $100,000 of Megan’s student loans anymore.
We are also selling our house. You can add general contractor to the list of things that I’ve been doing. Our realtor hired a “stager” to stage our house for sale. The stager suggested that the house go through a very minor re-fit. All it took was some paint in the kitchen, paint in the master bath, and paint in one of the bedrooms, some carpet cleaning, some carpet installation, removing some furniture, and adding some decorative items.
Fortunately we bought the house at exactly the right time. We were just re-zoned in October of 2014 to a better school district. We will be listing the house for $85,000 more than what we bought it for. As far as cash goes, we will also be getting the money that we put down for a down payment on the house. After realtor fees, and closing costs I’m hoping that we will have $100,000 to $125,000 to split. Personally, I’ll hopefully be getting a check for about $50,000 to $62,500.
I’m not really sure how much I should be sharing our financial situation, but I like asking about numbers, so it would be a little hypocritical of me if I didn’t tell you about my numbers wouldn’t it?
I also have a townhouse in the Atlanta area that I’ve been renting out for the last 2 years. I haven’t made much money on it after keeping up with the mortgage, Home Owners Association dues, realtor fees, and taxes, but at least I’ve come out about even.
The townhouse is mine. I bought it before Megan and I were married or even dating or engaged. The current lease is up on July 31, 2015. For now, I will move back in, and hopefully, I’ll be able to refinance and save some money every month on the mortgage payment.
As far as finances go, it’s not a terrible situation to be in.
The big question is…what do I do with my life and my finances? I’m a 36 year old single dude with no kids, no college education to save for, and will soon have a little bit of loot in the kitty.
Of course, my first thought is…sailing money. But what should my plan of attack be? This is where my mind goes crazy with about 5 million ideas. Do I just take off and start traveling, sailing, and cruising now? Do I get a few more certifications, learn a few more things, get stuff a little more set up and take off in a year or three? Maybe I travel Southeast Asia for a little while. I want to keep this whole Sail Loot thing going too. Who knows?
Should I open a trading account and see if I can make a little money in the market? Maybe I’ll be able to, “Live on The Margin.”
Should I move to the islands and find a job at a SCUBA shop, or sailing school, or marina, or sailing camp?
Should I use some of the money to invest in starting a business? Should I invest more in Sail Loot and really get things going?
Once the house is sold and I’m back in my townhouse I’ll probably have enough money to pay cash for a decent cruising sailboat.
Tasha and Ryan from Turf to Surf are selling Hideaway, the sailboat that they’ve used to cruise down the East coast of the U.S. and into the Caribbean with. Congrats to Tasha and Ryan who sold their ESL school business and are moving on to bigger and better things (and sailboats of course)!
Bill and Trisha are selling Wanderer, the sailboat that they’ve been sailing around the Florida Keys and the Bahamas for the last couple of years. Congrats to Bill and Trisha! They are expecting a little one soon!
Mike and Rebecca are selling Zero to Cruising. They’ve sailed this PDQ catamaran from Canada down to Trinidad.
There are a few issues with the plan of just going ahead and buying a sailboat to cruise the world and taking off. First, I’m an engineer, and not only will I purchase the boat, but I will certainly want to make sure that I know everything about all of the systems, and that I have all of the systems that I need in good working order. Does that mean re-fit or installation of some of those necessary systems? I know, I know, Thomas Fuller once said, “He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.” However, let’s take a look at the scenario:
- I currently live in Atlanta, GA. Atlanta, GA is at least a 5 hour drive from salt water, or the coast.
- If I purchase a sailboat with the cash that I acquire, I will probably use most of that sail loot.
- My plan has always been, and always will be to shake the boat down, and re-fit.
- Did I mention that I currently live in Atlanta, GA and that’s at least 5 hours from the coast?
- It seems as if my plan for the first year or two should be to move to the coast with enough cash to buy a sailboat, and enough extra cash to live on it, do a re-fit (if necessary), maintain it, and make sure my sailing skills are where they need to be to cruise. This would certainly allow me some more access to the sailors on the dock for some Sail Loot podcast interviews!
- However, dockage and maintenance alone could cost $20,000 or more a year depending on the boat. Andy Schell threw out a number of $50,000 a year for the Swan 48 he just bought on one of the recent 59 Degrees North Podcasts. I don’t have that extra money lying around right now.
- Another option would be to secure a job in a location on or close enough to the coast to live on or own a sailboat that I can sail and work on on the weekends.
- Plea to all listeners…if you have a job opening that you need to fill on or around the coast where I can live on or own a sailboat…I’m sharp, level headed, and well rounded. I’m a Georgia Tech graduate with a Mechanical Engineering degree, but I’ve been working in a medical technology field for about 8 years. I obviously know a thing or two about websites, podcasts, social media, sailing, and boats, and I’m a super quick learner. You can fire me an email at email@example.com.
So, what would I have to take care of prior to leaving Atlanta?
I would either have to sell the townhouse, or rent it out. Renting it out could be cool, but my Home Owners Association has a rule about too many units being rental units. I know, I told you that my townhouse is currently rented, and it is. I was able to weasel my way into securing a 2-year hardship rental agreement with the HOA. That hardship rental agreement is done on July 31st, the end of the current lease. I’m 6th on the waiting list to be able to rent out my townhouse. I started at 15th back in March of 2012. It may be a few years before the HOA allows me to rent my townhouse, but with the housing market picking back up a lot of owners that are currently renting, or on the waiting list, may start selling.
I would have to save enough money to re-fit and maintain a sailboat and live for several years, or find another source of income (or both), and quit my current job.
Quitting my current job is inevitable at some point down the road. The issue is that I’m very loyal. I’m the first person that the owner hired. You may even call me the Vice President of this small medical technology business. I’ve known the owner since I started school at Georgia Tech in 1997. For those of you that don’t want to do math, that’s 18 years. In our business, giving 2 weeks notice, and actually walking away in 2 weeks could be detrimental to the business. I would have to give enough notice so that he could find a way to cover all of the cases with all of the surgeons that we work with. At the same time, if I have a conversation with him about wanting to follow my dreams and explore the world, and I give him enough time, he may be super excited for me and ask me what I’m waiting for. After all, he and his wife are members of that group of family and friends that I talked about earlier.
Of course, for that other source of income, a job on the coast is fine, but what am I doing here with Sail Loot? Don’t get me wrong, the primary purpose of Sail Loot is to inspire people to follow their dreams, connect with people and the sailing community, ask the questions about sailing money that everyone wants to know, share those answers, and maybe even teach.
Speaking of connecting with people, I got an awesome Facebook message from Adam Wieser a few days ago. He said,
Hey Teddy. I’m Adam. Firstly, I’d like to thank you for taking your time to do this podcast. I have even learned to create a webpage because of sail loot. Sail loot is by far the best source of information on the financial side of cruising anywhere. I (and apparently many others who have the cruising dream) have only been on motorboats and actually don’t know how to sail. I love that some of your guests started out like me with only a dream and no sailing knowledge. I can’t thank you enough for that because it reminds me that the dream is possible even for a sailing noob. I live in Chicago and think it might be a good idea to walk the docks on days the yacht club has races and try to get on a boat as rail meat just to learn a little and get on the water. Secondly, I started podcast 11 and my eyes lit up when I heard “Umphrey’s McGee”. Umphrey’s is one of my favorite bands as well. That New Years show was a heater!! Thanks again for everything you do to inspire, inform, and keep dreams alive. UMPH Love, Adam
I wrote him back and said,
Adam, All I can really say is…Thank you. It’s freaking awesome that you’ve created a webpage, and that Sail Loot was the how/why. Have you created one? If so, what is the domain name? It’s seriously messages like this that pull me back in, remind me, and inspire me to keep Sail Loot rolling. It’s really all about meeting and connecting with people like you who’ve got similar dreams and interests be it boating, sailing, sports, and/or music like Umphrey’s McGee! What’s the last show you went to? What is your next? Are you going to the Dead show? Lastly, do you mind if I use your message as an example in an article/podcast? Thank you for letting me do what I do. Cheers! Teddy
And he wrote back,
Teddy, Please feel free to use the message. I would be honored. I have not created a website yet but I’ve watched the blue host 10 minute website video and never thought it could be so easy.(better believe I’ll use your blue host link when I finally purchase a domain) I’m still brainstorming what the main content for my website will be. I’m thinking about a local music blog and I’d like to combine it with a podcast, similar to sail loot. As a musician I have gigged all around Chicago and know a lot of other gigging musicians/bands to interview. I also have recording equipment so a podcast should be easy peazy. I saw Umphrey’s over Memorial Day weekend at summercamp. The Godboner set with UM and Gene ween was a spectacle. Next Um shows for me are in Peoria June 28th then probably rivinia in August. I unfortunately was unable to score any GD50 tickets but I’ll be down there listening for sure. Plus Kung fu is playing a late night July 4th that I’ll probably end up at. Kung fu rocks! What shows are in your future? There is so much good music out there. On the sailing front, I’ve had my eye on a dinghy sailboat to learn on. My only issue now is the man selling it is not selling the trailer too. I think if I buy it and have him drop it in my back yard my motivation to get a trailer will go up exponentially. Thanks again for all your hard work and the content you provide. You truly are doing all of us listeners a service. Until next time, Adam
This is the perfect example of what Sail Loot is all about. Inspiring and reminding people that “the dream is possible even for a sailing noob.” and hearing things like, “I have learned to create a webpage because of sail loot.” Then, there’s even a common connection with music interests.
He goes on to say, “better believe I’ll use your blue host link when I finally purchase a domain.” Granted, it’s more like purchasing hosting, but enough with the technical details. It reminds me of a hair brained idea that I had a few months ago. What if I put together a week to 10 day sailing trip where I taught people how to build their websites, blogs, podcasts, online media channels, and online portion of their businesses?
When I was learning to sail we would wake up at 7am because it was beautiful outside. We would make some coffee in the galley, have some breakfast, maybe even go for a morning snorkel prior to starting our “class time” at 8am.
Morning class time would last an hour or two, and then we would set sail to our lunch destination. At lunch we would snorkel, explore, and maybe have a short sailing class for 30 minutes to an hour.
Next it was another few hours sailing to the next island, bay, anchorage, or mooring field. We would drop the hook or grab a mooring ball, make a rum drink, and have a little more class time before more rum drinks, and some dinner.
Instead of having sailing classes, why couldn’t we have website building, social media growing, podcast creating, online marketing, business classes? I could take 6 to 7 people out on a sailboat for a week to 10 days. We could have websites set up and running on the first morning. You may have a small business that you want to build a website for. You may want to start your sailing blog. You may want to start a charter business, charter your sailboat, and put a website together for it. Maybe Sail Loot becomes the go-to website building business for the charter sailboats of the Caribbean. Who knows?
I’m obviously throwing out some hair brained ideas. Maybe your reading this and thinking, “I can learn these things online from home. Why do I have to spend money and charter a sailboat with you to learn how to set up my website.” The short answer is…you don’t. It would be fun though. It would be a pretty awesome vacation and you’d learn something all at the same time. You’d have 24-7 access to ask me anything that you want about websites, social media, online business, sailing, my personal life, or whatever else for 7 to 10 straight days. I kind of think of it as a mini seminar that takes place on a sailboat.
If you are interested. If you don’t think that this mini seminar on a sailboat is such a hair brained idea, then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
I love all of you. I thank all of you. Thank you so much for helping spread the Loot Love.
If you listened to the podcast and you’re wondering, everything went fine with the surgery and I’m recovering quickly. I think I’ll be able to SCUBA dive again on August 26, 2015!
Links and Resources From This Episode:
- S/V Delos – In the Light of Brady by Frida
- Windtraveler – “It Gets Worse Before it Gets Better: First Day on the Boat or “What a Difference a Day Makes”
- Zero to Cruising – “What would you do if this happened to your daughter?”
- Hideaway for Sale
- Wanderer for Sale
- Zero to Cruising for Sale
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