Sailing is a passion for millions of people around the world, and many of those devotees dream of making sailing into their livelihood. While making a living from sailing might seem like a far-off dream or only for the most experienced and talented sailors, it is, in fact, a viable career path. However, it takes more than just a love for sailing to turn it into a successful profession.
Sailing requires expertise, leadership, and a willingness to work hard. For those who have these qualities, making a living from sailing can be an exciting and fulfilling career choice. There are numerous paths to choose from such as a captain, sailing coach, delivery skipper or as part of a racing crew. Sailing can be an adventure or can be combined with promoting tourism, fishing, or maintenance.
One popular way to make money from sailing is through chartering. Chartering is the act of taking paying passengers on a sailing trip, whether it’s a day or weeks-long trip. Chartering can be a demanding but lucrative job that requires good customer service, excellent sailing skills, and attention to detail when dealing with clients. The more successful a sailing charter is, the more a captain or crew can make, with some captains earning six-figure salaries.
Another way to make a living from sailing is through competitive sailing. Professional sailors earn a living by racing in events, sailing regattas, and other competitions. They often work as part of a team, earning a percentage of the prize money or sponsorship deals they secure. These opportunities can result in high-intensity work but are often well-paying and offer a chance to see the world.
Sailing instructors are another sailing profession and an excellent option for those who want to teach others how to sail. To be an instructor, one must have strong sailing skills and be able to teach others effectively. There are several organizations across the world, such as the US Sailing, Royal Yachting Association (RYA), and Australian Sailing, where people can gain their instructor certification as a step towards a career offering sailing lessons.
Finally, yacht brokering is worth considering if you are good with sales and have a strong knowledge of the sailing industry. Yacht brokers help customers find the sailboat which best suits their needs and then handle the purchase process. Though networking with customers, you can develop relationships, which leads to repeat business.
It is possible to make a living from sailing, but it requires hard work, dedication, and appropriate skills. Like any career, people have to start small and work their way up, building a reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and skilled sailor. Sailing is no longer only for those who can afford extensive travel, sailing is an activity that can provide substantial income to those who can turn their passion into their livelihood.