How do Mariners make money on the side?

Greetings, when seafarers/ mariners are not working. What are some of the things that can be done for side income/ money?
That doesn’t involve riding over extra.

  • I knew one who owned his own landscaping business during summer months.

  • Another did roofing and construction with his old man.

  • One USED to have his own auto body shop, though last I heard it since closed down.

  • My roommate sailed observer on a ship with a 2nd Mate who made his own maple syrup and was an amateur beekeeper.

Those are the examples I know of, personally.


2nd this question. I’m working even time now, so I would love to find some interesting side income suggestions…

yacht delivery is a jolly good time.


Never had a side hustle myself, but worked with many who: Maple Syrup producer (farmer/harvester/distiller?), Apple orchard farmer, Snowmobile customizer, Metal Fabrication, Arborist, Charter captain, Christmas Tree grower, Ice Vending Machine owner, Sound System installer.


If you have a workshop and are handy making stuff, you can sell it on Etsy. Or do things like ironing clothes for your neighbors.


It’s worked out pretty well for me. I’m a big believer that variety is the spice of life and short term delivery work provides plenty, although not always jolly.

  1. Real estate or rental properties
  2. Consulting
  3. Hull and yacht cleaning - dive services
  4. Water taxi (cities)
  5. Go get a certificate in something new (i.e financial services, Computer programming, website development, graphic design, etc)

where would one need to look to get into the jolly?

I know a guy who would give you a good price if you were interested in purchasing a maritime forum business :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Will you throw 10 cases of aspirin with that?


:grin: I would need to sail for a lifetime, even then it would be worth it. :clinking_glasses:

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You need not go further than the bar at your local yacht club.


Do you need money or are you just looking for something to do on your off time? For me, when I needed extra money I would work extra or work on my budget to spend less. If I consistently needed more money even after tightening my budget then I knew it was time to find a better paying job. Thats normal I think?

Me personally, we own & manage our investment properties which used to keep me very busy. Now I spend 30mins to 2hrs a day researching & investing in the financial markets. I don’t do those things because I need the money though & never use the profits to subsidize our living expenses. I find both challenging & rewarding. If I needed the money from them I’d probably wouldn’t do them & would just work longer. For me, hobbies are only hobbies when they don’t involve much responsibility & aren’t a job. If I absolutely had to make extra income when ashore I would find a job that had as little responsibility & thinking involved as possible. Maybe deliver pizzas a few nights a week, drive for Uber or be a security guard at a library or something. As a teen I worked at a pizza place & it was a blast. I also work a few months as a security guard during my freshman year & I was pretty much paid 40hrs a week to read & study. Someone above mentioned roofing as a side job & that absolutely sucks. The pay would be good but I rather be broke than roof houses every day. I find landscaping fun though & I happily cut yards all day long sometimes. You’ll just have to find what you like doing because its different for everyone.


I banged nails, put in swimming pools, did siding and roofing, worst job was hanging insulation and roofing above a 4/12 pitch… I found it easier and much more rewarding (and safer) to volunteer for extra days on the vessel if my relief needed a bit more time at home or anyone else’s vessel in the fleet a relief was needed on short notice. Sadly, that is probably not an option many can enjoy now as in the past… They did it for me, and was grateful when they did it the few times I needed it. I would also work for other fleets on my time off as long as it didn’t interfere with my regular job. As you Pebble, we enjoy our rental properties and tenants that give shit. As far as the market, it is challenging the ups and downs, but worthwhile to do your homework. No guru here, but told everyone on this site in March or April this was a great buying opportunity. Now may be time to pinch a bit if you got in then. Not all, but a bit.


It has already been mentioned but driving a taxi can be a good way to make extra money.

I knew of one mariner who made money on the side tying fishing flies and selling them, they would also tie them in their cabin when off watch and sell them when the got home.

If you live near a busy beach you some people make money by going down after sunset with a metal detector and collecting coins from the sand that have spilled out of people’s pockets, although that is probably not as lucrative as it used to be now that society is going cashless.

Learning how to pick locks and working part time as a locksmith can be a good way to make money on the side, there are a lot of ‘locksmiths’ who don’t really know how to pick locks and just drill them out, so gaining a reputation as someone who can actually pick locks without having to drill them might get more business as people accidentally locked out of their house might not have to replace the lock or even replace the door if it’s damaged.


That locksmith gig sounds interesting, I know it’s at least $50 a pop for them to use a slim jim. Lock picking is a specialty that may command a higher fee. Have a top notch Fisher metal detector , got a lot of exercise but not meaningful amount of cash. Best I did was find a friend of the family’s heirloom ring 2 weeks after she lost it. A former chief of mine was a good duck carver, he carved the heads while on the vessel. Finished them when he got off. He actually retired a bit early and that was/is his sole income. He his well known in that business. Another Captain had a decent inland fishing guide business in Florida on his time off.

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Me personally, I bought a luxury high rise property after saving for about 5 years out of school and then rented it out. When shit slowed down at MMP I used to sit out on the sidelines comfortably and make the local pub wonder how I was able to pull off being the Barnie to their Moe for so many months in a row…


It’s a good feeling. Both longtime tenants take good care of the properties. They are by no means high end, but location is a walk to the beach.

Had a friend that did that. We called him “Cabtain”. He suffered it with good humor.