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Living Aboard and Working in the Caribbean


New Member
I know this may not be the most desirable forum for this question, but maybe some of y'all will have some knowledge on the topic. Can a person find odds and end type jobs while cruising the Caribbean and maybe the Bahamas? I'm a decent diesel mechanic and have learned quite a bit about boat repair in general since purchasing my Morgan 382. If anyone has any general info regarding my inquiry, I'd be happy to hear about it!!!
Thanks in advance for any replies to the thread.

Warren Holybee

Active Member
You would be lucky to find any odd jobs that will pay more than pocket change now and then. However, if you have or can get an OUPV or Masters you can make good money as a charter captain on one of the thousands of charter yachts there. It should be really easy to find one of those gigs.


New Member
Thanks for the input Warren. The OUPV/6 Pack license is something that I am currently pursuing as a contingency to the original question. Sounds like I need to make it the primary plan.


Richard Kilroy
in my opinion as a qualified diesel mechanic, don’t ask me who qualified you, you should not have a lot of trouble making a living in the American Caribbean or grenadine islands. I spent many years down there primarily in the BVI an American virgins and a person of high quality diesel mechanics is always desirable services. Many people don’t even the Hutto unplug a Racore filter. That is primarily in the American and British Virgin Islands. Down on the Grenadines it gets worse, as do the problems, also as does the sailing. But again in the English speaking countries you should be all right, when I had an-engine problem, down there I chose to go to Antiqua rather than Martinique because of the language situation. Fortunately I solved the problem myself but I was very glad that I was where I could speak English.


Marvin (Bill) Williams
I'm not at all familiar with the Eastern Caribbean, but I spent 17 years living aboard in the Western Caribbean (Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and down to Panama and Colombia. The most common craft offered by boaters in those areas was sail and canvas repair. usually, it was the wife/girlfriend who did this. There always appeared to be an abundance of this work and you could usually find someone in each of those places.
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David Buckley
Antigua or St Martin and you will be burried in systems and engine work. I was offered a job in Antigua at Woodstock boatbuilding but I choose to keep cruising! I have freinds and a brother that thrive working on boats in the lagoon at SMX. Both have 360 protected anchorages and huge fleets of boats including charter and Mega $ yachts. Bahamas would be tougher cause its more mom and pop boats plus the goverments is strict about outsiders working. I have never been to St Croix but have talked to the folks at Gold Coast Yachts about work and they are always looking. Warren and CodyS are right, I instantly made more money and had more options once I got my Captains license.


New Member
Richard, Bill, David…I appreciate y’all’s input and advice. It really sounds like getting the OUPV license, or in my case, the Masters license w/sailing endorsement is going to be the best way to earn some money while taking my time and cruising down through the Caribbean.