Live On A Boat, Sell Worms March 2010

I have a two part possibility plan for the summer:

  1. I will save money by living on a sailboat.
  2. I will earn money farming worms and selling them to fishermen and gardeners.

Part 1: Living On A Boat

I found that a boat slip at a nearby marina for a 24′ boat will cost $1756.80 per year, or $146.40 per month. In contrast, a cheap apartment around here will go for $300 a month, and that does not even include utilities. The boat slip comes complete with water and electricity. If I wanted to be truly cheap, I could even anchor the boat away from shore for free, but I would rather spend the $146.40 per month for the water and electricity. With that said, this leaves the problem that boat slips are one-year leases. There are two easy solutions: I can either rent for the summer and then sub-lease to another boater for the remaining nine months or I can simply live there for a full year. Going to school at NC State, it would be easiest to not have to drive 30 minutes each way to school every day – but hey, living on a boat for half the price of an apartment can’t be that bad! Then there is the other possibility that I could have a “boat mate” in which I would split the price of the boat slip with them, making it cost only $73.20 a month. That is dirt cheap for a place to live. While it would be tight, a boat mate is a possibility. A 24′ sailboat can typically sleep 2 people comfortably or 4 people uncomfortably. So lastly, the cost of the boat would have to be factored in, but I plan on purchasing a sailboat anyways. For the sake of the cost analysis, I will assume I spend $3,000 on a used 24′ sailboat, which is a reasonable price to expect to pay. There may be problems with the boat, but for the purposes of living in it, not everything has to work perfectly. $3,000 + $1,756.80 = $4,756.80, divided by 12 months is $396.33, which is not an unreasonable monthly price to pay for a place to live, not to mention this assumes that (1) I will be on the boat alone, and (2) the boat will cost $3,000. In reality, it is possible to find a 24′ used sailboat for as little as $1,000. I think you get the idea: living on a sailboat is not expensive, and it will provide a fun experience that I will be glad to have. Oh yeah, and I should also mention that sailboats don’t require gas. There’s savings in that aspect as well.

Part 2: Selling Worms

Worms are easy to breed and sell. Farming worms is not much more complicated than putting worms in a dark, moist bin and feeding them a little bit of food, like a slice of bread, every once in awhile. Like growing anything, it takes practice to get it right, but I’m confident the task could be conquered in a summer. A bin of worms would be extremely easy to keep on a sailboat and it would be closed, so there would be no risk of having worms get all over the boat. There is no initial investment cost in this endeavor: I loosened the soil in my garden today and collected about 100 worms which I put into an old plastic cat litter bin with some moist dirt. My plan is to get the worm farming down by the time summer comes so that I can raise the worms and sell them. Since I will already be at the lake on a boat, selling worms will be easy. A small container of about 25 worms will sell for about $5 (about 20 cents per worm). This is only slightly more expensive than a gas station near the lake sells the same amount of worms for, but mine will be fresher and I will be already at the lake where I can hand-deliver the worms to the fishermen.

I have two final comments: A summer selling worms allows for a lot of free time. I will purchase a cheap 3G internet device for my laptop so that I get internet access at the lake, and I will do web development from there. I can work on a small buisness that I am working on starting as well as make simple websites for friends at a small cost and blog.