I've lived on the sea for over 40 years and sailed many coasts. I've watched the cost of marine supplies and services rise over the decades, to the point that the average income can't afford to live on the water. But many people are out there giving it their best. Many of those boaters chose to live on boats...even tho it's a dream of theirs....Because it's a little more affordable rent, when compared to living in an apartment or house. Altho the cost of services to maintain and repair, is well above their pay scale. Both on land and the water.
This is where You and I come in. Most of the cost of maintenance and repair is for the knowledge and skills of the technician. I live on the sea with a small pension, which could afford an existence in section 8 housing with food stamps. I make a little more than half of what minimum wage is for a 40 hour week.
The reason I can afford to live on the sea, without section 8 assistance and food stamps, is that I have the skills and knowledge to maintain and repair my boat. Saving quit a few dollars on skilled services.
Along the coasts that I have traveled, both in the US and abroad, I see many derelict vessels in various anchorages. many of them sink or break anchor and end up ashore in a blow, some leak pollutants and black water in to the harbors they live in, All of which many would fix and maintain if they could afford it.........or had the knowledge and skill set to do said tasks.
I have sailed around, mainly the Florida coast and Caribbean, since my partner passed on, these past 15 years, Teaching and helping people fix and maintain their homes, vessels and vehicles. There are many people that I could help, but can't as I and they don't have enough money to even buy parts or materials. For many I'm able to just teach them to splice three strand line for their anchor rode or even how to anchor their boat or how to properly maintain an engine,,,ie...change the oil or filters or even what is what in the engine compartment. Some I teach how to read a chart and how to navigate, the rules of the road. All of this and much more is just knowledge that was freely given to me and I pass it on the same way, free. But, I can't teach some one to repair a hole in their fiberglass hull, with out resin and fiberglass or install a black water holding tank, to help keep the waterways clean or even to replace some wire and connectors to fix an anchor light or running lights and hence be legal on the waterways. this is where a little financial help would come in. the one thing that is the basis of all that I try to teach, is the ideal of paying it foreword, By helping others we help ourselves, one human helping another human.
The people that will benefit are not just those that I interact with, But everyone; the physical environment, the social environment, the taxpayer -less derelict boats to remove, when sunk or washed up on someones back yard- law enforcement...with more derelicts brought back to navigable vessels, less ordinances to enforce. Less vessels to be rescued.
Any monies donated to this cause will be passed foreword to this cause. I will not be paid a wage out of them. but in some instances services from others may be needed at a cost...ie... extra hands for a heavy or large project. some people may need medical assistance, some will need parts or materials. One example is, a few people got to gather and bought $1000 worth of supplies to take over to the Bahamas after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. I needed crew to handle the cargo and passage to the Bahamas. Even tho they volunteered for the trip, there were extra expenses...customs, food, dockage,fuel. I paid this out of my pocket, which took my months pay and then some ( my savings) It was just over $1600. I made due for the rest of the month. and it took me a year to build up another prudent reserve, which only 5 or 6 hundred dollars. Which is very small. If any thing big comes along I go out and earn the extra needed. I was so busy catching up the aboved mentioned expenses, for that year, that I wasn't able to help many people out. Altho I was still helping people out by charging a sliding fee. I only work for people that can't afford the big companies. Some jobs I only made five dollars an hour, because that was all they could afford.
With the help you provide, I could help more people get up and stand on their own two feet. Ive raised many boats off the bottom, pulled boats of the shore, turned derelict boats into Livable Homes. Taught people a trade to be able to support themselves and their families. One young man in Guatemala now has a business repairing outboard motors for a living. Another woman now has a canvas shop of her own, because I was able to find her a sewing machine and teach her to sew canvas for dodgers, Bimini's and cushions, in the Bahamas. She lived on assistance from the Catholic church and what government help her and her daughter could get in an abandoned hovel. She now has her own apartment and works out of her living room. She doesn't make a lot of money, but she is making her own way. She's standing on her own two feet and moving foreword. there are many instances like these and I hope many more to come.
Times are tuff for many of us, so I'm not asking for much. If a dollar is all you can afford then thank you very much, you have been a part of helping someone get up and become a productive and responsible member of society.
All monies donated will be put into a dedicated bank account and all expenditures will be recorded and documented with descriptions and amounts. Accounting books and bank statements will be displayed to all.
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- Lawrence Williams
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