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Boating living working in Mobile Alabama ?

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Old 01-08-2011, 03:56 PM
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Default Boating living working in Mobile Alabama ?

I just turned 40 and have turned a wrench for a living since I was 16, first on cars was ASE master tech. I was doing so much side work on motorcycles because I raced them that I switched to bikes in 91 and have been building custom bikes and service and tons of dyno work. Anyway around here I got a good rep. for being the guy that you take it to when nobody else could fix it witch is nice.

One of my friends that worked for me father Paul just got hired by Austal [they build ships] to head up the builds of the boats the Navy wants built. They already built the Independece and want 6 more. They had a bunch of little problems during the build that cost time and money. Paul says I am the guy he wants out there to solve on the spot not take weeks for somebody to tell them what to do.

So it scares the crap out of me to up root and move and get into something way out of the norm for me. With motorcycles I'll put myself up against anybody but building ships is another story. I have a good job here when the economy is good but I have taken a beating the last two years like most of us, nobody needs a motorcycle.

I will keep my house here my step son who is 21 has a good job so he will rent the house from me and it will cover about 80% of it and I can rent my boat lift to another friend to help. I will just rent a house in Mobile at first for sure maybe buy later If I do it. I will be taking my wife and 13 year old son and dog, wife hasnt worked in 2 years so no job to leave. The other thing is I use to ride motorcycles all the time for fun but it's dropped of alot because I live with them 40-60 hours a week, this job is said to be m-f 7am-3pm for my shift and some phone calls but thats it. I dont want to ruin boating for me since thats what I love to do now and am worried doing it for a living. It would be cool to rent a waterfront home near Austal and drive a boat to work every morning.

The pay to start is better than I made the last 2 years but not the most I have made. I am pretty much at the top unless I get a TV show ruining bikes like the other guys you see on TV. Paul says once they see what I can do the pay will go up fast and lots of perks, Like getting paid to ride on a ship anywhere on the planet.

Anybody here do anything like this at this age? I have only lived in 3 homes my whole life, 2 less than 25 miles from where I was born in VA. and 1 in Augusta ga. for 11 months because she was so hot with big jugs but it didnt work out and that was 21 years ago.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:48 PM
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Mobile is not that far away from Orange Beach, Pensacola, & Destin. Lots of great boating there & the cost of living in the Mobile area is quite reasonable compared to Va. Not to mention a whole lot warmer!!
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:00 PM
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"Paul says I am the guy he wants out there to solve on the spot not take weeks for somebody to tell them what to do."

It's probably a union yard so they may not be easy to change, seems like they work at their own pace.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:36 PM
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It's a decent town with some nice 'burbs and beaches around it. Close to New Orleans too. Lulu's in Foley has good boat traffic and good food.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:24 PM
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great area..I work there and live in Tx.
Had a rent house on Daulphn Island and was great and a 30 minute drive to Austal area (downtown).
Mouth of Mobile Ba..to the west the water is brown and east it is the beginning of the Emerald Coast waters.
Lot of little "joints " on the water from east side of bay and up the ICW all the way to St. George Is.
ENJOY!!
In fact with a good GPS and a lot of luck you can go west and find Jassmans place! BUT you will be LOST by time you get there!

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Old 01-08-2011, 07:39 PM
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With your situation of not having to sell the house I would take the shot.If it isn't going to work out you will know within a month.The upside is pretty good and downside is minimal.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete280 View Post
"Paul says I am the guy he wants out there to solve on the spot not take weeks for somebody to tell them what to do."

It's probably a union yard so they may not be easy to change, seems like they work at their own pace.
I don't think they are union, he knows I have been a flat rate tech my whole life, so it's turn to earn and when you are only busy 8 months a year you better turn more hours than you are there if you want to make it though the slow season. So his hopes are I will be good at it and be able to get the team I lead to move faster so to not hold up the other teams.
You can read all about them at www.Austal.com they have over 1000 guys there now and need more. They have yards all over the planet. They build some cool looking stuff. Paul's in his mid 50's and is ret. Navy and now subcontracts for them, he has top level clearance so I try to ask him stuff and he cant tell me just keeps saying to trust him. I would have to go though 6 weeks of training and they are going do a big time background check. I wonder if they will ask me about this thread. I might just ask for a leave from work for a while, it's winter and we are not busy. He tells me I will start mid level and move up after a year or so. Its just a little scary, I am top dog at work now there I'll be just another FNG. He says I will lead a team of 6-8 guys under one of the engineers that is in charge of fixing the things that shouldn't have happened.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:44 PM
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I say go for it. You have to take advantage of good oppurtunities when they come which isnt very often. If it doesn't work out you can go back to building motorcycles. Like you said , not much going on this time of year anyway. Good luck with your decision. Jason
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:05 PM
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IMO, except for south Florida, our weather anywhere on the Gulf Coast is as good as it gets in the 48.
Boating and motorcycle riding in Mobile is the same as the Texas coast, year round. I agree with Vette, the cost of living will probably be noticeably less than Virginia.
I'd say GO FOR IT!!!

See ya,
Kelly
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:20 PM
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Go for it.
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