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Old 01-25-2003
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Buying in Venezuela or N. Brazil?

Jeff, I''m assuming your ''distant purchase plan'' re: Venezuela is a function of the devaluation of the Bolivar but most of the boats you''ll find down there will be owned by non-VZ folks cruising in the area. Since they are able to relocate, they won''t be priced to the Bolivar. You may find some locally owned boats - what are you looking for? - but if they are not work boats (which will be quite rough, questionably maintained), they will be owned by wealthier Venezuelans who probably have the money to weather the storm vs. selling when they get little real value for the sale. There''s a huge crowd of V''ians right now in S Florida, as they can afford to fly to the States each time things get rough down there. Their boats are probably being maintained by crews who continue to get paid in ever shrinking B''s, which cost the owners less, not more. Amazing how the rich get richer...

Having said all that, the most active boating area - which isn''t saying a lot - is along the N coast of the mainland, generally S of Isla de Margarita (altho'' Margarita does have a boatyard and an active visiting cruising fleet). You can find contact info on the yards and marinas in one of the Caribbean Compass or All At Sea editions (they both have websites), or in Chris Doyle''s cruising guide for that area (see Bluewater Books).

One final downer about buying a boat in VZ is that there are limited supplies of boat gear; many cruisers bring their bottom paint, etc. with them when hauling in VZ. Consequently, you''ll need to find a well-found boat if you hope to move E against the Trades when relocating back to the Caribbean chain and boating supplies. But May/June will be a good time to do that.

Sorry but I can''t help you at all on Brazil. I would post your question on the SSCA Bulletin Board (www.ssca.org) as you''ll have a better chance of finding folks who''ve been there.

Re: boat shopping, why not try the Chaguaramas Bay area outside Port of Spain, Trinidad? There''s a huge comglomeration of yachties, yards, marinas, chandelries, etc. there. Also, it''s only about 40 miles from the VZ border at that point. The local yachtie magazine (The Boca) publisher can be found on the web, which is likely to link to advertisers that include brokers.

Jack
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