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Old 09-21-2012
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Re: Any alternative to buying for international trip?

Renting a sailboat is known as "chartering." Based on your sailing experience, it is doubtful that any charter company will charter a larger boat to you, let alone for the trip you are looking at. And the trip you are looking at is much more than a two-week sail. Houston to Cancun is close to 700 nautical miles. Houston-Cancun-Tampa-Houston is close to 1800 nautical miles. At 100 NM/day, you are looking at 18 days, and that would be non-stop, 24hrs a day, assuming 100 NM made good each day.

A better idea might be to sign on to a two-week learn to sail course. You and your wife will have the two weeks of sailing and you'll end up the certs you'll need to charter on your own in the future.
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