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post #11 of Old 02-24-2013
Zanshin
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

I sold my 43DS ex-charter boat in the Caribbean to a family who wanted to take one year off from Canadian winters and joblessness and sail the Caribbean. The parents, a 14-year old daughter and 10 year old son had a fantastic year and even managed to sell the boat when they were finished for more than I'd sold it to them (he was a good bargainer).
He took some private sailing lessons on the new boat and I sailed with them (in my new boat) for a couple of islands.
I believe that they would do that one-year-off thing again in a heartbeat. Schooling the kids was Mom's task and they got both school and real-world learning that will server them well for the rest of their lives.
The trip from Norfolk down here (I'm in St. Martin now, just arrived from the BVI) to the Caribbean is not a good one. I left just after last year's Caribbean 1500 and it was a fast sail in 8 days but with winter weather patterns there is little chance of avoiding heavy weather. I'd recommend flying down here alone and looking at your shortlisted boats and, if you have the money in hand, the sale can be consummated in mere days (you'll get a "letter of running/ownership" to let you clear in and out of most Caribbean nations before the official paperwork is finished and could sail away quickly. The wear-and-tear on boat and family is going to be less by doing it this way than by sailing here.


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