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Old 10-07-2008
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KODAD is on a distinguished road
I'm so sorry to hear about your son. Peace be with you.
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, Wisdom is better than silver and gold"----Bob Marley

100T Master NC
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Old 10-07-2008
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goldsailor is on a distinguished road
When it comes time to sail south think about having the family meet you in San Francisco or Santa Barbara after you and some friends, or other crew sail her down the Pacific Northwest coast. Eliminates getting off to a rough start in a very rough part of the ocean. South of Santa Barbara is great cruising grounds for families.
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Old 10-08-2008
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scupper42 is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by KODAD View Post
I'm so sorry to hear about your son. Peace be with you.
Thanks KODAD. Spencer was a great kid. In 13 years he managed to inspire hundreds of people to get past whatever challenges they have and really live life fully.
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Old 10-12-2008
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That is a great pic of your son... I can not even imagine... my 6 year old son sails our 44' beneteau...

Some thoughts on your adventure: Yup, just go, but go carefully. Have you considered trucking the boat to San Diego? Make the 1st step as simple and successful as possible. Plan time near easy repairs.. sail around S cal for a while and test all systems. But, don't go overboard on all the stuff... sail for a while and see what you really need... adapt to your boat.

RE the carib: if you ever decide to do that, St. Thomas is a very good starting point for an American. You can ship crate loads of stuff from Fort Lauderdale to STT on Tropical Shipping for very cheap. A car engine was $35. There is also a Pod (small container) rep here and for around $1500, they do door to door to STT from the west coast. But plan on spending a good amount of time scouring the BVI and further for a boat... unless you want a stock ex-charter which will need lots of upgrades. You can walk out with an ex-charter in days.

FWIW, we have been aboard at anchor for 1.5 years with 2 small kids in STT and are just getting things all in line... noting that we work, kids go to school, etc. Thus, projects are fit in and al has to be moved to get to project areas.

have a great time!
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Old 10-13-2008
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Another thing to consider

I can't remember the name of them now, but there's a company that arranges the shipment of boats as deck cargo on cargo ships. I know people from the old Morgan list on sailnet that have shipped boats from FL to WA, and from (if I recall correctly) Mexico to the Philippines - at remarkable low rates.
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Old 10-13-2008
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cptnj2ds is on a distinguished road
Further afield?

If you're contemplating leaving your home area to buy a boat, why stop at the Caribbean? Not a few yachts from Europe and North America get as far as New Zealand, then for one reason or another their owners change plans and the boat goes up for sale.
Check out the Boats For Sale section on NZ websites to see what's available. Note that prices will be in NZ Dollars, currently worth about 63c US; you may get a pleasant surprise.
[Sorry, I don't have enough postings here yet to be allowed to put in a link.]
Boating facilities in general are pretty abundant, and most cruising equipment is available locally. Getting stuff from the US is not a problem [though freight is not cheap] and with good organisation you may be able to avoid any duties as you're taking it out of the country again.
On that subject, if the boat hasn't been here long enough to attract import duty, and is still registered in the US [or wherever], the same should apply.
Fiji, Tonga, both Samoas, Vanuatu, New Caledonia are all about a week's sail from Auckland. Even Australia - if you like that sort of thing lol.
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Old 10-13-2008
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Been there, been done by that

My experience , for what it's worth, is that it's not so easy as you might think to find the "right" boat. Of course, my wife says I'm way too picky. ... Since we lived in an area with few cruising boats, we did exactly what you are contemplating, in the mid '90s. Packed the family of four into a Civic and headed for Florida. It seemed simple enough to find a good boat there, since there were hundreds if not thousands already fully pimped out for island cruising. There were in fact so many, it became bewildering, like standing at the counter of a Baskin Robbins for the first time, with just enough cash for one scoop. In the end I must have inspected 100 boats, weighed the pros and cons of each, made a couple of offers that were refused, frustrated an army of brokers, before finding the "right" boat for us, a 36-foot Westerly cc ketch, behind the owner's house on a canal in Ft. Lauderdale. Here is the punchline: the travel costs were 10% of the cost of the vessel. I vowed, next time I would MOVE to Florida first, get a job at a brokerage, and patiently wait for the boat to manifest.

During our two-year cruise, we met all kinds of folks on all kinds of boats: an insanely well adjusted family of five on a tiny CS 27, a murderously unhappy long-married couple on a big Hinckley purchased just for their sabbatical, and everything in between. As Chuck711 says, it's not the boat, it's the crew that makes the voyage a success. (That said, the right crew is one that knows how to buy the right boat. )

Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2008
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Take us as an example

Good Day New Cruiser,
We were in the same position 2 years ago, we have 9 and 11 yr old sons and wanted go cruising. We took a month of sail training with manhina expeditions and then went looking for a cruising boat. After looking for 6 days and 56 monohull boats, we decided that we saw all the families in the BVI sailing on multihulls and loving it. The last boats we looked at were multi hulls and we bought a 50ft 10 yr old catamaran. This has been the best decision we made as we homeschool, the boys have their kayaks ( used as bicycles) and we have lots of space to breakout into each ones own room. We have met many people with kids, and the "happy" ones were on cats, as monohulls run out of space when you live on it all the time. Look for a boat that is in better or great shape and start sailing. Go to St Maarten and fix or replace what needs to be replaced, and go on. There is no boat that will have no breakdowns, even new vessels have the same problems. It is a fact of living on the water. I can give you lots more info if desired, as we have been living the dream and our sons get an education second to none. Make it comfortable for the wife with the utilities known at home and you will be the king. I am not trying to sell you on this but I hope you make the right choice to make this a wonderfull experience that will last a lifetime. we have sailed now 2 years and are still enjoying it tremendously.

Peter Verstoep
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Old 10-13-2008
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DaleKAnderson is on a distinguished road
After spending huricane season in Trinidad, I think that is a great place to buy a boat and get work done on it. The labor cost is low, very large parts stores available within a 1-2 block walk, any type of work needed there are 2 or more places that do each of the specialties (wood, fiber glass, diesel, props, canvas, hull painnting etc.etc. etc.).
Contact Peake's marina in Trinidad, as they have a lot of boats for sale there (normally hundreds are stored there for hurricane season and a lot are for sale).
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Old 10-13-2008
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We've been out cruising for the last 5 years on the pacific coast from Alaska to Ecuador.

There are many fine boats for sale south of the US. Some of these are sadly neglected, but others are good cruising boats whose owners have been forced to cut their cruises short.

Becasue the main cost of finding a boat in a foreign country will be the cost of transportation to see it, one needs to know the model of boat one wants (or at least that are suitable). In the major cruising areas (Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, San Carlos etc) there are brokers. There are also surveyors who can give you a condition report before you invest in a look see.

In the major Mexican yachting areas you will find reasonable access to parts and expertise, yards, and machine shops. Updating or preparing a boat in that country is a reasonable project.

There are some boats further south in Central America, but finding them evaluating them, and working on them would be much more difficult.
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