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post #1 of 8 Old 09-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Boat search

While we are Weill fairly new to sailing, we have decided to buy a sailboat and spend the winters, January through early June, in the Caribbean, we seek some help in a boat selection.

* We are looking for something sized for a couple to live on six months at a time
* Occasional guests
* Will be on the hook most of the time with limited time in the Marina, will add water maker
* keel shallow enough for extended time in the Bahamas
* center Beth or a real mattress. We do not want to have to crawl over each other to get out of the bed.
* I'm very handy so an older boat its not a big deal breaker
* Good creature comfort at anchor
* Well vented or will add AC unit if needed

Budget is 75,000. This its for the boat and refit if needed.

If you can throw some suggestions, I will hit Yachtworld.

Thanks for your time
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-21-2012
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Re: Boat search

It might be worthwhile to speak with some of the larger Charter companies like Moorings or Sunsail. Often times they are selling some of their fleet.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-21-2012
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Re: Boat search

While I can't offer specific boats I can recommend you look for boats with solar panels and wind generators plus extra batteries for power storage....or at least add that into your refit budget. If you are considering a/c at anchor you would probably need a generator too.
Make sure you do reserve some funds for refit and maint. Almost all boats will need some of that .....we budgeted 20 percent of sales price.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-23-2012
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Re: Boat search

As long as you are comfortable with an older (early 80s to early 90s), you should be able to find something within your budget. Many boats in the 35-40 foot range should fit your requirements. Note you can always have a custom mattress made for your berth. Sounds like a roomy vee-verth is what you are looking for versus an aft master cabin.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-23-2012
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Re: Boat search

Have a look at a Hunter Passage 42, they have one of the nicest aft cabin center line queen layouts I have seen.

An early one will be withing your budget.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-23-2012
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Re: Boat search

35-40 foot boats in that budget will be older and unlikely to have anything other than Vberths or pullman style (an exception might be the mid 80s Hunter 37 and 40 - both have roomy aft cabins with center berths, but limited headroom under the cockpit sole) A shoal draft version of one of these needing some TLC may fit your specs.

If you're in the tradewinds I think A/C is overkill.. esp on the hook where keeping up the power budget might be a chore. Open hatches provide plenty of ventilation between rain squalls (and the rain squall dance at 3am is part of the culture!.


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post #7 of 8 Old 09-23-2012
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Re: Boat search

Get on the i-net and check out yacht brokers in the following Carribbean locations:

- Sint Maarten
- Antigua
- Guadeloupe
- St Lucia (Rodney Bay)
- Grenada
- Trinidad

You're likely to find quite a few boats in the range your looking for and buying in the Caribbean (with proper survey, of course) has the following advantages:

1. You don't have to sail it south in the autumn / winter (harder than you'd think and not easy for someone buying and learning their first boat).
2. You won't have to spend a lot getting the boat ready for offshore or extended passages south. Most sailing in the Eastern Caribbean is day sailing island to island with most passages less than 12 hours, or day sails between anchorages on the lee side of islands. The longest passages you'll have to make are 100 + miles BVI to Sint Maarten and 85 miles Grenada to Trinidad.
3. You are closer to less expensive places to refit (Southern Grenada and Chagauramas, Trinidad) than you'll find in the US. Both locations are outside the hurricane box and reasonable places to lay up for the summer/autumn. If you spend a winter on the boat before a summer lay-up you'll know what you really want to do for a refit.
4. You can have a nice vacation while looking for boats. RT airfares are $800-1000 (winter prices) plus hotels. Look in summer months (when boats will be on the hard) and the hotels and airfares will be cheaper. You'll probably spend a large fraction of that looking around the US.

The number of boats for sale in the Caribbean is not anything like that in the US, but for someone with your interest and price range you'll find something. The market in the Caribbean will be as "soft" as that in the US and in some cases, sellers are more eager. Those selling have probably lost interest and/or don't want to sail a boat to a larger market. And finally, legal systems in the Caribbean are strong enough to give you a good title -- mostly based on US, UK, Dutch or French law. You should get a local lawyer to represent you in the transaction -- brokers could recommend someone, for you could have someone like Marine Documentation out of Newport, RI to help with the paperwork.

No, I haven't bought a boat in the Caribbean (bought mine in Gibraltar), but I've spent enough time in the islands to have seen lots of boats for sale, mostly by absentee owners paying big bucks for someone to store and look after their boat while it's on the market.

Good luck.

PS How could I have forgotten Martinique? Le Marin has one of the biggest marina complexes in the entire basin.
PPS Also forgot a biggie: #5. No sales tax! Buy it for export on any island and flag it US immediately with USCG documentation. You may have some local stamp taxes / transfer fees to pay, but no US sales tax is due until you bring it back and register it in the US, and by then it will be several years older and you can knock the value down well below the purchase price.
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Last edited by billyruffn; 09-23-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-23-2012
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Re: Boat search

Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Have a look at a Hunter Passage 42, they have one of the nicest aft cabin center line queen layouts I have seen.

An early one will be withing your budget.
+1 for the Passage 42, but then I am biased. The aft cabin in particular and easy livability overall, make this an awesome liveaboard.
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