Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

Does the Bene 393 have his 2 cabin requirement?

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post #12 of 19 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

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Does the Bene 393 have his 2 cabin requirement?

My 393 has a large aft cabin (bigger than a queen) and a pulman berth forward. We sleep in the aft cabin. This is usually called the "owners" version. The "charter" version has the pulman forward and two cabins aft. The charter version does not have the large cockpit locker and the galley is run along the side, midships rather than being tucked in a corner, aft.

Mark, another member here circumnavigated in a charter version.

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post #13 of 19 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

Draft is really a nemesis in Western Florida and the Bahamas. My friends with 5' seem to constantly be bumping and running aground (the sand tends to move around). Those with 4'4" keels do not.

So my new "maximum" draft is 4'6" from 5' for my next boat. A Catalina 30 is tempting with 3'10"!!

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post #14 of 19 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

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Draft is really a nemesis in Western Florida and the Bahamas. My friends with 5' seem to constantly be bumping and running aground (the sand tends to move around). Those with 4'4" keels do not.

So my new "maximum" draft is 4'6" from 5' for my next boat. A Catalina 30 is tempting with 3'10"!!

Been going to the Bahamas since 1990 with 5'6" and about the same in my loaded down 393. Never had a problem. Friends with over 6' do ok too. You can read the waters in the Bahamas. Whatever your draft is you should take the appropriate care. Except for cats, the majority of cruising boats in the Bahamas have greater than 5' drafts. Don't let draft be the determining factor if you are buying a boat to cruise the Bahamas. Anything up to 6' is easily manageable. Over 6' takes a bit more care.
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

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... A Catalina 30 is tempting with 3'10"!!
Not unless you buy one without a keel.

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post #16 of 19 Old 01-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

Thanks everyone. I guess I am back to the age old question of a full keel boat (like an IP) with a protected skeg hung rudder which I am assuming would be better in the shallow water environment of the Bahamas, vs. a modern wing keel design with a spade rudder. It seems that most folks agree that the build quality of an IP is better than a Catalina or similar, but then for my budget $125,000 total (boat & upgrades/repairs) is it better for original "build quality" but a slightly older boat or a newer boat hopefully with less repairs required?
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

Telesailor, I am also purchasing a boat for Florida/Keys/Bahamas use. I bought an Endeavour 38 center cockpit with a 5 foot draft. I have been told to set aside as much as 50% of the purchase price for repairs/upgrades (and it looks like I will spend about that much!). In your case with $125K total to spend you would want to limit the purchase to $80K. Most production boats can handle the Florida/Keys/Bahamas cruising you say you want to do. I can't say which is "better", more purchase price for newer with less repairs/upgrades or older with less purchase price and more repairs/upgrades. You end up spending about the same number of dollars. BUT with newer/less upgrades you go cruising sooner.
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post #18 of 19 Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

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Thanks everyone. I guess I am back to the age old question of a full keel boat (like an IP) with a protected skeg hung rudder which I am assuming would be better in the shallow water environment of the Bahamas, vs. a modern wing keel design with a spade rudder. It seems that most folks agree that the build quality of an IP is better than a Catalina or similar, but then for my budget $125,000 total (boat & upgrades/repairs) is it better for original "build quality" but a slightly older boat or a newer boat hopefully with less repairs required?
Why would a full keel boat be better in a shallow water environment?? The two boats I've sailed in the Bahamas, one (CS36M) had a wing keel (patented Hydrokeel 1988 from the days when wings were really wings) and my Beneteau has a shoal draft keel with a sort of bulb on the bottom. No problem with either. If you're thinking that a full keel will better protect the rudder, yes, but that's only if you run aground blindly going full tilt. Most groundings happen slowly as a prudent sailor slows down in shoal water.

As for build quality, most boats eventually have problems that are peculiar to that make. IP's have holding tank problems. Endeavors have ports that leak. These are a couple of examples. I would buy the newest boat I could for the price, preferably a boat that's been cruised recently as it will most likely be better equipped for cruising. Settle on a price and size. Don't get locked into one manufacturer. Get a good broker (that's another story) and see what he/she can dig up.

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post #19 of 19 Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Purchase Advice for ICW, Bahamas, Carribbean

don't buy the newest, buy the best equipped boat smaller than 40 ft. I have a full keel with a barn door keel hung rudder. When you do run aground (you will, everyone does) you wont mess up your keel or rudder (unless it is really bad). I would look at quality and capability rather than quality and aesthetics. look for something like a cabo rico or Island Packet. It like asking if you buy a used BMW or new hyundai, which is going to be the better car. The well taken care of BMW will be, but there are many lemons out there.

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