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  #11  
Old 02-24-2013
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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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  #12  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

Yes, buying down there saves wear.... leaves the nagging "can I sell it" question.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
Yes, buying down there saves wear.... leaves the nagging "can I sell it" question.
I cant understand the "can I sell It?" problem. Any boat may be hard to sell.

If you cant sell it just take it home, or do what you were going to do with the other boat.

BTW $50 k is light on for a 40 foot ex-charter boat.
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

As I have read people's thoughts, part of what I have gathered is that I could get a boat designed more for cruising that is already down there, it would not have to make the passage.

A boat that needs to be taken down (or brought back) would need to be more offshore capable.

So if I bought a cruiser down there, it might not be robust enough for the passage (for my liking)
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
As I have read people's thoughts, part of what I have gathered is that I could get a boat designed more for cruising that is already down there, it would not have to make the passage.

A boat that needs to be taken down (or brought back) would need to be more offshore capable.

So if I bought a cruiser down there, it might not be robust enough for the passage (for my liking)
The passages between islands are essentially 'open water' passages for the most part. The difference is that the distances are generally in the 40-60 NM range and, given the points of sail and reliable tradewinds are generally easy daytrips. If the winds are getting up or a heavy swell is running there's plenty of warning and information on the local HF nets, weather guru broadcasts etc, so you can wait and 'pick' your weather windows.

As a result you see some pretty questionable looking boats at anchor in some of these areas.

Getting the 1000 NM to windward from Florida to the Eastern Caribbean is a much different job description with fewer good anchorages, longer legs and less pleasant conditions/wind angles etc., as is coming down from the East Coast/Burmuda etc.

Depending on the boat you choose, it may be more of an equipment issue than an essential 'robustness', if you choose wisely in the first place..
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

VTSG,

If you could swing this I'd shoot for a couple of years down there.
It'll take you 6 months just to de-compress
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

lol... sounds good, have to work on the first mate with that.....
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

Why don't you look at boats that are for sale when you are down here next week? That way you can get a sense of what $50K can buy. Unless you have a large working budget for your year in de ilons I strongly suggest you invest some time and money learning how to fix things. That may be the best money you spend!!!
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

I am ahead of you, have seen a couple already that I plan to see
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

One word of caution: A former Caribbean charter boat in your size and price range is likely to have a lot more wear and tear than a similar age boat that spent its life in the Northeast. Expect, for example, the engine to have several thousand hours with proportional wear and tear on everything else.

The wear and tear on a two-way "delivery" trip between the NE and the BVI pales in comparison (assuming no mishaps!).
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