Cats in Belize - 4600 vs 4700? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2006
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Cats in Belize - 4600 vs 4700?

We are planning a fall 2007 trip to Belize, chartering a bareboat with The Moorings. I'm considering two boats - the 4700 in the club line and the new 4600, which is only available in the exclusive. The price difference is $1400, and even though we will be splitting that between 4 couples, I hate to spend unnecessary cash. On the other hand, it that 4600 is truly a great boat, then fine. Any thoughts?

Also, for those who have sailed in southern Belize (Placencia), any thoughts or advice?

Thanks and smooth sailing to all.
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Old 12-31-2006
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We are Mooring Boat Owners and have been to Placencia, 2 years ago. We own a M494 and because there aren't any in Belize we sailed a M4500. It was just my wife and myself. You have to be very carefull of the rapid change in depths as you sail or motor. The briefing was excellent at the base. We brought in most of the food we needed because there is a limited supply of food in Placencia. Their beer is terrible; but drank it anyway for lack of something better to drink. We had a little problem with customs with the food; it seemed they only wanted a pay off. They started with $200US and eventually paid around $18US. The tourist bureau told us we could bring in any food that we needed for the charter, which saved us on the provisioning by The Moorings. So far, wherever we do a recip. charter we always bring our own frozen meats and seasonings that we can't purchase or won't purchase. We generally buy the fresh produce at the town near the base we are leaving from; also liquor, soda, juice etc. that we would need.

Don't depend too much on the GPS/Chartplotter for exact locations; it doesn't happen. Sometimes when your sailing near a motu you will find that you are positioned on it when looking at your GPS. You need to keep a good look out and get into the anchorages with plenty of light overhead. You won't see many people or boats and if you see some fisherman purchase fish from them, it's really fresh and good. The fisherman we met gave us the fish (they cleaned and filleted it) and didn't know how much to ask us for so I gave them $20US for 4 good size fish.

We had gone in mid Sept.

Save the extra cash for the M4600. The M4700 is just as nice, older; but they keep the boats in very good condition in Placencia. If you must have a new Cat then go for it. If you do get the M4700, make sure that the generator is working and that the A/C works. Speak with the agent you are signing up with and make sure he/she knows that the A/C & generator both work on the vessel your are chartering. You may not need the A/C; but at least you will have the option of using it.

Sonny
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Old 04-10-2007
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Take the 46!

Sully,
We just got back from Placencia, and like Sonny said, save your money for the new 46' Cat! Wow, what a difference between the 47' and 46!
We sailed on 47' that probably should have been retired a year or so ago; no generator, no A/C, issue with the engine.
The 46' has a great layout, and actually can accomodate more people.
If you really want to SAIL, they do have 42' monohulls available, but after riding in the big cat, I don't think I'll go back to getting bounced around the harbor at night!
Belize is awesome! Great wind, BEST Snorkeling (outside of Galapagos Islands) and incredible locations. The busiest anchorage we had 4 other boats... and most nights we were solo.
Best regards,

Jim
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Old 04-10-2007
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Unique Adventure awaits

S1957 - WZTJ's trip report (separate thread) gives an accurate picture of what to expect. The advice I got & used = adjust your minset/expectations away from prior charters ie; BVI. then replace with an adventurer's & self sufficient mindset.
Once You leave Placencia, your yacht & crew will be the primary source of support & entertainment. The natural beauty is amazing. The cayes are very small, anchorages more exposed than you will expect and with only a couple of exceptions (like Ranguana - where custodian family does cook pre-arranged meals) there are no beach bars, restaurants, stores etc that are available in other places. There are a few spots with a few mooring balls (the heaviest @ Ranguana) but most of the time we were on double bow anchors.
We (3 cats) did head back to Placencia toward the end of our charter because one boat drank all their alcohol, pick up more water & swap out a dinghy.
Ranguana is my favorite spot because of the whole setting with beach, snorkeling, fishing, relaxing plus delicious local cooking available.....nice layover spot. The southern cayes (hunting - lime) are also unique because of their position to the reef.
I used a combination of cruising guide with it's charts with a real chart of the area plus my gps (general stuff) & depthfinder. ............agree w/N = eyes are key around Queen caye & down south. Very memorable experience.
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