Just back from a week sailing out of placencia - totally fantastic places, tiny little islands that feel like you are on the edge of the world. Great sailing in some of the major channels (inner main channel, victoria channel and some others) but the charts
are not especially helpful and the chartplotters
all lie - the cays are NOT where the plotter says they are so it is far better to just turn it off. I would not go there without Freya Rauscher's cruising guide - the routes and waypoints in there were all good.
The thing about Belize is that there are deep water channels of 50-8o feet and then you get to a patch reef and suddenly you have 5 ft. of water under your keel. Very important to keep a sharp lookout for water color since that is what tells you whether you are in good shape. But if you have a person on the bow you can thread your way through most places - at least we never had to turn around and go back where we came - it was always possible to find a way.
It was impressive how remote the islands feel compared to the Bahamas or the Caribe - We never had more than two other sailboats in sight and usually none at all. And the islands were so beautiful they looked like they were out of dream. Some of the best reefs to snorkel and dive on that I ever saw (but I have only been in the Carribean and Mexico before so maybe I am missing something from the Pacific)
We were in a monohull with a 5 ft. draft so it is possible to get around without being in a catamaran - but the funny thing was that every single catamaran we saw was motoring! Even with 15 - 20 knots of steady wind.
If you ever go sailing out of Placencia be sure to self provision at the local grocery store - that is all the charter outfits do - they literally take your wish list to that very same grocery store and mark everything up. The store isnt too far from the docks and you can get a taxi at the gas station for cheap to transport your stuff.
The weather was perfect and the water temperature couldnt be better. And not only that, but the temperature back home is 25 degrees.