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IslandFever 12-09-2010 01:07 PM

Panama to Sea of Cortez
I am looking for two crewmembers to assist me in sailing thru the Panama Canal and continuing north to Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). Anticipate will take 3 months, from mid-Jan to early May. If time is an issue, we can treat it as a delivery and push it hard and cut the time to about 2 months. Terms: no drugs, period. I will pay all customs, immigration, etc fees, on-board food, fuel. You pay for your transportation to the depature point (Colon, Panama). I will pay up to $1000 for a plane ticket and ground transportation back to your point of origin or your next crew position (or if you prefer, I will reimburse you for your transportation to Panama when you arrive, and pay the difference toward your trip toward your next destination).

My boat is an older 41ft Gulfstar center cockpit sloop, 12ft beam, with a forecabin with V-berths, and an aft owner/s cabin. Two heads, small but functional galley, and a new 54hp Yanmar diesel with <1000 hours. I am presently replacing the refrigerator and portlights, and cabin sole, and completing a few other repairs and upgrades. The boat is extremely seaworthy. I bought it in Tampa 6 years ago, and have completed a full circuit of the Caribbean with it,from Florida thru the Windwards & Leewards, Venezuela, ABCs, Columbia, and now Panama. I've been sailing about 4-6 months each year. Now it's time to take it closer to my home in AZ.

I am 64 yrs old, retired, married (wife is not a sailor and is not coming on the trip). I completed all the ASA courses several years ago, and have been sailing over 20 yrs (but this is my first ocean-going boat).

My sailing plan is limited by fuel, water, and refrigerator capacity, so the longest leg I would feel comfortable making is < 7 days at sea. The total distance is just under 3000 miles (30 days at sea). I can't see passing up the opportunity to visit Acapulco, Mazatlan, or Puerto Vallarta.

You can see the boat on my blog page:
If interested, contact me at

My current plan is to launch in mid-Jan. If necessary, I can delay until early Feb, but no later.

Bill Tucker

ChrisHamilton 12-12-2010 10:00 AM

Hey there, My name's Chris and I just finished all of the ASA courses myself, now a licensed yachtmaster offshore, I'm from Canada so flying down there and back adds up to about $1000 Id love to help you out, learn some more about sailing, get some experience, and see some new places. Im eager to learn how to fix up boats too so you can leave some repairs for me haha, Im just working on getting my STCW 95 because ASA's fire prevention course fell through but I'm commercially endorsed with my ENG1 if that matters to ya. I'm 19 and will work my arse off for you as long as you feed me :) if you want any other info please contact me at chris_h_27

p.s. late january is best for me because I am just returning home and would like time to see my family and friends as well as get my STCW, keep in touch


IslandFever 12-12-2010 10:56 AM

Chris and all readers:
I posted my crew request before I arrived back at the boat and found that the individual I was paying to manage the boat took the money and ran. When I returned I found water 2 inches above the cabin sole (the boat is ON THE HARD, not in the water). Also several items are either missing or damaged. Also, every surface has mold. It seems there is a new leak where the mast penetrates the topside, and that was the source of all the water. When you consider the perpetual and torrential rains that occur here during the rainy season, you can appreciate how much water can accumulate thru such an apparently tiny leak.
I have a lot of work to do to make the boat ready, and don't anticipate being able to depart Panama before early to mid-March. That will provide for better sailing conditions anyway, as that's about the time the wind shifts around from a beat to a close reach when heading north. However, it will narrow the travel window, as I want to get into the Sea of Cortez by mid-May, which is the official start of the Pacific hurricane season (the 'caines usually hit on the mainland coast somewhere between or around Acapulco and Mazatlan, then swing west to hit Cabo, then back out into the Pacific).
As for anticipated living conditions on Island Fever, they won't be first rate, but should be reasonable - dry bunks, hot meals, and working heads. I'm going to have to construct an igloo cooler type refrigerator (with large cold plate and compressor), and replace the stove. It will take some time to get the parts shipped. I'll have the cabin sole replaced once the rains stop.
So, in brief, the sail plan is to depart here mid-March and arrive in San Carlos late May. It will be a challenging sojourn until we reach Acapulco, and then will become more relaxing. Travel reimbursement and other amenities as described in my initial post.

rockDAWG 12-12-2010 01:06 PM

Captain, I am sorry to hear that. What is wrong with people these days. :(

I would love to join you for the voyage. Keep us posted.

ChrisHamilton 12-12-2010 03:26 PM

wow that's a stroke of bad luck, hang in there bill, I'm willing to come down early to help out with the workload if you need me, I'm still up for it, just gotta find something to occupy myself with in the meantime

you know any delivery skippers that need crew?

good luck


moskalm 12-12-2010 10:56 PM

So sorry to hear about your boat. I'm sure you're looking for experienced crewmembers BUT I figured I'd offer my services anyway.
I'm a recent University of Colorado graduate, 23 yrs old, fit and energetic and a hard worker but lack sailing experience with the exception of a couple lessons. I'd kill to have a 3 month trip like the one you describe.
My main reason for joining you would be to learn and see as much as possible. If you're willing to take a risk with my lack of experience, PLEASE let me know or give me a call at 720-341-7115.
Thanks so much,

IslandFever 12-24-2010 12:16 PM

Abandon Ship!!!

The trip is off. It just isn't worth it to do the repairs and sail it to Mexico so late in the season, so I have decided to put the boat up for sale as is and get whatever I can for it. I'm asking 10K, but suspect I'll get much less.

I have already e-mailed the guys whom I had been emailing with expressed in interest in crewing and informed them of my decision. I'm making this post just in case anyone else had an interest -- NOW HEAR THIS: THE TRIP IS CANCELLED.


sailingdog 12-24-2010 12:36 PM

Sorry to hear the bad news. Good luck on the sale of the boat.

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