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freeheel999 12-03-2006 10:09 AM

Cheap Marinas/Long-term Caribbean?
Does this exist?! Has anyone got any good info on this as I can't seem to find much on the web?
Looking at keeping a 50ft yacht longer-term in the Caribbean. Where is the cheapest/most secure marina berthage and hard-standing to be found? Costs? Cheers...

Zanshin 12-03-2006 10:29 AM

The Caribbean is a pretty big place, you might get better responses if you narrowed down your location a bit.

I'll start off with the prices in BVI for marinas that I've looked at and that have availability run about US$1 per foot per day.

Is that the right part of the Caribbean and do you consider that expensive - then, depending on your response I'm sure others will help you narrow down your selection.

freeheel999 12-03-2006 10:38 AM

Thanks...actually I'm quite flexible as to the 'where' to keep her...the price is the important is being accessible by air and safety from Hurricanes plus having good security is important.
What about hardstanding?
One thought was the Dominican Republic or Grenada. Know anything about those places?

camaraderie 12-03-2006 02:47 PM

FreeHeel... Forget the is a hell hole and there is no security. Grenada provides everything you need...good prices, good yards, a daily flight in from Puerto Rico and "relatively" secure from hurricanes.
Grenada Yacht Club, Spice Island Marine, Grenada Marine, Clarkes Court Bay are all possibilities for dockside or haulout/store facilities. Dockside...for example, is roughly $7-8 bucks a foot on a monthly basis and you may do better if you negotiate for a long term rate. Electric is metered and expensive in most places. Another option is to take a mooring ball in one of the southern Grenada harbours and hire a person to watch the boat. This is even less expensive and I've seen EXCELLENT care of boats by Grenadians who provide moorings/watch services.

Oh might want to think about Chaguramas Trinidad as well though security there is sometimes not great. Check out for marina links there. No hurricanes ever there.

freeheel999 12-03-2006 05:49 PM

Thanks Camaraderie...appreciate your advice...any other personal 'favourites' you recommend? I also sometimes have a requirement to work from my boat so do you know any cheap wet-slips with WiFi/Internet access?

camaraderie 12-03-2006 06:16 PM

Freeheel...I assume you mean in Grenada...Wifi is available at GYC docks. We really liked it there as it was in the middle of town and everything was nearby. We also spent a month or so in Mt. Hartman Bay which was nice and where the water was better, but it was a pain to get anywhere.
For on the hard storage I would recommend Grenada Marine.
For work needed I would recommend Spice Island Marine
For isolated quiet and pristine...Clarkes Court Bay Marina

On the way south from the BVI's I think you'll find the marinas much more expensive than in Grenada or Trinidad. Favorites include:
Mooring Balls at Bitter End Yacht Club -Virgin Gorda
Simpson Bay Marina- St. Martin
Le Marin marina- Le Marin, Martinique
Rodney Bay Marina- St. Lucia
NOTE: Most of the marinas work on 220V 50 cycle and have transformers for US boats to get to 110 but it is still 50 cycles which is VERY hard on motorized equipment and high amp stuff and tends to short out power cords and adapters pretty rapidly. Bring spares and or make sure your air conditioning, battery charging etc. is 220V compatible for better results.

freeheel999 12-04-2006 10:31 AM

Camaraderie...thanks again for that information. Out of interest...what was so bad about the DR? Did you actually cruise that area?

camaraderie 12-04-2006 11:36 AM

Free... First let me say that some people love the DR. Second, let me say that I am referring to that part of the DR on the thorny path...Luperon, Samana etc....not SantoDomingo or the tourist areas. We got stuck in Luperon for a month due to heavy trade winds which prevented any easting for an entire month. What we didn't like:
-Completely unsanitary conditions...the harbor WAS the sewer. Fresh food was eaten at your own risk! Conditions in town were extremely impoverished with dead animals in the streets & whores on the corners.
-Corrupt officials.
-Bad Americans...derelict types living permanently in the harbor...things go missing from boats etc.
-Lots of illness among cruisers while we were there. Suspect the sanitation had a lot to do with it.

Again...some people like it cause it is cheap to stay there long term and an excellent hurricane hole but to us (and several other boats we know), it was the worst place we'd ever been to. The problem is that if you go down the Thorny have no choice but to go there. The only hope is that you get a good forecast quickly and can get to Puerto Rico before the water or the canned goods run out!
Are you headed that way?


Zanshin 12-04-2006 12:17 PM

Cameraderie - I have to agree with you regarding the Bitter End Yacht Club! The sound is sheltered, the views are pretty and there are a number of fine restaurants and bars ashore.

Also, if you are in luck there are about 10-15 anchorages available between the mooring balls and Prickly Pear Island, and sometimes they are not all in use since everyone seems to prefer a $25/day mooring ball. Go figure.

trodzen 12-14-2006 11:49 PM


I agree with you on all your points on DR. You certainly wouldn't consider swimming in the sewer (I mean the harbor there) but you can dingy out around the corner at the entrance. That was a daily trip for me with my dog and the water is crystal clear there.

I went there for two days. I left a month later. It's not a long term place unless you are an over-aged SW American looking for a very-young spanish girl. Unfortunatly I saw that situation too much.

If you can get past the rats and other things you will find the locals are very friendly and it is a unique place to see. I'm glad I saw it once.

I learned I was actually very safe walking the streets of Luperon. I found out the policia are heavy on any type of theft by locals on the visitors. While I was there, a yachtie left $5 on a bar (after he had been told not to) he had it stolen by a local girl. So within 30 mins there were two policia there and they went after the girl. I heard stories of other locals getting beatings after getting caught stealling from yachties. The officials don't want to loose that stream of incoming yachties. So it was safe on the streets but you still got to lock up the boat. during the month there was also a pirating incident in samana.

After you've spent a month reading Bruce Van-Sants book (and gotten a head-ache from him talking in circles) you will need to go just to drink a beer with him at Marina Blanco.

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