Aprox 1 Year Cruise - Fall 2010
I first have to apologize for being MIA for a while. I have been suffering from PCS (Post Cruise Syndrome) :( I had an amazing Jan-May 08 in the Bahamas and have been bumming since being back in the States and paying for it all this past half year haha. We met some amazing people, saw and experienced a ton of beauty, and I got engaged while in Hawksbill Cay!
But now my boat is outside of Baltimore at Old Bay Marina wondering why she is in this cold and not headed back south.
The grand plan is for my wife and I to save up this next year and a half and depart for aprox a year starting late fall 2010 before we settle down wherever we are going to settle. I am roughly thinking we will be in the Bahamas late fall/early winter, then head through the Caribbean and get south of hurricane zone for the summer. Then start heading back north afterwards. Depending on how funds and the cruising is going we may extend the cruise to a year and a half.
We are a 36ft Ketch and it will be primarily just my wife and I but I will most likely have some help for some of the passages.
Items that I am going add/upgrade when boat is hauled out fall 09 and majority of pre-cruise work will be done: Definites: Solar (a panel most likely on the dinghy davits) & new AGM house batteries, newer used dinghy, replace worn dodger/bimini. Hopefully: replace head from electric to manual pump and replace fridge/icebox.
Other than that, we have a new Yanmar 4JH4E 56HP diesel that was installed right before we departed to the Bahamas last winter, year old sails and a portable honda generator to keep us topped off when the sun isnt shining.
Questions I already know I have: Boat and Medical Insurance? The boat for cruising the Caribbean and the Medical, we are both late 20's and healthy, but would like to look into something for emergencies.
I would welcome and appreciate any suggestions that anyone has on this.
I hope everyone head a great Christmas and New Years and for those that are cruising right now... you are a lucky bunch and I cant wait to join you!
Congrats on what sounds like a very successful cruise.
A couple of points responding to your questions:
1. Anything you plan to do on the boat that is labor intensive and can be put off until the mid point of your next planned cruise might be done more cheaply in Trinidad. Labor rates are a fraction of the US and the quality of work is very good. Example: dodger repair, painting, woodworking, cabin alterations, etc.
2. Boat insurance is expensive and some go without / self-insure. Question you have to ask is can you afford to lose the investment you have in the boat? If you can, you have a self-insurance option. If you can't, you should find a place in the budget for hull insurance.
3. Medical insurance is a different matter. If you're both young and healthy you might be inclined to take the risk. The low cost and generally good quality of routine and non-critical health care you can get in the Caribbean would also argue for self-insurance. The real risk you face is if you have a serious accident -- someone gets hit in the head with the boom which results in serious head trauma, or you're in a car accident while ashore somewhere and end up with broken bones and internal injuries. In these situations you may find yourself in a situation where you need to / want to come back to the US for care and/or recuperation. Without health insurance that will cover you in the US you're out of luck. There are health policies that will cover you outside the US and let you return should the need arise -- some require you to be outside the US for six months of each year. If I were you, I'd look into an option like that -- something that will allow cover treatment in foreign countries while you're traveling, but which will allow you to return to the US for if a major hospitalization is required or serious illness needs to be treated. You might try to keep costs down by accepting a high deductable where you pay the first $4-5,000. If nothing major goes wrong you'll end up paying very little beyond the insurance premiums. If disaster strikes, you can leave the boat and fly home for extended care and recuperation knowing that you're not destined for the poor house.
You might look into getting medical evacuation insurance, which can save you a lot of money and possibly your life if you have a serious medical emergency or problem. The Divers Action Network provides it to its members. So do several other companies/groups.
OK, you have a boat.........
you have experience, you have/will have sufficient funds, you seem to know what you are doing and you are young. On this board this is very refreshing, but why the flock are you asking these questions.
GO, GO, GO.
Forget medical insurance, you can get private medical treatment for a fraction of the US cost down island and in most countries it is very acceptable. If the boat is your major financial asset run the numbers and then decide on insurance. I would prefer to spend the money refitting.
I'm trying not to sound like a hard ass but... I'll bet that some folks who walked from US Airways flight 1549 are rethinking their life plans as we speak.:(
For the record I cruised for two years in the Caribbean, I'm back refitting a new boat and then I'm off again for good AND I'm old and don't know anything. :D
I saw the US Airways airplane drifting down the Hudson this late afternoon as it passed by Canal Street. There must have been about 30 'rescue' boats of different stripes (4 tugs, a ferry or 2, several CG and a host of smaller NYPD & FD vessels not to mention the helos overhead). The poor plane looked small next to some of the rescue boats and resembled a lost whale being herded except it had a wing and stabilizer above the surface.
I suspect that a bunch of the folks from flight 1549 will be taking Amtrak to Washington DC and figuring the rest of their trip out from there to Charlotte, NC or wherever.
They could not have chosen a better spot to do an emergency landing as there are always many boats out working the Hudson (Circle Line, NY Waterway ferries etc). Had they landed somewhere other then the Hudson it could have been a lot worse for the poor passengers.
Insurance? N'yah. Survival? Priceless.
You must make the boat insurance decision based on your own circumstances. Having been caught in Ivan in Grenada and seeing how no insurance (or poor insurance) affected and changed the lives of many, I am a big proponent...and it is not only storms that one has to worry about...other uninsured boaters, running into a reef etc. can be just as individually devastaing. If you decide to insure, may I recommend IMIScorp.net out of Annapolis and their Jackline policy from Markel. They took incredible care of us.
On the medical insurance front...we opted for a very high deductible policy from BC/BS in our home state figuring we were in good health and could handle the "little stuff" at down island prices. Medical prices really are quite lower elsewhere but so is the level of care. Fine for broken bones and cuts but I'd want to get back to the states for anything really serious. Short story:
A friend of ours came down with appendicitis in the Dominican Republic. It took 3 hours to get her to the hospital where she was operated on. Sanitary standards were not up to par and she had a massive infection and had to be flown back to the states for another operation 2 weeks later...very lucky to survive.
The evacuation policies may be of value if finances are tight, but we figured we could handle those ourselves if the need arose. Depending on your existing health and finances you have to make your own decisions. We figured we could handle most anything that came along, but wanted the protection of a high deductible policy in case of cancer or stroke or other long term debillitating and expensive illness. You can get deductibles up to $10k in some places which really lowers the monthly payments.
We insure our employees through BUPA...cost about $1500 a year including medivac.
As far as boat insurance goes....It may be required in some marinas...not sure.
thanks for the replies and I am asking the questions in part to get myself out of the doldrums of work and not cruising :eek: planning the trip is at least half of the fun and I have appreciated and had recieved a lot of great info before we left for the Bahamas last year...
we are moving to the greater annapolis area from nyc this spring so I will very much be looking forward to doing boat projects when I am not floating around the gulf of mexico while at work. I will be doing most of the pre cruise work myself/with friends, but the Trinidad suggestion is a great one (although I am not sure if my dodger can make it that far though haha). the only hired anything I plan on at this point is to have my rigging checked out by a pro. It should be in good shape, but I would rather pay the "insurance" to have that checked out than not.
One thing I've been thinking about in terms of cutting down hassle and cost of cruising - long term anti-foul. Nothing irritates more than a boat that gets messy underwater and there is either no way of getting it properly cleaned or where it can be it's prohibitively expensive.
Have a look at coppercoat.com - it comes with a lot of good credentials and reports. It is a whole lot more expensive than an ordinary anti-foul and the prep is a wole lot more arduous but I reckon I'd rather deal with that while I'm at home than have an on-going hassle on a cruise. The blurb reckons up to ten years of protection - that's long enough for most cruises.
And no, I have no connection of any sort to the product, it just seems a good way to cut some of the grind out of boat maintenance while cruising.
A good idea... and the stuff works. I've got two friends who recommended it to me, one is on year 14, the other on year seven.
It is also what I used on my boat two seasons ago, and all I had on the hull this past season after hauling out, was slime, which pressure washing took care of. While it is a bit more expensive than regular bottom paint, if you look at the long-term costs of it, it turns out quite reasonable.
If you consider the cost and time of hauling the boat and painting each time—the stuff is very reasonable. I figure, if I get five years out of it, it will have paid for itself. If it lasts the ten they say it will... I'll be seriously ahead of the game... and if I can get 14 years out of it like Sherri has, I'll be very happy. :)
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