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Old 02-09-2011
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Surfboard to the Caribbean?

I am starting my WAY AHEAD pre-planning for my year off to sail the Caribbean. I am an avid surfer who loves longboarding... I am just wondering if anyone has ever taken their longboard on a sail to the Caribbean.

What things SHOULD I take and what things are best left dockside and rent there. (i.e. Scuba gear, kayak, surfboard)
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Old 02-09-2011
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Gotta bring the board! There are some great spots down there that you'll never see in the magazines. There was however a nice article in Cruising World a few months back about the island of Culebra. Check it out if you can.
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It depends on whose boat you're going on and how big the boat is. A long board is a tough fit on a 25' boat, but easy to fit on a 40' catamaran.
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Old 02-09-2011
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I am looking at a 36-40 ft boat.... thats all part of the MASTER PLAN. Should have about 100k to spend on the boat and outfitting it and about 50k to live off of.

Oh and I am a sports nut, so its gonna be hard to pick and choose.

Ok, 1 vote for take the board... YAY!
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Old 02-09-2011
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Here's the article I mentioned..

Surfing while on a Sailboat Charter | Cruising World
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Originally Posted by riversandbar View Post
I am looking at a 36-40 ft boat.... thats all part of the MASTER PLAN. Should have about 100k to spend on the boat and outfitting it and about 50k to live off of.

Oh and I am a sports nut, so its gonna be hard to pick and choose.

Ok, 1 vote for take the board... YAY!
I'd aim for closer to 36' than 40'... since it will be easier to find a 36' boat in good condition than a 40' for your budget. Reserve at least 15-25% of the boat buying budget for refitting, upgrading and modifying whatever boat you buy. Read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started to help eliminate the turkeys.

Also, might want to read Liz Clark's blog. She's a surfer/sailor single-handing around the Pacific on a Cal 40, in search of the perfect wave...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Lots of good reading material guys... THANKS!!!!

Yeah, I am leaning a bit more towards the 36 range, I might have a co-pilot with me, if she is willing to take a year off from work and cruise.

So have you guys found things that you took with you, that you really didn't need?
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Things to take

The first thing I would pack is a series of well marked guidebooks, chosen from a huge stack you have read and thoroughly absorbed in the coming months. In terms of "gear", you can rent most nearly everything in the Virgin islands, save the obvious. If you scuba, you would be smart to take your own regulator, everything else can be rented. If you wear corrective lenses, please get yourself a snorkle mask with corrective lenses in. Having sharp vision while in the water immeasurably increases your pleasure. Take a sun tan with you. Three weeks before leaving, buy a packge of tanning sessions in the local salon. Beats the heck out of dealing with a sun burn the first week underway. Pack a light weight set of foul weather gear. You are going to the tropics, where it is warm, but sooner or later you will get caught out in a rain shower, a long way from harbor. Getting soaked, and wet when the wind is blowing will lead to hypothermia faster than you think. A bunch of disposable underwater cameras. Hard to find in the islands.
Where to buy the boat is worth discussing. Many will suggest you buy in the islands, and there certainly are lots to choose from there. However having done the Chesapeake Bay/Virgin Islands run up and down a couple of times, I advocate trying to find a boat up here, and sailing it down. The trip through the inland waterway is wonderful. The trip through the Bahamas is fantastic. etc. You can do it singlehandled safely if you plan carefully, though it is more fun with companions. You can do nearly every leg without sleep if you plan, and time departures appropriately.
Get a small ditty bag, and start putting lengths of small line, and string into it, and some smal shock cords. Every boat will have the necessary proper lines, but very few will have that piece of twine you need to tie back a curtain, or close a package, etc.
Think about getiing a piece of cancas about 4x5 feet, and putting grommets in each corner, maybe a few more. Very often yu will be at anchor, having a sundowner, and the sun will be glaring directly into your eyes. Hang the canvas up as a sunshade, and life is much better.
I watched a charter skipper leave on a ten day charter with my sister and her family. His luggage was the size of a dopp kit. Had a different colored swimming suit for every day, and a toothbrush. He borrowed toothpaste. Was bearded. According to all reports he and the trip were a blast! Read the charter websites, which all say you will bring too much. True.
Others will be practical, but I have listed some of the stuff no one thinks about, and which have made a big difference on some of my trips.
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Quote:
Think about getiing a piece of cancas about 4x5 feet, and putting grommets in each corner, maybe a few more.
Thats a GREAT idea... thanks!!!

As for the scuba items, I am a Dive Master, so I am pretty sure I will take my own gear, plus I have my own underwater camera so that will come along as well. Actually, I have been thinking I might do a little work as a DM while I am traveling around... help pay a little towards the trip and get to dive for free.

STrange thing I was thinking about was batteries?? Are the really expensive in the islands and is it worth the space and weight to take my own supply for a year?

Last edited by riversandbar; 02-10-2011 at 07:14 AM.
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Yes, if you need AA batteries, stock up on the lithium Energizers. Vacuum pack them using a vacuum sealer and stash them away. They have a 10 year shelf life and are lighter and longer lasting than alkalines.
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Originally Posted by riversandbar View Post
Thats a GREAT idea... thanks!!!

As for the scuba items, I am a Dive Master, so I am pretty sure I will take my own gear, plus I have my own underwater camera so that will come along as well. Actually, I have been thinking I might do a little work as a DM while I am traveling around... help pay a little towards the trip and get to dive for free.

STrange thing I was thinking about was batteries?? Are the really expensive in the islands and is it worth the space and weight to take my own supply for a year?
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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