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bobthornberry 02-15-2011 02:44 PM

Mexico Sailing
I am new to your foru, but am enjoying it very much.
Two Questions:
1.) I have an opportunity to purchase a 30' Wharram catamaran that is on the hard in Hualutco, Mexico now. I am considering sailing it down the coast, transit the canal. What is the current status of safety issues in Mexican waters given the drug problems?
2.) What are my options after leaving the canal to sail to Houston given the trade winds / currents in that area?
Thanks very much!

sailingdog 02-15-2011 03:03 PM

IIRC, the real danger areas in Mexico currently are near the US border. You might want to check the US State Department travel advisories though.

I would be a bit leery of traveling to buy a boat unseen and then voyaging in it without doing a proper shakedown and such. This is especially true of a decades old catamaran which was very likely home-built with less than proper materials. The multihull building craze from the 1960s/1970s had a produced a lot of very low quality, poorly built boats that gave multihulls a bad name for a long time.

BTW, which model Wharram catamaran is it?

mdbee 02-15-2011 03:42 PM

I wouldn't set foot over the border.

Justice in Mexico


SlowButSteady 02-15-2011 04:13 PM

You might want to poke around the Latitude38 website and look for letters, editorials, et cetera, about sailing in Mexican waters. In general, they are big fans of Mexican sailing.

YeahJohn 02-15-2011 05:41 PM

Mexico is kind of like the wild west but the bad guys have ak-47's. I travel baja a bunch. Surfing and fishing. Most problems I have encountered have been with the army and not drug lords. Especially on the water. The military has a coastal presence on the water and the shoreline, even in remote areas, so make sure you have all of the appropriate paper work. We have been approached on the water twice, both times it was not a problem. Mexico is also trying very hard to make tourism easy so you may have better luck traveling now. If you keep smart travel rules in mind you should be fine, then again you will meet people while in Mexico who break all the rules and they survive. Why would you buy in Mexico and not the states...? Seems like a productions (or is that what you are looking for?).

seafrontiersman 03-13-2011 10:17 AM

I'm taking a cargo from Galveston to Tampico, Mexico tomorrow. Does anyone have any good information about the town itself? Specifically, I want to let the guys have a run ashore (maybe me too) and I want to keep them safe but also let them blow off a little steam.

Where are the good bars?
Which restauraunts are good?
What can be bought cheaply?
Where SHOULDN'T we go? (Yes, I know Mexico has violence problems so the guy who says "I wouldn't set foot in..... can just save his time, the boys wouldn't have it!)

Any good advice would be most appreciated.


Yorksailor 03-13-2011 10:28 AM

We have found the Caribbean/Gulf coast of Mexico to be the safest place we have been in the Caribbean.


TQA 03-13-2011 02:35 PM

I would dismantle it and truck it.

Easier, quicker, safer and almost certainly cheaper.

I have not made the trip from Panama to the Gukf coast but did research the trip from The Rio Dulce to Florida and I don't think I would fancy trying either in 30 foot Wharram esp if you were relying on an outboard as your aux. power.

EricinToronto 03-14-2011 08:04 PM

I think it's a bit much to say you wouldn't set foot in Mexico - that's a bit paranoid. There are a few towns, most near the US border, that I wouldn't visit in a fit. They are out of control with violent crime, for sure.

But south of the border things are a lot better. I just got back from three weeks travelling (by bus, alas, not boat) the Pacific coast around Puerto Vallarta, and travelled inland to Guadalajara. Felt totally safe. I have travelled for weeks at a time through Mexico several times in the past three years and I've always felt fine.

To be perfectly honest, I saw much more gun violence and felt less safe on my trips to Washington, DC. (I still like the city, it just has gun problems)

As to how adviseable it is to buy an ageing catamaran and sail it home, I have no experience in that area. Oaxaca, where you are going, it totally beautiful, though, and would be a lovely place to sail.

Boatsmith 04-11-2011 02:53 PM

Hi Bob, What happened with the Tiki 30 in Mexico? David

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