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Old 01-30-2012
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Sailing To The Galapagos Islands

Hello everyone I'm looking for a lot of advice on the feasibility of something like this:

I used to be a small sailboat racer for nearly ten years and did very well back in the day sailing optimists, lasers and other small two handed sailboats. I have some 'big-boat' experience, however not that much.

I am looking into the possibility of sailing from the Californian coast down to the Galapagos islands, spending some time down there and then returning back home and maybe making a stop along the way such as in Cabo, Mexico as this seems to be my dream vacation as far as I can think of.

It would be me and a friend doing all of this. I don't have a budget laid out for this yet, but I would imagine I'd like to spend around $25k buying a used sailboat and then some more cash for supplies that I would imagine that I would need for a trip like this.

Is this reasonable? Do I need to spend more/less on the sailboat? What are the big things I would need to learn and have to be able to complete something like this?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-30-2012
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25K it all depends on how small and how much risk your happy with as to saftey stufff
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Old 01-30-2012
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It is doable. With that sort of budget the boat will be quite small (25-30 feet) and basic. You would have to decide if the comfort/money ratio makes sense for you. It is a long way and, to my mind, it would make sense visit more places along the coast of the Americas on the way (as far as mainland Ecuador).

Check the restrictions for where you can go in Ecuador and how long you want to stay. Considering it is your 'destination' you would want to get more than the standard clearance which gives you a maximum of 20 days in one of two harbors. You can get an 'autografo' which lets you visit 4 or 5 spots over a longer period of time. Takes longer to arrange and costs more.

If your goal is to only visit the Galapagos I would be inclined to look at crewing opportunities, perhaps starting in Panama City or perhaps Mexico. Would be much cheaper and easier - or take an airplane.
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Old 01-30-2012
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Considering that latest reported clearance fees on noonsite are equivalent to ~1.5% of your total budget...I'd strongly evaluate the Galapagos on your own boat.. That doesn't even factor in boat purchasing costs, making boat ready for bluewater sailing, provisioniong for the trip and then getting back!

You should look into boats looking for crew
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Old 01-30-2012
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When I was doing a search for used sailboats I saw a few decent looking 34ft boats for 25k. The budget (for the sailboat alone) could be higher... 40k+ if its well justified that's what I'm asking for help with

Last edited by Galapagos1; 01-30-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 01-30-2012
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As somebody who plans on cruising south from California in the future, I can tell you it's doable, but I don't think you have the budget.

If your budget is $25k for the boat, figure you could spend $10-15k on the boat, leaving you $10k to prep it for the trip.

A boat in that price range is not a blue water boat, so you're going to have to coastal cruise down, then cross over and hope the weather doesn't get you.

For your actual "cruising budget" you'd need to research the various stops you want to make along the way, to figure out what you'll be paying in fees, Ecuador is EXPENSIVE to cruise in, but figure you'll be paying every time you clear in and clear out of each country along the way. Consider additional costs for food, fuel, water, etc. Then you need an emergency fund, to fix things that break that you didn't plan for.
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Old 01-30-2012
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It depends on the boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by n0w0rries View Post
As somebody who plans on cruising south from California in the future, I can tell you it's doable, but I don't think you have the budget.

If your budget is $25k for the boat, figure you could spend $10-15k on the boat, leaving you $10k to prep it for the trip.

A boat in that price range is not a blue water boat, so you're going to have to coastal cruise down, then cross over and hope the weather doesn't get you.

For your actual "cruising budget" you'd need to research the various stops you want to make along the way, to figure out what you'll be paying in fees, Ecuador is EXPENSIVE to cruise in, but figure you'll be paying every time you clear in and clear out of each country along the way. Consider additional costs for food, fuel, water, etc. Then you need an emergency fund, to fix things that break that you didn't plan for.
When I said it depends on the boat I meant it. Lets assume that you get a Vega 27 which is a very solid boat and more than adequate for the trip. On Yachtworld the asking prices seem to be $12 to $15k, so lets say you spent $12k on the purchase. There is no way you could spend another $13k on the upgrades unless a) you bought the wrong one and it is a piece of crap or b) you got all silly on upgrades (eg watermakers and the like). So, let's imagine $8 for upgrades which is generous, that means you have spent $20k. The other five can go for cruising expenses.

Ecuador is not that expensive to visit. The bureacracy is a pain and a bit pricey, but food, for example is great and incredibly cheap. Mexico and the other Central American countries are cheap from what people have told me, Panama is certainly cheap and a great place to provision (beer and good rum about $8 with being comparable). Other than the fees to be paid in the Galapagos it is not too bad assuming you are not doing much provisioning there (ie loaded up in cheaper places).

I don't see any problem in doing the trip following this sort of scenario. If you really insist on something in the the 34' range it becomes much more problematic and I don't see the budget stretching that far.
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Back in the water in Grenada - with new main and #2 and cockpit canvas (Santa came early). Will spend the winter and early spring in the Caribbean and then head to Bermuda and the northeast US. Still trying to decide if we will bring the boat to Canada, either in 2015 or 2016.
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Old 01-30-2012
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To be clear, I was budgeting (and just totally throwing this # out there on a whim) $25k just for the boat purchase, not counting any other expenses. And the 'just the boat' budget could be higher... 40k+ like I said earlier, whatever you all deem good for blue water sailing for two people because I'd like to be able to sail for extended periods off the coast.

I'm setting aside roughly 15k for travel expenses on top of everything else which I imagine would be sufficient... and hopefully also cover repairs if this is an issue at some point which only seems possible.
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Re: Sailing To The Galapagos Islands

Your budget plans sounded solid. Did you ever make the trip?
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