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  #1  
Old 02-22-2013
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Retirement

My wife and I have decieded to "up sticks" and move the boat to the Caribbean where, inspired by similar stories we want to live out the rest of our lives. " questions:
Is This feasible?

What; assuming the answer to the above is yes, do I have to prepare for.

I know nothing about the area but would love to give this a go. At my age, the bucket list starts to stare you in the face and calling you names!!
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Retirement

Welcome aboard SP.

Since you say "move the boat", what do you have? Are both you and your wife experienced sailors and have you lived aboard for any length of time before?

It's a bit hard to say that you will like to "live out the rest of our lives" in the Caribbean, if you "know nothing about the area".

It's beautiful for sure, but its huge and diverse. There are big differences and costs from one island to the next and, except any territory of your native country, you will have to deal with and pay for visitors visas.

Is it feasible? Sure.

Realistic? Depends on a lot of stuff you haven't revealed yet. We look forward to hearing more.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Retirement

OK, thanks for a very prompt reply I'll take the questions in the same order.

Boat: Currently Hunter 41DS. Seriously considering Beneteau Sense 50.

Reasonably experienced sailors altho my wife is very reluctant to do night watches on her own.

Have not "lived" aboard. Max time at any one time 2 weeks.

Know nothing about the area, just need to be nearer the US and family all of whom live there.

I know it's a dream but unless you give it a go, you'll never know and I don't want to go to my grave saying "...if only"
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Old 02-22-2013
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Good luck with your planning and your retirement. Before deciding to go to the Caribbean you need to do a lot more research and probably should think about going for a winter season to see how you like it. I will start you off with a few things to consider.

There is the whole question of hurricane season - roughly June to October. Most, but certainly not all, cruisers try to out of the Caribbean for this time (it is also very hot). People tend to go at least as far south as Grenada and many will have their boats hauled and return to their home countries for several months.

There are fascinating cultural differences to enjoy with islands having English, French, Spanish, and Dutch backgrounds. In the Eastern Caribbean most islands are a daysail apart.

Some cruisers move around a lot while others stay put, you will discover which you are.

We are monohull sailors but could see the advantages of a cat for Caribbean cruising/living.

When thinking about getting to the Caribbean and moving around while there it is all about wind direction. The trades will be both your best friend and worst enemy.

Have fun.
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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 02-22-2013
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Re: Retirement

Good input from Killarney, who is halfway around a circumnavigation so knows a bit about this.

It sounds like the sailing part is reasonable and even two straight weeks is enough to have some idea what would be getting into. We have many first time posters who have never been on a sailboat and plan to set off on incredible adventures. Glad to see you're more grounded.

You nationality is going to have some impact on what will be easiest for you and what it will cost. Before I set off on anything permanent, why don't you take a holiday and rent a bareboat somewhere to see what its all about. You just can't lose.
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Re: Retirement

Just remember, most of the year, the wind in the Carib is honking with limited # of anchorages available. Better like mooring fields and/or marinas!
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Retirement

Have the same dream and working it through. Selling current boat and new boat comes in April. Have gone down to Carribean looking at various islands to "home port". ( just got back from USVIs- sailed with a liveaboard couple on a Skye 51 for a day and learned some). Have worked through budget/insurance/mail/residency/taxes/communications/legal etc. Selling house but buying small pied a terre in states so still have a "home" on land. Still working out options for hurricane season. Only advise is go step wise if you can and listen closely to folks who are already "living the dream". Look at your next boat as the boat you BOTH can single in any weather and you can sail when you are 80. Think if you are going to go coastal then Bahamas then eastern carib. or ARC to BVIs or the ditch or one shot to Carib. Think if you may ever want to do the pond or other blue water. Every time you buy and sell a boat it's a PIA and from what you say like me this is your "last boat". Best of luck.
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Old 02-23-2013
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Re: Retirement

Thank you all and so good to read nothing but positive comments:

So here's the plan. Spend at least one winter bareboat chartering in the Caribbean, try to figure it out and get legals etc. sorted.

We are a British couple and my daughter is going to sponsor us into the US, got that figured.

The issue now is do I buy my next boat in the US and try to sell my current one here (French Mediterranean) or do what Ancasta have suggested buy the boat in the UK with mine as a PX and then sail the new one across the pond with one of the rallies; target date Christmas 2014. Only I can figure that one. Thinking of the Beneteau Sense 50 with Dock 'n Go. Lots of room, simple to sail, not too big, comfortable with roller reefing to the main. My Hunter gonna be an issue with the mainsail in my dotage, my wife already needs an electric winch to get the main up.

So thanks again for the encouragement a great project for us let's hope the house sells quickly. Anyone want a beautiful home in France? Just a thought
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Old 02-23-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Just remember, most of the year, the wind in the Carib is honking with limited # of anchorages available. Better like mooring fields and/or marinas!
It was not our impression that there were a limited number of anchorages in most of the Eastern Caribbean. Since the winds are so consistent there are lots of spots on the leeward sides of the islands. The obvious exception is the BVI which is a victim of its own success. It is pretty crowded and moorings now fill some (many) of the best anchorages. In some places like parts of the USVI, moorings have been installed to protect the coral. These are relatively inexpensive compared to BVI which are really expensive. When we go through the Eastern Caribbean next year we are just going to skip the BVI. There are not a huge number of marinas considering how many boats there are. You rarely see 'ordinary' sailboats in marinas. We never spent a night in a marina anywhere in the Caribbean.

The OP is from Britain. He is likely used to honking winds ... and they won't be warm like in the Caribbean. You can pick your windows and rarely have more than 25 knots and you will be reaching. Generally great sailing, although Bequia to St Vincent (8 miles) was quite miserable.
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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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Re: Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
It was not our impression that there were a limited number of anchorages in most of the Eastern Caribbean. Since the winds are so consistent there are lots of spots on the leeward sides of the islands. The obvious exception is the BVI which is a victim of its own success. It is pretty crowded and moorings now fill some (many) of the best anchorages. In some places like parts of the USVI, moorings have been installed to protect the coral. These are relatively inexpensive compared to BVI which are really expensive. When we go through the Eastern Caribbean next year we are just going to skip the BVI. There are not a huge number of marinas considering how many boats there are. You rarely see 'ordinary' sailboats in marinas. We never spent a night in a marina anywhere in the Caribbean.

The OP is from Britain. He is likely used to honking winds ... and they won't be warm like in the Caribbean. You can pick your windows and rarely have more than 25 knots and you will be reaching. Generally great sailing, although Bequia to St Vincent (8 miles) was quite miserable.
Person after person I've spoken to has said that the Bahamas and much of the Caribbean are really losing a lot of anchorages. The developments have resumed in some islands and what were previously open anchorages...are frowned upon. Honking winds are fine for a day sail, but really grate at your nerves in an anchorage when you face 3-4 days in a rolly anchorage.

I'm just trying to highlight that Caribbean sailing/cruising is going to involve more time spent in marinas than you'd imagine.
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