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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Med or Caribbean for 1st longterm cruising
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Thread: Med or Caribbean for 1st longterm cruising Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-07-2010 08:37 PM
victor1239 TQA: I am really partial to Beneteau but they dont seem to be highly rated as a Bluewater vessel. I basically need a 3 separate berth layout, about the 42 - 45 foot range. I do like the Moody and Northwinds. I believe there are many, many non offshore boats cruising in the Bahamas, but if we decide to continue on to other lands we will need something more substantial. I had a price of $80,000 - $100,000 in mind. I will then have enough to put another $20,000 or so in upgrades.

Two things will happen with the boat.
a. We will either be done with cruising after 2 years and sell the boat.
b. We will love the lifestyle and continue travelling, most likely to the Med. If the Med is ridiculous in pricing, it might be South Pacific.

Thanks for Daves name, I may contact him. I heard that Florida is full of boats but many in disrepair and basically abandoned. Is this the case with the Islands?
09-07-2010 08:11 PM
trisstan87 The Abaco's in the Bahamas. For a family cruise you can't afford to miss it. Man-O-War Cay in the Abaco's is actually renowned for their boat building, in case you had a taste for the custom =)
09-07-2010 08:04 PM
TQA WHOOPS When I ran my search again I only got 60 too in Trinidad.

I am just off a big boat hunt primarily in Florida but I nearly went to Trinidad to look at a cheap Freedom 44 that needs deck work but finished up buying a Bombay 44 out of the USVI through Maritime Yacht Sales. I can recommend Dave McCall as a good broker who made two trips over to Tortola where the boat was stored to take extra photos and patiently answered every question of mine.

I have just come down from the USVI to Grenada and there are lots of boats for sale in Martinique and Guadeloupe as people say. There is a list of brokers on the internet somewhere but some are not good at replying to english emails.

Do you know what size and type and general price range you are looking at.

What are you doing with the boat at the end of the cruise?
09-06-2010 07:21 PM
killarney_sailor There is a lot to see and do in the Bahamas but the winter weather is no where near as good as that further south. This was a particularly bad winter there as water did not warm up (one couple said they did not get into the water until April) and there were many cold fronts coming through. Further south, the only impact of the cold fronts was that the trades slowed down for a day or two (ie 10 knots instead of 20). If you have two years to spend you will be able to spend a lot of time in both the Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas (and places in between).

Particular faves for us were:
Bahamas -- Exuma Park, Staniel Cay (kids will love both Thunderball Cave and the swimming pigs), Georgetown for the family regatta but very crowded midseason, south of Georgetown it gets much less busy and we liked Long Island and Mayaguana
Elsewhere -- Puerto Rico (in general), BVI (beautiful but crowded), Montserrat (active volcano), Guadeloupe (especially Les Saintes), Martinique (St Pierre and Ste Anne), Grenadines, and especially Grenada.

There may be better places to buy a boat, check out BVI and USVI along with Martinique (reportedly there are something like 10 brokerages in Le Marin - how is your French). Be aware that there are issues associated with buying a European spec boat (eg 220v shore power setup (the wires are probably not big enough for 110v) and parts may be of very good quality but are brands not common in North America.

Have fun.
09-06-2010 06:19 PM
victor1239
Quote:
Originally Posted by catamariner View Post
Hi there, Victor!

So far you have some GREAT advice from both posters!

We are also in the Pacific NW (near Seattle). We just bought a bluewater boat that sat for more than a year without selling in Florida because the asking price was quite high for the year/make. We offered what we thought was reasonable and they accepted without a counteroffer. So I agree with Killarney Sailor, this is a good time to buy in the US. We're not out of the financial woods down here yet.

We are moving down to Florida to work on the boat at the end of this month, expect that to take at least six weeks, and then we'll probably spend a lot of time in the Bahamas. There were so many wonderful places the last time we went (in the early 90s), and some we wanted to explore but did not have time for. Our son is in the age range you specified, and this seems like the right time in his life to do this, also. It's something that should be a gift for his whole life; I know how strongly cruising the Caribbean affected the two of us the first time we did it (enough that we were determined to share it with him when he was old enough). And everywhere we went, especially cruising centers like Georgetown (not actually Caribbean, that :-), there were kids zipping around in dinghies and having volleyball games and visiting with each other. Take years, don't be rushed, and we will be looking forward to reading your adventures!

Just out of interest, what type of boat did you buy?
09-06-2010 06:17 PM
victor1239 WOW!! Thank you for the detailed and helpful responses, what a great resource of info!
Looks like the Caribbean is hands down less expensive and most likely a gentler way to ease into the cruising life.

Looks like the Bahamas is a pretty popular destination, do you get the persistent tradewinds at the Bahamas?

TQA: Where is a good place to find the boats in Trinidad, I tried Yachtworld but only came up with about 60. Is there a better site?

Killarney: Good site, OnAinia.blogspot.com


Thanks again for all the posters, probably give me a few more weeks of research!
09-06-2010 02:25 PM
AlanGSYS I recently sold an Island Packet for a client here in Florida. (I am a boat broker.) I got to know them fairly well. Nice folks. They spent 7 years cruising and decided it was time for a change. Over cocktails I asked them to tell me a bit about their trip. Short story--they spent four years in the Bahamas and three in the Caribbean. They said that if they had to do it over again, they would have spent all seven in the Bahamas. There was so much to do and see and they enjoyed the Bahamas and the Bahamians more than anywhere in the Caribbean and after four years they felt they had only begun to get familiar with them. After spending a month there myself this past spring I can tell you that my month off was not anywhere near enough time. But this work thing keeps getting in the way of my sailing thing.
Buy a boat in Florida where the supply is good, the prices are still attractive, and there is a tremendous amount of local talent and equipment available at good prices so you can prepare your boat for the big cruise. Watch the weather and head south for the hurricane season and you can always lay up in Trinidad which has good services and storage.
09-06-2010 01:48 PM
trisstan87 The Caribbean of course! Not only is it much cheaper, but the culture is much more vibrant and open to passing through tourist. You have so many activities you can do in the islands for free that would cost you more than a few pretty pennies in the med. Anchorages were a good point, still many places in the Caribbean that are free. Of course, if you do go to the Caribbean try to stay out of the major areas as they WILL find ways to get as much or your money as they can.
If you do decide to go to the Caribbean, visit the out islands. It will be like taking a trip back in time.
09-06-2010 12:08 AM
catamariner Hi there, Victor!

So far you have some GREAT advice from both posters!

We are also in the Pacific NW (near Seattle). We just bought a bluewater boat that sat for more than a year without selling in Florida because the asking price was quite high for the year/make. We offered what we thought was reasonable and they accepted without a counteroffer. So I agree with Killarney Sailor, this is a good time to buy in the US. We're not out of the financial woods down here yet.

We are moving down to Florida to work on the boat at the end of this month, expect that to take at least six weeks, and then we'll probably spend a lot of time in the Bahamas. There were so many wonderful places the last time we went (in the early 90s), and some we wanted to explore but did not have time for. Our son is in the age range you specified, and this seems like the right time in his life to do this, also. It's something that should be a gift for his whole life; I know how strongly cruising the Caribbean affected the two of us the first time we did it (enough that we were determined to share it with him when he was old enough). And everywhere we went, especially cruising centers like Georgetown (not actually Caribbean, that :-), there were kids zipping around in dinghies and having volleyball games and visiting with each other. Take years, don't be rushed, and we will be looking forward to reading your adventures!
09-05-2010 05:50 PM
killarney_sailor
Not all boat buying regions are equal

I would agree on the Caribbean. We left North America (we are Canadian and bought our boat in the US) with the intention of going to the Eastern Caribbean for the winter and Europe this summer but were dissuaded by the many Europeans we met who complained about the coast of cruising in Europe.. The Western Med is particularly bad - apparently there is no where to anchor in Mediterranean Spain and docks are 40 to 60 euros a night - way out of our budget.

Another consideration is where it is best to get a boat. Prices are much better In fact, many Europeans (and Canadians) go to the US to buy because the selection is great and costs now excellent. If you bought a boat on the east coast of the US it would be too much of a rush to go the Eastern Caribbean (via the Thorny Path) and back in one season. Better to take your time and spend the summer in Grenada. If a hurricane is coming it is not too hard to nip south to Trinidad or Venezuela if you have to (unlikely to happen but possible). If you go offshore to the Virgin Islands from the US it can be done in one year but you would want to really get your boat sorted out first - it is 1500 nm from the Chesapeake in November so not to be taken lightly.
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