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post #11 of 41 Old 09-21-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

You can go most places in the Bahamas drawing 5 ft and anything shallower might not be much fun on the off-shore portions of the trip.

If you sit on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal you see small boats getting ready to cross the Pacific that cost less than $8K

ps my liferaft cost $8K

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post #12 of 41 Old 09-21-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

Originally Posted by gtsail View Post

Do you have any actual advice for me on the topic of specific boats, equipment, things to look for, etc? If so, please do share. I'm not being snarky, I would really like to hear your advice other than telling me it's going to cost more than I think. Thanks.
How long is a piece of string? Hundreds of boats that fit the bill. All kinds of outfitting options as well. Read a bit more here for an extended period of time. It won't be summarized in a few paragraphs either.

At the end it will come down to the man. Lots O dreamers here.

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post #13 of 41 Old 09-21-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

If it were me looking at the list you provided and doing a quick scour of YW - I'd focus on Pearsons and Ericsons...and find the best and biggest one of those I could. I'm a Hunter owner and advocate, but not in that price range (size/age/condition).

For example, this Pearson 36 sounds like it needs a lot of interior work but at under $10K might be worth the pain if the rigging, engine, electrics, etc. are good.

She's pretty amazing outside.

That said, you definitely should be ready to spend a good amount of money after purchase bringing whatever boat you buy up to standards. You can read a bit about our experience on that here:

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post #14 of 41 Old 09-21-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

I'd add the Morgan Out Island 33 to your list....stout, comfortable, built for the area you want to sail.

Here's an example - a bit out of your stated price range, but there's always room to negotiate. I have no interest in this boat, just using it as a for instance.....

1975 Morgan 33 Sail Boat For Sale -

S/V Everlasting Moon
1981 Endeavour 32

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post #15 of 41 Old 09-21-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

I'd strongly advise you to stay away from Ericsons. You definitely don't want one of those.

Mostly, because if and when we outgrow our Pearson 26, we'll probably get an Ericson and I want plenty to choose from. .... don't want an Ericson......
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post #16 of 41 Old 09-22-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

In my opinion, you are asking the wrong question. You might get more helpful answers if you describe what you intend to do with your boat, then list design features and accessories that you consider necessary, those that you consider desirable, as well as lists of undesirable features and unacceptable features. That way, you'll indicate what level of thought that you have given to this endeavor and what level of advice you are seeking. Then, ask experienced Bahamas and Caribbean cruisers what features and accessories that are not on your list, but you should be considered.

After you have a comprehensive list, prioritize it for yourself. When you are actually ready to buy, look at the boats that are for sale at the time, then buy the one that closest meets your prioritized list.
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post #17 of 41 Old 09-22-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

The sailboat market in Florida has pretty much collapsed for boats 32 feet and under - you just need to be here with cash in hand - although a lot of boats were lost in Irma - lots still out there - $8K is pretty low for a ready to go boat - what you will mostly find for that amount are boats that have not been used the last several years - it will take some knowledge to know which ones can be ready to go for little and which ones are dark holes that you will throw money down.

There is a Pearson 33 in Ft Myers for $6500 or best offer that looks in good shape - nothing beats feet on the ground - I would get to Florida to do the looking, checking them out on the internet is fine - but many are not as described - the serious looking has to be done in person.
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post #18 of 41 Old 09-22-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

Still depends on whether or not you are going to be at anchor or tied to a dock. At a marina where you can use facilities or on a ball where you need a shower and much more water. I plan on doing that trip on my Chrysler 26 which I rigged for just myself. Totally electric, with solar and a backup generator. Not a lot of room but, plenty for myself. I like the 3/4 keel with the added benefit of a swing keel. I'd also look at the Irwin 37 Center cockpit. You can find them for less. Major room aboard. Made for liveaboard more than for sailing, but you spend 80% of the time anchored or tied. Watch "Sailing Uma" you do not need a fancy, shiny, got everything boat to do this. You need a solid boat that floats with great rigging.
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post #19 of 41 Old 09-22-2017
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Re: Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

Forget the manufacturer or model. Instead look for

New or recent standing rigging and sails in reasonable condition.

A working diesel that starts easily and does does not smoke heavily.

Water and fuel tanks that do not leak and are in good order. Be wary of anything built in the far East with black iron tanks.

You also want autopilot, fridge, solar panels tender + outboard,

Check for any major structural defects eg hull to deck separation which is a known issue on some Morgans.

Don't worry about cosmetics minor hull damage the odd small soft spot on the deck
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post #20 of 41 Old 09-22-2017
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Best sub $8k boat for bahamas and caribbean?

Originally Posted by gtsail View Post
It's currently in Lake Michigan, and I decided against sailing down south or trucking it there. So I'm looking to buy something in FL instead, and thought I'd see what else is out there.

The fresh water boats on Lake Michigan, that are stored from October to May, are likely to be in better shape than boats of the same age in Florida.

Of course, how well they were or were not maintained is a big factor

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Last edited by timangiel; 09-22-2017 at 08:48 PM.
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