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post #1 of 36 Old 07-20-2017 Thread Starter
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To voyage or not?

For years I entertained the idea of sailing Shiva to the Caribbean (Antigua) and leaving her there for the winter instead of in water storage in Long Island Sound. Storage means a lot of prep, expense and projects. I am pretty much at the boat year round for one thing or another.

Getting her down to the Caribbean is a big expense... inspecting the raft, renewing the flares, batteries, adding the AIS, spare pumps and so on. I am sure it's more than the cost of in water storage. And then there's the air fare...provisions and paying someone to look after the boat down there.

But with the boat down in the Islands we could fly down for a few nice sailing vacations and sail our own boat and not pay for a vanilla charter boat. For us it's a lot about OUR boat and less about just "sailing" any old boat.

I can't decide whether this makes sense... or if it's a lot of work and money for a few weeks of sailing down there... which undoubtedly will be glorious. The passage is something I've done many times and not something I especially love.... it's more cruising about the islands. Paying a skipper / crew to deliver the boat is another option... expensive and there are elements of trust.

I have the time as I am self unemployed and can work from the boat if there is internet access.... so I have the time... And I am not getting any younger. I feel if I am going to do this it's like now or never.

What say you... to voyage or not?
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post #2 of 36 Old 07-20-2017
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Re: To voyage or not?

I've done the same mental and mathematical calcs. It's not worth it for me, unless I get to the point that I can spend at least 6 weeks there and that's truly the minimum. As for cost, I can rent my exact hull, if not fully fitted out like ours, for an entire month for what it would cost to have her delivered and brought back. That doesn't consider the local costs you mention, let along the extreme wear and tear of being exposed 12 months per year.

I will do this eventually, but not until I can stay as long as I like. For now, bare boating is pretty good.

p.s. self unemployed is funny


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Re: To voyage or not?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I've done the same mental and mathematical calcs. It's not worth it for me, unless I get to the point that I can spend at least 6 weeks there and that's truly the minimum. As for cost, I can rent my exact hull, if not fully fitted out like ours, for an entire month for what it would cost to have her delivered and brought back. That doesn't consider the local costs you mention, let along the extreme wear and tear of being exposed 12 months per year.

I will do this eventually, but not until I can stay as long as I like. For now, bare boating is pretty good.

p.s. self unemployed is funny
I have lived down there on my boat for 3 years... so it's not new to me... and I likely have the time... the wife still works unless she retires and she can if she wants...

Up here in the winter is boring and I pine for the Caribe... I could do months down there... wife less so... friends could also come for a few weeks at a time... a lovely vacation for them.... beats a weekend in LIS.

For me it's now or never AND I need a good crew and won't do it short handed as I did in the past... that would be stupid and exhausting. I think crew is not the issue... And of course spend all the money for offshore up grades for a single RT voyage???? I sold my water maker but won't buy a new one.
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Re: To voyage or not?

I'm in the middle of it right now. In regards to your first post - Not. Just fly down and charter.

In regards to your second post it sounds like you had a lot of reasoning you didn't put in the first post. So in that regard - enjoy the voyage.
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Re: To voyage or not?

Get on with it! Geez, you have to ask the question? Semi self unemployed? Beautiful! Your wife will give you a hall pass? Join you in de islands! Awesome. Some short term layup maintenance you'd be doing anyway? How many months of Sundays have you slaved over your boat? How many boat bucks going unused on yer stout little cruising machine? Not getting any younger are ye? Don't ya hate reading Smackdaddy's BFS thread and wishing it was you? Tired of reading Mark's adventures with a couple of Sheila's to the Azores? Bored to death of the 3000 a month thread....Common, gives us something to read about....


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Re: To voyage or not?

I'm thinking go for it. There is no way I would go to the cost and effort to maintain a 30 + foot cruising boat if I didn't have imminent plans of going some where.

For internet, you could look into installing some kind of satellite internet on the boat, it might be a pricey upgrade, but if it means staying in touch with clients from English Harbour rather than from a New York winter, it might be worth it. Also, do you have to bring the boat back in the spring? Why not leave it down there for 2 or 3 seasons. Buy a little day sailor to get your fix close to home in the summer while the big boats down south.
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Re: To voyage or not?

We've examined and reexamined this calculus for four years now. For us it still comes up as back and forth from leewards to New England.
1. Have family including very young grandchildren and infirm antecedents. We see them and deal with the various issues of the antecedents during hurricane season up here. Reality is rare visits from family while in Caribbean but frequent when north.
2. Maintenance is primarily done when north. I have the time and resources of my tools and contacts while up here. Exceptions are things outlawed or too expensive when north. If hiring labor I know my service vendors up north and assured of quality of work.
3. The New England coast is totally outstanding. Would greatly miss cruising here.
4. Best parts of cruising the Caribbean are the spots you can't go to on a charter boat. Either due to the inadequate ground tackle provided, charter company restrictions, or lack of time. We go east and west during the winter. We spend time at anchor depending on our RO for water and sun/wind for electricity. Often in one spot for a week or two while investigating that area or soaking up that culture.
5. Yacht management and lay up down south is chock full with its own set of stresses and expenses. To protect our considerable investment would need to remove and find secure storage for the valueables on the boat, find and pay for hurricane safe secure storage, protect from moisture damage with AC or dehumidifiers run on the boat at least periodically, periodic inspections by yacht management, protect from vermin and insects and lastly theft and vandalism. Expense at present exceeds that of passage. Have heard of too many horror stories of damage done during summer layups to do a southern layup half asssed. Wet storage is bad option. Once layed up the boat is gone from usaged for the summer.
6. Lastly I love my boat. I get physically ill if I don't get to sail. Don't want to go 4-5 months without her.

P.S. We currently take rare passages. From OPs description neither the OP nor I voyage:-).

s/v Hippocampus
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Last edited by outbound; 07-20-2017 at 09:47 AM.
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Re: To voyage or not?

Should mention passages give you great memories. Few things beat being alone on deck, outside helicopter range on a starry night with porpoises off your bow and a bone in the teeth of the boat.
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Re: To voyage or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
I have lived down there on my boat for 3 years... so it's not new to me... and I likely have the time... the wife still works unless she retires and she can if she wants...


For me it's now or never AND I need a good crew and won't do it short handed as I did in the past... that would be stupid and exhausting. I think crew is not the issue... And of course spend all the money for offshore up grades for a single RT voyage???? I sold my water maker but won't buy a new one.
Just lost my near complete post. Was brilliant too. Telling you you need a FAT KICK UP THE ASS!

Antigua is fun for 3 weeks per year but: no Supermarket, no chandler, no off season fun.

Get your boat to St Martin and get a GOOD mooring behind Witches Tit for H season and cruise where u want.
The biggest chndelries in the WORLD!
Best supermarkets in the Caribbean (New Carefour in SXM)
Cheapest flights to USA.

Lordy, boy, you could be splattered by a bus tomorrow. 10 years time you'll be a dribbling mess of incontinence!

Go NOW you slack bummed tosser!

Oh, and beer is cheap

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Re: To voyage or not?

I am definitely leaning toward doing this... But I also have to care for my sister as her health care proxy and POA as she has dementia... and on top of that only brother is in home hospice... Leaving them would be kinda selfish... On the other hand I need to escape that TOO.
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