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· Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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There are lots of boats that are better for really extended cruising. On the flip side they are likely not to be as comfortable for Eastern Caribbean cruising - smaller cockpits for example. Also budget comes into the discussion sooner than later.

If you are going to the Caribbean or southern US to shop you need to be prepared to wait if you do not find the boat you want - this means hotel and travel costs. Also, buying in the US gives you a huge selection of boats and good prices, but remember that getting to the Eastern Caribbean from the Chesapeake or Florida is not a trivial undertaking, especially with a boat that is new to you. Might make a lot of sense to make the first winter trip to the Bahamas. Then you can return easily to Florida to do the upgrades and changes you realize you need. You will be ready for the Caribbean next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks Killarney hadn't even considered that option but it makes lots of sense! We would still have a great time but also get used to the boat. Chrissie found that bringing the CAT back from Southern France was a bit difficult at times when work was needed mainly due to language barriers and a 'manjana' attitude, which we are thinking would not be the case in the States. Def will be exploring that option. Thanks.
 

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There are other things to consider that worked for us but obviously may be different for you.
We bought the boat in October and even with an excellent survey we still needed to make various changes to make the boat ready for world cruising as we did not know when we would be back.
We used the winter period in the UK to do this . Chandler's are cheaper there than the rest of Europe.
There are friends and family to say goodbye to as well.
It also gave us chance to become accustomed to our new boat/ home and get to know all the systems before setting out.

Don't under estimate the change from bricks and mortar and a working life to one aboard a boat. We have met many cruisers and can say from personal experience that the man will adapt quiet quickly but it is sometimes harder for the woman. They are leaving behind jobs, family, friends, the life they built behind and are alone again for the first time in a long time.
My wife had real problems to start with. Luckily Europe is easy for her to fly back to the UK so she always could do it if she felt the need. It really helped.

Now after three years she really does love the life and is so happy. She still misses friends and family but would not change for anything.
 
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