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Discussion Starter #1
My family and I are selling our house in Seattle and plan to buy a boat next fall in the Caribbean for a one (or a bit more) year adventure. We have sailed our boat in the PNW for a few years but never for more than 3 weeks. We are used to "roughing" it in our smallish C&C 29. We have a few questions for anyone who has done anything similar:
Would you attempt a one year cruise w/ 3 kids with out a water maker? We will generally avoid marinas and the big $ items.
Anyone suggest a broker?
I tend to want a 3 cabin 40' but my wife is sold on 43' with 4cabin Pullman births. Suggestions? I am generally of the small/less is better approach to boats. But I have never spent a year aboard with 3 kids.
Used charter or well loved older cruiser? Some of the used charter boats are tempting but lack many of the things we will need for extended cruising (solar, water maker, beefy ground tackle, tender) but have pluses that and older cruiser does not have (modern layout, low engine hours, some newer systems).



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Discussion Starter #2
And I meant to say thanks for any advice/ideas you all have!


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I tend to want a 3 cabin 40' but my wife is sold on 43' with 4cabin Pullman births.
Sounds like a couple of specific boats in mind here? What's your boat budget? How old are the kids? Teens take as much or more space as adults. If you want to avoid a water maker then plenty of water tankage would be advised.. I think the water in the Carib is relatively good, unlike Mexico in places, but availability/access can be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Kids are 7,7,10. Budget is 175k (with spares, dink, yada, yada). I like B oceanis 40 or jeaneau sun oddessey 40. I see boats that have been cruising and already have all the gear....tempting... but with more engine hours and wear.


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You might look in Grenada. Many Europeans who bring their boats over to cruise the Caribbean store them ashore in Grenada. The typical use pattern is to have the boat commissioned after the hurricane season, sail north to say Antigua, have the grandchildren aboard during the Christmas recess, and sail back to Grenada where they have the boat put up on the hard for the summer. I just saw a well equipped 41' Dufour listed for $99K; the listing asserted that the boat was used 4-6 weeks per year.

Friends sold a nice boat at a distressed price in Grenada when health problems forced them to give up cruising.
 

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Friends of ours got a screaming deal on a new (dealer demo) Bene in Guadeloupe. They are on their 12th season wintering aboard and spending summers back in BC.
 

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For a year of family cruising in El Caribe I'd buy an ex-charter boat that had been freshened up - it's what they were designed & built for.

You are unlikely to find anything that is exactly what you want, so getting an appropriate base boat and tailoring it to your needs is the best way of fulfilling your wish list.

4 cabins in a 40' will make things very tight. We had a 4 cabin 47' and it was compromised & tight to squeeze in the over & under pullman forward.
 

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Bigger is better.

As for the water maker you do have three small slaves to hump gerry jugs. Can a 7 year lift 5gals/20 litres of water? Better start them at a gym right now.

A water maker would be nice but its not essential. Kids can swim in the caribbean each and every day. Use spray bottles and pipe salt water into the sink with an electric pump and your water usage will be negligible.

:)


Mark
PS always buy the boat your wife selects ;)
 

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I am buying a 40 foot Oceanis right now that was an ex moorings boat. The family I am buying it from did exactly what you are talking about. They are from Europe and bought it last year with the intention of cruising for a year and reselling the boat. They purchased it through BVI Yacht Sales from the Moorings Fleet. I have the survey from their purchase and the phase out from moorings was very thorough. They fixed all the items the surveyor found. Then they added solar and a new dink and went cruising.

As for brokers down here I would call Clive at BVI Yacht Sales. At your budget you will be fine. You can buy a forty footer in the low 100's get a five year old boat, add the solar, don't bother with the water maker, get some Jerry cans for water, and buy a decent dinghy and outboard. An AB ultra light aluminum hull and a Yamaha 2 stroke outboard would be my first choice. Both available on Tortola. Splurge on new on these items they will be your car and will add value when you resell the boat.

Jay
 

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Jay--I have heard that right now is when I should be making moves to purchase and then put on the hard....that the market favors buyers as the hurricane season approaches. Dose this follow with your experience? I have never looked at boats sold in the Caribbean until a month ago so I have no frame of ref. we had planed to buy in Florida until recently.


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Discussion Starter #11
Mark--good to know about water. My sense was that we could do fine without one and that they are for people that need a 20min shower everyday (not us). But I was concerned with hearing that water in some places was as scarce and expensive as diesel.


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But I was concerned with hearing that water in some places was as scarce and expensive as diesel.
The cost of water is not too bad except for the Bahamas:
All in US$
Bahamas 50 c per gallon (but free in Georgetown by gerry)
Caribbean aprox 11 cents per gal
Galapagos $2 per 20 litres
Indonesia $16 for 600 litres
Thailand $2 for 20 litres plus cost of long tail boat to deliver ($10???)
I have forgotten everywhere else.

So its not too bad. I certainly do conserve, though.
Many people with good catchment systems go for ages before needing to fill.
 

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Jay--I have heard that right now is when I should be making moves to purchase and then put on the hard....that the market favors buyers as the hurricane season approaches. Dose this follow with your experience? I have never looked at boats sold in the Caribbean until a month ago so I have no frame of ref. we had planed to buy in Florida until recently.


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Yes Moorings/Sunsail in particular have a large number of boats leaving their fleets at the end of June/July. I am buying a boat that left last year but I looked at several 2010's at the Moorings base with Clive. The owners of the boats coming out of charter in the next few months are used to having charter revenue, they will now have insurance, dockage, storage etc to pay and no money coming in. There will be deals to be had. I didn't look at the 43 as it was out of my range. But I did look at the 40's and the Jeaneau 39 it was way smaller inside. I also looked at an older 393 but it needed to much work it had been in footloose for a few years after leaving Sunsail. I would be looking at the five year old stuff coming out. Also if they haven't sold it yet BVI Yacht sales has a very well equipped 39 Cyclades that is one of the cleanest boats that I have ever seen. It's under $90000 and I was very tempted but ultimately I like the 40's layout a little better and it was a couple years newer.
Jay
 

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You might look at a Bene 50/Moorings 505 there are a LOT of these just coming out of charter or on offer. They were the top of the line until everyone jumped on the catamaran band wagon. http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1995/Beneteau-510-2159222/Road-Town%2C-Tortola/British-Virgin-Islands#.Uznm3fldVic That one has 280 galls water. Fit a decent arch/davits 400 + watts of solar. Rib and 20 hp and you are good to go.

Trinidad has the best facilities for getting stuff done and Dynamite brokerage will usually know what is on offer.

But most places can do the run of the mill stuff except maybe Dominica.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Vtsailguy. I have read some of your blog. Very cool. Not that many of us 3-child cruising families. May I pm you with some questions?


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Discussion Starter #18
Ok....now I'll just have to figure out how to do that....!


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