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Jeanneau 42
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Our Sunsail Jeanneau 42i is coming off charter in Tortola late next June. We've decided to keep it and to keep it in the Caribbean for stretches of cruising. The boat will need a little bit of a refit. Any advice on where and when? I had thought that for a professional refit we should probably take it to Ft. Lauderdale or Annapolis (Maryland residents). But July seems stupid for taking a boat north. We could take it out of the hurricane belt to Grenada or Trinidad and do some work there while we wait out the season. We could risk the season and leave it in the BVI or take it to Puerto Rico, St Thomas, or St Martin -- where again we could do some of the refit while waiting out the season. We're pretty good sailors, having done nearly all of the Caribbean with a couple of night passages under our belt, but would probably want a professional on board if we choose the Tortola-Bermuda-Annapolis option. Advice?
 

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Having had experience of being in Ft. Lauderdale as well as Annapolis for services..I'd pick Ft. Lauderdale. I found more services and products to choice from at better competitive rates.

Much shorter boating season here on the Chesapeake as some repair facilities will find creative ways, in my experience, to pad service bills or find ways to extend your stay at further expense.

Also be aware of some independent marine contractors..here today gone tomorrow if one is planning a long term refit...
 

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If you are Maryland residents, it makes sense to use an Annapolis yard. That way you and they can both be aware that you will be stopping in every couple of days to see what is being done and how it is being done.

These days? There's a very short list that most of us have, of vendors who can be trusted to "do it and do it right the first time" for anything. I'd rather be able to keep an eye on things, and know that if the yard has any surprises, I can pop down to see what they are all about.

I'd expect labor and other costs to be about the same, but if you can find highly recommended yards in both locations, write up a list and ask them for a quote. If one is 20-30% higher than the other, that may be the deciding factor.
 

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You probably couldn't do better than Trinidad for something like that. Great prices, good workmanship and they don't nickle and dime you to death. They even offer air conditioning units for a moderate fee to keep the boat cool and mold free. And no hurricanes, ever! Last haul out, all inclusive, was less than just a haul out at Brewer Dauntless in Ct. and the work was on a par; just as fast and good. I'm years removed from my last haul in Lauderdale, but even at Bradford, one of the best in the US, I found them over priced and the quality of workmanship decreasing. I can't imagine it's better today. The only advantage of hauling states side is purchasing equipment there, but what you save in Trini, would pay several round trip air fares to transport gear down, and then some, I believe.
 

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I agree with Capta...

We have spent 7 years in the Caribbean fixing our 55 ft boat. While it is generally easier to get parts in the US with the boat already in the Caribbean I would run down to Trini but I would stay there and supervise.

I don't like sitting in Chaguaramus and would get the work done quickly and go somewhere nice like Bonaire where the diving is fantastic and they don't often have hurricanes. From Bonaire it is an easy 3 day reach back to the Northern Caribbean.

Good luck Phil
 

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You probably couldn't do better than Trinidad for something like that. Great prices, good workmanship and they don't nickle and dime you to death. They even offer air conditioning units for a moderate fee to keep the boat cool and mold free. And no hurricanes, ever! Last haul out, all inclusive, was less than just a haul out at Brewer Dauntless in Ct. and the work was on a par; just as fast and good. I'm years removed from my last haul in Lauderdale, but even at Bradford, one of the best in the US, I found them over priced and the quality of workmanship decreasing. I can't imagine it's better today. The only advantage of hauling states side is purchasing equipment there, but what you save in Trini, would pay several round trip air fares to transport gear down, and then some, I believe.
You took a sailboat to Bradford?
 

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You took a sailboat to Bradford?
Several, in fact. Also half a dozen larger motor yachts. As a professional yachtmaster, my bosses could afford it. But there was a time when the craftsmen at Bradford were so capable and fast that they were actually cheaper than New River Marine or Denison, even for a smaller, private boat.
 

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I didn't realize a larger sailboat could get under the bridge or fit in the sheds.
Don't remember any fixed bridges anywhere in the area below 95, and of course I wasn't in the sheds. Oops, sorry, I forgot, there were some bridges in the Las Olas Isles area that I couldn't have gotten many boats under!
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Take it to Florida from Tortola or take it to Trinidad.

As far as I am concerned this is a no brainer, it has to be Trinidad. It will cost you a lot less and you won't face the upwind and upcurrent slog back to the Eastern Caribbean.

EG I had my 44ft sailboat Awlgripped $4300 What would that cost in Florida $15,000?
 

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I have a bud that says Anguilla has good service and good prices. No persoonal experience. Trinidad sound like a good play, but you are a long long way from home, not to mention a long long way from the BVI to get there in the first place.
 

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Tortola to Trinidad 600 miles an easy 4 to 5 days same 4 to 5 days back to Tortola. Do it at almost any time providing there is no big whirly thing.

Tortola to Miami 1150 miles an easy sail but watch for unlit traffic. Miami to Tortola ??? well there is a reason it is called the Thorny Path.

Like I said earlier Trinidad is a no brainer.
 

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Don't remember any fixed bridges anywhere in the area below 95, and of course I wasn't in the sheds. Oops, sorry, I forgot, there were some bridges in the Las Olas Isles area that I couldn't have gotten many boats under!
OK, found it. The I-95 fixed bridge has a 55' height restriction. It is necessary to go under that bridge to get to Bradford which is what was confusing me esp since you said that you took a boat with an 80' mast there.
 

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Tortola to Trinidad 600 miles an easy 4 to 5 days same 4 to 5 days back to Tortola. Do it at almost any time providing there is no big whirly thing.

Tortola to Miami 1150 miles an easy sail but watch for unlit traffic. Miami to Tortola ??? well there is a reason it is called the Thorny Path.

Like I said earlier Trinidad is a no brainer.
No objection here, but I can't go so far as say no-brainer. Trinidad is an extra 10 days at sea for a boat that seems is heading to MD ultimately.
 
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