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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My hubby and I quit our jobs a couple of years ago and cruised the Caribbean and Bahamas for a year. We're going to be doing a webinar on how to prepare to cruise the Caribbean and Bahamas on a sailboat (to help those of you out that are aiming to do the same thing we did). What questions would you want answered?

So far we're planning on talking about
1. How to find the right boat for your needs
2. Navigation
3. Power needs
4. Water requirements

So far the plan is to do a Part II with the following topics:

1. Advanced searches for a boat
2. Advanced navigation options
3. Wifi
4. Cruising with pets


Suggestions? Questions you want answered?
If you're already out there cruising and know of some "Wish someone had told me that!" things, let me know.


Thanks for your help!
 

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islander bahama 24
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Many people are interested in provisioning - hints, tips, etc.

I am sure someone will ask you about the budget, which is the same as asking how long is a piece of rope.
That is true and the correct answer to how long a piece of rope is is twice the distance from the center to one end
 

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I'd be interested in Tips and Tricks for clearing into various ports and the Paperwork/Protocols/Fees involved in each... if they vary. eg. Does the entire crew present themselves in port A, but only the Captain can leave the boat in Port B etc. etc.

Passports, check. Radio license, check. I suppose it's easy enough to find the details online and in cruising guides. But a little cheat sheet for documents, ports, hours, phone numbers etc. might be nice.
 

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It would be great to have the insights of someone who has done this recently. I've given a long list of questions I would have. I don't know that any one person can cover them all though.

Navigation:
  • How did you go about planning an itinerary and selecting destinations/anchorages?
  • On average, how many days per week did you spend underway?
  • What was your typical sailing to motoring ratio?
Provisioning:
  • What was your strategy - load the boat to the gills and live off your stores or pack light and worry about re-provisioning when you got where you were going?
  • Is there any food or personal item that's easy and cheap to get in the US that's difficult and/or expensive to get in the places you visited?
  • On the flip side, is there anything that's more abundant and/or cheaper in the islands?
  • If you spent time in the more remote islands, were you able to find additional water, food, and fuel in those places or did you have to sprinkle in occasional trips "back to civilization" to resupply one or all of those items?
Potable Water:
  • What is your boat's tankage capacity and your average daily usage?
  • What did your potable usage include (drinking water, showers, toilet flushing, clothes washing)?
  • How did you handle doing laundry?
  • If you didn't have a watermaker, would you have wanted one? If you did have a watermaker, how easy or hard would have been to go without?
  • Did you attempt any sort of rainwater collection?
Communications - I'm interested in your take on wi-fi but it would also be great to get your takes on:
  • How did you get your weather information - particularly once outside the US?
  • Did you make use of any non-US cellular voice and/or data networks? If so, how would you rate their reliability and pricing?
  • Did you have any sort of satellite communications device (full-blown satphone, Spot, InReach, etc.)? If so, was it useful? If not, would you have wanted such a device?
  • Did you have AIS? Receive-only or a transponder?
Lifestyle:
  • On days not underway, how did you fill your spare time?
  • Did you ever have to return home for family obligations, etc? If so, how did you manage leaving the boat?
  • Did you have any family or friends come down to visit you during your trip? If so, how did you arrange the logistics of meeting up with them?
  • I may be misreading it, but from your original post, it sounds like you're not currently out cruising. How was the process of re-entry into landlubber life, the workforce, etc?
  • Describe a normal "day in the life".
 

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Closet Powerboater
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My hubby and I quit our jobs a couple of years ago and cruised the Caribbean and Bahamas for a year. We're going to be doing a webinar on how to prepare to cruise the Caribbean and Bahamas on a sailboat (to help those of you out that are aiming to do the same thing we did). What questions would you want answered?

So far we're planning on talking about
1. How to find the right boat for your needs
2. Navigation
3. Power needs
4. Water requirements

So far the plan is to do a Part II with the following topics:

1. Advanced searches for a boat
2. Advanced navigation options
3. Wifi
4. Cruising with pets

Suggestions? Questions you want answered?
If you're already out there cruising and know of some "Wish someone had told me that!" things, let me know.

Thanks for your help!
Sounds like fun! Good luck with the talk. The usual stuff like storms and safety gear will be much asked I'm sure.

Do you mind if I turn things around? What questions do you think we should be asking?

MedSailor
 

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Beneteau 393
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Looks like its good you asked. You were gunna talk about the theoretical details of nav, electrics etc but people want the personal stuff, the lifestyle, costs etc.

It looks like if you just talk about how you did it, honestly, truthfully, humbly, then you will be fine. :)

But start telling people what sort of boat they will need then you will lose the 99% who don't agree with you no matter what boat you suggest.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is the link to register for the webinar. It will be on Wednesday March 11th at 7pm.
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6982749123039691777

We will be covering how to prepare for cruising including
1. Budgeting and financial stability
2. How to Find a boat that fits your needs
3. Outfitting the boat
4. Planning a route

There have been a lot of really good questions posed so we will be having a second webinar to cover things like customs, anchorages, provisioning in the islands, etc. More info to come on that. We'll get through the first one first. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looking forward to the webinar. I've had a lot of feedback and a ton of good questions, enough that we can never cover it all in one seminar. I'll be doing a couple of other seminars as well.
The first one is next Wednesday, March 11 at 7pm.
You can register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6982749123039691777
 

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Gonna be a bit of a killjoy. I'm new at this. Started lasted November. But think things that will surprise you are very personal. Think they vary greatly person to person.
Examples for me:
How expensive foods you're used to eating in the US are here. Their excuse is cost of importing them. Note this is especially true for bulky foods like cold cereal.
How difficult it is to buy some foods like pretzels or blueberry jam or real milk. Stock up whenever you see them.
How expensive bottled water and other fluids are. Have taken to putting filter on hose before filling tanks. Having whole boat filter after water leaves tanks. Then use 1 micron filter on drinking water before putting in frig. When filters are looked at they are dirty so get extras brought down whenever friends/family come to visit.
How hard it is to get basic parts and how expensive. Even using local shipping agent how problematic the mechanics of Internet ordering. ( good idea to have shipping account such as Tortula express). This is one of the most likely things to keep you stuck in one place for awhile.
How much wear and tear visitors put on your boat and how much additional work/expense it is to have them.
How hard it is to open a bank account at some banks.
How limited and when available how lousy free WiFi is.mwifi booster like the wave is a good idea.
How lousy local radio is and how limited. Bring your own tunes.
Talking with other cruisers find their surprises were different. Things like having no way to judge expertise of vendors ( wrenches,sailmakers etc.) and if charges are appropriate.
Think main way to learn how to cruise the caribbean is:
JUST DO IT.
Think seminars are great but but think experience is the ultimate teacher.
While doing it be open and friendly. Other local cruisers are your best source of information and education. Them and pro captains who run local boats not the delivery folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Outbound, great points. Thanks for the reply. This is very true, everyone runs into different surprises and challenges. and you're also very right, that often the local cruisers are a great resource. I hope you will be able to join in so you can add to the expertise. :)
 
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