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Old 17-02-2012, 13:02   #46
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

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Originally Posted by Bill_E View Post
I agree with Bill Trayfors' reassessment that with your experience you can probably do it. And that you should take your time. I made essentially the same trip and for a variety of reasons hurried it too much and now regret that I didn't spend more time. I also didn't have enough experience when I started so ended up paying a delivery captain to sail with me for the first part of the journey. It's one way to learn but can have its own problems.

I know little about the details of trawlers but my experience on that trip is that you are heading against currents and wind for the majority of it. So, if people think that cruising speed is 6 kt then you'd better count on less than 5 because you'll face a 1 kt or more current against you for the majority of the time once you turn east at the TCI. And, even at 10 kt I don't think you can hop from marina to marina. From Provo (TCI) you'd have to go to Monte Cristi, DR and that's over 110 nautical miles. You wouldn't want to come into any port, once you leave Florida, in the dark. That means an overnight crossing. That trip is outstanding but... You have to cross the Caicos banks and you must do that in daylight or seriously risk hitting a coral head. And you wouldn't want to think about making land in the DR until 6 or 7 AM. Then from Monte Cristi to Sea World. Then I don't think there is another real marina (going east) until you get to Ponce, PR. My suggestion: learn to anchor, get a good dinghy, plan on lots of nice stops in kind of remote places along the way, plan on at least 2 months and enjoy yourself. It's a real slog of a trip once you turn east!!

I also question whether you can spend $40K on a boat and make that trip. I've been watching a friend in our marina in PR working on someone's boat and as soon as he fixes one thing he finds another that really needs repair. You are likely to find that you need $20K to get things in shape and to set things up to your liking. Once you get to the Virgins you may have more time but the price and availability of parts is going to be a lot worse than in Florida. Tortola is a center of sailing and I'm sure that you will be able to find parts and mechanics, welders, etc. But it won't be cheap! For example, you could easily spend $10K on electronics if you want any integration of GPS, chart plotter and depth gauge. And a short wave radio is almost certainly wanted for weather and safety, that's probably $2K right there.

I admit that I made essentially the same trip without the needed experience and that I was never in serious danger. So, I think that you can do it. And I think you will probably not regret the experience but keep asking questions and pay attention to folks here because there is a lot of experience.

Bill

Yes then of course you have the Caribbean work ethic i am sure you have heard of Mahayana NOT in the Caribbean nothing happens that fast.............also you want to go to St Martin/Sint Maarten for boat work.
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Old 23-02-2012, 22:45   #47
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I have three points. For your budget you might find a reliable boat or a nice looking one, but not both for that price,
Second, take your wife on a short ocean trip before buying. She might change her mind. Some women just don't like the cruising life. Or, introduce her gradually.. No nightmare passages.
Finally, find someone with delivery experience to go with you. Well worth the money. Someone you can learn from. Especially with weather issues, wisdom comes with experience.
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Old 10-03-2012, 14:41   #48
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

Weíve successfully cruised aboard our 50í trawler from FL thru the BVIís and onward to Grenada this past year and are currently working out way back to the USA. There are a lot of key learnings, with the most important being able to read/get the weather and understand its impact on where you are heading. Knowing the capability of your boat is also another factor. We added stabilizers, beefed up our security (easier access to outside lights, etc.) added another 100í of line to the 200í of chain as depths are greater down here, etc.

Fuel is available with careful planning. However, the fuel dock tank might be empty when you arrive (common in the smaller islands); the fuel is contaminated/dirty much of the time unless you stick with high volume marinas...which are far and few between. Be prepared with extra fuel filters, including an external one that filters out water BEFORE you put the fuel into your tanks. We paid between $4.50 - $6.++ per gallon last year on our way down.

We found Van Santís Gentlemenís Passage book not much use to us on a trawler that can push thru the waves and winds and doesnít need the wind to GO. Couple of thoughts: Consider hiring a Captain to bring you and your family down to the BVIís. That would be a good investment as the Capt. will have the experience AND can teach you a great deal over that period of time. Also, have you considered purchasing your boat in the USVI? You will not have to pay sales tax on the boat in the USVI - a 6-7% savings right there.

You will be passing through some of the deepest ocean trenches in the world and then then smack onto some of the most shallow ocean shelves in the world. The result is often confused, dangerous seas if the weather is not just right. A friend, her entire family and her boat were lost at the Mona Passage, between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Only pieces of the boat were ever found.

If you are interested in our routing, where we got fuel, etc. check my blog at Finally Fun! for the details. Click on, go to right hand side and click on the Caribbean Adventures section. Once that is open, scroll all the way to the bottom to see the Archives and then click on the islands, starting with Bimini for all the details.....

Best of luck to you and do be prepared....
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Old 10-03-2012, 14:46   #49
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

Hire a Professional Captain!!!!!!
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Old 30-03-2012, 06:18   #50
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

I am currently posting for information on taking a Heritage 36' trawler from Tortola to Miami, because I will sell it when I get it to the US. This may be a perfect match if you would like to purchase a trawler already in Tortola. Let me know if you are interested.
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Old 31-03-2012, 06:33   #51
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pirate Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

Had my trawlercat delivered to Tortola from Clearwater, Florida. It took two weeks. They had a 3 day layover because of weather. Fuel was the main concern and I know that the Captain made reservations for fuel in Luperon. Just thought I'd mention "reservations" for when you make the leap to the BVI's. I have made the trip before and opted out....it is definately going the wrong way, especially in a power boat. Just choose your weather carefully and don't get into a hurry. Enjoying the sunset and waiting another day can make the difference between heaven and hell.
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Old 31-03-2012, 09:24   #52
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, TwoStep.
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Old 30-11-2013, 20:56   #53
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

I have read the threads about your desire to sail to the BVI. You are in for a rude awakening. I have lived in the VI's for over 25 years, running a charter company as both owner and captain of both sail and power. Once you get to the islands you will fall in love with the islands as they are beautiful and easy to move around to the most beautiful anchorages anywhere.----However you may find, as many other mainlanders that have taken residence there that they are great to visit but difficult to remain if you are planning on starting a business. The government is difficult to move around there permits, work epics are not present as most of the locals as well as those that are there on a temp. basis are busy LIMING (lime and rum). Theft is rampant and costs are high. We swolowed the anchor and returned to the US about 10years age. Keeping up with out friends who remain in the charter business still say that nothing has changed. Wish you well and be safe on your dream trip but do know that the BVI and the USVI are not the paradice they claim to be. ---Captain Ray
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:06   #54
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

Hi Captain Ray, you are spot on.
I did in fact move to the BVI, startet a company (after 2 years of work) and failed utterly due to racist goverment fees and bureaucracy beyond my wildest dreams. The Government openly discriminates against foreigners, even though I got my resident stamp in my passport. For example, I had to pay $400 for a business licence locals would pay $20 for.

I gave up after I lost all my money. The BVI are afraid of change and therefore it seems they keep repeating last years mistakes as a tradition or something.

We really wanted to make a positive contribution by only hiring locals, to support local businisses before buing on ebay and stuff like that, but .... just too much fees, redtape and road blocks.

In the USVI I had several unfortunate encounters with racism against me (being a white guy in my late 20`s). Bus drivers would mistake me for a cruise ship passenger and charge me several times more than the locals, and when I objected they called me racist. The busses (which i always asked if was a bus or taxi) could turn in to a taxi in an instand if nobody else flagged it.

I do want to reccoment BVI for a week or two of charter, but not as a place to start a business.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:51   #55
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

So I'm sure we're all curious, since it has been more than a year and a half since your last post in this thread. Did you buy a trawler and make the voyage down?
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:13   #56
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

I did it thoug. It was not too hard
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:27   #57
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?



we got a 36 foot fu-hwa trawler with a single screw 150 hp Perkins. Cruising speed was 5-6 knots. In flat calm waters in the okechobee in FL we broke 10 knots once at full speed and we felt like we wore speeding like maniacs, haha.

I only used about a gallon an hour and it was economical.
I must admit I did not even know how to start it when we first got it, but we managed to figure stuff out as we went along. I had a few unfortunat events along the trip but nothing major. It is kind of fun to head in to the unknown in a part of the world I had never been before. It is some of the last tre adventures avalible theese days.





Even got to swim with sharks, those are amazing
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Old 01-12-2013, 15:47   #58
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

lostviking---what did you do with your 36' Fu Hwa? I am looking at that same for purchase sometime nest year. Have you returned to Europe? Are you still involved in the boating industry/ -- Let me know -- one of your photos looks like the dock at Foxies on JostVanDyke. -- captainray
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Old 01-12-2013, 16:18   #59
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

Hi!

It is actually Village Cay in Road Harbour. That is where I lived for a while.
I am not exactly in the boating industry now, but I am trying to become a Marina manager in Norway and I am waiting for answer on an application I have sendt.

I sold the boat for about $20.000, and it is still around down there. I am living in Norway now. If you look around on the different docks down there you should be able to pick on up for about half or two thirds of US prices. Advertise on the message boards and somebody will call you. They rarely advertise the best boats on places like yachtworld. But 36 feet was more than enough for my wife and I because of the nice flybridge. We lived up there, hehe.
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Old 01-12-2013, 16:19   #60
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Re: Florida to British Virgin Islands - Route on Power ?

Ah, second picture was Peter Island, Ocean 7 beach club. The third is somewhere in Bahamas. Never did see sharks in the BVI.
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