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Old 31-01-2014, 12:57   #1
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Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

The Carib is loaded with sailboats for obvious reasons, but what are some plusses and minuses with living aboard a motor yacht in the Caribbean? We in St Thomas and would be here for a couple years before we take off for good (taking off though, Would be in a sailboat). The way we see it, We save more money living on it than on land and gives us time to find just the right sailboat while also getting us accustomed to living on a boat.

Any thoughts?

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Old 01-02-2014, 19:54   #2
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

How big of a motoryacht? If its only an interim thing then it would mean a small one.
I live aboard a 75' my. Quite different than on a 25'.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:51   #3
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by MBLittle View Post
The Carib is loaded with sailboats for obvious reasons, but what are some plusses and minuses with living aboard a motor yacht in the Caribbean? We in St Thomas and would be here for a couple years before we take off for good (taking off though, Would be in a sailboat). The way we see it, We save more money living on it than on land and gives us time to find just the right sailboat while also getting us accustomed to living on a boat. Any thoughts?
Assuming 85-100ft Broward or similar hull:
A lot more wetted area to protect vs a mono/cat hull
End dock tie - more bouncy out there
100 amp service vs 30amp for sailboats
Higher insurance valuation needed
Uses 5-7 thousand liters of D2 vs a few hundred for a sailboat @ $2/ltr
Initial costs about the same as a home in STT
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:15   #4
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

There are many studies on the comparative costs of sailing vrs M/Vs, and they suggest that they are about equal. Sailors buy sailboats because they love sailing. For comfort and ease of living you can't beat a large steel boat.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:30   #5
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by MBLittle View Post
what are some plusses and minuses with living aboard a motor yacht in the Caribbean?

The syntax of your post dont gell with me, but if i edit it to this question then it has made me ponder for a few years...
Coming down the ICW in the USA its quite obvious there a lot of motor boats in the 35 to 50 foot range. But none of them seem to get to the Caribbean?

Why not?

Sure the getting here would need to be staged... Florida to bahamas, to turks and Caicos, to Puerto Rico, BVIs and onwards. (Or whatever the route, my nav computer is off). It would be a great trip, easy weather windows etc.

Once in the caribbean its only 450 nmiles top to bottom with an island always in view. Not difficult motor boat stuff at all.

If I was just staying in the Caribbean i would think to toss the sails and buy a motor boat.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:51   #6
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

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If I was just staying in the Caribbean i would think to toss the sails and buy a motor boat.
Having been a motor yacht (GB42) for the last couple of years and a sailboat for 15 years before that, I can tell you that the Caribbean is more suited for sailboats. Unless the motor yachts have serious stabilizers, they will roll their guts (and yours) out between islands.

I talked to a trawler owner in Venezuela who had brought it down from the US--he swore that he would never take it on that kind of trip again.

We went from Trinidad to Bequia race week at the same time our RTW sailing friends took a friends Ocean Alexander up. I thought it was an easy trip--they said they'd never do it on a power boat again. They were unprepared for the rolling, especially on the flybridge. I remember going on the OA at anchor in the Tobago Keys, and it was rolling over twice as much as my sailboat.

OTOH, most power boats have ice makers.....
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:55   #7
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

I have to agree with donradcliffe. I cruised my (not stabilzed) at the time CL 66' around the Caribbean for 2 years. Several years later acquired a Cambria 44 did it again for a year. I had a much better quality of life on my sailboat. My motor vessel is fantastic alongside and does handle weather pretty well. But when I'm cruising (I'm not working) If you do choose to go motor my recomendation is be sure she can cruise at 10 knots minimum if she is stabilized or not. I ran a 165 footer once where the stabilizers failed between Cat Cay and West Palm Beach in a pretty violent low pressure system and we lost a stew and the engineer upon arriving to port, that was enough for them I guess. And we were only in weather for about 4 hours total.
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Old 07-02-2014, 20:54   #8
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

Oh come on! You just have to batten up everything before every trip. It is only about 40 degrees of movement from side to side, max. Loads of fun. And pick your weather window.
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Old 23-02-2014, 07:19   #9
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

Make it a large steel hulled motorsailor and you won't go wrong. A 55 Diesel Duck with a sail rig would be my first choice. A 47 Diesel Duck with get home wing engine and stabilizer is my second choice.
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Old 22-08-2014, 17:15   #10
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

I found this topic and the points made up above very interesting, and somewhat surprising too. I assumed more MY owners would have a very positive position on cruising that area.

I am interested in this topic because I had thought of the same question as OP and was wondering if a Marine Trader 40' Sun Deck would be good for making the trip from Florida to most of the islands (Bahamas and then South) for a few years of liveaboard and cruising there. It is not stabilized, it is not designed like a Nordhavn and it is not a Diesel Duck. While those boats do exist (as well as other types and longer/larger vessels) I was wondering what life would be like cruising that Marine Trader trawler (it cruises at about 6-8 kt). If anyone thinks it would be foolish or unsafe or uncomfortable in that boat cruising that area, feel free to post your comments. I would like to get some opinions.
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Old 22-08-2014, 17:54   #11
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

I just returned to florida.from the exumas on my 44' my. In 8 weeks there were 2 days I stayed put due to weather. . I dont.see a problem at all.
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Old 25-08-2014, 06:32   #12
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
I found this topic and the points made up above very interesting, and somewhat surprising too. I assumed more MY owners would have a very positive position on cruising that area.

I am interested in this topic because I had thought of the same question as OP and was wondering if a Marine Trader 40' Sun Deck would be good for making the trip from Florida to most of the islands (Bahamas and then South) for a few years of liveaboard and cruising there. It is not stabilized, it is not designed like a Nordhavn and it is not a Diesel Duck. While those boats do exist (as well as other types and longer/larger vessels) I was wondering what life would be like cruising that Marine Trader trawler (it cruises at about 6-8 kt). If anyone thinks it would be foolish or unsafe or uncomfortable in that boat cruising that area, feel free to post your comments. I would like to get some opinions.
Many choices - too many in fact - I prefer low center of gravity - not condo ships. I'd take a tug or duck vs just about anything else.
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Old 01-09-2014, 15:16   #13
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

We cruise the Bahamas every year in our 48' trawler. We are former sailors who ended up motoring most of the time. It seemed that the wind was never favorable toward our destination.
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Old 17-09-2014, 21:23   #14
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

I know this is an older thread, but I just located it. I was planning on taking my Meridian 47' down to the Caribbean as far down as Grenada and stay a while, possibly hit Trinidad and then back up. I like the comfort of the M/Y. I have not taken it on an extended trip or in very bad weather. I myself have no issues with rough weather, I was in the Navy and remember days walking on bulkheads or tied to my bunk to not fall out (mostly in the North Atlantic). Most islands in the Caribbean are not far apart so from one island to the next is mostly a day trip. Since this thread was started in January, does anyone have any new views on this? Or, has anyone reading taken their M/Y from the states down to the Caribbean Islands?
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Old 18-09-2014, 06:57   #15
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Re: Live aboard a M\Y in the Caribbean?

I wouldn't simply b/c the seas are rough btwn islands. My brother does it in tugs and frequently loses a pilothouse window.
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