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Old 26-04-2012, 01:17   #1
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Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

I'm making preparations to purchase a 30-35' power cruiser in the next 12 to 18 months and take it down to (and keep it at) La Paz, Mexico.

I've done some preiminary research, and given that I'm new to boating, I'll take the safety and education course at uspowerboating.com. Are there other courses or steps I could take to be better prepared?

What's the minimum size boat required to cross the Sea of Corez? Would a 30' Sea Ray be large enough?

Are there up-to-date guides or other materials that cover the logistics of crossing into Mexico, and keeping a boat down there for an extended period of time?
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Old 26-04-2012, 05:13   #2
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, contract.

Depending upon your existing skill set, Piloting, Advanced Piloting, & Junior Navigation (etc) might be useful courses
http://www.usps.org/eddept/p/main.htm
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:13   #3
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

My wife and I spent six months in the Sea of Cortez or the Gulfo de California as the Mexicans call it. It is an amazing place, straight out of a ational Geographic Magazine. We loved it and will return someday.

With that said, north of La Paz, the Sea gets very isolated, mostly desert and very hot in the summer. In the winter, the Sea of Cortez can regularly have 40 mile a hour winds, 12 foot seas and temps drop into the low 50's at night.

Keeping the boat in La Paz is no problem... With four marnas, several long term anchorages, lots of chanderlys and a large fuel dock.

There are two traditional crossings on the Sea of Cortez.

The Southern Crossing is about 200 miles, from the La Paz (Actually Bahia Muertos) to Mazatlan.

The Northern Crossing is about 100 miles from Santa Rosalia to San Carlos, which is almost 200 miles north of La Paz.

The Sea of Cortez is about 700 miles long from north to south, with about 4 marine fueling stations and several local gas stations Baja and three marine fuel stations on the Mainland side on the Mainland side.

In a 30' Sea Ray with a gas engine, you may have difficulty crossing the Sea or doing an serious crusing, without Jerry Jugs.

I know a Couple out of San Carlos that cruise on the Sea with a 32 foot Power Boat with deisel engines. They trailer it down to the Sea every summer and back to Los Angeles in the winter.

If I was selecting a 30-35 motor boat for the Sea of Cortez, I would consider something that had a range of at least 300 miles, good refrigeration, good ventalation or air conditioning and SSB Marine Radio, which will become you primary communication device up there. Also something with enough room for you... I would think a trawler with a single screw would probably do the trick.

To get a better idea of the anchorages and distances involved, purchase Shawn and Heather Breeding's "Guide to the Sea of Cortez". This is the primary guide book being used in the Sea by cruisers and has great information.

Good Luck!
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:35   #4
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

Tom is right on IF you are going to trailer. If she is going on her own bottom from Ensenada to Turtle Bay is 320 miles 60 miles off shore. Keeping shore in sight will add another 100 miles. Turtle Bay to Mag Bay is 325 with shore in sight or 300 60 miles out. There isn't any fuel in between. In that part of the world I would want 30% reserve.
Charlies Charts and Captain Rain's Mexico Boating Guide.
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:47   #5
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by contract View Post
I'm making preparations to purchase a 30-35' power cruiser in the next 12 to 18 months and take it down to (and keep it at) La Paz, Mexico.

I've done some preiminary research, and given that I'm new to boating, I'll take the safety and education course at uspowerboating.com. Are there other courses or steps I could take to be better prepared?

What's the minimum size boat required to cross the Sea of Corez? Would a 30' Sea Ray be large enough?

Are there up-to-date guides or other materials that cover the logistics of crossing into Mexico, and keeping a boat down there for an extended period of time?
Welcome to Cruisers Forum contract!

Consider hiring a professional instructor to take you out on your boat so you can practice the knowledge you acquired in land school and to learn additional practical skills. Skills such as docking in difficult situations, man overboard drills, navigation etc. It is money well spent if you find a good instructor. Given you are new to boating, there is a lot more to learn than you might imagine.

Have a great cruise.
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Old 26-04-2012, 10:10   #6
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
My wife and I spent six months in the Sea of Cortez or the Gulfo de California as the Mexicans call it. It is an amazing place, straight out of a ational Geographic Magazine. We loved it and will return someday.

With that said, north of La Paz, the Sea gets very isolated, mostly desert and very hot in the summer. In the winter, the Sea of Cortez can regularly have 40 mile a hour winds, 12 foot seas and temps drop into the low 50's at night.

Keeping the boat in La Paz is no problem... With four marnas, several long term anchorages, lots of chanderlys and a large fuel dock.

There are two traditional crossings on the Sea of Cortez.

The Southern Crossing is about 200 miles, from the La Paz (Actually Bahia Muertos) to Mazatlan.

The Northern Crossing is about 100 miles from Santa Rosalia to San Carlos, which is almost 200 miles north of La Paz.

The Sea of Cortez is about 700 miles long from north to south, with about 4 marine fueling stations and several local gas stations Baja and three marine fuel stations on the Mainland side on the Mainland side.

In a 30' Sea Ray with a gas engine, you may have difficulty crossing the Sea or doing an serious crusing, without Jerry Jugs.

I know a Couple out of San Carlos that cruise on the Sea with a 32 foot Power Boat with deisel engines. They trailer it down to the Sea every summer and back to Los Angeles in the winter.

If I was selecting a 30-35 motor boat for the Sea of Cortez, I would consider something that had a range of at least 300 miles, good refrigeration, good ventalation or air conditioning and SSB Marine Radio, which will become you primary communication device up there. Also something with enough room for you... I would think a trawler with a single screw would probably do the trick.

To get a better idea of the anchorages and distances involved, purchase Shawn and Heather Breeding's "Guide to the Sea of Cortez". This is the primary guide book being used in the Sea by cruisers and has great information.

Good Luck!
Good advice here. A 30 footer is big enough, but will it hold enough gas to get you down to Cabo? The northers in winter can be very strong and rough seas. Other than that many anchorages are about 40 miles apart so that's only 1.5 hour trip in a Sea ray. I suspect it wouldnt be fun trying to find gas all the time though... unless your intention is to simply leave the boat in the marina and go out sport fishing a lot... that would be an excellent plan!
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Old 26-04-2012, 10:44   #7
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

FWIW,

I just delivered my neighbor's 30' Sea Ray (twin 454 fuel injected gas engines) from Seattle to his dock next door to me.
It was about 25 miles or so, and it got about 1 mpg @ 20 knots with near calm to moderate seas.
When we started out, both tanks were full and the poor thing couldn't even get up on a decent plane. It finally got to scoot when tanks were about 3/4 full.
This is on a basically empty boat, no stores or supplies.
Not a cruising boat imho.
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Old 26-04-2012, 13:54   #8
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

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Originally Posted by contract View Post
I'm making preparations to purchase a 30-35' power cruiser in the next 12 to 18 months and take it down to (and keep it at) La Paz, Mexico.

I've done some preiminary research, and given that I'm new to boating, I'll take the safety and education course at uspowerboating.com. Are there other courses or steps I could take to be better prepared?

What's the minimum size boat required to cross the Sea of Corez? Would a 30' Sea Ray be large enough?

Are there up-to-date guides or other materials that cover the logistics of crossing into Mexico, and keeping a boat down there for an extended period of time?
Depending on where you cross and how much fuel. LaPaz to Los Mochis, over 120 miles.

I have crossed many times in a Sea Ray 26 footer...pick time and the weather, it a can get nasty if a chubasco comes along.
Done Guaymas/Kino Bay to Bahia de Los Angeles (about 60 miles) several times in the Sea Ray...
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Old 26-04-2012, 14:04   #9
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

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Originally Posted by contract View Post
I'm making preparations to purchase a 30-35' power cruiser in the next 12 to 18 months and take it down to (and keep it at) La Paz, Mexico.

I've done some preiminary research, and given that I'm new to boating, I'll take the safety and education course at uspowerboating.com. Are there other courses or steps I could take to be better prepared?

What's the minimum size boat required to cross the Sea of Corez? Would a 30' Sea Ray be large enough?

Are there up-to-date guides or other materials that cover the logistics of crossing into Mexico, and keeping a boat down there for an extended period of time?
I missed that part of you boating down the Pacific, I would not suggest that in your Sea Ray, that is a tough 1200 mile ride from the border, with very little fuel to be had...definitely your boat is not designed for that type of trip.
Ship it to La Paz and enjoy the local islands...after you have some experience.
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Old 26-04-2012, 14:35   #10
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I'll go over and think through everything that was suggested in detail. And aside from the courses, I was also thinking about hiring an instructor (as was suggested), to further my education before actually purchasing the boat.

My general intention is to use the boat around La Paz for cruising, sight-seeing, scuba diving, fishing, and camping on some of the deserted islands there. In other words, I don't plan to take the boat far from La Paz once it gets there. However, I did have a thought about potentially taking it across the Sea of Cortez some time, so I want to make sure that I factor this into my research and decision making.

It sounds like one of the major issues with my initial plan is that the boat may not hold enough fuel to get her down to La Paz in the first place. A 2002 SeaRay Sundancer 280 is 31', holds 100 gallons, and gets 1.77 miles per gallon at 33mph, giving the boat a range of a little over 150 miles. So, if it's 320 miles from Ensenada to Turtle Bay, then how would it be possible to get it down there without trailering it?

Now, if I did trailer it down there, what would be the potential concerns as far as this goes? Is there a company I can hire to get it down there for me? In doing this, is there insurance to cover any and all potential hazards, such as accidents, damages, theft, etc? What kind of costs would this entail?
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Old 26-04-2012, 16:56   #11
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

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Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I'll go over and think through everything that was suggested in detail. And aside from the courses, I was also thinking about hiring an instructor (as was suggested), to further my education before actually purchasing the boat.

My general intention is to use the boat around La Paz for cruising, sight-seeing, scuba diving, fishing, and camping on some of the deserted islands there. In other words, I don't plan to take the boat far from La Paz once it gets there. However, I did have a thought about potentially taking it across the Sea of Cortez some time, so I want to make sure that I factor this into my research and decision making.

It sounds like one of the major issues with my initial plan is that the boat may not hold enough fuel to get her down to La Paz in the first place. A 2002 SeaRay Sundancer 280 is 31', holds 100 gallons, and gets 1.77 miles per gallon at 33mph, giving the boat a range of a little over 150 miles. So, if it's 320 miles from Ensenada to Turtle Bay, then how would it be possible to get it down there without trailering it?

Now, if I did trailer it down there, what would be the potential concerns as far as this goes? Is there a company I can hire to get it down there for me? In doing this, is there insurance to cover any and all potential hazards, such as accidents, damages, theft, etc? What kind of costs would this entail?
Good choice not to motor down, it's a fine boat but not made for a 1200 mile open Pacific Ocean run with limited fuel...btw, no way could you make 33 mph on the open water going south without beating yourself and boat to death. So you could probably milk it over 2 mpg, not counting the 25% safety, you only have actually 75 gallons to rely on. Some bring a bladder, but it isn't safe with gasoline, and your boat is not designed for that much more weight, as well as it would cover your hatch.

There are companies to take your boat down (you have under a 10' beam so it isn't too bad), insurance is easy to find, just go on line or ask your current carrier. Google is your friend.

I trailered the 25' for about 12 years down the through Baja and never had an incident...others have had not been so lucky. Just the short mountain pass into Santa Rosalia taxes the best of drivers towing a large boat. Best to use a professional service.
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Old 26-04-2012, 17:13   #12
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

How about hauling it to puerto penasco thru arizona? That's a lot shorter isnt it? It sounds like you would want to add another fuel tank to the boat. Even for using it as La Paz as a base...
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Old 26-04-2012, 17:36   #13
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

If you want a boat in La Paz, you might want to consider purchasing a boat in La Paz. There are currently 81 boats listed for sale in La Paz on YachtWorld.

Boats for sale - www.yachtworld.com

Something else you might think about is how you'll sell the boat when you decide you want something different. I spend a lot of time in BCS, and most of the power boats I see down there are fishing boats. A Sea Ray isn't going to be as attractive on the local market as a small sportsfisherman.
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Old 26-04-2012, 18:36   #14
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

Thanks again for the feedback. If I can find what I want in La Paz, then I'll absolutely purchase it down there. However, my heart has been set on a Sea Ray, so if I don't find one down there, then hauling one down from the US sounds like my only option. As far as selling the boat goes, if there's not much of a market for it in La Paz, then maybe hauling it back to the US would be the best option.

I'll look around for hauling services and insurance on Google but I was hoping to get some recommendations on established and well-reviewed companies. Also, someone mentioned shipping it down - does this mean shipping it by land or by sea, and is this any different than hauling it down via a professional service?
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Old 27-04-2012, 09:14   #15
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Re: Taking a powered cruiser down to La Paz, Mexico

Why not just take a flight down to La Paz and have a look at some of those boats?
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