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Old 07-05-2016, 08:14   #31
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
You can learn to sail a boat pretty fast. Getting better at it requires an investment of time.

Three months to learn to sail, commission a boat for a circumnavigation would need a highly paid project manager, and no guarantee of a good time.

The deal is, it isn't like buying a motorhome or an SUV and land touring. Basically, the ocean is an unfriendly environment for humans, so you need the vessel to keep you safe (rather than getting out on safe old land.)

So, although the idea sounds fun for you, humbly, I suggest you give the project much more time. Select a boat wisely, learn to enjoy her and understand her foibles (however long it takes you). If you do not, you risk the failure of the whole enterprise, when something breaks, cannot be fixed in the rally's time frame, and they move on. There goes your 33k investment, which honestly, might be better spent on making the boat as you want it. You do not have to pay them to leave at a similar time and go along, until you decide to slow down and smell the roses.

And while you're out there, please remember you are a friendship ambassador for your country of origin, and behave accordingly.

Ann (~130,000 cruising miles since we left the States)
Thanks, Ann, but my OP says we're starting sailing classes next month, 18 months ahead of the January 2018 World ARC Caribbean departure date. LOTS of classes, chartering, crewing, etc. 90 days was the time I'd planned between purchasing a boat in Florida or the Caribbean and that January date, a time frame I'm reconsidering after reading some comments here.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:34   #32
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

Here's my deal re the cost and "hand holding."

I have a three-fer (!) window of opportunity: I'm 57, I have time and money for 2018, and I have three teens game for an adventure.

World ARC provides logistical and weather support, but I'm as interested in meeting like minded people and the kids making lifetime friends and memories, and while I have 18 months I can't spend years at sea because of business necessities.

Even though I owned a Monterey Bay Catalina 22 30 years ago and took lessons on SF bay 15 years ago my skill level is modest, let's say, so I'll be grateful for hand holding and guidance, like I'm getting here...

The idea that ARC shoves everyone else out of the way doesn't appeal to me. Forty boats cuts a wide swath anywhere, I suppose, but I'd enjoy yielding and watching a lifelong cruiser in an engineless boat sail circles around us for the education in it.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:41   #33
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

That's a great story, Ramblingman. I started out looking at big boats, too, and kept getting smaller. ARC has a minimum length requirement of 40', so now I'm working my way up, instead of down.
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Old 07-05-2016, 15:04   #34
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

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Thanks, Ann, but my OP says we're starting sailing classes next month, 18 months ahead of the January 2018 World ARC Caribbean departure date. LOTS of classes, chartering, crewing, etc. 90 days was the time I'd planned between purchasing a boat in Florida or the Caribbean and that January date, a time frame I'm reconsidering after reading some comments here.
Don't forget the 500+ mile qualifying passage. You'll need to dial in time for that - and to fix the things that break on it. For someone like you and your family who has a relatively short window, available money and wants the Circ adventure the ARC makes a lot of sense. Its unlikely you would do a circ yourself in 15 months. It is a wickedly fast pace. We have some friends who did the World ARC and really enjoyed it. They said it was one of the best experiences of their life. They also described it as one long Pub crawl. They're on a second, much slower circ now by them selves on a larger boat.
I've been in anchorages in Panama, Galapagos and Marquesas when the ARC rolled through. They definitely bring their own crowd with them making anchorages that are perfect for a dozen boats look silly.. Except for the incessant radio chatter to Rally Control for hand-holding, they weren't any more or less of jerks than the rest of the cruising crowd. Mostly all friendly and polite.
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Old 07-05-2016, 23:32   #35
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

I would skip the 90 day plan and buy the boat asap.

Either buy it in Florida or the Caribbean and use any free time to visit and sail to get to know the boat and decide what upgrades are needed and find someone who can manage the upgrades, or buy a boat locally, upgrade it and meet the arc in Panama.

I think that the 90 day upgrade plan is better left to experienced cruisers who know from experience what is and is not needed for their own cruising.




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Old 08-05-2016, 10:29   #36
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

Thanks, hoppy.

I've thought about buying the boat sooner where we live, in the SF Bay Area, so I can sail it for a year before ARC, but used 40' boats are about a third cheaper in Florida or the Caribbean, say $125,000 vs $175,000 here.

There's an annual cruisers rally from SF to Mexico every year, called the Bajaha. It would put us in Mexico in mid November. We could meet ARC at the Panama Canal as you suggest or, sailing late November/December continue from Mexico to the Caribbean for the normal ARC start. I hear it's a rough haul going east through the Caribbean...
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:44   #37
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

Ok, then I think you should buy in time for the 2017 sailing season and keep a boat in Florida or the Caribbean. Get to know the boat and work out you upgrade list and find someone to do the bigger of the upgrades. Use the 90 days to fine tune and get to the ARC start.

Much more fun to play with your own boat in 2017 than to charter
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Old 08-05-2016, 14:21   #38
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

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Thanks, hoppy.

I've thought about buying the boat sooner where we live, in the SF Bay Area, so I can sail it for a year before ARC, but used 40' boats are about a third cheaper in Florida or the Caribbean, say $125,000 vs $175,000 here.

There's an annual cruisers rally from SF to Mexico every year, called the Bajaha. It would put us in Mexico in mid November. We could meet ARC at the Panama Canal as you suggest or, sailing late November/December continue from Mexico to the Caribbean for the normal ARC start. I hear it's a rough haul going east through the Caribbean...
Yes on average the Florida boats are cheaper than the higher latitude west coast boats. There are many reasons but there is one underlying fact and that is the Florida boats are simply not in the same condition. There are certainly lots of them but you'll be doing lots of looking before you find one that meets your expectations and when you do the price difference will not be that great so while Florida is an ok place to shop as there are so many boats its not the easiest place to find a real nice one. You have no time for project boats so you want to find a real nice one that has been well maintained without damage history. This is much harder than you may imagine, it's doable of course but very time consuming. A Beneteau is one choice but there are many as good or better choices. Either way men are natural born problem solvers so it will all come together but it's a big project for the time you have set aside, that is not so obvious to you right now.
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Old 08-05-2016, 14:35   #39
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Re: Buy or charter in prep for 2018 World ARC circumnavigation?

If I was in your boots I'd say to hell with meeting the ARC in the Caribbean. I'd buy a boat on the west coast where I could be nice and close to it while it was being worked on and outfitted. Then I'd sail to Panama or the west coast islands just off Panama and meet the gang there, nice easy peasy sail. I know they have safety inspections and lots of safety stuff their sponsers are selling and I don't know how that would play out but it's worth looking into. That would even buy you more valuable time..you'd miss the San Blas Islands but compared to where you are going that is not a big deal. Santa Marta in Colombia is nice of course but Cartegena is much nicer and the ARC doesn't stop there. You should get a fair sized discount as Colombia and the San Blas are not the cheap seats and another huge saving not going thru the canal.......just a thought!
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