Whatever the state of geopolitics you can count on fuel going up rather drastically if you're earning USD especially. CAD is 1.03 now. Fuel is 18 cents a gallon delivered to your boat at anchor
in Porlamar, Isla Margarita, Venezuela
. Even spending USD everything is very cheap there especially compared to USVI. The US and British run isles are tourist slums and designed to take you down hard. Too much silliness with clearing too. I've found the Dutch side of St. Martin excellent. My favorite places in Caribbean
are Point de Bout, Martinique
As for dragging 6.5 ft of draft around FL why worry. Its another place that hates the tourists it needs to survive and takes transiting vessels down hard. Its not on the way to the Caribbean from Nova Scotia
anyway. If you must make land fall prior to making St. Martin the Abacos in Bahama are excellent. Marsh Harbor can take 6.5 feet right to the fuel dock
. The fuel barge that delivers from Nassau
is deeper than that and pushes mud the last third of the harbor except on a spring tide. Man-O-War Cay has good holding and plenty of depth
in American Harbor as well as moorings and Albury's Boat Yard does great work if you need or want it.
An excellent choice for a great boat is one of Geo. Buehler's Diesel
Ducks built at Seahorse Marine
in Hong Kong
that are proven and excellent passage
makers. 46' is 600k duty paid fully loaded delivered East Coast or 100k less fully loaded factory direct. Boat is huge! A 41' is here:
I have no affiliation with either Geo. Buehler or Seahorse. The Seahorse is my dream boat. If it were me I'd get the 462 spec'd with a Junk rig
in the forepeak
as both a steadying sail and sail assist to reduce fuel costs.
Most sailing vessels will use the engine
more than they sail. One spends 90% of cruising time on the hook anyway. Like Geo. Buehler says its better to go now in whatever you can afford rather than never go waiting for the perfect boat.
Have fun whatever your decision is.