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Old 13-08-2014, 18:20   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Diego
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,095
Re: Getting a boat from Pacific Coast of Mexico to Texas?

I did have my Caliber 40 trucked from San Carlos, Mx (west coast NE part of Sea of Cortez) to Tacoma WA - that was Aug 2004 and was about $8,500 inclusive of all costs. I did all the work preparing the boat to go on the truck in Mexico and paid only $75 to have the mast removed and $150 to have the boat hauled out into Marina Seca.

I did all the work to put the boat back into the water in Tacoma and paid only $300 to have the mast put back on the boat and to have a Travel Lift put the boat back into the water. The boat was on the jackstands in Tacoma for two weeks while they painted the bottom and I rubbed out and polished everything. That is why the cost to step the mast and launch the boat was lower.

I also had to pay $750 to transfer the boat from the Mexican trailer to a US trailer in Tuscon. I am not clear if this kind of transfer is still required.

Earlier in 2004 a friend had his 47’ boat moved, via Dockwise from La Paz, BCS, Mexico to Victoria BC. His cost was about $10,500. Four years later the quote I got from Dockwise for the same trip for my 40’ boat was $15,000.

In 2007 I helped a friend get their Caliber 40 from Annapolis to Seattle.
- $1,500 in Annapolis to remove mast and prepare boat for trailer
- $15,000 cross country
- $1,200 in Seattle to prepare the boat and launch it

They were in no rush and were able to wait for a backhaul and got a lower price

Last fall I helped a friend plan the transport of a Caliber 40 from Beaufort, NC to Los Angles and the costs were about the same as the 2007 trip. Again, he found a boat transport company from California that had an empty trailer coming back from the east coast.

Cost Items that might significantly change the price by up to 50%:

- the length of time you can wait for a discounted backhaul
- your willingness to put the transport out to bid on U-Ship
- the amount of work you do to prepare boat for transport
mast stepping in San Diego is $350 and the haulout is another $350
my brother and I (we installed EVERY item on my boat when new) spent 20 hours preparing the boat for transport – that is a lot of money if you are paying someone to do the work.
- the amount of work you do to prepare boat for launch
- width of boat (will it require escorts?)
my Caliber 40 was wide (12’ 10”) enough it needed an escort in Oregon
- height of boat (will it fit under all the bridges?)
- route your driver takes
my driver got caught in Oregon on Friday afternoon and was not allowed to proceed until after 8 PM Sunday
my driver avoided I-5 in California to prevent need for California escort
- if shipping from Mexico – will that trailer be allowed into US?

Some of the things we had to do to prepare our Caliber 40 for transport
- remove solar panels
- remove solar panel arch
- remove outboards
- find a place to store the above
- remove anchors from bow
- remove radar from mast
- remove loud hailer from mast
- remove dodger and bimini frame (to make room for arch storage)
- drain water tanks
- secure all lines and shrouds on mast and put bubble wrap everywhere
- find place below to store main and genoa and sheets

The cost of moving my boat on it’s own bottom was mentioned. The cost of taking a sailboat from Cabo San Lucas NORTHWEST to Cape Flattery is unique in the US coastal situation. That is 1,900 nautical miles directly into the prevailing NNW winds and six foot swell. I had already done the southern part of the trip two times and KNEW that we would motor almost every inch of the way.

I knew, based on 10 years and 15,000 miles, that our Yanmar cost $0.48 per nautical mile to operate, excluding rebuild costs. The rebuild cost is about another $0.50 per hour.

So – my costs to move the boat on her own bottom:

235 NM Puerto Escondido to Cabo San Lucas
750 NM Cabo San Lucas to San Diego
1100 NM San Diego to Cape Flattery
150 NM Cape Flattery to Tacoma

assuming I sailed all the way from Escondido to Cabo and Cape Flattery to Tacoma and had a 3-person crew were:

$900 for fuel at $3.25/gallon 5.5 knots/hour & 1 GPH pounding into the swell
$170 for engine rebuild (usage)
$540 for 12 nights at the dock at $45/night
$900 food for 12 days at dock at $25/person/day
$1125 food for 25 days underway at $15/person/day

$3,635 and about 40 days of miserable pounding upwind. Compare that to trucking the boat – I spent two days preparing the boat for the truck, one day to fly home, and four days preparing the boat to re-launch – all in complete comfort!

I don’t think you can extrapolate much from my experience because the OP was talking about a downwind trip for much of the time.

The only possible way to make an educated, rational, economic decision is to get firm bids from truckers, Dockwise, and other transporters, and then use real numbers based on actual experience for the cost of operating the boat, feeding the crew, and dealing with other expenses such as dockage and canal fees, so you can compare costs and time.

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Old 13-08-2014, 19:01   #17
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Re: Getting a boat from Pacific Coast of Mexico to Texas?

Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Add $30K to the price of the boat, plus some drama and if it is still worth it sure, but your better option would just be to fly there and start your cruise there!
Or buy a $30k "better" boat on the correct side of the country -

If "this" is the boat and time is a problem. Do the reposition yourself in stages. Find where you can leave the boat on the route through the canal.

I met a young professional couple in Singapore. They sailed from Seattle to Singapore over like 4 years over "vacations" - In Singapore they were "done" and sold the boat. WestSail 32.

This would require your boat to be "sailaway" as you don't want to get "stuck" doing a refit in a very highly inconvenient place...

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Old 13-08-2014, 19:34   #18

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Boat is on the Rio Dulce
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 3,584
Re: Getting a boat from Pacific Coast of Mexico to Texas?

The options for leaving your boat unattended along the Pacific coast are interesting. Out of the water there is a place in El Salvador another in Costa Rica and then Panama. In the water, Hualtulco, MX., maybe El Salvador, Nicaragua (really nice), Golfito Costa Rica and then Panama. There are a few other marinas for wet storage but the cost is crazy or the river current is. Sport fisherman boats drive the cost up.

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Mexico, texas

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