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Old 12-04-2013, 13:38   #1
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Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

Here is a question:
If I want to get a sailboat for Carribbean cruising, an idea kind of naturally comes to mind to go to some place in that region, and look for boats for sale down there.

If you know the region well, please comment: would you do it, and if so, where and what time of the year?

The best idea I can come up with myself (not knowing much of anything about the region) is Port-O-Spain at the beginning of hurricane season (June? July?), because it looks like there are thousands of boats parked in that area between seasons, so an inventory of good deals should be fairly large.
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Old 12-04-2013, 20:24   #2
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

I'll bump the thread just this once in the hopes of getting some replies.
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Old 12-04-2013, 20:34   #3
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

Personally, I think the best way to shop for boats is Yachtworld. Then, make a trip to actually see one or more of the boats you are interested in. Direct flights are nice. St. Maarten and Tortola probably have the greatest concentration of boats for sale. They are basically next to eachother so you can hop on a Liat flight and visit both. You can visit any time not in hurricane season and not at a holiday. You can see a whole lot of boats in two days per island.
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Old 13-04-2013, 10:19   #4
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Here in the Western Carib I would try Rio Dulce, Guatemala or marinas in Panama. Both places where cruisers park boats for hurricane season. Also the charter fleet in Belize (shop carefully of course).

Travel to the Rio is a bit more inconvenient than some Panama locations, but there are a few boat transactions here every season.
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Old 14-04-2013, 10:29   #5
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

Palarran: In other words, what you are suggesting is: instead of shopping during the off-season in a storage area on the edge of the hurricane zone, to aim at BVI and St.Martin during the cruising season.

There are certainly more boats listed on Yachtworld in St.Martin, than in Trinidad right now. Is it going to be the same story in August-September? What if we don't count hurricane damage boats and ex-charter boats?

belizesailor: the reason I'm thinking about East Carribbean (as well south-eastern parts of US) as a place to buy a cruising boat is that I want to start at an area that is safe and simple. What I read about Panama/Belize so far sounds like it's quite a bit further up on the difficulty scale. Please correct me if I'm wrong there.
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Old 14-04-2013, 14:15   #6
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...
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belizesailor: the reason I'm thinking about East Carribbean (as well south-eastern parts of US) as a place to buy a cruising boat is that I want to start at an area that is safe and simple. What I read about Panama/Belize so far sounds like it's quite a bit further up on the difficulty scale. Please correct me if I'm wrong there.
One advantage of starting in the eastern Carib is that it is downwind to all the rest of the Carib...I think some boats get to the Rio (from where it is up hill to anywhere) and decide they done and put the boat up for sale.

Panama is pretty straight forward (in Bocas del Toro now), but Belizean waters are complex. However you can stick to the major routes in Freya Rauchers guide and that simplifies things.
Winter weather in Belize tends to be less stable than typical idylic Eastern Carib weather...because of strong cold fronts pushing down and more nearby land mass effect. More like Florida weather but without the extreme low temps with the fronts.

I would not avoid Belize for those reason but something to factor into your plans.

Lots of cruising boats come down to Belize/Guate from the USA so that is another option...when you feel ready for that. I assume the USA yacht market is still pretty soft? If so you could buy a boat there, build some experience, and then sail her down to either E or W Carib w more experienced captain/friends.
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:58   #7
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

Hey,
I'm looking now in stmaarten for a sailingcat.The prices are very low at this moment because of the worldwide crisis.the lowest priced boats are used to be charters.nothing wrong with that but you get value for what you pay.i dont mind doing some fixing so i choose to buy as low as possible.and we all need some luck sometimes.
Greetings
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Old 02-05-2013, 14:33   #8
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

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Hey,
.i dont mind doing some fixing so i choose to buy as low as possible.and we all need some luck sometimes.
Greetings
Robbert
The problem with fixing in St Maarten or anywhere in the Eastern Caribbean is the price of parts and having to pay import duties, when bringing in parts from off-island. And then there is finding good dependable help, being as how you aren't local.
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Old 02-05-2013, 14:36   #9
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

St. Maarten is a duty free island so it's actually excellent for rework. It also has ton's of semi-skilled labor for very low prices. It's an ideal place to buy a boat.
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Old 02-05-2013, 21:26   #10
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

Try this BVI Yacht Sales Ltd. (St. Thomas,, Virgin Islands (US))&

Just a question but it seems like Yachtworld has nothig but brokers on it. Was this set up for the broker industry? I started checking craigslist in the area I am looking and was blown away by how much better deals and cheaper prices that I found vs Yachtworld. I had a broker tell me that Yachtworld should be the only place I should be looking. Thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2013, 21:53   #11
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Re: Where and when to shop for a used boat in Carribbean

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Just a question but it seems like Yachtworld has nothig but brokers on it. Was this set up for the broker industry?
That's how I understand it. YachtWorld seems to have the biggest inventory, but it is brokers only. So far, I found direct owner ads on sailboatlistings.com, Craigslist, Kijiji and Ebay.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:25   #12
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Originally Posted by RedHerring View Post
That's how I understand it. YachtWorld seems to have the biggest inventory, but it is brokers only. So far, I found direct owner ads on sailboatlistings.com, Craigslist, Kijiji and Ebay.

Thanks. I will add those to my search as well.
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