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Old 18-12-2015, 11:15   #16
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

$1 US Dollar is currently $17 Pesos....

Violla
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Old 18-12-2015, 11:17   #17
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

IMHO, the Sea of Cortez is hard to beat for cruising. I may be a bit biased as a hard-core Baja-phile, beginning my travels to Baja with my parents in 1954. After years of overland exploration of the Baja Peninsula, I made the jump in 2008 to combine my two favorite pastimes; Baja and sailing.

Time spent from 2008 to 2015 along the west coast of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez, I'm unequivocal about the Sea of Cortez being one of the finest places to spend time exploring and cruising. The people are wonderful; the water is clear and usually warm; the snorkeling is great; the fishing (while no where near as good as it was 40-years ago) is still hard to beat; the pace of living is comfortable; the cost of living is very affordable (with the exceptions of marina and boat part costs); and, as you have pointed out is easy and relatively inexpensive to fly to Mexico.

Unless you want to do the sail south, down the Pacific Coast of Baja, it may be worth exploring purchasing a boat in Mexico (La Paz Yachts as well as others have websites to view their inventory). You will need to purchase a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) that will cost ~$51 USD in Mexico (~$45 USD if done on-line) that is good for 10-years before needing renewal. Marina costs will be about the same as you would expect to find in southern California (~$17-19 USD/ft). For that fee you will usually get much better service, such as either WiFi or direct wired Internet service, 24-hour security, helpful information and support for marine services and clean, well maintained facilities. Less expensive dockage can be found at some of the boat yards, but generally they will not be as well maintained as the more expensive options.

In La Paz, San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas many parts can be found. Pricing will be higher than what you would expect to pay in the US. Parts that are not available may be shipped from the US. Armed with a copy of your TIP, replacement parts can be imported from the US when you travel south without having to pay additional duty. I have personally imported items from as large as a new replacement rudder and new 10-foot RIB to a new radar system to replace an old one, all without a problem.

There is a large contingent of cruisers who spend the prime cruising season in the Sea, storing their boats, on the hard, in the San Carlos area during hurricane season. We spent a bit more money and stored our boat either on the hard or in the water in La Paz. If you opt to leave the boat in the water, it is advisable to contract with a local diver to routinely clean the bottom, check and replace your zincs (all an added expense).

This cruising ground is a desert and will not offer the tropical feel as the Caribbean or Belize would present, but is less crowded with enough anchorages and coves to offer to keep a cruiser occupied for years. The trip between San Carlos and La Paz also includes spectacular opportunities for exploration. Most day sail between anchorages to and from San Carlos, with the longest leg between Santa Rosalia and San Carlos. With a post mid-night departure, landfall can be made in plenty of light on the other side.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, but that is my two-cents worth of advice.
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Old 18-12-2015, 11:19   #18
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

I’ve sailed both extensively. I prefer the Bahamas by far, although I love the Sea of Cortez.
-many more protected anchorages.
-Longer distances in the Sea between anchorages
-Much warmer water in Bahamas
-easier better snorkeling, clearer water
-Great sailing in flat water
-The Northers can blow for days in the Sea of Cortez.. huge waves.
- If you get off the beaten path in the Bahamas you can be all alone.
-Cold water much of the year in the Sea of Cortez (63 degrees)
-Bahamas easier to get to from the US.
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Old 18-12-2015, 11:44   #19
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
$1 US Dollar is currently $17 Pesos....

Violla
Sigh... I only wished... Just checked today.. Costs me 1.43 Canadian Pesos to buy an American dollar... DAMN..
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Old 18-12-2015, 13:37   #20
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

i knew i forgotthat lil item. as it rises, peso to dollar, life gets waaaay much easier and repairs are so much faster to finish. is amazing how wealthy one can feel when on strict limited income and exchange rate favors us so well.
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Old 18-12-2015, 14:33   #21
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

I'm sorry but I just heard that Mx is completely filled up. The have began charging a excess travel fee for boats of $100@foot@day...
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Old 19-12-2015, 05:43   #22
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by DolphinBuddy View Post
... Burl Ives cruised The Sea of Cortez in his Flicka "Sparrow" for years ...
Burl Ives Flicka
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Old 19-12-2015, 09:24   #23
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

It is freezing in the Sea of Cortez in the winter.....
So the solution is to cross over to the mainland and sweat until your hearts content. We made a point to try and get out of the sea right after thanksgiving so I didn't have to wear socks!
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Old 19-12-2015, 12:18   #24
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

The Sea of Cortez is a pretty good spot. We intend when we finish cruising farther afield to keep a boat there for part of the year cruising until we are too old to do it. It lacks for nothing and we think 90 % of the thrill of unended , international cruising could be had right there for very little money.
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Old 19-12-2015, 21:28   #25
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

I was going to let this go and not get riled but Zeehan needs a response. As someone who has been cruising in Baja off and on for 40+ years on 4 different boats, I beg to differ with his point of view. I speak fluent Spanish and that clearly is an advantage but, to say that any Mexican who speaks English is a robber is over the top arrogant. Since most gringos in Mexico speak little or no Spanish I am sure they appreciate the Mexicans who have had the opportunity to learn English so they can help foreigners who visit their country without first learning the language. Of course they charge more! They deserve more for the service they are providing. In my experience, the extra charge seldom rises to the level of robbery.

Also, in my opinion, the best boat technicians in Mexico are ex-patriot Americans, Canadians, etc. That is because they went to technical schools to learn their craft and there are no such opportunities for most Mexicans. I have had some excellent work done by locals and sometimes it has been a disaster. Anytime you say "everyone" "anyone" "all" when talking about human beings, you are probably making a false statement.
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Old 19-12-2015, 22:34   #26
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Well...I think its a mixed bag as far as prices go in Mx. First the price of slips far surpass slips in Northern Ca. The influx of newbies (thanx Latitude 38) has driven the prices up. It's saving grace are the plentiful anchor out areas. But in the past have turned into marinas later on.
I had an alternator worked on. It was a dirt floor garage and I took it back 3 times and finally settled on another one he had. I took it to the states to a rebuilder and he said, no big deal. A hull cleaner charges the same as the US and I assure you he lives much cheaper that his US counter part. IMHO Mx labor is mediocre. I don't think it has much to do with their english skills.
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Old 20-12-2015, 09:11   #27
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboat30 View Post
I was going to let this go and not get riled but Zeehan needs a response. As someone who has been cruising in Baja off and on for 40+ years on 4 different boats, I beg to differ with his point of view. I speak fluent Spanish and that clearly is an advantage but, to say that any Mexican who speaks English is a robber is over the top arrogant. Since most gringos in Mexico speak little or no Spanish I am sure they appreciate the Mexicans who have had the opportunity to learn English so they can help foreigners who visit their country without first learning the language. Of course they charge more! They deserve more for the service they are providing. In my experience, the extra charge seldom rises to the level of robbery.

I found the best boat technicians in Mexico are ex-patriot Americans, Canadians, etc. That is because they went to technical schools to learn their craft and there are no such opportunities for most Mexicans. I have had some excellent work done by locals and sometimes it has been a disaster. Anytime you say "everyone" "anyone" "all" when talking about human beings, you are probably making a false statement.
This was also my experience in 2004-2006. I did find repairs made in MX a mixed bag, with some good work done by locals and by expats, as well as some very bad work done by locals and by expats. Overall the best boat techs, with some notable exceptions, for boat specific work, were expats with significant marine trade experience and schooling. On the other hand, for general mechanical and hydraulic work, the locals seemed to do a very good job provided you make your expectations well known.

I would be hesitant to have an alternator done there as they are much more experienced with keeping auto and truck alternators going than high output alternators found on many boats. "Tomorrow" (manana with a tilde) is something you hear a lot. I had a new gear made for a winch there though and it was first rate and you could have eaten off of the shop floor it was so clean. I got some hydraulic hoses made in a dumpy place with dirt floors and it was top notch work. I have heard of one very good electrician there but it is not something I would expect to find everywhere.

Outboard repairs can be horrible there unless you have a two-stroke in a brand they have there. Parts can be very hard to find.

Any one needing repairs there should ask around the cruising community for recommendations. I would not base my decision whether to go based on the repair work and parts availability though as you can get good work done and get the parts readily enough. But it is NOT the same as being in the US or other country with well developed marine trades. IMO if you cruise out and about you need to be generally handy, have tools, and expect to do much work yourself. Otherwise you may find things expensive and a true hassle at times.

And, there are some English speaking, and some Spanish speaking, locals who overcharge the gringos and may or may not do good work, or even finish the work started, e.g. boat detailing. But I would happily pay the locals who did good work and I appreciated their English skills.
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Old 20-12-2015, 09:50   #28
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Originally Posted by coolboat30 View Post
Quote:
I was going to let this go and not get riled but Zeehan needs a response. As someone who has been cruising in Baja off and on for 40+ years on 4 different boats, I beg to differ with his point of view. I speak fluent Spanish and that clearly is an advantage but, to say that any Mexican who speaks English is a robber is over the top arrogant. Since most gringos in Mexico speak little or no Spanish I am sure they appreciate the Mexicans who have had the opportunity to learn English so they can help foreigners who visit their country without first learning the language. Of course they charge more! They deserve more for the service they are providing. In my experience, the extra charge seldom rises to the level of robbery.

I found the best boat technicians in Mexico are ex-patriot Americans, Canadians, etc. That is because they went to technical schools to learn their craft and there are no such opportunities for most Mexicans. I have had some excellent work done by locals and sometimes it has been a disaster. Anytime you say "everyone" "anyone" "all" when talking about human beings, you are probably making a false statement.
speaking of false statements--try researching genders of folks against whom you complain before complaining.
i am a disabled senior female who has been 100 percent full time cruising mexico for the past nearly 5 yrs. only one week away from mexico fro dead brother trip of one week.
i realize this short time, only 5 yrs, of full time residence in mexico in my formosa 41 ketch is not nearly as much time as you have spent in your suppozedly 40 years of part time cruising, and you cannot know in 40 yrs of alleged part time cruising the research done by me in my years prior to sailing to cruise mexico.(1990-2011, and ongoing currently)
please 'splain me how a gringo expat who steals parts off engines in the name of repowering a stranded gringo cruiser is a good mechanic. and this is not an isolated area for that--all of the gringo mechanics i have heard of in mexico do this--is a standard to live down to.
each and every locale in which gringos cruise there are these ripoff gringos.
i learned about this one here when i was in ensenada, as he removed a friend's entire engine and had it sent inland, never to be seen again. talk with thrid day about this same jakass who is now in barra denavidad after having been banished from working in ensenada, banderas bay, and now makes turkeys and hams deep fried for christmas gatherings, wherein he spews forth that no one needs a perkins rebuilt, as they are obsolete, when he can come to your boat for his fee of 10,000 usd to initially inspect the situation, then charge you minimum 50,000usd for a 15000 usd engine, yanmar... for which location of parts here are impossible, and remove one significant yet small part so out in ocean, mebbe 50 miles out, you are stranded and need a return to this same port for buying that part of your own back to find he removed yet another one in its stead so you are bound to return to his thieving arms in gratitude for not dying at sea.
hell, i even heard so much bad stuff on the mazatlan duo from thieving hell before i ever left san diego on my way south. i avoided la paz, as it is a gringo enclave, not a place i desired to visit.
get real.
i laugh at your ignorance and lack of attention to a real issue in any cruiser locale, not merely mexico.
please tell me how fleecing gringos by elevations in prices among other issues experienced, as compared to the very competent and HONESTY locals who are accountable for their work, UNLIKE gringo expats who couldnot give a ratsass about the location of your demise??
please tell me again who is not educated on life in the place you allegedly cruise???
get real.
i have recently rebuilt my runaway diesel, named KA LUNK-- you might wish to search fro that thread, as it is a well used one.. and see what is the fact here. prices included.
misinformation abounds in expat communities, as expats donot mingle with locals. this i have observed and experienced.
i prefer GOOD and realistic work. NOT overpriced fleecing for no good reason other than a wallet needs fed.
let those make a living off the ones with unlimited funding, as they will not care about the fleecing, and will loyally report how good the fleecer was to them as he removed yet more parts. just as you are doing with your uneducated unresearched posting.
as for opportunities for mexicans to become certified in boat stuff--menbbe you should have visited some of mexico before statements of that nature. you DO realize there are opportunities you donot think about--mexico has much shipping an d sports boating opportunities, in factt, one isnot able ot own or run a business in mexiico without a mexican partner. many choose thieves as partners as thieves will not report the discrepancies as instructed by the gringo partner.
research better, so mebbe your platform is not disintigrated by someone who does not sit in bars drinking beer with the other boozers and loozers in expat-ville, scamming others from their old neighborhoods because they cannot manage to successfully accomplish positive repairing without some kind of gross theft.
and if you consider a certification from usa a good thing, mebbe you should remain there.
i consider 30 plus years on shrimper boats--not pangas, as a fair certification process. he is alive. his repairs did not cause loss at sea, as opposed to some others i can easily quote to you from facts on returns for repairs and types of repairs..witnessed in mazatlan. results of gringo repair men with allegedly good reputations, despite what i heard in san diego , which was from the distributors of the parts used in the repeat repairs.
there is a navgaation school in mazatlan run by a friend of mine, the port captain. might wanna figger out that mexico is actually more developed in many ways than is usa.
research and learn.
watch who you accuse of lack of accurate information.
you may find yourself the one lacking, as a direct result of conversation and experiences.
hell you cannot even speel my name correctly nor get my gender correct. how can you be in knowledge of what is going on anywhere???? rodlmffao.

btw--my eyes and ears are NOT what is disabled of me, nor is my brain. 9 i suyffer a very high iq and no tolerance of fools and stupidity.
ignorance may be educable, but stoopit is a choice. ....
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Old 20-12-2015, 09:56   #29
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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... "Tomorrow" (manana with a tilde) is something you hear a lot...
Mañana is the Mexican term for "not today."
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Old 20-12-2015, 10:23   #30
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Mañana is the Mexican term for "not today."
i found when these local folks like ye, they say manana to mean in 5 minuets. i havebeen surprised to learn it also means not immediately, but if ye wait a lil few minuets, you are gonna be most fortunate.

btw--soc is not the inexpensive place to cruise inmexico. too many gringos. prices are high.
mexico in tropics, away from aridzona south, away from kalifornikasha south, away from teejass south, out of the desert, is the really cool place to see mexico.
all the movies avbout mexico have desert because that is what white usa expects to see--desert.
mexico has a 2000 mile long coastline, and that is west coast only. mor eon east coastal mexico.
saying soc is mexico is sooooo far from correct. is soo wrong.
more of mexico is green and lush than desert chock full o' gringos. trust me-- come look see for self. learn, not spew from your limited repertoire. .
there is also inland, wherein are volcanoes and mayan ruins and other awesome tourismo attractions. history. geology. geography.
and i bet you dont know mexico is planning refineries to reduce dependence on usa oil.
all one needs in mexico is a good rapport with fishermen and all is at fingertips, in realistic pricing and excellent workmanship, and awesome accountability. UNLIKE their gringo wannabe counterparts.
i trust mexicans over gringos every day .
i would place my life in hands of mexican locals over gringo wannabes any and every day.
experience dictates.

peso now 16.75 to one usdollar.
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