Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-12-2015, 15:01   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dayton, WA
Posts: 135
Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Hey Everyone,

I have been looking towards cruising for many years and scrapped and reworked my "plan" at least three time due to life events. Divorce, failed investments and the like.

The grandiose dreams of a 40' cat in my 30's for a circumnavigation have devolved into looking at how to spend 1-3 months a year cruising a bit closer to home. Today's dream boat is more likely an older 32'-35' monohull.

As we are developing enough of a "Plan D" that we can see actually being able to purchase another boat nest year we have begun talking about destinations.

Last winter we spent a month in San Carlos Sonora in our 5th wheel and fell in love with the place. We do love spending time in Mexico. The idea of cruising the Sea of Cortez is quite appealing. San Carlos is also relatively easy & inexpensive to get to. Lastly, moorage, storage and provisions are relatively inexpensive.

The alternative we are looking at is Florida & the Bahamas. I have spent plenty of time in Florida and enjoyed my time there but I have never been to the Bahamas. I have dreamt of cruising & diving there. I am intrigued.

I cannot speak to moorage costs but I have found dry storage that is not horribly expensive. Provisioning in Florida is a bit more expensive than Mexico. Is it reasonable to expect to buy 90%+ of your consumables in Florida for Bahamas cruising?

I know that cost is far from the most important factor in choosing a cruising ground. However, given two attractive options, the lower the overall cost of a destination the longer I can stay in a season.

What can you all share with me as far as actual cost and your personal observations of the two destinations?

Thanks

Steve
__________________

__________________
mohave_steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 15:11   #2
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

You can live cheap in MX and the people can't be beat. I didn't notice that or it being cheap in Florida or the Bahamas.
__________________

__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 15:14   #3
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,725
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Don't discount the Western Carrib.. Cancun south is darn nice with some good storage options.
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 15:25   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dayton, WA
Posts: 135
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
You can live cheap in MX and the people can't be beat. I didn't notice that or it being cheap in Florida or the Bahamas.
We have had the good fortune of being able to spend quite a bit of time in various areas in Mexico. We do love it there and you are right on about the people there.

I know we can eat, drink and stay in Mexico and be very frugal. I can also fly from Seattle to Tucson ($117) and catch the Tufesa to San Carlos ($65) so getting there is cheap as well.
__________________
mohave_steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 15:32   #5
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Don't discount the Western Carrib.. Cancun south is darn nice with some good storage options.
Maybe it's just us but we find Belize expensive.
__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 15:33   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dayton, WA
Posts: 135
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Don't discount the Western Carrib.. Cancun south is darn nice with some good storage options.
I have spent time on the Yucatan and in Belize. Love it there!!

Well... Not so much Cancun but PDC and south are awesome. Love the diving on the Mesoamerican Reef.

I do have trouble envisioning the kind of cruising there that I see other places. Quiet anchorages and exploring places that are not "tourist central".

I will have to look closer at the area. However..... I posted questions hoping to reduce my choices from two to one. Now I have three.......
__________________
mohave_steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 15:33   #7
Registered User
 
zboss's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On a boat
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 3,426
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

The only expensive things about the Bahamas is the initial stock up and then any money you spend at bars and restaurants when your there.

You count easily do the 500 buck a month thing once you have stocked up in Florida and if you avoided the bars and restaurants.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
zboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 15:43   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dayton, WA
Posts: 135
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Maybe it's just us but we find Belize expensive.
We found Belize to be quite reasonable. BUT... to enjoy Belize on a budget we ate & drank more like the locals. Walking downtown San Pedro and having dinner from the vendors for $3-$4 was a regular thing for us.

We had to forgo our usual micro brews and premium bourbons in favor of Belikin beer and local rum.

No: Cheerios, paper towels or pretty much any US name brand products. Too expensive.

Not a big deal for us. When I travel I want to experience the place that I am visiting. It will be a cold day in Hell when you see me travel to another country and eat a Big Mac or drink a Budweiser.
__________________
mohave_steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 17:35   #9
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,725
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohave_steve View Post
I have spent time on the Yucatan and in Belize. Love it there!!

Well... Not so much Cancun but PDC and south are awesome. Love the diving on the Mesoamerican Reef.

I do have trouble envisioning the kind of cruising there that I see other places. Quiet anchorages and exploring places that are not "tourist central".

I will have to look closer at the area. However..... I posted questions hoping to reduce my choices from two to one. Now I have three.......
Cancun is different when you are cruising. Stay out at Isla Mujeres and you will find what you are looking for.

I guess the point is, don't limit yourself. Just "go with the flow".
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 17:56   #10
cruiser

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Carolinas and Bahamas
Boat: cal 29
Posts: 65
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

The good thing about Mexico is the 10 yr TIP. I think I paid around $100 in '09
__________________
sharkbait is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 19:32   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dayton, WA
Posts: 135
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkbait View Post
The good thing about Mexico is the 10 yr TIP. I think I paid around $100 in '09
Yes, if you take proper advantage of the TIP it is quite reasonable.

Last year I spent almost $300 on my TIP's and never left the "free zone". My original plan was to spend time in Mazatlan (TIP required). I stopped in San Carlos for a day or two to "decompress". Then decided to stay another day or two to see the area. We enjoyed that and decided to stay for another couple of days. After almost 3 weeks we figured out that we weren't going to Mazatlan.....

If I had known how it was going to play out I would have saved the $ and not purchased the TIP's but that's OK. I don't set out on a journey with a schedule. Just an Idea of where & when I think I am going. No schedule, no worries.....
__________________
mohave_steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2015, 10:03   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

OP - Not sure from what you said if you intend to liveaboard year-round or just for the winters. I suspect just the winters. I don't know anything about Florida or the Bahamas really but getting boat parts would probably be much cheaper and easier there then in the spots south of San Carlos. If in San Carlos you still have to drive north to Arizona to get parts in without going through MX customs (you still would have to declare and drive or bus at the border of course - but much easier and usually much cheaper).

There have always been long term cruisers who bring their boats back north to San Carlos for the "off/hurricane" season but understand that it is a long passage to get there from other places in MX south on the Pacific side. Many will hang out on the east side of Baja and then go over to SC towards when they want to go on the hard there. It's still a long way and you have to plan your season around that. I have friends who parked their boat in PV this last summer and had the stress of the last hurricane go over them (no damage/problems but the hurricane went a bit south of them). They did not want the long slog up to SC.

Some others may jump in and give more input (and corrections) to this. Just FYI and a way to ask more questions from those who have done it. Most cruisers love the Pacific MX though. We never spent much time in the Sea of Cortez (our mistake) but loved our 18 months from La Paz south, including a (hot, hot, hot) summer in PV.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2015, 10:11   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SF Bay Area/Baja California
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 32
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

You don't mention where you are starting from or where you intend to get your boat. Most folks who cruise the Sea of Cortez buy their boat on the west coast and sail down around the peninsula. This can be expensive because you are paying US prices to purchase, store and outfit your boat in preparation for a long passage in open ocean (down the Pacific coast) before you get to your cruising ground. Of course you do get the opportunity to join the Baja Ha Ha which is supposed to be a great experience. I have twice purchased boats in Mexico suitable for cruising there. Good opportunities come up in San Carlos, Mazatlan, La Paz, etc. when folks who have already done all that preparation for cruising decide to bail out and want to sell at a discount. Parts are pricey in Mexico but the inexpensive and generally good quality labor more than makes up for it and you can bring things down yourself.

I haven't cruised Florida or the Bahamas but I have visited there. It does seem pricey to me, the folks seem less friendly than in Mexico and every place I went was FLAT. I love that there are so many mountains near the water in Mexico. Google "Puerto Escondido, Loreto."

Good luck!!
__________________
coolboat30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2015, 11:05   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Alpine, Texas
Boat: Nor'star Flicka 20'
Posts: 59
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Have you considered an ocean going pocket curser. Burl Ives cruised The Sea of Cortez in his Flicka "Sparrow" for years. I have one and am considering trailering her to San Carlos as others have and cruse the Sea as I love Mexico too. Lots of out of the way coves to anchor in and explore/ dive, etc. There were a couple of Flickas for sale in La Paz last year. Go to the Flicka20@yahoogroups.com sight. They have articles regarding cruising the Sea.
Fair Winds,
Kevin
Norstar Flicka Hull#17 "Desert Star"
__________________
DolphinBuddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2015, 11:06   #15
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,772
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

western caribbbean is still overpriced next to west coast mexico.
when one is able to buy a brand new hand made wood hollow box boom of ipe aka parota wood, for 1200 pesos, at 17 pesos to one dollar, you do the math...
tacos for 15 pesos, meal of stew of whatever kinds available-- riblets in red sauce, chicken in crema poblana, chicken en mole... chiles rellenos--with jalisco style rice n beans and hand made tortillas... less than 50 pesos.. excellent.
as f or boat work--- no problem. anyhting canbe found in mexico. not a lot of money. when a mexican tells me something is a lot of money then follows that up with is 150 pesos, i choke back a laugh , buy it on the spot, and run like a common thief to stow it or install it into my boat.
never trust a mechanic speaking english inm exico. he is a robber and will either remove parts from your engine in the name oof repairing it, or will quadruple charge you, state your perfectly good perkins is trash, and proceed to try to sell you a yanmar at 3 times manufacturers recommended list pricing. with a 10,000 usd fee for assessment at your boat,..
DO NOT GO THERE!!!!! if your engine needs anything from injector work, injector pump rebuild, starter rebuild, rebuild of entire diesel, find fishermen, make friends. help them. they will help you and you willbe sooooo happy. you will also spend less than 4000 usd to completely rebuild an engine so that it is new, including electricals and fuel system in full, and the oil cooling heat exchanger.
the rebuild for injector pump was less than 200 usd with lift pump, also.
anything and everything is rebuildable here. for not much money.
but then i remain away from larger expat settlements and desert mexico, which are not same world.

llearn spanish. it helps.
a lot.


btw-- the longer you remain in an area, the better the locals get to know you and trust you, and the less pricey is your cruising.
__________________

zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Bahamas, budget, cruising, florida, sea of cortez

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruising grounds in retirement dangerfield55 Atlantic & the Caribbean 18 02-11-2015 00:27
Florida the next cruising grounds to be littered with oil rigs? avb3 Our Community 10 27-10-2013 05:24
Newbie Cruising Grounds!! finleyg Multihull Sailboats 17 10-10-2012 09:24
Best Cruising Grounds in the Caribbean / C. America for the Summer? cbcat General Sailing Forum 0 19-03-2010 09:18
Easiest Cruising Grounds unbusted67 Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 21 27-02-2010 09:15



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.