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Old 09-03-2019, 18:00   #1
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costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Hi all,

Trying to decide where my familly and I are going to spend a 6 month sailing vacation. Mediterranean or Caribbean?

So far, this is what I found out, please let me know if this is true, and what I am potentially missing:

Caribbean (thinking from florida to grenada)
* A bit less crowded that med
* More free anchorage spots
* Cheaper marinas (what is an average marina fee for a 40ft boat?)
* Cheapish food (I know some foods that comes from the continent can be
very expensive, but you can get foor for cheap)
* Easier, shorter sailing between moorings
* Warm and nice year round (except hurricane season)
* buying a boat there is more expensive than greece or croatia

Med (thinking croatia, greece, turkey)
* More crowded
* Overnights mostly in marinas
* More expensive marinas (what is an average marina fee for a 40ft
boat?)

* Cost of food?. Not sure how this compares to caribbean
* Cost of fuel? Not sure how this compares to caribbean
* More interesting sites to visit
* Gets cold in winter
* Rougher sees in some areas
* boats in greece or croatia seem to be the cheapest around (not sure why)

what else could be added to the comparison to help decide?

Also, besides the cost of marinas, can you tell me what could I be looking at in terms of cost (for a 40ft boat) to leave her in the dry for the off season?

Thanks

G
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Old 09-03-2019, 18:38   #2
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Basically, you got it all wrong and bass-ackwards. I don't know where to begin to put you on the right track. We spend 5 months of the year living basically on 15 euros a day on the hook in Italy, Croatia, this year in Greece and next in Turkey enjoying quiet uncrowded anchorages, along with culture and food which are unobtainable in the Caribbean. The weather from June 1st through September 30th is perfect in the Med, but it does have winter from November through mid April.

This coming winter, we'll spend six months enjoying the Caribbean for what it has to offer, which is water sports including scuba, tropical beaches, warm summer weather during the winter months and nice sailing; food is expensive and not as good as in the Med. The Caribbean is beyond hot during the summer months which is why we and most others like to be there during the winter months.... when there are no Hurricanes.

You need to do some homework.
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Old 09-03-2019, 18:50   #3
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costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Caribbean, forget marinas. Way overpriced. Usually for nothing, by that I mean often a old wooden fixed dock, no pool, no showers etc.
power can go for an additional $30 to $50 bucks a day and $3 a Ft per day is about average Iíd guess, 40í Boat $120 a day and add power if you want it, water usually between 30 and 50 cents a gallon in a marina, often free if you jug it, or best to make it.
Bring everything with you, try to buy nothing here, everything is usually about 300% what it is in the States, but if you bring all your supplies you can cruise very cheap.
Buy an Engle and fill it to the brim with good frozen meat, Iíve yet to find good quality steaks etc here, even at insane prices.

Iím talking Bahamas, I figure prices would come down in the DR and PR?
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:22   #4
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

The eastern med is cheap. The food is great and inexpensive. Lots of boatyards that start at 100 euros a month, 350 lift in/out (depending on length). You can get anything you need for gear/supplies either locally or via SVB shipped cheaply. During the high season - July/August the only places that are really busy are the milk run marinas and bays. You can find solitude if you want and often there are day trippers who will leave in the late afternoon. Even marinas are not expensive and they just keep building new marinas. I know people who sail in May/June, then leave for July /August (on the hard), then come back for Sept/Oct.
What I see some people doing is buying a boat and sailing a season or two, then putting the boat up for sale knowing it will take a year or two to sell and continue using it until it sells. And the best part is the locals are nice and for the most part you do not have to worry about someone stealing your dinghy or gear.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:58   #5
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

The "Caribbean" is a big place. Here in the Western Carib costs are relatively inexpensive. Highest cost dockage I know of is in Panama with Shelter Bay Marina leading the pack. Transient rate for a 40 footer is $1.75/ft/night ($70/night). Long term rate for same boat is about $700/month. This is WAY higher than the rest of Panama's Carib coast (where about $450/month for same boat would be more typical), but Shelter Bay does have nice amenities and a unique location as the only show in town at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal.

The rest of the W Carib is less expensive. Rates on the Rio Dulce for a similar boat in a marina with good amenities (resturant, bar, hotel...) top out at around $350/month and can be had for much less, especially if you give up some amenities, down to about $150 per month.

Much less crowded here than the E Carib, in most venues its easy to find isolated anchorages where you may not even see another boat for days. We just spent several days anchored in the San Blas islands of Panama with no other boats in sight (a few showed up yesterday).

Ashore its dramatically less expensive than the E Carib.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:26   #6
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Two points. Fresh food, notably veg and fruit, is dirt cheap and high quality in Italy, Greece and Turkey. Not so in the Caribbean. Ditto wine. Secondly, while marinas are expensive in summer (very expensive in Italy), in Greece municipalities and restaurants offer free or low cost access to pontoons, some with free water and electricity ! even in high season.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:23   #7
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Any recommendations for long term anchoring or marina in the Med - in particular Mallorca?
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:43   #8
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

We bought our Jeanneau in Croatia after a several year search and yes all ex charter boats are way cheap. Cost of living in eastern med very cheap. Uncrowded anchorages everywhere except close to charter boat bases. Public stern to's super cheap. Yacht services professional and cheap.Short sails to everywhere except Sardinia and Ballerics.
Way hotter than Caribbean's summer. But beautiful clean anchorages. Spectacular cliffs and caves. Easy place to learn cruising skills. Maybe half the sailors speak much english.
Caribbean has fewer anchorages, more boats, some petty theft, ideal tropical environment. World class diving. Consistent trades keep it comfortable. Summers still have a 12kt breeze but can rain a lot! Services and cost of living expensive!
Buy in the Med in winter, sail all summer, join the ARC in November, sail the Caribbean till you have to go back to work.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:50   #9
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

We cruised for 3+seasons in the eastern Medd, and are now in our 5th here in the NE Caribb. There is no contest...go to the Medd! Everything, except some of the marinas around Rome and a few other popular cities in Italy, is cheaper and more of it in the Medd. And there are things to go see/do....swimming/snorkeling-and nothing else- gets old after awhile. Here in the NE Caribb the trade winds are...just that-winds! Great if you're going west, but eastbound-??? And while we did use a number of marinas in the Medd, most very reasonably priced, there was always a good number of free anchorages avail to,,,,try that in the NE Caribb, where most every harbor with any shelter seems to have its mooring field and a spendy cost /night to be on it??
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:51   #10
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by pippatheskippa View Post
Any recommendations for long term anchoring or marina in the Med - in particular Mallorca?
Licata on the south coast of Sicily is a five star marina with a large winter liveaboard community. Very reasonable prices for the October to May period. Sheltered from the Northerlies and a lively town in easy walking distance. large supermarket part of the development and haul out service yards next door.
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Old 10-03-2019, 20:23   #11
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by GS1 View Post
Hi all,

Trying to decide where my familly and I are going to spend a 6 month sailing vacation. Mediterranean or Caribbean?

So far, this is what I found out, please let me know if this is true, and what I am potentially missing:

Caribbean (thinking from florida to grenada)
* A bit less crowded that med
* More free anchorage spots
* Cheaper marinas (what is an average marina fee for a 40ft boat?)
* Cheapish food (I know some foods that comes from the continent can be
very expensive, but you can get foor for cheap)
* Easier, shorter sailing between moorings
* Warm and nice year round (except hurricane season)
* buying a boat there is more expensive than greece or croatia

Med (thinking croatia, greece, turkey)
* More crowded
* Overnights mostly in marinas
* More expensive marinas (what is an average marina fee for a 40ft
boat?)

* Cost of food?. Not sure how this compares to caribbean
* Cost of fuel? Not sure how this compares to caribbean
* More interesting sites to visit
* Gets cold in winter
* Rougher sees in some areas
* boats in greece or croatia seem to be the cheapest around (not sure why)

what else could be added to the comparison to help decide?

Also, besides the cost of marinas, can you tell me what could I be looking at in terms of cost (for a 40ft boat) to leave her in the dry for the off season?

Thanks

G
Why would you go into a marina in the Med? There is soo much space to anchor for free and crowded only in July and August. In winter you book a marina, Marina di Ragusa. Rule is for the last 3000 years: in winter dont sail and if you have to only short distances.

El
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Old 10-03-2019, 22:23   #12
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by GS1 View Post

* boats in greece or croatia seem to be the cheapest around (not sure why)
A lot of sailboats are manufactured in Europe so these boats in the Med have low shipping costs plus have inexpensive access to parts and service.

European members can confirm/deny this but my understanding is there are also big tax benefits (especially in France) to buying boats to support their manufacturers so the residual value of the boat is a not as much of a concern...
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:00   #13
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

We have sailed both and if you look at our cost sheet you can see what it cost us in the Western and Eastern Carib and our time in the Med - these are not what you think it may cost or what people believe but ACTUAL data


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Old 11-03-2019, 02:57   #14
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Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by beirutsailor View Post
Licata on the south coast of Sicily is a five star marina with a large winter liveaboard community. Very reasonable prices for the October to May period. Sheltered from the Northerlies and a lively town in easy walking distance. large supermarket part of the development and haul out service yards next door.
We are currently in Licata and agree with everything above.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:06   #15
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pirate Re: costs of sailing the med vs caribbean

Both are as cheap or expensive as you choose to make them.. Simple.
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