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Old 08-03-2010, 21:57   #1
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If You Could Pick Anywhere...

To keep your boat for a year just outside of the US in a tropical wonderland, where would it be?

I'm looking for a home base to be able to sail our Atlantic 57 for a year or longer until we can live aboard and my criteria is:
  1. Direct flight or at least travel within a day from Colorado.
  2. Safe insurable location/marina during hurricane season.
  3. Very good security.
  4. Reasonable low price and as stress free as possible.
  5. Good sailing, water, reefs.

Hopefully we could get to the marina, provision same day, cast of the lines, sail for week and even possibly to go for a long weekend.

I'm considering La Paz Mexico at CostaBaja. It's a very first class marina at about $21/foot. It meets my criteria but it's about 12 hours door to door and it would be nice to be a little easier to fly into. However, this is the best I can come up with for now so what's better?

I'm considering Belize/Guatemala as it's about the same travel time but not sure about marinas.

The BVI and Windward/Leewards are a little tough to get to in a day so I think it's out. Tortola would probably be the easiest but it's a really long day at 15+ hours and we'd loose a day both sides.

Any recommendation for Belize or any other locations?
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Old 09-03-2010, 16:46   #2
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My vote would be for La Paz. Great place, great people, wonderful weather, clear warm water, and many close by islands and anchorages to cruise for a weekend or a year. Access seems to be the greatest obstacle. If you could swing and early morning flight into San Diego (~8am) you could make connections at the Greyhound terminal for the Volaris bus to Tijuana Int'l for a direct flight to La Paz (departs around noon and takes ~2 hrs to La Paz). One way cost is ~$140 U.S. That still adds ~5hrs between San Diego and La Paz, so depending on availability and flight time from Colorado, this may or may not help. Costa Baja, while a bit out of town, is closer to the channel entrance and does provide very good hurricane protection in the inner harbor. Marina de La Paz, while not as protected, is closer to town and a bit less expensive. Good luck on an enviable decision to make. They all sound good! ...Pete
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:42   #3
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I think the Dominican Republic fits your bill
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:55   #4
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Bahamas. You may not be able to get a direct flight from Colorado, But you should be able to fly into Miami or Ft. Lauderdale and take a short shuttle flight from there.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:04   #5
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Agility,
I had a very nice visit with Chris White on an Atlantic 57 last month. I was extremely impressed with the boat. I'm looking at buying one (when I save a few pennies and nickels...). I would be extremely interested in discussing with you about your experiences with the boat. And....if you happen to choose the Bahamas, we plan on sailing there from time to time, and perhaps could meet up there sometime.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:06   #6
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I absolutely love Guatemala; it's one of my favorite places in the world. But I don't know of a major airport that's close by on the Rio Dulce side.
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Old 13-03-2010, 15:40   #7
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Mexico.

b.
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Old 14-03-2010, 08:50   #8
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For the least hassles and maximum boat and person security look into Grenada at the bottom of the Windwards. American Airlines has non-stops from Florida but you would need to get from Colorado to Miami.
- - Basically under the flight time restrictions you mentioned you are stuck with Central America. The west coast below Mexico appears to have some good places for the boat but getting to a major international airport could be an all-day land adventure.
- - The east coast of Central American can present a security problem when storing a boat unless it is properly prepared to thwart curious, sticky fingered locals and other cruisers.
- - The Dominican Republic offers Luperon for in-water hurricane season storage and 3 international airports for getting to and from the USA. Security can be a problem but generally it is very secure especially if you have an ex-pat watch the boat.
- - Further down-island in-water storage during hurricane season is rather risky. Although you can - if you plan ahead - get the boat hauled and stored in an "approved storm season" boatyard in Puerto Rico. It is not cheap but quite safe.
- - Everywhere else is a "crapshoot" as to whether any storms will impact the specific area your choose. Grenada offers the best "odds" on successfully surviving the "in-the-box" storm season. To get out of the "box" you need to go all the way to Trinidad, Venezuela, A.B.C. Islands or Cartagena.
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Old 14-03-2010, 09:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spammy View Post
Agility,
I had a very nice visit with Chris White on an Atlantic 57 last month. I was extremely impressed with the boat. I'm looking at buying one (when I save a few pennies and nickels...). I would be extremely interested in discussing with you about your experiences with the boat. And....if you happen to choose the Bahamas, we plan on sailing there from time to time, and perhaps could meet up there sometime.
I've spent a bunch of time in the Abacos and have always really enjoyed those islands. The only problem is that we would have to put the boat on the hard and I'm not sure we could get hauled there.
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Old 14-03-2010, 10:12   #10
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There are a couple place in the Abacos where you may be able to dry store your boat - Marsh Harbour Boat Yard and Abacao Yacht Services on Green Turtle Cay.

Just learned that MHBY now has more space available for dry storage.
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Old 14-03-2010, 11:36   #11
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There are a couple place in the Abacos where you may be able to dry store your boat - Marsh Harbour Boat Yard and Abacao Yacht Services on Green Turtle Cay.

Just learned that MHBY now has more space available for dry storage.
Unfortunately with a 26.5' beam we need a larger travel lift then either of these yards have. It's not required to be on the hard but if it's in a hurricane area and the marina isn't suitable to withstand a direct hit I have decided it's not worth the risk.

Grenada is an interesting choice. The Port Louis Marina seems like it might be OK during a hurricane? I've emailed for prices, could be expensive.

I looked at Luperon on the web and it's a possibility but it doesn't seem as safe as Grenada or La Paz.
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Old 14-03-2010, 15:12   #12
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It all depends on what you want in a cruising destination.

I just left my boat in storage in the Bahamas. The rates are comparable to U.S. rates and the transportation is logistically easier than many U.S. locations.

What I like about the Bahamas is the diversity, especially the ability to spend days at islands and not see another boat. You don't find that in many fair weather locals any more.
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Old 14-03-2010, 20:26   #13
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We don't mind seeing other boats as long there aren't a lot of charter boats dragging down on us. The Bahamas are nice but I haven't found a travelift large enough.

I got information form Port Louis Marina in Grenada and they are about the same price as CostaBaja in La Paz. Seem comparable but there is a yard (Grenada Marine | Boat Refits & Storage) that seems first class and has an extra wide trevelift and reasonable rates. We can get there on two flights in about 11 hours so while not great, it's very doable.

Any other recommendations?
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Old 14-03-2010, 21:28   #14
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Vancouver Canada. I know you asked for tropical but hey we had to import snow to hold the winter olympics
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