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Old 22-03-2009, 15:34   #1
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Advice for the Bahamas / Caribbean - Three 19 Year-Olds

Hey everyone,

Me and two friends are planning a sailing trip this coming winter to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Many around us are skeptical of our trip. (mainly our parents (mothers) -- we don't NEED there approval but it would be nice to put them at ease).

I'd like to outline our plans and see if anyone has any objections or encouragement.

Experience:

Liam: Very experienced. Has sailed on the tall ships from Japan to Vancouver, as well as from Denmark to West Africa to Brazil. Owns a boat in the Gulf Islands, sails it often. Has done many repairs on his ship and others. Has worked on a yacht for several weeks at a time.

Me: 2 weeks sailing trip around Gulf Islands, several other multi-day boat trips, not always in a sailboat.

Chris: No sailing experience from what I have gathered, but he is a bright Engineering student at UBC.

Our plan is to buy a boat in Florida (around 30' in length) and sail the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, maybe farther down into the Caribbean to Dominican Republic, perhaps the Cayman islands etc. These details will be sorted out later.

Questions:

We would probably ship out of Florida in October... should we wait longer to avoid the storms?

How dangerous is it regarding storms, reefs, pirates??

Is $5 - 10 000 a reasonable price for a boat? And then $500 per month each for maintenance, food, morage, etc?

Should Chris and I get sailing lessons in the summer?

I'd love to hear of your experiences in the Bahamas,

Thanks in advance!

Daniel
Vancouver
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Old 22-03-2009, 15:57   #2
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Hey Daniel, figured I could add to your thread as well

my grandparents stay at a house on long island, bahamas and I know this year they were still getting the tail end of some heavy storms after they got there (mid-october). from what I recall though the weather started to get much nicer in november
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Old 22-03-2009, 15:57   #3
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Daniel,
For a 30' boat, a more realistic price is more like $20,000 or more if you don't want to have a boat and not have to do much to it.
$500 per month each should be fine for the monthly budget.
It is still technically hurricane season until the end of Novemver, although the chance of one occuring is slimmer but not out of the question. A hurricane is nothing to mess with, don't take any chances.
Reefs can be a big problem if you don't know how to identify them....again, it is not something to take lightly, but if you keep a good lookout for them you should be OK.
Pirates - I've never had any problem, but that doesn't mean they are not around. I'm sure there is someone that will tell you about a friend of a friend's cousin who had an encounter.
Yes, you and Chris should get sailing lessons. You might also consider taking a captain with you for a while until you are comfortable.
It's a great dream that you have, don't give up. I was just trying add a touch of reality so there aren't too many surprises.
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Old 22-03-2009, 21:21   #4
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Thanks for your replies guys.

amarinesurveyor -- unfortunately I trust your $20 000 quote because of your name

However I've found some very decent looking boats in Florida on craigslist in the $8 - 15 000 range. They may not be pretty, but do you think some of these boats would be functional?

And after 6 months of sailing, assuming we don't run aground or anything, how hard would resale be?

I think sailing lessons for me and Chris would be a good idea as well, and I'll look into the captain thing.

And thanks so much for your touch of reality - I guess we gotta have some of it!

Dan
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Old 22-03-2009, 21:37   #5
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Thanks for your replies guys.

amarinesurveyor -- unfortunately I trust your $20 000 quote because of your name

However I've found some very decent looking boats in Florida on craigslist in the $8 - 15 000 range. They may not be pretty, but do you think some of these boats would be functional?
I think $20,000 is a reasonable estimate for anything offshore. With $8,000 you could be buying that much worth of heart ache.
Perhaps list what you're looking at to get some detailed opinions.
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Old 22-03-2009, 21:57   #6
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Thanks, good idea Celestialsailor

This one's a 28 footer for $11 000. Might be a bit small but it says it would hold up in the keys and in the Bahamas. It's old but it looks in good shape to me, though I can't say that means much:

28' 1969 Morgan Classic Sailboat with new Diesel



And this one's super cheap, $7500, but a little more suspect:

http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/boa/1071398628.html



Looks good for $12 000. 34' and a fiberglass hull. Needs "cosmetic TLC" - that's what i'm looking for!

Sailboat Formosa 34' for sale


These are all well below your $20 000 bracket. Are they ****?
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Old 22-03-2009, 23:36   #7
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Thanks, good idea Celestialsailor

This one's a 28 footer for $11 000. Might be a bit small but it says it would hold up in the keys and in the Bahamas. It's old but it looks in good shape to me, though I can't say that means much:

28' 1969 Morgan Classic Sailboat with new Diesel



And this one's super cheap, $7500, but a little more suspect:

1974 Glander Sailboat





Looks good for $12 000. 34' and a fiberglass hull. Needs "cosmetic TLC" - that's what i'm looking for!

Sailboat Formosa 34' for sale


These are all well below your $20 000 bracket. Are they ****?
When an ad states..."Has potiential"...it really means a "fixer-upper...bring money". The last one claims 80% done...again...50% more money. The Morgan 28 looks like it is a possibility but you are at the beginning of the search game. You're doing the right thing...turning up every rock. Make sure you have your dollars together and then make an offer. If it were me...25% off the asking price and claim you are a starving student which you probably are!
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Old 23-03-2009, 06:54   #8
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Great plan. Boat selection is critical, most of the boats in your price range will need a lot of work, but bargains can be found, even for $5,000, especially in today's market. They won't be the ones that are still listed after 6 months on the market, they will be the ones that are listed on Wednesday and sold by the weekend.
I personally spent two weeks readying a 30 year old dock boat for a winter in the Bahamas. It looked OK after a 10 minute inspection, but we spent two weeks working on it for a couple of hours in the morning, driving to West Marine to spend at least $100, then working for awhile in the afternoon before driving to West Marine to spend at least another $100, for two weeks. This was at Port Supply prices, and you can add up the total after two weeks. Deck leaks, gas leaks (Atomic 4), rigging, etc. We were still working on the engine two weeks into the cruise. That said, we had a wonderful cruise, and you will too. Pick the boat carefully with the help of a knowledgeable sailor.
Better to wait till the end of November to cross the Gulf Stream, no sense in tangling with a late season Hurricane like last year.
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Old 23-03-2009, 08:32   #9
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just think of hurricane wilma in october of 2005. she was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. she also menaced south Florida and the keys
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Old 23-03-2009, 09:14   #10
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I would have to agree that it will cost you $20K to have a boat ready for the Bahamas and the keys, a lot of the cheaper boat will need work, and you don't want to do the work/repairs in the Bahamas (very expensive). 3 guys on a 30 footer, you better get a long very well. With that said, your trip will be an experience that you will never forget, I just came back from the Abacos last month and will be going again end of April, then on to the Exumas. Get Steve Dodges guide and Explorer charts and you will be fine, Taking some ASA classes would be well worth your time.
there are a number of Web sites that can offer you advice on provisioning and preparing the boat, do your research.
Again, I would definately do this at your age, no commitments and care free, I wish I could have done it at 19.
Good luck and happy hunting.
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