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Old 01-11-2013, 10:26   #91
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Re: Belize

Ahoy Ativa;
My wife and I are rebuilding a Pearson 365 that drafts 5 feet. We would like to make San Pedro one of our first anchorages to explore the Yucatan. The post is several years old but I hope you are still around and might lend us an ear. Bev and Billy..Sta-sea-dawn...constanzaamigo1@yahoo.com
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:45   #92
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Re: Belize Cruising

What is your advice between a monohull and catamaran in Belize?
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:29   #93
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We just spent a week cruising in Belize this November in a 37.5 ft monohull. With some rare exceptions, we went everywhere that the cats went with about a five foot draft. I think it depends on what kind of sailing u want to do and what type of cruising lifestyle your crew prefers. Most of the cat captains I spoke with didn't think the cats sailed very well although their creature comforts were great. BelizeSailor knows everything about cruising in Belize. Hopefully he chimes in.
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Old 13-11-2013, 13:59   #94
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People seem to fixate on the shallow parts of Belize and ignore the fact there is lots of deep water too. For example, the vast majority of routes in Freya's guide carry 6ft or more...and most of her research was done in a monohull.

If you venture North of Belize City then yes there is lots of consistently relatively shallow water, but even there you can run the usual routes...you just wont be far from the bottom....an inch is as good as a mile!

Draft up to about 6' is not a big issue in most of Belize. I used to run two monos that drew about 6' and we were not signficantly constrained. Over 6' you are going to be more constrained by draft.

My suggestion is to stick to central and southern Belize and follow Freya's routes...you will be just fine.

Be aware however that a common characteristic of Belize is that you find deep water surrounded by shoal. So watch your nav carefully to make sure you stay in the deep parts. Dont be lulled into thinking that just because you are in deep water you can be lax...it changes fast.

See the attached pic for an example. See that brown water close on starboard...very shallow. Notice the breaking waves to port...its shallow there too and has big hull eating coral heads that come right to the surface, but the boat, ripping along on a fine day, is in about 30' of water! Just like in this pic there are many narrow deep water routes with shoals close at hand on both sides. Freya's guide documents the major routes well.

(Notice the Moorings boat in the background with no sails up...as is common. WTF? It was an absolutely perfect day blowing about 20 knots...notice reefed main on boat in foreground)

PS: The usual anchorage at San Pedro sux (IMHO). Shallow sand over hard pan, loads of fast skiff traffic and their wakes, plus chop from the wind/waves breaking on the reef. Also, the cut there can be hazardous...if you get it wrong the results can be catastrophic. Pic attached of a cruising boat that got it wrong. Much easier cuts to enter Belize and better anchorages.
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Old 13-11-2013, 14:22   #95
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Old 13-11-2013, 15:16   #96
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Re: Belize Cruising

Didn't see it in this thread, but does anyone have waypoints for Belize? We have the Rauscher guide, but being a second edition, doesn't have waypoints just the hand drawn maps. While the maps are great, waypoints just help to keep us close to target.

We are heading out of the Rio Dulce this week and will check in at Hunting cay (hopefully missing Lawrence rock), from there, we are heading north to Mexico and will be spending the most time around then outer reefs.



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Old 13-11-2013, 16:27   #97
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Re: Belize Cruising

Ditto what Belizesailor said. We chartered on a 40 ft. monohull out of Placencia and never had a problem. Sure, there are reefs but you wouldnt want to try to pass over them in a cat either. We anchored in 70-80 ft. in one place and were literally a stone's throw from water too shallow to sail in. But if you can read the water at all it isn't bad. Deep water is deep blue. Stick to the deep channels. Capt. Freya's guide was right on the money everywhere we went. The Moorings people had some useful waypoints to get into the Pelican Cays as I recall and there may have been others. But we found that using the GPS was only useful to put you in the general location of where you wanted to be. The rest was eyeball navigation.

Best nav. equipment for Belize is a good pair of polarized sunglasses.
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Old 13-11-2013, 16:53   #98
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Re: Belize Cruising

I put all of our waypoints from this summer on our blog. Heading back to pick up Wahoo in Isla then we'll spend the winter in Belize.

True that, about San Pedro but somehow we love it anyway. Its so very what it is! Busy, Fun! Great! With all the traffic, don't swim too far from your boat while anchored. But all the swimming/snorkelling you want at the reef.

S/V WAHOO
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Old 14-11-2013, 06:18   #99
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Re: Belize Cruising

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Sailwyoming.
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Old 14-11-2013, 19:39   #100
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... But we found that using the GPS was only useful to put you in the general location of where you wanted to be. The rest was eyeball navigation.

Best nav. equipment for Belize is a good pair of polarized sunglasses.
Absolutely, WPs and chartplottters should be used prudently in Belize and there are many areas where they are of limited use. A few boats a year usually go seriously aground because someone was glued to the chartplotter.
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Old 20-11-2013, 21:07   #101
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Re: Belize Cruising

Excellent! If you have any must-do stops, please share. We will be heading out of Placencia. Thank you for the info on mono vs cat.
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Old 20-11-2013, 21:11   #102
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Re: Belize Cruising

HI Belizesailor, This is SailWyoming. Thank you for offering to share your Belize notes with us. I tried to PM you but the forum wouldn't allow it to go through. Pls send to jhlandino@gmail.com.
Thank you in advance!
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Old 21-11-2013, 07:22   #103
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Will do. I think you have to have over a certain number of posts before you can PM.
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Old 21-11-2013, 07:28   #104
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Originally Posted by Sailwyoming View Post
HI Belizesailor, This is SailWyoming. Thank you for offering to share your Belize notes with us. I tried to PM you but the forum wouldn't allow it to go through. Pls send to jhlandino@gmail.com.
Thank you in advance!
Email sent.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:20   #105
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Re: Belize Cruising Safety

I've been reading this forum for awhile and would like to thank all the posters for the valuable information.
This is my first post and I wish it were on a more upbeat subject, but it concerns safety.
My wife and I both just turned 63 and we are bringing our 38 year old son down to Belize for a few days in the jungle and a week long charter of a Sunsail 38 ft cat out of the Moorings station in Placencia.
I have talked to various people in the travel industry and the folks at Sunsail, but I don't know if they are the most accurate sources regarding safety. They have a job to protect and I'm sure aren't anxious to talk about this subject regarding any travel destination.
I have read there was a particularly nasty situation involving a charter rental back in 2012.
-Are there any particular precautions we should take in these waters?
-Should we avoid anchoring alone?
-Is there safety in numbers? Will there be enough vessels around that we can easily find occupied anchorages?
-Are there any areas we should avoid?
Is there another section of the forum I should post these concerns for feedback?
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