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Old 23-06-2014, 17:14   #16
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

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Not a good idea at all. Even if you have someone looking after the boat you will spend your week, two weeks, whatever,working to get the boat in sailing condition rather than pleasantly sailing around the islands. Nothing worse than a boat that's not used. And of course there's the cost and worry of being an absentee owner.
Yeah, flying over just for a week wouldn't work, I'm talking about visiting for a month at a time as a minimum.

Vasco, your moto is "Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter". Aren't you doing something similar then? How is that working out?
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Old 23-06-2014, 17:29   #17
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

Here's a new thread titled more appropriately, to encourage people who do it to share their actual logistics. Then we can crunch the numbers and figure out at what point it becomes an interesting alternative.

Logistics to keep a small boat in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 23-06-2014, 17:41   #18
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

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How about recovered capital after having enough of the subject cruising grounds and ready to sell the boat? A $30K boat has depreciated enough already to be sold at like or better price, if upgraded somewhat. Figures should look much favorable then.

I mean, I'm talking go there for at least a month at a time. Chartering a smallish boat for a month just once, is $10K right there. There is currently a Morgan 33 in St Martin that can be bought for that money, hehe



Haven't thought about that, I was thinking to just grab one of the local boats that have been around the area for a while (years?). How are their owners keeping them there? I bet they are not locals either.
Yeah, a lot of ways to look at it for sure! I wouldn't pay $30k for a Morgan OI33 though...?
It's a tempting idea, I've thought about it or similar schemes before.
As vasco indicated, don't overlook the work required to get it ready to go every time. Just storing boats in FL and Trini taught me how much they just get dirty, moldy, deteriorate etc sitting. You could end up spending 2 weeks work for a 4 week vacation... not to mention the decommissioning after.... But if you get a simple boat with NO teak outside.....no water maker, etc...... maybe easier...
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Old 23-06-2014, 18:05   #19
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

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I wouldn't pay $30k for a Morgan OI33 though...?
Me neither! Boat is selling for $10K, not $30K. It will obviously need some work. It doesn't have to be that boat, it's just an example. How well prepared will it need to be? Can one safely navigate around the Caribbean / Bahamas on a lesser boat? Are the distances short enough to pick your weather without too much risk, or do you need a well-prepared, offshore capable vessel, when jumping between protected areas?

Agree, commissioning / decommissioning will be a pain. This idea might end up being a function of how shitty a boat can one tolerate, so as to simplify logistics , maintenance, depreciation, and berthing costs. It certainly won't be the type of boat that we proudly keep near home for the weekends, the one we show our friends and treat like a 2nd wife. No, it will be our "secret little compromise boat", haha, if it may offer long term access to the tropics at the cost of a few weekly charter trips? That's not a statement, but if it's indeed achievable I think I would seriously consider it. And not tell my snobby buddies about it.
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Old 24-06-2014, 04:08   #20
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Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
I hope you are not talking about this: A state-of-the-art Caribbean Superyacht Marina - YCCS Marina Virgin Gorda Looks veeery pricy



There should be more, I'll look into it - thanks.

No, HUD is talking about here http://www.virgingordayachtharbour.c...a/slip-rentals

Reading the threads you've started it seems like your concept is interesting. Quickly I think the purchase of your boat will be the most insignificant cost of your plan. About two years ago I sold what you are describing. She was a very simple 31' sloop built like a tank that could take you anywhere. At one of the cheapest local marinas I spent about $4000/yr on a slip including water. Power was minimal because I spent a boat unit on solar that could keep the beer cold off the grid for months without running the engine or plugging into shore. I did not spend money on insurance. I hauled out every 2 or three years for bottom paint. It had a very reliable old 15hp Yanmar and was easy to sail. I kept the costs of ownership as low as possible while keeping it in a hurricane protected marina. I live 15 minutes from the marina and did 90% of the work myself keeping the boat in a condition where I could jump on her in moments notice and be gone for a few weeks. I paid a bit over $10k for the boat and spent well over that in the first year of ownership getting systems up to snuff. I can't imagine trying to keep interior mold down and the systems running if you would leave the boat closed up for long periods and then expect to step on and go. Paying others to clean and maintain a vessel is expensive but possible if you get to know who to use. I can't imagine doing that effectively if you plan to get on a boat and move it to someplace else frequently. There is a graveyard of boats down here with distant owners who had plans like yours. The distant owners that seem to make it work have boats worth over $100k, pay someone to watch over the boat and then schedule 3-5 days at arrival to clean, provision, bend on sails, install bimini, fix what's on the list from when they left it etc. At the end of the trip they spend a couple of days storing linens in plastic bags, dropping sails, giving away perishable food etc. It gets expensive fast and I think there really is a bare minimum one can spend for awhile to own a boat but going below that will cost more later in maintenance or in decreased resale value. And don't forget finding a hurricane safe place for the summer months!

Not knowing how much you've sailed in the Caribbean I'm perplexed by your comments of not wanting to use a base but to be moving so as not to get bored. I've lived here, sailed many weeks every year and work for a charter company taking guests around the area on term charters and there are still dozens and dozens of anchorages I've not been to in the BVI alone. Cruisers go to the Spanish Virgins for a week and end up spending a couple of months!

You might also check with these guys. No affiliation just aware of happy customers. http://longtermcharters.com


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Old 24-06-2014, 05:22   #21
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

Thanks for the link, Rubikioop.

Here's the VGYH "Drysail" deal...

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DRYSAIL PROGRAM
This program was started as many boat owners said they never got enough use out of their vessels. It is available from November 1 to May 31.

Your yacht is kept in storage “on the hard” when not in use. It will then be launched, upon your direction, when you are ready to go cruising. When you are ready to return home your yacht is hauled according to your previous arrangements. Vessel owners or owner’s representatives must be present at time of hauling and launching.

There are very significant advantages to this program:

It is less expensive than keeping your yacht in a slip.
There is no chance of damage to ground sea surges during the winter months.
There is no chance of damage due to other yachts maneuvering in and out of the marina.
You will always have a clean bottom when you return to your yacht. No need to haul and clean all the time.
All reservations require a credit card deposit to guarantee yard space & availability.
To enhance the Drysail Program, VGYH will provide additional Haul and Launches between November 1 and June 1 at a reduced rate $2.50 per ft each. If pressure washing is required then there is an additional charge of $3.00 per ft.

Summer Storage (1 June- 30 November)
Monohulls$14 per foot per month.
Catamarans $20 per foot per month.
3 month minimum, payable in advance at time of booking with an agreed launching date. Discount for early booking.

Hurricane Pits

The Hurricane Pit allows for the suspension of the keel of the boat into a, below ground level- concrete lined pit. The boat is held upright with Brownell boat stands, chained together and mounted on plywood. It is then strapped to the ground with four sand screws.
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Old 24-06-2014, 06:25   #22
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
Yeah, flying over just for a week wouldn't work, I'm talking about visiting for a month at a time as a minimum.

Vasco, your moto is "Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter". Aren't you doing something similar then? How is that working out?
I take three weeks preparing the boat in the late fall when I take it out of dry storage. Then I sail for five months and do maintenance during those five months. As far as economics goes, it makes no sense, but that's sailing.
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Old 24-06-2014, 12:14   #23
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

It would be preferable for the boat and your peace of mind to leave it in a no hurricane area. This could be Trinidad, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica. Since I am more familiar with the Eastern Caribbean I would suggest Trinidad. Venezuela used to be great but now I would not come close.

You could purchase a used boat there or in close by islands. Martinique offers the best choice of boats since that is where you will find the most boats for sale. Flying to Trini is not expensive if you use Westjet. From Vanvouver to Port of Spain (POS) oneway is 477$CAD on Sunday.

You could leave the boat afloat for about 2500TTD or 420$CAD per 3 month period at TTSA. On the hard figure about 0.34 cents US per foot per day in a less expensive yard (Coral Cove).

Yes I think it is a good idea as sailing your own boat is more relaxing and fun than on a rental.

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Old 24-06-2014, 12:24   #24
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

Thanks guys, very useful links!

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I can't imagine trying to keep interior mold down and the systems running if you would leave the boat closed up for long periods and then expect to step on and go.
I was thinking to seal all sails and cushions in vacuum bags when storing the boat, and leave a dehumidifier hooked on, powered by solar. Also pay someone to go check every 2 weeks or so that the system is working. Replace halyards with lead lines, put them in the washing machine, dry and store in vacuum bag as well. Would that be adequate to keep the boat mold-free? Shouldn't cost that much?
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Old 24-06-2014, 18:30   #25
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Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

Your ideas should work. A dehumidifier alone should prevent interior mold and mildew issues. I doubt a solar array on a 30ish foot boat will produce enough power to run a dehumidifier for long. Typically they draw a lot of power.


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Old 25-06-2014, 05:57   #26
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

There are several small boats that do just what you are considering around Abaco. A few haul out but most stay on moorings or up in the mangroves. PM me if you would like further information and numbers of some folks who look after the boats.
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Old 25-06-2014, 07:17   #27
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
Yeah, flying over just for a week wouldn't work, I'm talking about visiting for a month at a time as a minimum.

Vasco, your moto is "Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter". Aren't you doing something similar then? How is that working out?
If you are considering using the boat for one-months stings a few times a year, then owning will most likely be much less expensive than chartering and it sounds like you'll have the time to do the work.

If you are happy with 5-6 weeks per year total another thing to consider is owning a boat in charter management. I did that and figured in the end it cost me about half as much as chartering would have. It's much, much less headache than maintaining a boat not in charter. (having done both)

Chartering, owning, and charter management can all make sense depending on the circumstances. As a previous post indicated you just need to objectively crunch the numbers and compare, also considering the headaches of ownership and the limitations imposed by chartering,
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:07   #28
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

How we dream of owning a yacht and then fudge the numbers to justify it.
I don't know about the Caribbean but bet its no different to here in NZ. Ownership just does not pay. Every time a coconut. The beauty with charter is that you walk on walk off and leave all the pain behind. with ownership you are 100% responsible for the surprises - breakages, theft, unexpected weather event. The list just goes on. And whats worse you are not living near the boat.


Ive owned. Believe me chartering is way way cheaper and way less worry and way less hassle.
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Old 26-07-2014, 12:10   #29
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Re: Buy small boat n keep it in the Bahamas/Caribbean for opportunistic cruising

Abacos are loaded with Canadians who do what you propose.


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