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Old 14-06-2017, 10:24   #1
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Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

We are sailors too, but financially, we think it may be smarter for us to buy a 38'-42' cruiser. The reason is... We will stay in the caribbean for 4-8 months starting hopefully this November. Plus we will then move to Florida and keep this same boat in our future canal home in Punta Gorda.

What do you think? Do people drive cruisers down to caribbean?? We have bareboated the BVI about 10 times and LOVE IT. We would like to see more of the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Spanish Virgins, USVI, BVI, Antigua, St. Martin and even further south.

We would welcome all advice.

John & Debbie
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Old 14-06-2017, 11:16   #2
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Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

So just a motor vessel? If you pick your weather you should be OK. It's mostly island hopping except Turks and Caicos to DR then BVIs to St Maarten which have longer passages.
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Old 14-06-2017, 12:04   #3
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

Very few cruisers can be found travelling in the Caribbean compared to sailboats. Most of the passages have the wind on or close to the beam so sailing is easy. While I'm a confirmed monohull sailor, if your intent is to remain in the Caribbean then you might want to consider a catamaran. They have lots of space, aren't too pricey for what you get and since you won't be going to weather in big seas you'll rarely see the disadvantages compared to a monohull.
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Old 14-06-2017, 12:05   #4
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

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Originally Posted by DebbieNTX View Post
We are sailors too, but financially, we think it may be smarter for us to buy a 38'-42' cruiser. The reason is... We will stay in the caribbean for 4-8 months starting hopefully this November. Plus we will then move to Florida and keep this same boat in our future canal home in Punta Gorda.

SNIP
Nothing you posted would favor a motor or sail boat. There might be some advantage to a fast motor boat in terms of getting to see more places faster but that is not something that would result in a financial advantage.

4-8 months is not a lot of time to cruise all the locations you mentioned. As an example I spent three months sailing from BKH to DT and back. It was common for me to anchor in one spot for a week, or two or three, and dive, fish, take pix, or just laze around on the boat. When I got back to BKH I could not empty a 5 gallon jerry can in the tanks on my sail boat. I am not aware of any motor boat that could come close to that level of fuel use.

On the other hand I waited for the wind to be blowing in the right direction before I moved. With a motor boat you are much less a slave to the weather. I have friends who have both sail boats and motor boats. The choice is more a factor of the person owning them than anything else. What kinda cruiser are you. Will you be happy staying at anchor and playing on the boat or would you be happier turning on the engine and heading to the next destination on a schedule even if you may be fighting the weather.

This is a choice only you can make.
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Old 14-06-2017, 12:28   #5
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

Unfortunately, catamarans run $350-500,000. And we think it may be hard to re-sell once we get back to Florida.

Debbie
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Old 14-06-2017, 12:39   #6
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

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Originally Posted by DebbieNTX View Post
Unfortunately, catamarans run $350-500,000. And we think it may be hard to re-sell once we get back to Florida.



Debbie


Catamarans can range from free to mind blowingly expensive, just depends on what you feel you need. Catamarans are also the hottest boats on the market in Florida so no problem selling if your realistic about the selling price.
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Old 15-06-2017, 08:06   #7
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbieNTX View Post
We are sailors too, but financially, we think it may be smarter for us to buy a 38'-42' cruiser. The reason is... We will stay in the caribbean for 4-8 months starting hopefully this November. Plus we will then move to Florida and keep this same boat in our future canal home in Punta Gorda.

What do you think? Do people drive cruisers down to caribbean?? We have bareboated the BVI about 10 times and LOVE IT. We would like to see more of the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Spanish Virgins, USVI, BVI, Antigua, St. Martin and even further south.

We would welcome all advice.

John & Debbie
My express cruiser has spent the last 3 years in that neighborhood and she is in the Bahamas as we speak. See my photos as I'd consider selling her. You see charters cruisers and sailboats in these parts. Feel free to send me a pm.
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Old 15-06-2017, 08:13   #8
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

OK, I am seeing from the context that by "cruiser" you do mean a power boat of some kind, not a sailboat (which can be called a cruiser if it is for cruising as opposed to racing or whatever).

Almost any power boat you charter in the Caribbean got there under power so yes it is quite possible to take a power boat to any part of the Caribbean. Of course it takes the right boat and the right captain. Just like any passage in any boat, power or sail, one has to take into account all relevant factors like weather, fuel, range, stopping points, etc, etc, etc.

The trip from FL to the BVI is dead upwind all the way and can be rough but if you pick the season and wait for calmer days it can be a great trip. Just be prepared to take your time getting there (and enjoy all the stops along the way). I've taken as much as two months to get from Ft Lauderdale to St Thomas or a little over two weeks.
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Old 15-06-2017, 10:00   #9
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

Define Smarter?

Money Smarter? Freedom Smarter? You haven't given enough parameters of what your pros and cons are and what your financials are.

We don't really know what you mean by smarter. If it was money smarter, I should think that renting a centrally located apartment, and letting other people ferry you around to different places would be cheaper that buying a boat, outfitting it, and paying all the upkeep in the Caribbean, and dealing with it.

But if you are long term ocean sailers, then maybe the land idea is just no fun for you, and the smarter equation is not all about money, but about fun. So then you have to define FUN.

People here are answering from their view of smarter, not yours.
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Old 15-06-2017, 10:01   #10
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

By "cruiser" do you mean "trawler"?
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Old 15-06-2017, 10:04   #11
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbieNTX View Post
We are sailors too, but financially, we think it may be smarter for us to buy a 38'-42' cruiser. The reason is... We will stay in the caribbean for 4-8 months starting hopefully this November. Plus we will then move to Florida and keep this same boat in our future canal home in Punta Gorda.
It seems nobody understands your motivation for not wanting to sail.
Perhaps the key part is the "keep this same boat in our future canal home"...? Does the canal perhaps have low bridges?
A bit more information would probably help.
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Old 15-06-2017, 11:16   #12
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbieNTX View Post
We are sailors too, but financially, we think it may be smarter for us to buy a 38'-42' cruiser. The reason is... We will stay in the caribbean for 4-8 months starting hopefully this November. Plus we will then move to Florida and keep this same boat in our future canal home in Punta Gorda.

What do you think? Do people drive cruisers down to caribbean?? We have bareboated the BVI about 10 times and LOVE IT. We would like to see more of the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Spanish Virgins, USVI, BVI, Antigua, St. Martin and even further south.

We would welcome all advice.

John & Debbie
It makes great sense if it makes sense to you. Doesn't matter what type of boat you get it will have pluses and minuses.
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Old 15-06-2017, 11:48   #13
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

In answer to your question, plenty of people own cruisers and cruise between Florida and the Caribbean. It's easy to do in moderately sized power and sail boats and it's just a matter of you detailing what you're looking for in a boat. As to comments about more sail than power in the Caribbean, while that is true, there are plenty of power and power works quite well for cruising in the area.
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Old 15-06-2017, 14:48   #14
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

Based on what we've seen over the past 10 years, anything from a rowboat to a 300' megayacht will work for exploring the Caribbean. I love the BVI, but we have had fabulous experiences further south along the chain. By all means, get to Dominica and have one of the PAYS guys show you the island.
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Old 16-06-2017, 04:04   #15
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Re: Buying a cruiser to see the caribbean

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Originally Posted by DebbieNTX View Post
We are sailors too, but financially, we think it may be smarter for us to buy a 38'-42' cruiser. The reason is... We will stay in the caribbean for 4-8 months starting hopefully this November. Plus we will then move to Florida and keep this same boat in our future canal home in Punta Gorda.

What do you think? Do people drive cruisers down to caribbean?? We have bareboated the BVI about 10 times and LOVE IT. We would like to see more of the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Spanish Virgins, USVI, BVI, Antigua, St. Martin and even further south.

We would welcome all advice.

John & Debbie
I have sailed all over the Caribbean for past 17 years, last year I bought another boat to spend a year or so in the Caribbean; unfortunately my wife of 46 years developed a medical problem and I have to sell the boat (Star Chaser) 43' Beneteau 08. I was outfitting her for this trip. Boat is located in Kemah, Texas; almost ready to go. Feel free to contact me. I am a professional mariner and boat is well maintained. rcrook3038@aol.com
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