Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

View Poll Results: IS REGULAR TRAVEL FROM FLORIDA TO CARIBBEAN REALISTIC?
OF COURSE- with plenty of time and training it could be a GREAT LIFESTYLE! 29 90.63%
DOABLE, but not ENJOYABLE, not a lifestyle I WOULD RECOMMEND.... 3 9.38%
HELL NO- You are mad, it would be safer to drive through MEXICO to get there! 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-05-2019, 10:05   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Hi! We are new to the Forum, have been living in Belize ~ 15 years and are beginning to look at the idea of buying a boat to travel from the Keys to Belize 1x per year or 2 to visit the Folks and family as they age.

We figure the first step, before we invest in a boat, is to find an experienced captain who would be willing to take my husband or my husband and myself on such a journey so we can get a feel for what it's like. We have not done any boating outside the barrier reef and we gather it is QUITE a different experience and that due to currents it is generally best to travel the long way around...

In fact the more I read, the more it seems like there is a lot of discouraging advice out there about how rough the waters are and with the pirate risk etc... maybe it is an insane idea??? Then again there is actual risk vs. perceived risk.... so that is what we are looking into...

Is it realistic, what are the dangers, and what would it cost us to charter a vessel from Florida keys to Belize or vice versa...… Any help or advice is appreciated...be kind- we know we are newbies and are taking this thing slow, we are pretty tenacious folks who left the USA to carve out a life in the jungles of Belize where we have raised our 7 kids, so challenge, struggle, difficulty, and danger are okay, it is all about understanding the particular challenges and dangers this kind of trip would involve!
__________________

belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 10:25   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 7,046
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Running from anywhere Belize up the coast to Isla Mujeres is usually an easy run, then catching the right weather from Isla to florida is also no problem. The return journey can be a little rough if the weather is wrong to fight the stream, but this is true anytime.

What may not make sense is the cost to own, maintain, and moor a trawler type of vessel suitable for transporting 9 people.
__________________

Sailmonkey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 10:39   #3
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post

What may not make sense is the cost to own, maintain, and moor a trawler type of vessel suitable for transporting 9 people.
This is definitely one of the things we are continuing research into. We have been blessed with an investment income capable of purchasing and (we think) maintaining such a vessel...albeit not a new one.

On that note, we are also trying to get as much advice from EXPERIENCED boaters on the ideal vessel, but we have plenty of time on that...... as we said first step is just getting a reality check by talking to as many boaters as possible on and offline then hiring a captain to take us on a trek...we are hands-on learners so we figure nothing like getting out there with a good captain and feeling the experience out to decide if said costs are even worthwhile or if the whole trip would just be so dangerous and or difficult that it is not a wise investment to begin with.....

We won't be purchasing for at least several years, if we do, but out of curiosity, what kind of vessel would you personally recommend for this? Also what kind of costs do you think are realistic? We own property in Florida on a big river w Gulf access... though we gather we would probably do best to trailer it to the keys for travel anyway....
belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 10:47   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,984
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

You are going to need a big boat. Maybe just buy one in Rio Dulce and sail to Belize one day. Then figure things out.
There is a race from FL to MX every year, catch a ride for a fast trip. Some boats do it in 70 some hrs.
Ecos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 10:55   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecos View Post
You are going to need a big boat. Maybe just buy one in Rio Dulce and sail to Belize one day. Then figure things out.
There is a race from FL to MX every year, catch a ride for a fast trip. Some boats do it in 70 some hrs.
Yes we are thinking 40+ feet and yes looking at buying in Dulce but a few years from now...want to take things real slow! I never heard of that race, I am googling it now, that's a really interesting idea, thanks!! U think there are a lot of folks willing to take a couple newbies on board for their race...seems like they would want strictly experienced crew people aboard to minimize weight/maximize efficiency???? Just my own thoughts on that...
belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 11:35   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 7,046
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Are you thinking Power or Sail?

You made a comment that trailering the boat up the river in florida my be a possibility? For a boat capable of moving your family from the yucatan to florida you can forget about trailiering. Although a large panga with a good engine can make the trip.

Have a look at yachtworld and see what sort of money and size you're looking at.
Sailmonkey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 13:00   #7
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Are you thinking Power or Sail?

You made a comment that trailering the boat up the river in florida my be a possibility? For a boat capable of moving your family from the yucatan to florida you can forget about trailiering. Although a large panga with a good engine can make the trip.

Have a look at yachtworld and see what sort of money and size you're looking at.
Thanks again for the input... We figure that getting out there w a good Captain will go a long way toward feeling out what kind of boat is best, but right now are erring toward power, 40ish foot range, which I thought was sort of the limit of how big a boat you could trailer.... but maybe the width would be the bigger issue??? Because we are not experienced at all w sailing, in the long run we would want to do a sailboat, we were thinking to start with a good size express cruiser... something in the 35-45 foot range with good powerful engines and at least 2-3 cabins... i assume the Panga is a joke...had not considered that Do we seem that crazy???
belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 13:03   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Did u see our Poll Ecos? Where do you fall on that spectrum?
belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 14:22   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,984
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizefamily View Post
Did u see our Poll Ecos? Where do you fall on that spectrum?
I'm sorry, but I saw nothing. I did see a family of almost that many people living the life on a big Cat in Puerto Aventuras a while back.
Ecos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 14:50   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 7,046
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

I said a Panga sort of tongue in cheek to illustrate the type of boat that can make that passage.

You’re not going to trailer any sort of express cruiser of the size you’d need.

Express cruisers typically are very thirsty too, and have small fuel tanks.
Sailmonkey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 17:02   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 49
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

A ticket on a commercial airline is going to be a much better option. Good luck.
spearfish3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 20:28   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by spearfish3 View Post
A ticket on a commercial airline is going to be a much better option. Good luck.
Yes and no, been doing it for 15 years that way... ready to look into other options for a few reasons, 1) My husband has SEVERE altitude sickness when traveling commercial airlines due to a spinal surgery he had....2) We are seeing it not as a less expensive but a more for your money type experience if it works out... 3) We have tried to give our kids a very diverse upbringing teaching many life skills but would all like to hone more boating skills.. as the world situation deteriorates, we foresee times when passage over water versus land may be more and more ideal for us for the abovementioned reasons plus......but still just in the information gathering stage at this point!

Please take a minute to vote in our Poll if you haven't....surprised not even one person has said we are crazy yet!!!!????
belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 20:31   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I said a Panga sort of tongue in cheek to illustrate the type of boat that can make that passage.

You’re not going to trailer any sort of express cruiser of the size you’d need.

Express cruisers typically are very thirsty too, and have small fuel tanks.
The only thought about trailering was due to mentions in other threads about trailering to the keys being the best option, but I see now that applies to smaller vessels, unless we go the Panga route, in which case we may as well double up and make it a full on reality TV show!!! LOL

Property has Gulf access so no need to trailer seems like...…

What else you got for us Sailmonkey?
belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-05-2019, 00:02   #14
Registered User
 
Sojourner's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: On the boat!
Boat: SY Wake: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 541
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

I don't live in the Caribe but here on our boat in the Med... If I understand right, you wanna buy a boat to commute several times a year from belize to FL to visit fam (and I assume hang out on the boat there for a bit and come back?). You mentioned something about the experience of it vs flying... by looking at it, it seems about 600 NM, no? At sailboat or trawler speed that's about 100 hours nonstop. And in our cruisers opinion, boats aren't made for commuting Some enjoy passages, but it seems more like a wow I just crossed the atlantic thing, not oh boy gotta hit florida again off we go. Boats on passage are not anywhere near as comfortable as boats at anchor. Cooking, showering, sleeping a full night sleep kinda things.... But that's just us.

The boat makes sense if you're gonna use it extensively or maybe even live on it IMHO, but it would be cheaper to charter a boat in FL twice a year for a week than own, keep, maintain and store a boat big enough for what you want. Or maybe it's too early for my brain and I completely misunderstood what you wanna do
__________________
3 cats, 3 queers, endless wake, endless love!
https://www.facebook.com/anendlesswake/
https://anendlesswake.com/
Sojourner is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-05-2019, 00:13   #15
Registered User

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Belize
Posts: 11
Re: Florida to Belize - REALITY CHECK.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
I don't live in the Caribe but here on our boat in the Med... If I understand right, you wanna buy a boat to commute several times a year from belize to FL to visit fam (and I assume hang out on the boat there for a bit and come back?). You mentioned something about the experience of it vs flying... by looking at it, it seems about 600 NM, no? At sailboat or trawler speed that's about 100 hours nonstop. And in our cruisers opinion, boats aren't made for commuting Some enjoy passages, but it seems more like a wow I just crossed the atlantic thing, not oh boy gotta hit florida again off we go. Boats on passage are not anywhere near as comfortable as boats at anchor. Cooking, showering, sleeping a full night sleep kinda things.... But that's just us.

The boat makes sense if you're gonna use it extensively or maybe even live on it IMHO, but it would be cheaper to charter a boat in FL twice a year for a week than own, keep, maintain and store a boat big enough for what you want. Or maybe it's too early for my brain and I completely misunderstood what you wanna do
Okay you kind of got it, with a few exceptions:
- Atlantic? Belize is in Central America, and we will travel from the WEST coast of FL there....
-We want to travel 1 time every year or two NOT several times a year
-We do NOT want to travel 100 hours straight, we hope, and are gathering, that there are several slower paced options, that is what we want, which is where the experience thing comes into play.
- Our PRIMARY reason for considering this option is that flying commercially has become a medical issue for my husband, he gets SEVERE altitude sickness (rare but possible we now know) from flying and while there are medications to help they do NOT always work, so its like Russian roulette as to how sick he will feel i.e. whether or not he comes off the plane in a wheelchair drooling and incoherent with me trying to remind myself "He's not gonna die He's not gonna die He's not gonna die..." ) Its almost like getting 'the bends' TERRIBLE... (See this link for more info if u doubt me - https://getawaytips.azcentral.com/hi...avel-2950.html ) or looking uncomfortable and ready to vomit at all times yet actually holding down his lunch and walking off the plane with us....

The worst part is he is an INCREDIBLY tough dude, has (I **** you not) run down a Tapir (they run fast) in crocs on the Savannah, faced jaguars, survived killer bees, and even come out from underneath a tree falling on him (minus his L5S1 vertebrae which was operated on so he could walk again)....in a word He is tough as NAILS so it is super embarrassing and degrading to his self-esteem to have to come off a plane like that. (For years before he was diagnosed doctors would tell him stupid **** like "think happy thoughts, drink plenty of water etc. etc." as they assumed it was just severe air sickness... so nice to FINALLY have a diagnosis.)

So yeah... the questions for us are really:

Realistic Idea?

Best routes?

Best vessel? (for 9 people to CRUISE unrushed but not so slow it's a several month endeavor one way)

Actual vs. Perceived danger of pirates? (Belize has a history of Pirates...founded by them actually, so we are familiar with this reality and plan to own an AA-12 onboard... just in case!

Anything else we might not have thought of, let us have it!
__________________

belizefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Belize, Caribbean, florida, pirates

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reality Check for Sailboat Process for Newbie zehnmm Monohull Sailboats 14 03-09-2008 13:48
Can you give me a REALITY check on living aboard? floathome Liveaboard's Forum 10 08-08-2008 04:22
Diesel Gunk Reality Check Microship Engines and Propulsion Systems 14 17-07-2008 17:10



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.