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Old 12-06-2014, 18:05   #1
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Greetings!

Hello all! I'm new to this site & was hoping for some information.

In a nutshell, I have been invited by a friend to do about a month-long sailing/diving adventure in the Eastern Caribbean. We will start in Nassau & wend our way down, finishing in Antigua. He has purchased a 30' sailboat, & a small runabout. His plan is to moor the boat in sheltered areas, then use the runabout to traverse to dive locations. My problem is there will be no one on the sailboat ( or the runabout ) while we are off diving.

It would be possible to tow the smaller craft with us ( we plan shallow dives only - no deeper than 60' ). My main worry is the sailboat & all our possessions therein - do I have cause for concern? Seems to me those of a criminal bent could come along & help themselves!

My friend has sailed/dived the Caribbean for years & assures me that leaving the boat unattended is not an issue, but I would appreciate other experienced Caribbean Sailor's opinions.

I thank you in advance for your kind assistance.

Regards,
D121D
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:11   #2
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Re: Greetings!

I had an outboard chained to my boat and it did a disappearing act. Don't think where you are is different. People are everywhere who want something at a bargain price.
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:20   #3
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Re: Greetings!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventurebound View Post
I had an outboard chained to my boat and it did a disappearing act. Don't think where you are is different. People are everywhere who want something at a bargain price.

Yes indeed, I can well imagine. I'm not sure there is a lock/chain/cable made that can withstand a good pair of 4' bolt cutters. I guess I could leave my laptop at home, but I still need to hide my wallet, passport, phone etc.

Then there is the unpalatable thought that they just might sail the boat away.

Would you know if leaving your vessel to go off diving is in common practice??

Regards,
D121D
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Old 13-06-2014, 09:32   #4
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Re: Greetings!

Leaving the vessel during the day to go [shopping, sightseeing, diving, visiting other boats, etc.] is the boater's equivalent to someone on land leaving their home to do the same things. And, just as at home, one will lock up behind oneself.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:08   #5
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Re: Greetings!

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Leaving the vessel during the day to go [shopping, sightseeing, diving, visiting other boats, etc.] is the boater's equivalent to someone on land leaving their home to do the same things. And, just as at home, one will lock up behind oneself.

Thank you for that. Any idea what percentage of boats are broken into despite "locking the front door when they left?"

D121D
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Old 13-06-2014, 15:58   #6
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Re: Greetings!

Sailing a 30 footer from Nassau 1200 miles (much of it against wind and current) to Antigua in 30 days you should not worry about the empty boat. If you reach Antigua in less than a month you will need to rest the extra day. All this while towing a motor boat? Now that is real feat.
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Old 13-06-2014, 16:14   #7
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Re: Greetings!

A very, very small percentage of boats. The most common theft is of dinghies, breaking and entering is much less common.

See Caribbean Safety and Security Net for details on crime reported by boaties in the Caribbean.
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Old 13-06-2014, 16:17   #8
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Re: Greetings!

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Originally Posted by SaltyTanned View Post
Sailing a 30 footer from Nassau 1200 miles (much of it against wind and current) to Antigua in 30 days you should not worry about the empty boat. If you reach Antigua in less than a month you will need to rest the extra day. All this while towing a motor boat? Now that is real feat.
Yeah, well, the month I stated was just an estimate. The Skipper wants to take his time wending his way, so by your estimate it is likely to take somewhat longer. He is planning quite a number of stops along the way, so it just may be Christmas by the time we arrive! He describes the runabout as a "10' tender w/ a 15 hp motor" - is that slingable off the stern, or not?

As I said, I'm not a Sailor, just a diving passenger, thus all these opinions are part of a much needed education.

Thanks for responding,
D121D
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Old 13-06-2014, 16:20   #9
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Re: Greetings!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
A very, very small percentage of boats. The most common theft is of dinghies, breaking and entering is much less common.

See Caribbean Safety and Security Net for details on crime reported by boaties in the Caribbean.
Now that's good news! I have checked that site you refer to, & asked them their opinion - they concur with what I've read here thus far...

Thanks Zanshin!

Regards,
D121D
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Old 13-06-2014, 19:55   #10
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Re: Greetings!

Unfortunately not all thefts or break ins are reported. That net is in English only and is unknown to many who do not speak English and especially by charterers. I have had a few bad experiences over the many years (20) I have been sailing the Eastern Caribbean but nothing catastrophic.

In my estimate the risk is similar to that of a car break in a public parking. Dinghies and outboards of course are often stolen be they locked or not. It should be raised high every night. Don't bring many valuables and withdraw cash as you go. The crime rates are high almost everywhere in the Eastern Caribbean. But this should not deter you from enjoying the area.

The long and difficult part of your planned cruise is from Dominican Republic to the Virgin Islands. Once you reach St Martin you will be able to sail when you want without waiting too long for weather. This should be an enjoyable cruise but plan on at least two months.

Have a great cruise.
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