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Old 05-06-2013, 04:07   #1
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Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Hi all,
We have just left our 34 foot monohull sailboat in Trinidad for summer 2013. We went round all the yards to check them out and find out the prices. I have put together the following reviews of each yard we went to as we couldn't find anything similar when we were looking ourselves! The opinions are personal. Prices are in US dollars for seven months storage on land for a 34 foot sailboat for 2013. In the end, we chose Coral Cove as it was the second cheapest yet was close to Budget Marine and we felt at home in the relaxed atmosphere of the little yard and marina.
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TTSA (Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association)
Hauling: 140
Storage: 1680
Chocking: 17
Total Cost: 1837
Overall Impressions: The cheapest yard. They don't measure the boat when they lift it out and use the registered length instead. The crane looks good but can only lift to a maximum of 38 feet. There is a nice buzz around the place with local sailors, club activities and a cool bar/restaurant. On the downside, it is a little remote from the chandleries near the other yards - a bus ride away or a hot walk in the sun! Security seemed fine - a guard on duty at the gate at all times.

Coral Cove
Hauling: 150
Storage: 1836 (including one month free when you pay up front)
Chocking: 150
Total Cost: 2380
Overall Impressions: Second cheapest yard. They don't measure the boat when they lift it out and use the registered length instead. The staff are lovely and very professional. There is no chandlery on site really but Budget Marine is just a short walk away. Nice cafe (with v fast wifi) and pizza place in the marina. The yard and marina are quite small so you get to know people easily. Very good security.

Peakes
Hauling: 272
Storage: 2142 (including one month free when you pay up front)
Chocking: 310
Total Cost: 2724
Overall Impressions: Second most expensive. They measure the boat's length when they lift it out and include davits, bowsprits, windvane etc in the measurement. Lots of facilities here, various workshops and a chandlery. Security is very tight, we felt almost aggressively so. There is a separate high security area complete with pit bull dogs on patrol. The staff were very professional and the yard looks well maintained.

Powerboats
Hauling: 238
Storage: 3024 (including a 5% discount when you pay up front)
Chocking: 115
Total Cost: 3208
Overall Impressions: Most expensive yard. They measure the boat's length when they lift it out and include davits, bowsprits, windvane etc in the measurement. Like Peake's, it has tons of workers on site as well as a chandlery. The bar/restaurant is nice and has good lunch specials. There's also a roti hut. All well maintained and has lots of liveaboards working on their boats as well as people coming and going from the moorings. Very good security.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:03   #2
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Thanks for sharing this
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Old 08-07-2013, 14:54   #3
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Waimangu

Thanks for sharing this information.

A few years back I left my boat at IMS and had very good service and prices, despite it a bit further than the other yards. Any reason you did not include it on your list?
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Old 08-07-2013, 20:20   #4
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Would you consider reporting, after you return and get your boat out of storage, if the security was all that you hoped it would be. Thanks
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Old 15-07-2013, 13:12   #5
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

@SVTatia yep good point. We did go down to IMS and the location is good. It's mostly being used by commercial boats though and there was no one to ask about prices. It had quite an industrial vibe to it - big boats going in and out for major repairs - and felt a bit run down so we didn't research it further.

@gbanker yep sure. I will update this post once we get back to Trinidad.
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Old 21-07-2013, 09:59   #6
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Hi Waimangu, Thank you for posting this info. I just sent off an email asking these very questions to one of the marinas on your list. Hope to get there someday. Appreciate your efforts.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:59   #7
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

TTSA, they can only lift boats with a max beam of 13 ft. Otherwise yes it is the friendliest, nicest, non commercial yard. It is far from the commercial yards and the noise, dirt and spill risks.

IMS have leased their concrete base area and have very little space left. Check by phone and reserve.

Security has not been a big issue these past two years in Chaguaramas.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:33   #8
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

We have our boat in PowerBoat since Oct 2012 to repaint the hull and build a 4ft extension on the transom. Leaving on board with an AC unit untill march2013.
This shipyard is really fine, a bit less expensive compared to Peak.
Security is really fine, I left a 5HP ouboard (dead) but look new, 20m from the boat on the ground w/o problem. same as for the mooring and many other gears.
Showers toiletts are cleaned evey days.
Washing machines run only with cold water...
The restaurant is fine with reasonable prices, with a small grocery beside.

We are planning to fligth back in Trinidad by October and think we will leave the boat in powerBoat for the 2014 hurricane season.

Cheers
gael
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:42   #9
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Gael again, regarding the hole out in PowerBoat.
Camao has a 9ft , T shape keel not easy to hole out and every time I have to hole out, I'm a bit nervous. Theirs travellifts are in good condition and the guys working on make a lot of attentions and cares. Professionnals
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:43   #10
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Gael there is no "cold" water. (smile)

Power Boats is the "center" where yachties comgregate. The convenience store is friendly and stocks what we like. There is an overall nice atmosphere at this yard. It is a little more expensive.
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Old 21-02-2014, 09:08   #11
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Is there any more recent information about price and quality in Trinidad and/or Grenada? I'm thinking of sailing down later in the summer, leaving my boat on the hard to save money on hurricane insurance. At the same time I would like to have my decks completely stripped and resurfaced and gel coated with nonskid. Obviously, I'd have the bottom painted at the same time. While out, I would personally replace all of the through hulls. But I don't want to do the deck work or bottom repainting myself. I'm looking for good local knowledge of prices and good workers for the fiberglass/epoxy work, for bottom cleaning and painting, and general polishing of my topsides.

Thanks for any info!!
Bill
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Old 22-03-2014, 08:25   #12
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Just wanted to update the thread on Chaguaramas boatyards. We left our boat in Coral Cove for seven months from May 2013 - January 2014. I was a bit worried about the cockpit drains getting clogged up with bird feathers, leaves etc so I emailed the marina a couple of times to ask them to check the boat. This they did as when we got back, the drains were clear and the cockpit dry! Inside the boat, all was well - it was dry (about a cup of water in the bilge) with none of the dreaded mould people talk about in Trinidad. One problem we did have was some cockroaches. We think we had them before we left for the summer but forgot to leave out traps. We got rid of them with the help of local exterminators called SWAT (very reasonable price). Nothing was missing from the boat. Having spoken to lots of people who left their boat in Trini, we have a couple of tips that might help others thinking of doing the same.
1. Put out roach traps and bait before you leave the boat!
2. Make sure no water gets into the boat. Aside from sealing all the hatches, there are two main ways to do this: get the boat covered up either with tarps or the heated-plastic-and-scaffolding method popular in Trini (but terrible for the environment). Or get someone reliable to check your boat once a month or so. We heard horror stories of cockpits flooding into the cabin, destroying woodwork, upholstery etc and of solar panels getting covered with dust so that automatic bilge pumps didnt get power. There are lots of people available to do this at reasonable cost.
3. Put everything you can inside the boat. We had water get inside our GPS antenna and laminated tiller, both easily repaired but time consuming and avoidable.
4. If you're having work done, make sure you, or someone you trust, are there to supervise it. We met lots of people who came back hoping to go sailing but the work wasn't finished on time. Perhaps some sort of "completion bonus" could be arranged to motivate workers to have the boat ready.

As an aside, we found that Coral Cove had hot showers, whereas PowerBoats didn't. We also found that the internet at Coral Cove was the fastest in Chaguaramas - 10Mb at Cafe Feel Oh and 30Mb at Cappuccino's coffee shop by the dive centre!
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Old 22-03-2014, 09:49   #13
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

So, if staying to supervise work, did you see any condos for rent at a "reasonable" cost near the boatyards? I'd probably have to stay for about three weeks. I'd consider renting a car for at least part of that time, especially if I could get a reasonably priced condo with kitchen.

Any comments on work quality and prices? I suppose that the same people work at all of the boatyards so they may be interchangeable.

Thanks for any more comments or suggestions.
Bill
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Old 22-03-2014, 10:17   #14
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

We stayed on the boat while the deck and bottom were repainted in a major way. Rented an Air conditioner though.
A couple of the yards have motel rooms... and I have done that also. Not sure the current status though.
By all means supervise your own job. I would allow time to do that rather than leave it to anyone. For instance; if you are peeling your bottom, get that done prior to leaving and then stop work until you return.
I suspect many of the horror stories are those boats that are left a long time. I've seen boats down there that look to be abandoned. our looked just like we left it after 4 months.
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Old 23-03-2014, 10:05   #15
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Re: Review of Boatyards in Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_E View Post
Is there any more recent information about price and quality in Trinidad and/or Grenada? I'm thinking of sailing down later in the summer, leaving my boat on the hard to save money on hurricane insurance. At the same time I would like to have my decks completely stripped and resurfaced and gel coated with nonskid. Obviously, I'd have the bottom painted at the same time. While out, I would personally replace all of the through hulls. But I don't want to do the deck work or bottom repainting myself. I'm looking for good local knowledge of prices and good workers for the fiberglass/epoxy work, for bottom cleaning and painting, and general polishing of my topsides.

Thanks for any info!!
Bill
Hi,
Regarding the price , difficult to say. Cheaper compare to European rate anyway. I had a large job done on my boat last year and I found skilled people but also lot of underskilled workers. but it is also true everywhere...
For material coast ( AwlGrip, West System , antifouling...), prices are reasonable. There is a very limited choice for fabrics.
For through hulls, I have in mind there is a large choice even in macrolon.

I guess you should avoid dealing directly with workers if you dnt know where to find materials and if you dnt have a clear process in mind.
Overall for the kind of work you are looking is manageable and you can expect a quality result from what I have see around. But dnt leave the boat with a job not fully completed.
You could ask for cost estimation from various shipyards, this give you an idea.
For schedule, be prepared to x2 the delays. And keep smiling. Most of the works are done in open air and noboby grants the weather. And they are xmas time, carnival time ect...
Also you can have shipment to Chaguaramas custom office VAT free as you are a yacht in transit

We stood 4.5months in PowerBoat and rent a room the first week. But prefered to stay on the boat, with a rented air conditionning (80$ the set up and few $ per month). Also time to time we rent a car (30$ /day) at econocar; ( the youngest car had 300.000km but AC and the radio were fine!!) .
The guys here are not working as in Europe or USA. But try to follow them and you will quickly understand that you have to change your way to do and to think. As my wife say : Im just a 60year caucasian and there are 30year black; Dnt challenge!!

Anyhow, we will fligth back in Chaguaramas next sunday. And planning to stay more between Trini , Tobago , Grenade.. and sailback in Chaguaramas end of August. So if you need fresh info's dnt hesitate.
cheers
gael
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