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Old 11-03-2015, 05:54   #1
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Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

I'm interested in any information about the level of boat refurbishment and upgrade capabilities availabe in the Rio Dulce area. Specifically, is this a good place to get woodworking and aluminum welding done ? We're interested in a new interior and fabricating a radar arch, bimini top, and swim platform. The Turks and Caicos is not a good place to refit, and I'm looking hard at moving us and the boat west for a few years.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:23   #2
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Hi there

No problem with wood working skills in Rio Dulce, lots of choice, BUT very few of the carpenters speak English and if you engage a 3rd party to translate, the prices rise dramatically, expect to pay up to $25 a day for a good carpenter, some will quote for the job, others, charge by the day

There are local welders here who can do aluminium and also sometime cruisers passing through who offer welding services

We have a 40 year old steel boat and have had 2 pretty major refits done in the River in the last 8 years.

The only real gap in marine skills at the moment is electronics, impossible to get things repaired. All the other areas seems to be covered

It is easy to ship goods in by sea or air from the US.

Air costs about 30% of shipment value, depending on what you are shipping, expect 2 weeks from Miami to Rio Dulce.

Sea takes 4 to 6 weeks after leaving Miami and is charged by Volume or Weight, I normally budget 6% for sea but we shipped in a stove recently and it ended up costing 16% due to the large volume


Check out the Rio Dulce Chisme site as some businesses advertise there.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:05   #3
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

That's good info to have and I thank you. Those costs look wonderful. Our import duties alone run the cost here up 46%, over and above the clearance costs ( $25 per shipment) and the shipping itself. We basically have been using Fed Ex, UPS or DHL for most imports here. Sounds like things will slow down and get cheaper for us.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:18   #4
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Ditto what Triumphant said.

I'm currently in Panama and have lots of interior refinish work that needs doing. Planning to sail her back to the Rio next year for a refit. Radically cheaper than Panama and very good quality work too.

Why didn't I do that before I left the Rio!?
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:20   #5
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Also search the forum, there was an extensive discussion here last year of Cartegena vs Rio Dulce for refit work.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:35   #6
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumphant View Post
...

The only real gap in marine skills at the moment is electronics, impossible to get things repaired. All the other areas seems to be covered
...
RIP Wind Bird...

In the alleyway Mercado in Fronteras there are a couple of shops that do RADIO/TV/stereo repair. They are NOT marine electronics guys, but I have had them successfully repair some small electronics (handheld VHF, stereo...).
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Old 13-03-2015, 07:50   #7
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

has anyone stayed there for say a year ?? how is the weather ? does it rain a lot ??? i am thinking to go there to live looks like a lot of great marinas there.
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Old 13-03-2015, 10:39   #8
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svfraidknot View Post
has anyone stayed there for say a year ?? how is the weather ? does it rain a lot ??? i am thinking to go there to live looks like a lot of great marinas there.
Rio Dulce Climate/ Weather
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Old 13-03-2015, 17:51   #9
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

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has anyone stayed there for say a year ?? how is the weather ? does it rain a lot ??? i am thinking to go there to live looks like a lot of great marinas there.
Lived there since 2006.

Rain and lightening can be Biblical in the rainy season (roughly July-Nov), but mostly at night...which I enjoy. Some zones of the Rio area get more rain than others. Rainy and cooler weather can drag out well past November due to cold fronts etc. This year has drug out especially long...still raining on the Rio...

Climate is tropical warm to hot and always very humid (typically 85% RH and up). Small season variance in temperature. Lowest I've seen was 58F for an over night low. If you are accomstomed to somewhere like Florida then no problem.

A number of good small marinas in the Rio.
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Old 13-03-2015, 18:00   #10
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

thanks that link to the rio dulce webb site kept me busy for an hour ,, great information ,, then again i would love to visit with someone that lives there ???
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Old 13-03-2015, 19:46   #11
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

And of the heat & humidity get to you then you can always head to the Guatemala highlands for a dramatic change in climate. The Alta Verapaz department is only about 75 miles straight line from Lago Izabal (sea level) but has altitudes up to about 9,500' and a cloud forest! Bring warm clothes.
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Old 14-03-2015, 12:57   #12
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

does anyone use SUPs to get around on the river?
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Old 14-03-2015, 13:55   #13
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
does anyone use SUPs to get around on the river?
Never seen one. Locals use cayucos (wooden dugout canoe).

Normally get a strong afternoon sea breeze which would be great for wind surfing or kite boarding, but only a few times have I seen either. Is good for day sailing too.
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Old 14-03-2015, 16:17   #14
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
does anyone use SUPs to get around on the river?
The river is the main way of traveling on the Rio, so it is in constant use by boats large and small. Some of these throw quite a wake, and nobody is really looking out very well.

As Belizesailor said, there is also usually a strong afternoon breeze which blows right up the river against the outflowing current. The waves can get big and choppy at times.

I wouldn't consider a SUP very safe for traveling around on the river where most boats are unless you were far down-river away from the main traffic.

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Old 14-03-2015, 19:31   #15
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Re: Rio Dulce Good For Refit Work?

Agree, a SUP or other small craft would be fun for exploring tributaries and shoreline, but not for high traffic areas like around Fronteras.
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