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Old 30-11-2015, 22:52   #31
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

jrau,

It really depends on what you and your good lady want. This plan could easily be accomplished in Australia. Buy your boat in Sydney, and sail it to Lizard Island; then back to Brisbane in that time frame. You will meet many friendly Aussies. Have a gander at Trade-A-Boat's web site, and check out all the things you can do in Australia. The country is almost as large as the US, and there are also opportunities for land travel. Nice warm water up north of 22 S. Around November, the northerlies begin, and they will speed you on your way South. Cyclone season starts in late Dec. usually, so you'd really want to be in Brissie then. Australians speak a recognizable form of English. Checkout the exchange rate, USD vs. AUD.

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Old 24-12-2015, 14:49   #32
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
jrau,

It really depends on what you and your good lady want. This plan could easily be accomplished in Australia. Buy your boat in Sydney, and sail it to Lizard Island; then back to Brisbane in that time frame. You will meet many friendly Aussies. Have a gander at Trade-A-Boat's web site, and check out all the things you can do in Australia. The country is almost as large as the US, and there are also opportunities for land travel. Nice warm water up north of 22 S. Around November, the northerlies begin, and they will speed you on your way South. Cyclone season starts in late Dec. usually, so you'd really want to be in Brissie then. Australians speak a recognizable form of English. Checkout the exchange rate, USD vs. AUD.

Ann
That's food for thought, thank you.
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Old 25-12-2015, 09:18   #33
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

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You might consider starting in the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands then,after spending a couple months there, work your way down the coast, ending up in southern California or even Mexico. The San Juans are great in August and September and are good places to get your feet wet so to speak.
We have sailed the San Juans from 1999 to 2004 and now have a new (to us) boat here again. Part of 2004 to 2008 we sailed from here to Mexico and then across the Puddle. Great place to sail. It has been said if you can sail here you can sail anywhere - tests your navigation skills with all the islands, tidal currents, flukie winds. You can find small local cruisers (36-38') boats here pretty easy but hard to find already setup ocean cruisers of any size. Good ones sell quick and there aren't that many on the market. But you can get lucky. And it's a great place to work on a boat. Very large cruising grounds when you throw in the Canadian waters. Great for Aug/Sep but you need to get down the coast by Oct to avoid the storms here and the dicey offshore sail south.

I would NOT recommend you go to Mexico from Aug to Oct (inclusive).
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Old 25-12-2015, 10:42   #34
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

I've sailed in the San Juans and now in the Chesapeake, out of Baltimore. Both are great places. The San Juans have endless beautiful places and for the days when you are learning to anchor, lots of mooring balls. And of course there are the Canadian waters north as you get more experienced.
The Chesapeake in August (which is when I cruise, I get August off) is hot but there are lots of nice days. So many places to go and easy to alternate between elegant urban (St. Michaels, Annapolis, Baltimore-Fells Point) and isolated (Solomons, endless coves).
We have an Alberg 35, an old boat that is in great shape. Personally, I wouldn't want to try cruising on a boat I just bought; my experience is that i spend the first year learning the boat, fixing systems, getting it the way I want it and making it reliable.
If you decide to go with the Chesapeake an want to try it out this summer, contact me, we sail a lot during the week, we'd be happy to take you along to try it.
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Old 25-12-2015, 10:53   #35
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

Think out side the Box

Phuket/Langkawi

Lots of boats in your price range

Awesome cruising ground.


Stunning

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Old 25-12-2015, 11:00   #36
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

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It may not sound glamorous but try the Chesapeake. Its a GREAT cruising ground in a safe body of water surrounded by history plus lots of places to "get away from it all".

Go into Annapolis, buy a boat, sail around the chesapeake for the summer and in the fall start heading south on the ICW. When you get to wherever you end up in florida put the boat up for sale.
I agree with this advice, for several reasons.

1. It's still America! As first-timers out for an extended period, the adjustments will be enough, without worrying about a good grocery store/pharmacy, restaurants, etc.

2. The boat will be new to you. Stuff will be wrong or go wrong, with 100% certainly. Much better to be near reliable supply/repair facilities, without language barrier and delay or extra cost waiting for parts.

3. Chesapeake is among the best cruising areas in the world, and a lengthy run down to Ft. Lauderdale at the end will give you both legitimate "pseudo-offshore" cruising experiences and great sightseeing fun, plus will leave the boat in the best possible spot to resell a boat in all of the US, in my view. Ft. Lauderdale is boat sale Mecca.

Last comment; I think people make far too much of Hurricane season. No one is going to be surprised by a hurricane when on a coastal cruise anywhere near the US or Bahamas. By the time you are in the crosshairs anywhere, you will have 4-5 days to simply sail away somewhere else. You should not discount the fun to be had in The Abacos in summer, or around Sanibel/Captiva or the Keys on the Florida Gulf side. There's a lot to be said for swimming in clear, shallow, 85 degree ocean water.
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Old 25-12-2015, 11:09   #37
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

Buy a boat in the NE US--they are generally in better condition than the Florida boats, because they only get used 5 months a year.

Maine is awesome cruising in August, then head down to the Chesapeake the first of September. By October 15, head further south. In your case I'd take the ICW to Beaufort NC, then offshore jumps down to Florida. Plan on being in Ft Lauderdale by Dec 1.

If you like what you are doing, keep going south and spend the winter in the Western Caribbean. If not, but the boat up for sale in Florida.
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Old 05-01-2016, 17:29   #38
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

And the good advice just keeps on coming. Thanks again everybody I'm currently working on getting my current boat just a bit nicer for a (hopefully not too slow) sale. Then this summer we can get really serious about where to buy/start in the fall.

The phuket idea is interesting, I'll have too look more into it.

Also curious, why the ICW for the northern part of the east coast, then offshore for the last bit of the east coast en route to Florida?
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:25   #39
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

Hatteras is the big reason. We like to round Hatteras leaving it 300 miles west or about 30 miles east.

From Cape Fear you can sail the rhumb line to St Augustine and stay inside (out of the current) the Gulf Stream. Look at your chart and you will note that the US east coast falls away west along S Carolina and GA. If you follow the coast, you then have to regain your easting to reach Florida. It's a nice, quick, direct passage on the outside. Just pick a good weather window. Otherwise, stay inside.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:39   #40
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

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Hatteras is the big reason. We like to round Hatteras leaving it 300 miles west or about 30 miles east.

From Cape Fear you can sail the rhumb line to St Augustine and stay inside (out of the current) the Gulf Stream. Look at your chart and you will note that the US east coast falls away west along S Carolina and GA. If you follow the coast, you then have to regain your easting to reach Florida. It's a nice, quick, direct passage on the outside. Just pick a good weather window. Otherwise, stay inside.
I see, not dissimilar to Point Conception for us west coasters, except we don't have the option of going inside.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:42   #41
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

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I see, not dissimilar to Point Conception for us west coasters, except we don't have the option of going inside.
Quite right, jrau, but at PC, you have the 0100 option, when the seas have let down a bit. Leave from Coho, northbound. Hope you don't foul some kelp.

Cheers,

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Old 09-01-2016, 06:59   #42
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

Your expectations may be a little bit high on what you can buy for $60k-$70k, especially if you want to purchase outside the U.S. I have been in the Caribbean for a few years now and have seen what boats sell for down here. You don't get much for under $100k, and definitely not much in the way of creature comforts. A lot of boats that have seen poor maintenance, and hard miles down here selling for more than your budget.
Great place to sail though, all the islands in northern Caribbean are very close together. Provisioning, and other costs are low if you do your purchasing in St Maarten which is a duty free port. I wouldn't worry too much about hurricane season, people make a big deal about the dreaded storms but the reality is that your odds of getting hit are really small in any given location, you can see them coming and move, or you can get prepared and ride it out. I have been through 8 storms over the years including the last one here in St Maarten and never had a lot of damage or lost a boat. Don't let the possibility of storms be a big deciding factor in where you want to go.
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Old 19-05-2016, 11:24   #43
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

Thanks again all for the advice.

We've continued to sail on the cal 29 we own in the SF bay, and have done a few more charters in California.

We've started looking at boats to buy in the caribbean, that is our most likely decision. Plan is still to make this happen in September. Hoping to find something "turn key" that we can sail south right away to the ABCs or grenada/grenadines area to reduce the hurricane risk.

We are planning to do a charter in about a month in the San Juans just to check it out though, it's a short enough airplane right for us.
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Old 21-05-2016, 07:15   #44
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

I've enjoyed this thread.

I'll be one more to say sail the Chesapeake and head South with your time window.

Now there are lots of boats but, with the budget and plan, if I were doing the same thing, I'd buy this boat. Or one like it.

1991 PCI Gemini 3200 Gemini sailboat for sale in Maryland

Why?

For a couple long term it's going to give you a ton of space. The manufacturer is local, they are pretty easy to work on or repair and you can enjoy the area if you need a few weeks to invest in getting anything critical or highly desired done while learning the boat in a safer environment.

August winds are light on the bay, a cat would do well.

You can explore the Northern bay and even go up the C&D canal onwards to say, Philly or Cape May and explore the small towns on the Delaware Bay as well as the Chesapeake.

The shoal draft will let you get to some of the places like the Little Magothy that few monos will go. It's just one example. The options to explore go up dramatically with the shoal draft on the bay and in certain areas like the Keys and some islands.

Come Fall start heading down the ICW, you can go out on nice days and windows and motor down the ditch if it is nasty and the Dismal Swamp is amazing and worth the motoring experience IMHO.

Head to South FL and sell it down there for what you paid or more. Shoal draft is appealing to many in South FL from what I read.
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Old 28-09-2016, 08:07   #45
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Re: Beginner Cruising Location for August Through Dec?

Thanks everybody for the advice. There were lots of good options discussed in this thread. We moved aboard in the Virgin Islands about 4 weeks ago.

We have a storm mooring in the national park if a hurricane comes through and our insurance accepted this as a storm plan and we have a reasonable deductible in the case of named storm damage.

Also, we ended up buying a boat (1968 Cal 36) a bit under half of our initial plans. While I wouldn't cross an ocean on it without upgrades (storm sails, SSB/satphone, AIS, etc), we added a few minor items (PLB, jacklines, etc) and it is in my margin of safety for coastal cruising.

Somebody earlier suggested I wouldn't get much in the way of creature comforts for 50,000. But for well under half that, I have fans wired in, a shower with enough elbow room (A previous owner reworked the head area, a big improvement over the stock build), pressure water, an electric icebox conversion, stove, bbq, and a dinghy w/ 4hp to get me to shore and to dive reefs, and just barely standing headroom (I'm 6-1). That is enough comfort for my wife and I.

Don't get me wrong, we wouldn't mind have an oven, "real" refrigerator, heated water, swim ladder, better inside lighting, etc. But here, as long as you have cold beer and a place to cook food, you could probably make any (safe/seaworthy) boat work and I am definitely glad we pulled the trigger and are doing this. We've run into people living aboard here making do with less comfort than we have, although most people have a little more than us. We're all diving the same reefs, hiking the same trails, and frequenting the same bars and we all made the "right" choice to us.

So thanks again for everbody who commented in this thread with advice. Even if we didn't end up taking your advice for our initial cruising, it has definitely given me an itch to explore other cruising grounds in the future. San Juans, South Pacific, and Mexico were already on my radar, but I never thought of Chesapeake, Western Pacific, or Australia as "real" cruising grounds.

Josh
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