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Old 17-04-2018, 15:16   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Boat: Condor Trimaran 30 foot
Posts: 1,119
My Mexican Report

We left Vallejo about 2 pm Thursday April 5th. Drove until we almost couldn't see straight ...stopped in Boulder City, Nv. at 4 am. Drove next day to Tucson, Az to meet the skipper of Quetzal and show us the way south. Left Saturday morning and crossed at Nogales. (side note...we are paying about 3.80 gal for diesel Bay area) Tanked up on the Nogales, Az side of the border for about 2.90 gallon.

First stopped by USA border inspection before crossing. Next stop after crossing was the Visa and insurance place shortly after crossing into Mexico. Very friendly people. I think i paid about 38 dollars for limited Mexican insurance on the truck. The visa seemed like it was about 30 dollars. It took us 6 hours to drive to San Carlos from Tucson. Guys, it was absolutely wonderful experience. We drove my one-ton diesel down highway 15. I think there were 2-3 toll stations. The peso is at 18 per american dollar. One of the toll stations was at 128 pesos and the other was at 78 pesos.

The Mexican gov't is throwing a lot of money into the road infrastructure. There are many sections that are modern concrete well designed roads comparable to the best US Hwy. You can see some road diversions while they finish the new sections. It was never unsafe at any point. The only police you will see are the Federal Police in Dark Blue/White sedans. There are plenty of them. I think i was told the Federal Gov't wants that corridor to be safe for the transportation sector and vacationers.

Hermosillo is an absolute bustling and modern city as we traveled through it. Modern airport and infrastructure looks very good. Soon, we found ourselves in San Carlos. Amazed at the Teta Kawi peak that looms over the marina.

Hotel was 4 star and beautiful right on the beach. We ate at Hammerheads a couple of nights. We ate at a thatched roof taco restaurant called J.J.'s multiple times. We ate at Soggy Peso Bar and Restaurant one evening.
Average bill was around 10-15 dollars for drinks and food for three. We never spent over 20 dollars for a dinner for two. I fell in love with chili relleno tacos. Mexicans....never can say enough good about their die for. Soggy Peso the north end of Bahia Algodones got it's name from sailors whose pesos were wet after dingy rides from their boats to drink and eat....very fun and beautiful place to sit and watch the sun transit.

So, I bought another boat. See the link for pictures...1990 Condor 30 sailboat for sale in Outside United States

It is a Condor 30 trimaran that is trailerable. The previous skipper is John Hulburd. He was a good steward of this vessel. She is in very good shape and i paid less than the asking price of 34K. Much less...I will leave her down in San Carlos for the next year to avoid the almost 3k in california taxes. I paid the yard bill of $1100/yr and she sits in the Marina San Carlos. Interesting thing about the marina storage/work yard. It is not connected to the water at all. Everything is put on a tractor trailer and hauled on city streets about half a mile away to the ramp and marina. Facility has first rate security. Even gringos are closely watched and timed. So, if you want to drive your truck into the yard work area you must first go get a pass from the office. Every person must have a pass...even a visitor. You are allowed 15 minutes in the yard with a truck. Then they come and remind you to move it. This fee allows you to move the boat out of the yard, launching, and retrieval back to the yard once a month.

Of course the Summer season is no joke that far south. Hurricanes can get that far north. John owned the boat for 4 years and he only had one nail San Carlos. His boat had some solar panels peel up on the after sections of the amas. There was some major damage to boats in the monohull section. I guess one of the boats in a long line of boats on stands fell and created a domino effect. Messy situation for insurance. None of the trailer boats were effected. Still....i do have my concerns...who wouldn't?

The boat? Solid construction...mast is rectangular sectioned and boom is solid. Condor 40 race boat was too heavy to be a competitor. Condor 30 designed as an off shore racer/fast cruiser. The boat is so much roomier than the Corsair 31. Both port/star side berths pull out to full size beds. Lavac toilet in bow with standing room and fore deck hatch. Room to shower if you are stupid enough to do that inside the boat instead of the cockpit. Long cabin and short cockpit....i like. Mainsheet track right at companionway. Awkward but convenient for the helmsman. Plenty of storage area in cockpit lockers and hatch in cockpit floor to access hull to deck space. Boat comes with a new Raymarine 1000 autohelm. Sails are decent. Headsail is on a Profurl. Sailboat has a spinny....with retractable bowsprit. Tohatsu 9.8 from 2013 and fired up in seconds on the electric start and hadn't been started since Nov. 2017. Retractable dagger board is heavy as hell and heavy pivot rudder in massive rudder case.

Paint in decent shape and bottom paint still okay. Ama's have a hard epoxy coating with no bottom paint. John said that he only needed a scotch rite pad to clean scum and a plastic paint scrapper to knock off small barnacles after several months sailing from San Carlos to La Paz and back. This guy is about as honest a man you could ever hope to meet.

So, I have the boat of my dreams. A solid trailerable boat that has enough accommodations to meet me and my Kitty's needs. My truck is stout enough to haul that 5000 lbs trailer and boat. The disadvantage, of course, is the time necessary to de-ama, de-aka, de-mast the boat. But it is consistent with my retirement plans of drive, assemble, splash, sail, de-assemble, move to next splash location...enjoy the long....God knows i worked long enough and hard enough for such a small boat.

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Old 17-04-2018, 16:05   #2
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 13,710
Re: My Mexican Report

God knows i worked long enough and hard enough for such a small boat.
enjoy the fruits of your labours, and sail the hell outta her...


Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Port Cygnet again.
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Old 17-04-2018, 16:28   #3
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Re: My Mexican Report

Great post, Alan!

What's the name of the four star hotel?

Boat pics?

Good luck!!
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Old 19-04-2018, 12:14   #4
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Posts: 389
Re: My Mexican Report

Nice report! Good to hear the real Mexico review and not a negative, biased one we all too often hear via friends who watch too much news. My partner and a buddy flew to Hermasillo and bussed to SC and then back to PHX a couple of years ago (nice, new bus long trip but ok) and would agree with your pricing and review of those restaurants. SC area is the least expensive for cruisers in MX it seems, from margaritas to storage rates. Great you can drive there too.

Nice choice on the Condor. I keep telling my buddy looking to cruise Mexico but also Carib to go trailerable tri. I love multis! I get to go out on a small one and it is so easy and comfortable but still a lot of fun. Your light displacement and stability should be a dream in the SOC.
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Old 19-04-2018, 13:17   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
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Re: My Mexican Report

mexico is a beautiful place.. north mex is desert, central mex and south mex are tropical awesomenesses. people are very cool folks..generous, helpful and peaceful.
scenery is gorgeous, and the wildlife is most varied. central mex even has live active volcanoes.
whether by land or sea, is a good place to visit.
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