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Old 11-02-2016, 10:20   #16
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Yes you can sometimes pick up a cheap boat especially if you don't mind the accommodation being scruffy. BUT it won't be ready to sail. You don't sound as if you have a ton of experience and I wonder if this is a practical idea. If you got a boat now and had the time and skills to do all the work needed over the next 12 months it may be possible. If you are paying $50-$100hr for boat yard time that's different! You wont get it ready to sail in a week, maybe a month with a good location, skills, power tools and luck.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:43   #17
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
To the OP, how much sailing experience do you have?
I'm sorry, I'm not sure who your asking this of, in the event it is me, I can tell you I started out mainly in power boats and worked at Essex Boat Works in Essex CT. starting in 1960 and I bought a marina in 1962 and did a lot of work, again on power boats. I bought my first sailboat in 1982 and had it for 22 years. My present sail boat I bought three years ago, lso about 34-5 years with sail boats.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:08   #18
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by lesterbutch View Post
I'm sorry, I'm not sure who your asking this of, in the event it is me, I can tell you I started out mainly in power boats and worked at Essex Boat Works in Essex CT. starting in 1960 and I bought a marina in 1962 and did a lot of work, again on power boats. I bought my first sailboat in 1982 and had it for 22 years. My present sail boat I bought three years ago, lso about 34-5 years with sail boats.
OP mean Original Poster i.e. the person who started the thread.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:20   #19
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Why do you want to buy a boat?
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:57   #20
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Awesome! I did the same thing with 4 other buddies when we were 25 (2009).

We sailed a 39' O'Day from NYC to Dry Tortugas and back over the course of a couple years. We ended up each taking on an area or two of specialization.. I was the diesel mechanic, another became the nav/wx guy, another was the plumber, etc. One of us was also the defacto captain, which can be important when decisions simply have to be made.

Collectively, we made a pretty good sailor The learning curve is fast when you make mistakes, so just make sure the boat is basically sound (hull/rig/engine/seacocks/comms). Offerings/libations to the gods also important.

We found the 39' a bit cramped for the 5 of us at times, but would not have wanted anything much bigger. It was definitely liveable. Bigger is harder to control and more costly to maintain. Be careful in buying a bigger boat on your budget. You could easily find a boat that ends up needing much more work than you anticipated.

Hope it works out as well for you guys as it did for us. Lot's of uniquely beautiful and terrifying experiences. Exactly what we were looking for..
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:01   #21
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by jimbnz View Post
Hi,

Looking at planning a sailing trip to the Caribbean next year about February and have quite a few questions, would appreciate anyone's help with some local and general sailing knowledge.

1. Where is the best place to travel to and buy a yacht in the area; Florida? Haiti? Cuba?

2. What size yacht would be needed for a crew of around 5 to safely live and sail throughout the Caribbean Sea on? Traveling shortest distance island to island.

3. Is $15000-$20000 USD realistic amount to purchase the vessel described above, it does not need to be luxuroius just livable and sail-able.

4. Do you need specific tickets or requirements to purchase a vessel in the US or to enter the countries in the Caribbean?

Appreciate any help
I'll respond in reverse order... No, You do not need any special ticket/certification to purchase a boat in the US. With the size you are looking at, most states require a basic seamanship/safety class to Captain the boat. I took a USCG safety class when I was 12yrs old and that's all I got. I have never been asked to produce it though!

$15-$20k is tight and depends a bit on how mechanically inclined you are. A bunch of 'friendly' guys in their 20's can probably do this on a 35 to 40 foot boat. in 2012, we bought a 1975 Tartan 41 for mid $30'k and she was ready to sail, but not ready for long term cruising. If you are not going to be able to repair/upgrade the boat systems, like install solar, then look for something that has been cruised recently. A catamaran would be great, but I doubt you can find one in that price. I would look at " yachtworld.com " in all Caribbean, Florida locations and buy the boat you think is best for you. And expect to be able to knock $5k to $10k off the asking price.. Water for 5 will be a concern, so a watermaker would be great. If not, a very large water holding capacity.
check out this...
1972 Dufour 41 Sortilege Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

best
Zach
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Old 11-02-2016, 13:08   #22
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Spend $80k on boat and any refit items needed for the needed size for 5, sell boat when done.
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Old 11-02-2016, 13:46   #23
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

You will have no problem buying a boat with this money but it is hard to say what condition the boat will be. And you want a strong and clean boat to sail safely and live comfortably.

Windwards are very good place to buy as they give you good and easy access to both Windwards and Leewards.

If you are new to sailing, I would NOT buy on your own. Ask an experienced friend to help you pick up the right boat.

Always consider the initial price (what you pay) may/will immediately be followed by berth'age / moor'age / repairs and upgrades. An old salt will easily go round the pitfalls but a newbie will inadvertently get trapped. That's too what makes one a newbie.

Caribbean is IMHO not the optimum place to buy a boat - the good ones are pricey the less good ones can be picked up by liveaboards, which leaves fewer inexpensive and good boats on the market. Still, if you want to sail in the West Indies, it makes plenty of sense to buy there.

Have fun shopping, buying, sailing.

b.
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Old 11-02-2016, 14:01   #24
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Why is it always easier to shop $200k boats?
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Old 11-02-2016, 14:56   #25
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Hi everyone,

Firstly thank you everyone for sharing your advice and knowledge. Thought I'd be luck to get a reply or two.

Also we could spend $15-$20k and put another 5 or 6k into getting it up to speed, wouldnt want to spend more that 8 or 10 days doing it but we are all reasonably hand guys, as described below.

We are all mates that lived together at university in New Zealand. We all have lived in poor living conditions on top of each other before so will have no trouble cramming into a boat. Only fighting will be over the biggest bed if two of us manage to snag a wild one each one night.

We have limited sailing experience:
  • One of has a 25' yacht in New Zealand that he is coming to terms with.
  • I am living in Sydney and have joined a club and am doing a course that involves 8 x 3 hour lessons, theory and then hope to be able to join a boat to crew in the racing on Sydney Harbor and sail once or twice a week for the next year. I am assured it will be no trouble getting on a boat once I have done this initial training. I am also a surveyor and so will take the nav duties.
  • Another has competed his tickets to work on super yachts and has worked on them in NZ and Europe.
  • One potential is a diesel mechanic, who will be useful for obvious reasons.
  • The last is a farmer who is a pretty handy guy and is looking to pick up some experience before be head there this time this next year.
Do you think we are jumping in the deep end a bit?
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Old 11-02-2016, 16:23   #26
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Sounds like a good squad.

Not sure exactly how it plays out for you guys, but in our case, the boat was a buddy's dad's retirement plan who was very happy to see his son live out his lifelong sailing dream w/ his friends. The 39' we were on was originally bought for $45k. Spent the better part of 6 months living aboard in New York and refitting. Money and time were always in short supply. You'll probably end up spending whatever you have to throw at the thing.

Timetable probably depends heavily on what boat you end up with. Maybe 8-10 days is all you'll need to get the boat ready to go, but that seems pretty optimistic. It took us a lot longer, but then again our case certainly isn't any kind of true baseline to judge from.

We were all fresh implants from inland mountains and had very limited sailing experience. The captain (son of the boat's owner) had taken the basic ASA course on a lake. We made a ton of really dumb mistakes in the beginning, but quickly got it together. Surprising how fast you can become sailor when you're on the water making passages.

I never looked back after that first trip. Most of the original crew are back in NYC doing their thing, but my wanderlust continues. All 5 of us look back at that trip without any shred of regret. Awesome awesome awesome

All the best to you guys
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Old 11-02-2016, 16:47   #27
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Thanks for the extra advice about who you are, makes it much easier to make useful suggestions. OK here is my thoughts.
1 Brilliant idea, go for it you have little to loose, everything to gain and even if it is a disaster you will learn loads and look back on it with relish.
2 Why the Caribbean? The sailing is OK but it is a really expensive touristy destination full of rich retirees and with a local culture that is often just a tourist service industry. Apologies to those who love the place but having sailed through it I can think of much better places to explore. So closer to home you have the whole south pacific to explore or westward towards India. Look at your options, is there somewhere that appeals where living on lentil curry and a low budget is more the norm, away from expensive marinas and where you can experience some different cultures rather than the play-ground of rich Americans! In a boat you have the world to choose from. Also means you can get the boat earlier and have the time to fix it up and learn to sail it.
3 Your budget. If you spend it on a 'modern' cruising boat it will at best be old and tired whatever the size. Yes all the modern convenience are great if you can afford them but really expensive both to buy and maintain - and you can't!!! What matters on a boat is that the hull, rig, sails and essential mechanics like steering and pumps are bullet proof, that makes the boat safe. Pressure water systems, electronics, 120v power etc, even an inboard head are conveniences not essentials.
4 So if you agree with what I say above look for a boat that is designed for basic sailing, go for traditional ways of doing things - sextant, paper charts, rain catcher instead of a water-maker a SMALL solar panel for charging a lighting battery and batteries for things like hand held radio and emergency GPS. Read up on some of the 'oldies' from sailing literature and see what was done in the 60's and 70's. You can still more or less do it that way, save a fortune and have much more of an adventure.
The sort of boat I would advise you to look for would be a Wharram cat. Here is an example 1987 Wharram Narai Mk IV Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 11-02-2016, 17:11   #28
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbnz View Post

(...)

We all have lived in poor living conditions on top of each other before so will have no trouble cramming into a boat.

(...)
Mind a poor quality living conditions BOAT may leak at both ends and given the amount of rain in the West Indies this may be not pleasant at all. Living in a tent in Auckland is not a good idea for same reasons, esp. if you set yours up on a Motutapu beach, below high water mark ... You are getting my drift, mate.

Two, poor quality conditions, in case of a boat, will likely extend into her equipment (rigging, sails, systems, etc.) and given wind and wave conditions in the West Indies, this would limit your ability to sail places. Normally, it blows there, and you want a boat that can take a gust, a squall and a bad slap from an occasional wave in her stride.

You want to have fun and you want to sail it. Look for a well maintained, sound one. They exist.

Or else island hop and live on the beaches and in bungalows. Less expensive, plenty of fun and no hardware issues to talk about.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 11-02-2016, 19:27   #29
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
Thanks for the extra advice about who you are, makes it much easier to make useful suggestions. OK here is my thoughts.
1 Brilliant idea, go for it you have little to loose, everything to gain and even if it is a disaster you will learn loads and look back on it with relish.
2 Why the Caribbean? The sailing is OK but it is a really expensive touristy destination full of rich retirees and with a local culture that is often just a tourist service industry. Apologies to those who love the place but having sailed through it I can think of much better places to explore. So closer to home you have the whole south pacific to explore or westward towards India. Look at your options, is there somewhere that appeals where living on lentil curry and a low budget is more the norm, away from expensive marinas and where you can experience some different cultures rather than the play-ground of rich Americans! In a boat you have the world to choose from. Also means you can get the boat earlier and have the time to fix it up and learn to sail it.
3 Your budget. If you spend it on a 'modern' cruising boat it will at best be old and tired whatever the size. Yes all the modern convenience are great if you can afford them but really expensive both to buy and maintain - and you can't!!! What matters on a boat is that the hull, rig, sails and essential mechanics like steering and pumps are bullet proof, that makes the boat safe. Pressure water systems, electronics, 120v power etc, even an inboard head are conveniences not essentials.
4 So if you agree with what I say above look for a boat that is designed for basic sailing, go for traditional ways of doing things - sextant, paper charts, rain catcher instead of a water-maker a SMALL solar panel for charging a lighting battery and batteries for things like hand held radio and emergency GPS. Read up on some of the 'oldies' from sailing literature and see what was done in the 60's and 70's. You can still more or less do it that way, save a fortune and have much more of an adventure.
The sort of boat I would advise you to look for would be a Wharram cat. Here is an example 1987 Wharram Narai Mk IV Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
I think this is brilliant.
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Old 12-02-2016, 19:05   #30
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Re: Sailing in the Caribbean

Someplace like Thailand might fit the bill
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