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Old 22-07-2014, 16:24   #1
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Sailing the Caribbean for the First Time.

Hi

Me and my friend are thinking about sailing the Caribbean for 4-6 months. We want a great experience and see as much as possible. We are looking for any useful info we can get. We are both 20 years old from Norway.

What kind of boat should we be looking at? Our budget is 15-20 000 dollars.
How much should the budget be?
Do we need any visa to enter any of the countries?
Do we need any boat license?

If anyone has a good route please let us know.

If there is more we should know or forgot to ask about, please let us know.

BR
F and C
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Old 23-07-2014, 05:49   #2
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Freyman.
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Old 23-07-2014, 06:09   #3
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pirate Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

Hi Freyman..
Welcome to CF.
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Old 23-07-2014, 06:13   #4
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

Welcome to CF.

Do you guys plan on buying in the Caribbean or sailing to the Caribbean from somewhere in Europe? That could make a big difference in some of the responses.

For sailing around the Caribbean I would recommend you start with The Gentlemen's Guide to Passages South: the Thornless Path to Windward.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 23-07-2014, 07:22   #5
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

Thank you for welcoming us.

We are not planning to cross the Atlantic, we have been looking for boats in Florida for sale. Maybe this is not the smartest place to buy a boat? We do not know.

Our only plan is to hop from island to island and visit and see as much as we can.

We are thankful for all the information we can get.




Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 23-07-2014, 09:31   #6
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

I would think Florida would be the place to look with a 15 to 20K budget.
You have asked several questions, each of which has sparked numerous threads in the past, in other words they are difficult to get a single answer for any of them, except the Visa part. Being a US citizen I do not know the answer to that, but surely your Embassy would?
I am unaware of any form of license you need, boat will have to be registered somewhere I assume, your country and or insurance may require a license, I have no idea, again I think contacting your Embassy would be prudent.
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Old 23-07-2014, 09:33   #7
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

buying in Fla. and then sailing to the islands is a lot harder than just buying in the islands. There are lots of boats for sail right there
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Old 23-07-2014, 09:42   #8
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

Buying in Florida, especially in your price range would give you the biggest selection of boats to choose from. Also easy and not too expensive to prepare the boat and buy any parts or supplies you need.

But leaving from Florida to sail to the eastern Caribbean is not an easy sail. It will be sailing east against the wind and current for over 1000 Km before you can reach the Virgin Islands and turn south to the rest of the islands.

If you want to sail the western Caribbean like Belize, Guatemala, etc then you will not have that problem.

There are restrictions and limitations for non US citizens to register a boat in the US so you should research how to register the boat at home and if it can be done by mail without flying back.

Visas, that is different with every country you visit and is different as well depending on your country. This you have to check with each country. There are cruising guides and web sites that will help you with this. Check www.noonsite.com
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Old 24-07-2014, 06:39   #9
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the first time.

I would love to sail the Caribbean , so far I have sailed only in Australia and Dubai .
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Old 24-07-2014, 16:45   #10
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the First Time.

Thank you for the information, it helps.
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Old 29-07-2014, 20:58   #11
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the First Time.

I don't know what your experience is with sailing or the Caribbean, but you have a small budget to buy a boat and sail for 4-6 months in an unfamiliar (?) area. Therefore, don't be lured into buying a big boat because it is priced low and just needs "a little bit of " work. Parts and good mechanics are expensive and difficult to find; get something small where all of the important stuff is usable now. You want to spend your time sailing, not doing repairs. Set aside some money, say $5,000, for necessities that may be missing in an otherwise workable boat, maybe a new sail, or electronics, a bigger anchor, or a dinghy. Craigs List has inexpensive boat listings in Virgin Islands, Panama, Puerto Rico and so on. A list price is just that, you can always offer less money, maybe much less. Boats are on Craigs List because brokers don't want to worry with old, inexpensive boats. I don't know how much time you have to scout out a bargain boat, but I expect you can get something useable in the 30-35' range for - $10,000 - $15,000 if you are patient. Your cruising budget depends how fancy you want to live. Food is expensive compared to the US, even in the grocery stores. Anchoring is a lot cheaper than taking a mooring ball or renting a slip.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted on your progress.

craigslist: virgin islands classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events
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Old 30-07-2014, 07:33   #12
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the First Time.

Do yourself a favor and buy Beth Leonard's book: The Voyagers Handbook

I found it to be the single best source for understanding all of the things that need to be considered to go cruising. Everything from buying the right boat to dealing with the lifestyle (including government regulations like customs and visas). It will help you immensely! Check out the table of contents on Amazon.com.
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Old 30-07-2014, 08:09   #13
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the First Time.

I second the recommendation for Beth Leonard's book. Also, Don Casey's "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" will help you get a sound, inexpensive old boat.
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Old 30-07-2014, 08:48   #14
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the First Time.

I do have little experience, so this helps me a lot. Thank you. Maybe I will sail alone without my friend so I will most likely be sailing alone, I am wondering if 20-25 ft boat is to small to be on the sea for about 6 months, or is a 30 ft boat needed? I will definitely look into Craigs List. I am not going to live fancy, spend as little as I can, and try to live of what I can find.

Thank You
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Old 30-07-2014, 09:16   #15
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Re: Sailing the Caribbean for the First Time.

Hi Freyman. Personally, I would find a 20-25' boat too small for comfort, both in terms of space for living and handling the sea. That said, most areas of the Caribbean are not open-ocean sailing, you "island hop" from one island to the next, each being visible. I would also suspect you'll find more boats in the 30' range than in the 20' range down there; other people find the 20-footers too small, also!
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