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Old 30-11-2013, 23:19   #1
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sailing tips for Caribbean and central america.

Hello everyone.
This is my first discussion on c.f so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Me and a friend are both kiwis and have done plenty of offshore boating/fishing/sailing.
We both however want to travel and with our passion for fishing, diving and surfing the caribbean and central america is an area we are very serious on checking out.

We are looking to purchase a yacht in florida in march 2014. We know that our timing is a bit off because of the cyclone season from may through to nov, however we are going for it anyway.

We are looking at a yacht around 30 to 34 feet and our maximum price would be around $35, 000. We are flying into fort lauderdale and basically boat shopping, as iv heard fort L is the boating capitol of florida?

We have been looking on yachtworld is this the best website for boats?

The sailing route we are looking to take is leaving florida to NW cuba then through yucatan channel to mex. From ther sail basically down belize and around honduras and to costa rica and then hopefully get to bocas del toro in panama.

Has anyone sailed this area in the cyclone season or anytime of year?

Also if ther are any dangerous areas to be aware of when cruising these areas?

Thats all for now, look forward to any feedback

Thankyou
Campbell.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:49   #2
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Re: sailing tips for Caribbean and central america.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Campbell.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:49   #3
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pirate Re: sailing tips for Caribbean and central america.

Hi Campbell... Welcome to CF.
Don't just stick to Ft Lauderdale.. check out some of the brokers in the Caribbean on www.allatsea.com ..... another good brokerage is BVI Yachts on the islands..
Pity about your limit as this is going for 10K more...
BVI Yacht Sales Ltd. (Nanny Cay, British Virgin Islands)&
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:18   #4
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Campbell we came from NZ into Florida to buy a boat in April. We checked out boats via Yachtworld all along the Florida coast (East) and generally had the search dollars 20% higher than we could spend. There are a lot of boats and people sometimes will take a low offer.
As Kiwi's you won't be able to purchase a US registered boat unless it is taken off the USCG register then you'll have to register elsewhere to travel offshore.
We've gone thru this exercise once before and delivered the boat into Oz, taking a year and making a bit on the sale.
Good luck
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:21   #5
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If you went South into the Caribbean proper you could end up outside of the hurricane area by say May
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Old 01-12-2013, 18:27   #6
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I suggest pushing south as soon as possible. In the NW Carib (aparently the Caribbean "improper") there is historically more activity later in the season and many more storms effect the NE Yucatan, and Cuba, than further south (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras). Historically, Belize only gets a good solid whack about once every 10 years. Cruising Belize in hurricane season is viable, but most run for the Rio Dulce in Guatemala at the first sign of a serious storm. The Rio is the ultimate hurricane hole in the NW Carib, no worries about hurricanes there.

While viable to cruise Belize in hurricane season, keep in mind that the summer nights tend to be squally...so best to choose your anchorages wisely...and keep a close eye on the weather for tropical development. The days are normally very nice.

Re route. If I were making an early hurricane season run (or close to it), I would scoot for central/southern Belize quickly. Cruise there (great cruising ground) till tropical activity picked up then run for the Rio. Hang out, do repairs, and inland travel (Guatemala is an awesome country) till end of hurricane season. From there, most cruising boats go to the Bay Islands in Honduras and then around the corner of Nicaragua to Providencia, Colombia (great place, actually off the Nicaraguan coast, but held by Colombia)...maybe make a few stops at nearby islands (like San Andres or Albuquerque Keys)...and then on to Panama. Its not common for cruising boats to stop in Costa Rica...just not a lot to attract cruisers on the CR Carib coast.

Here on the improper side of the Carib you are out of the hurricane belt for all practical purposes once you get south of about 12N ("storm box" on my insurance ends just N of San Andres, Colombia).
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:54   #7
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Re: sailing tips for Caribbean and central america.

Thankyou,

This is all very helpful information, thank you so much.

I suppose Fort Lauderdale is our first stop for boat hunting but we have seen a few, in other areas like Cape Coral and St pertersburg and also by the sounds of things have a look out in the islands.

That Beneteau would be so ideal, however I think it is just a bit too expensive. We cant dream too big as my mate and I both know ther are endless costs when owning a boat. (Dont want to dig too deep into savings).

With this USCG register is it a hard and long process?

And also any tips on what is the best options for boat insurance??

Thanks everyone heaps of help and back to the drawing board for more research!!!

Im sure ill be back with more queries!!!!

Thanks
Camo
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:06   #8
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Camo, mate if you search Yachtworld by region and put in 20% above your $35,000, say $42,000 then you will expand the range of boats to look at. Again, some people will take substantially less than advertised so if the search is low you'll miss out.
If the vessel is USCG documented then you have to get a letter from the USCG saying the vessel has been removed from the register. This document (at least for Oz) had to be sent to the Australian vessel licensing authority to enable them to put the boat into the Australian register. If the boat you buy is USCG documented as a foreigner you can't buy it until it has been deregistered.
IMSA does good insurance and typically, you pay for the Panama Canal transit as a seperate policy or an add on to your existing one(notify them of transit dates)
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:30   #9
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Re: sailing tips for Caribbean and central america.

Hi Campbell,

Try this site.
Sailboat Listings - sailboats for sale

Cheers,
Biltong
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:02   #10
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Camo, also look at National Liquidators for boats. Currently there is a 1987 Antigua 48 for a suggested bid of $33,393.
Also a 1981 Mariner 39 for $28,900. Both I think have generators. The first one is a US Treasury sale so could be for only taxes owed or something like that.
Happy hunting
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:07   #11
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We spent 3 months looking at 125+ yachts from san diego, los angeles, san francisco and the entire gulf coast from corpus christy around to georgia.

While there are lots of boats in Florida we didn't find many sailors. Lots of junk sail boats in the south east of the US IMHO.

We found a much higher percentage of great boats, well kitted out and in great condition in the SW, NW and NE that were owned by passionate and experienced sailors. We recently bought a Liberty 458 in Seattle.

The auction and magical deal sites were either a waste of time or a con job. We found good boats regularly sell for about 85% of the advertised price on yachtworld.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:12   #12
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I think buying a boat and the success you have will be a snapshot in time with a changing market. If you want to start your trip going through the Bahamas for example then there are logical places to buy a boat. I think the season also has something to do with it as we bought our Tayana 52 when cruisers were returning from the Caribbean. One boat we looked at appeared quite typical - family finished with cruising the Caribbean , got to Florida and try's to sell instead of sailing back North.
The advice you have from various quarters I think is good and the 85% is a good rule of thumb.
Our blog for the trip from FL to QLD is at www.orpailleur.blogspot.com and may give you some ideas.
Good luck
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