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Old 23-02-2013, 13:07   #1
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Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

I have spent a few days going over old posts here and at Sailnet, and thought I'd seek some advice.

We are planning to take a year to sail around the Caribbean, starting in the summer of 204.

So here is the problem, we need something that is roomy inside, we have 3 boys, which would imply more of a cruiser. But one option we are strongly considering is the Carib 1500 ARC to get down there in november. So I need a boat that can manage this 1500 mile trip.

The tension is between boats that are more blue water orientated tend to be smaller inside, and bigger interior cruisers let capable in the open sea.

Another issue would be I would need something relatively easy to sail. My experience to date has been a couple of charters ~40' and a few years great lake sailing on ~30 boats. Also not much of a mechanic so reluctant to go too old a boat.

Last but not least, have a budget of $50k including any needed refits and upgrades.

This is based on getting a boat in the North East, outfitting and provisioning p here and then sailing down. Another option would be to buy a boat that's already down there, but much of the same applies to get it back (or to re-sell)

Been trawling Yachtworld for months, nothing has leapt out at me.
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Old 13-03-2013, 20:52   #2
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

Three children, a 'new' boat and a 1500 mile off-shore trip in not a small undertaking...Buy a boat down Island and avoid the possibility of starting with a disaster!
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Old 13-03-2013, 21:20   #3
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Three children, a 'new' boat and a 1500 mile off-shore trip in not a small undertaking...Buy a boat down Island and avoid the possibility of starting with a disaster!
Well, actually, we have really started to think more about taking more time to get there. Make it part of the trip so to speak. Head down the coast, visit friends and historic coastal towns, then get to florida and hop across to the bahamas.
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Old 13-03-2013, 21:32   #4
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

I did what you describe on the W coast, cruise slowly and visit. I spent WAY too much money before I got out of the country and the best parts have been after we left the US.
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Old 13-03-2013, 21:37   #5
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

The 'Thorny Path' can be very interesting but it is not an easy undertaking either. We are about to 'go down Island' for the 4th time and we are again going off-shore because it is far easier than going through the Bahamas!

Read all the posts, here and on sailnet, about the journey.
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Old 13-03-2013, 21:39   #6
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

A different suggestion!! before you quit your job and spend all of your money, take 10% of your budget and charter in the Virgins with your wife and kids. See if the kids like the life style. Take them to places with lots of kids in Bikinis and that might help. See if Momma likes cooking in a galley with a stove and fridge 1/4 the size of what she is used to. It is much easier to get wife and kids used to it, if it is pleasant and calm in an anchorage than if you are beating your brains out against the gulf stream. Remember the old adage, that IF momma is unhappy, everybody is unhappy._____Good luck.____Grant.
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Old 14-03-2013, 03:32   #7
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

Good advice above on chartering first. And also very good advice about buying down there and not up here. I took two years getting my boat ready to go offshore to the Caribbean. It could have been done in one but really you need a full sailing season to test all the systems, etc. And the trip down there is not what many people would call "fun". It can be very rough. I like that but there are lots of people who really really dont.

and you really dont want to try to go to the caribbean through the bahamas. Most people dont realize until they look at a map but that is 100's of miles of bashing straight into the trade winds. You might like that but believe me, your wife and kids wont. If you only have a year then either go to the Bahamas or go offshore to the Caribbean. Dont try to do both. You will be happy either way, but the Bahamas is far easier in terms of sailing and boat prep.
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Old 14-03-2013, 05:09   #8
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Re: Advice on a Caribbean Cruiser

Great advice guys, actually, I have taken some of it already!

We have had a 30' boat on Champlain for 3 years, and done a couple of week trips, and we have chartered down there twice.

I started thinking about something like the carib 1500, but know thinking of taking the short 12 hour hop from miami.

I know about the issue of bashing into the trades if you want to head east from the bahamas. They are on my mind
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