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Old 18-06-2018, 14:48   #1
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Question Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Ok, everyone. Hit me with your best shot!
I'm forming a plan to buy a sailboat, get it set up and sail from the west coast through the canal and spend several years in the Caribbean. I'm not in a big hurry because I need to continue working for at least 5 more years.
Here are the things I believe are important for my comfort and utility.

Cost: South of $125,000
Size: 38 to 50 feet
Handling: manageable for 2 people. Doesn't have to be a racer, but no dogs either. A good stable sailing vessel.
Equipment: Good electronics, water maker, A/C, and a generator.
Sails: A good set up for island passage.
Interior: Roomy with a well set up gally, 2 heads, and (don't laugh) I really like boats with a large aft cabin with a center line bed. I'm leaning towards center cockpit boats.
Condition: I don't want to spend big bucks to get the boat ready for a trip and I plan to day and weekend sail as much as possible before the trip so I know my boat inside and out.

Ok? Go! Tell me about your favorite boat and why it's great. I'll read and consider every thing anyone has to say.

Thanks in advance.
Bill
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Old 18-06-2018, 15:20   #2
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

You’re going to have a really hard time finding everything you want in good working order for only $125k. To increase the odds, you’ll probably have to buy in the Med and cross the Atlantic to get all of that at your price point.

It would be much easier if you let go of the center cockpit and went for a master cabin in the bow instead.
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Old 18-06-2018, 16:00   #3
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

There are a lot of good older monos that fit your list. For example, I used to captain a GulfStar 50 MkII Ketch. Much nicer looking lines than many GulfStar designs, very comfortable, center cockpit, big aft cabin...and it sails well too.

This one is listed at $100K so leaves you some refit money:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1981...s#.WygqPpBnWf0
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Old 18-06-2018, 16:06   #4
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Good point. I've seen quite a few really nice bow cabins. The Catalina 42 has a nice Pullman berth.
Buying in the Med would be problematic, the savings would get eaten up with shipping costs. I'm not good enough of a sailor yet to make the crossing. I may consider buying in the Caribbean but most of the boats I see there seem to be ex charter boats. I want to stay away from those.
You didn't tell me your favorite boat. What do you like?
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Old 18-06-2018, 16:15   #5
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by H8s2Land View Post
You didn't tell me your favorite boat. What do you like?
In center cockpits:
I’d like a Moody 42’-ish but would settle for a Beneteau or Jeanneau 40-42 CC if I couldn’t afford the former. The trouble is you’re not likely to find either one with all the equipment you desire and if you have to add it on it explodes your budget.
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Old 18-06-2018, 16:24   #6
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
In center cockpits:
I’d like a Moody 42’-ish but would settle for a Beneteau or Jeanneau 40-42 CC if I couldn’t afford the former. The trouble is you’re not likely to find either one with all the equipment you desire and if you have to add it on it explodes your budget.
Good point on the equipment. Those are some big dollar items listed if you dont find a boat with them.

"Good electronics, water maker, A/C, and a generator. "

Personally, if I were going to cruise the boat and spend most of my time at anchor...I would lower the priority on genset and ACs. I havent used my ACs in years and am considering removing them. Without AC then genset becomes unecessary too.
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Old 18-06-2018, 16:30   #7
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
In center cockpits:
I’d like a Moody 42’-ish but would settle for a Beneteau or Jeanneau 40-42 CC if I couldn’t afford the former. The trouble is you’re not likely to find either one with all the equipment you desire and if you have to add it on it explodes your budget.
Speaking of Beneteau they made a 36 CC. Its uncommon, but I delivered one once, nice little boat.

Two on YW well below your budget...even better, more $s for refit and the cruising kitty.

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/cate...Center+Cockpit
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Old 18-06-2018, 16:40   #8
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Speaking of Beneteau they made a 36 CC. Its uncommon, but I delivered one once, nice little boat.

Two on YW well below your budget...even better, more $s for refit and the cruising kitty.

Beneteau 36 Center Cockpit boats for sale - YachtWorld
No center line bed. Hardly any space for AC, genset, watermaker...
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Old 18-06-2018, 16:58   #9
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
No center line bed. Hardly any space for AC, genset, watermaker...
Agree its not without its compromises, but at < $125K he's likely to have to make some compromises.
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Old 19-06-2018, 09:34   #10
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Good point on the equipment. Those are some big dollar items listed if you dont find a boat with them.

"Good electronics, water maker, A/C, and a generator. "

Personally, if I were going to cruise the boat and spend most of my time at anchor...I would lower the priority on genset and ACs. I havent used my ACs in years and am considering removing them. Without AC then genset becomes unecessary too.
This x 1000.
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Old 19-06-2018, 09:34   #11
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Boats tend to be significantly cheaper in the Caribbean than the USA. Might be worth taking a holiday (eg charter) to both get the feel for what works for you in that environment and what is available. This applies especially to older boats. If you need to do any work it is worth sailing to the south coast, parts are expensive and hard to get in the islands.
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Old 19-06-2018, 09:56   #12
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

The best boat is one that is paid for!
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Old 19-06-2018, 10:10   #13
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

Are you never going to leave the Caribbean? If so, then I would stick with the generator and water maker. C/C is good because it gives you good place to stow the dinghy with having to have davits or getting in the way up forward. It is also easier to get at the engine in most of them. I would also suggest you have an autopilot and an anchor winch.
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Old 19-06-2018, 10:10   #14
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

best boat for the Caribbean.?
white hull and light decks..
either a genset with airco (bloody expensive)
or at least 2. CARAFOMA. fans in each cabin.
paint the toilet seat with a light non skid paint
and make sure ur fridge /ice box is well insulated.
get and old sail if pos. and put it over the boom
fixed to pt and stb hull sides,, keep the sun off
salon and cockpit..
Oh,,, and stock up with OLD MILWAUKEE. before
leaving florida.....
think thatz it...
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Old 19-06-2018, 11:20   #15
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Re: Best boat for cruising the Caribbean?

I suggest you buy a Sunfish, best boat for you
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