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Old 17-05-2011, 17:59   #1
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Best Boat for Us in the Caribbean

Hi All,

We are finally given the opportunity to do some nice cruising. We are located in Galveston, TX "Gulf Coast". My wife and I recently took a vacation to Grand Cayman and absolutly love it there. We are very fortunate to be in a position to work from any where in the world with cell phone and light internet use. We are looking at getting a nice boat to initially cruise to Grand Cayman from Galveston and may check out the rest of the Carribean too.

We are selecting from a few different boats. We want to spend about 250K or less (suggestions welcomed) and have narrowed our search so far to a 1995 Cabo Rico 45, 2000 Westerley 43 and a 1993 Island packet 44. All have draft of 5'7" to 6'0". My research suggest that a 6'0" or less draft should work for us.

FYI: Just my wife, myself and our three dogs. Only need a two cabin layout.

All comments appreciated.
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Old 17-05-2011, 18:10   #2
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Re: Best boat for us in Caribbean

You will need to do some research or search the CF for animals afloat. With 3 dogs on board you can expect some restrictions on where and what islands you can visit with them - if they need to go ashore. All animals need complete medical records and up to date shots and certifications for rabies.
- - I have always had a cat or two on board but they never need to go ashore so had no serious problems. But dogs are a different matter.
- - There are a significant amount of cruisers in the Caribbean with dogs, but they do need to do a lot more preparation and planning than those folks without them.
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Old 17-05-2011, 18:21   #3
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Re: Best boat for us in Caribbean

Thanks Osiris, I am aware that we will need permissions to the various islands for the dogs (vet certificates etc. We have lived on boats before and the dogs are trained to go on mats and we do not need to bring the dogs ashore.

Thanks again. Anyone with advise or experience regarding our boat choices would be appreciated.
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Old 17-05-2011, 19:04   #4
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pirate Re: Best boat for us in Caribbean

Being a 'Brit' I'm biased towards the Westerly Ocean 43...
They're good strong boats from a great marque.. good sailors and beautifully laid out for living aboard...
Never been to keen on the Cabo Rico interiors.. though they are lovely on the outside... the other... is just that...
Whichever you choose... enjoy
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Old 17-05-2011, 19:42   #5
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Re: Best boat for us in Caribbean

Thanks Boatman, We love the Westerly. The only possible downside is that Westerly Yacht manufacturer no longer exists. Do you think this may effect the resale too much.

Thanks
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Old 17-05-2011, 19:56   #6
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I don't think so to be honest... a great boat is always saleable..
theres a lot of builders gone down the pan but their boats are still going strong... and continue to be bought and sold..
Used to own a Longbow.. theres a place in Southampton that stocks all Westerly spares etc... may have moved as last time I used them for rudder bearings was in 97/8... but sure someone here may know where they are now... a quick search may turn them up.. don't think it was these folk... but hell.. maybe they changed their name... 12 yrs is a long time in this game..
http://www.westerly-yachts.co.uk/
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Old 17-05-2011, 22:59   #7
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Re: Best boat for us in Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trader247 View Post
Thanks Osiris, I am aware that we will need permissions to the various islands for the dogs (vet certificates etc. We have lived on boats before and the dogs are trained to go on mats and we do not need to bring the dogs ashore.
Thanks again. Anyone with advise or experience regarding our boat choices would be appreciated.
With dogs trained to stay on board you will be light years ahead of everybody else in both enjoyment and security.
- - That Westerly 43 - at least the one I found advertised in Texas, looks like one fine, but expensive boat. The Teak decks would be great for the dogs but a rather expensive option for upkeep and maintenance for the owner. Center cockpit is always my first choice for ride and passage-making. The layout below decks with the fabulous aft master cabin is a major plus.
- - On the other hand the Island Packet 440 I saw listed in Florida is a top end boat. And a cutter rig for good working to weather. It has FRG decks which are not so great for the dogs, lots of slipping and skidding and a rather busy forward deck area. But also the interior is top end and would be very comfortable.
- - I don't envy your having to make a choice. But for the dogs sake I would tend to favor the Westerly.
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Old 18-05-2011, 03:43   #8
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Re: Best Boat for Us in the Caribbean

If you buy and Island Packet, you'll find that you have a very knowledgeable and supportive owners' group Welcome to the Island Packet Yacht Owners' Association , and super factory support when you need it, even as a second (third, fourth, etc.) owner Island Packet Yachts . They're great boats for the Caribbean.
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Old 18-05-2011, 05:21   #9
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Re: Best Boat for Us in the Caribbean

All Good Choices for looks I prefer the Cabo Rico When it comes down to looks you know they are all solid sailing vessels Good luck
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Old 18-05-2011, 06:23   #10
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Re: Best Boat for Us in the Caribbean

Why not a cat?
Whether it's a cat or a monohull, for the Carribean you will want a boat with good ventilation and air circulation. You do not want to rely on fans or air conditioning to keep cool.
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Old 18-05-2011, 06:42   #11
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Re: Best Boat for Us in the Caribbean

Give some thought as to how much wood you want on deck, how much time it would take to maintain it and whether or not you enjoy that kind of work. IMHO a lot of people admire teak on a boat but don't give much thought, if any, as to what's required to maintain it. Might be a trade-off considering the dogs.

Large cockpits are nice and we like 6' or so draft so we can go to Anegada. Might not be a consideration for you but all things being equal, less draft means more anchoring options.

We have owned three Taiwanese boats. The stainless on all these boats caused us problems. Cracked swages, corrosion at tank welds causing split seams and the 304 grade stainless needs a lot of care to keep the rust at bay.


Center cockpits usually mean a nice aft cabin. They also mean you might be working over a large hole (the center cockpit) when dealing with the mainsail.

My choice of your boats of those you propode would be the Island Packet although I have not looked closely at Westerlys.


Your mileage may vary.
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Old 18-05-2011, 09:25   #12
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Re: Best Boat for Us in the Caribbean

Thanks all for you input.

Osirissail: I do like the Westerly for your mentions such as aft cabin and teak decks for the dogs (could do without the maintenance. I think they are priced about 50-75k too high on the Texas boat. Will see how much room they have on the price.

The Florida 440 Island Packets are certainly a consideration. So far as the decks go, we plan on fitting netting across the rails for dog safety and possibly getting the dogs booties for added slip control.

Hud3: The Island Packets are very much in our consideration. We really like the fact the IP has a strong support community and company.

Capttman: The Cabo is a beautiful and super sound vessel and is certainly in our consideration.

Curmudgeon: We talked about the possibility of a Cat. I am just used to the mono hull and have very little familiarity with Cats. I also don't like that most have 4 cabins and my dock fees would be more expensive (I believe).

Gbanker: I concur on the teak decks (I need to look in to the cost and frequency of maintenance). I certainly like a center cockpit set up with nice aft cabin. The draft on all the boats I am considering is 5'7" - 6'0".

Thanks all for your comments. I look forward to any additional advice/comments.
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Old 18-05-2011, 09:38   #13
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Re: Best Boat for Us in the Caribbean

Just a suggestion...

If you haven't checked out Whiteaker Yacht Sales in Bradenton, FL, you might want to. They sold my IP 380 and were a real pleasure to deal with--top notch professionals all the way. Ed used to be an IP dealer, and his brokerage specializes in used Island Packets.
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