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Old 04-05-2007, 06:31   #1
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WHERE buy a cruising boat

Hello!
I'm planning to move to the antilles in a year or two and liveaboard with my mate and our son (He will be 2-3 year old by this time), cruising in the Caribbean and may be, in some more time, in the Pacific.
I could buy the boat here and cross the Atlantic, but boats in Spain are expensive, there aren't old, good boats and the laws are very hard about equipment and navigation areas.
I look for a steel or fiberglass boat, in the 32-38 range, a bluewater cruiser with good liveaboard capabilities. I plan to put some time on her, but I'm not looking for a wreck that will need 1000 hours of work before go sailing. I thing that the best for me could be an old cruising boat equiped to go offshore (windsteering, good rigging, long keel...). I can spend not more than 50.000 US $ in the purchasing and the refiting of the boat.
Where I have more oportunities to find this boat at a good price? I've seen in yatchworld that in Florida there's tons of cheap old boats, but, are they well mantained or most of them are marina-boats? Trinidad or Panama are good places? Dominican Rep? Virgin Islands?
Any advice is wellcome, sorry for the English...
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:46   #2
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South Florida probably has the greatest number & variety of used sailboats (& Brokers) of anyplace on earth.

Florida del sur probablemente tiene el mayor número y la variedad de veleros usados (y Agentes de bolsa) de en cualquier sitio en la tierra.

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Old 04-05-2007, 07:56   #3
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Navi,

Yes, there are lots of boats in Florida. However, you said you're resettling in the Antilles. The trip from Florida to the Antilles can be very difficult, since you're travelling against the prevailing winds and currents most of the time. Even for big motorsailers, this Thorny Path can be very problemmatic unless you have lots and lots of time to await favorable weather.

The Virgin Islands has many used boats for sale...boats of all descriptions. I'd suggest that a good place to start your search would be the British Virgin Islands (BVI) because of the number of boats there and the excellent brokers and services. One I can heartily recommend is BVI Yacht Sales:
BVI Yacht Sales Ltd.

They are knowledgeable, honest, and have been in business a long time.

Tell Chis or Karen "hello" from Bill on Born Free.

Bill
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Old 04-05-2007, 15:26   #4
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As you have discovered there are a vast number of used boats available in Florida and the Caribbean. A 32-38 "bluewater" yacht that meets somebody's definition of extra strong, doesn't need much work, and can be had including refit for 50K USD ....... well, yeah you can probably find one. But, why? You're going to be in some of the most popular cruising grounds in the world - it's all paradise. You can spend years cruising the Caribbean and never see the same place twice. There is no good reason to cross the Atlantic or sail the Pacific unless you are very easily bored or abosolutely have to cross oceans to feel like a 'real' cruiser. Most people cruising the Caribbean are sailing common or mass produced boats and you will have far more attractive choices within your budget if you target this class of boat.
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Old 04-05-2007, 16:24   #5
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Quote:
I've seen in yatchworld that in Florida there's tons of cheap old boats, but, are they well mantained or most of them are marina-boats?
Short answer..No, a lot of them are not well maintained.

A young couple from Spain came over to Ft. Lauderdale 4 months ago and bought an old cruising boat, a CSY 44.
They paid around $68,000, but the boat needed work, equipment and repairs, probably another $20,000.

One of the moderators on this forum have a CSY 33 for sale for about the price you are thinking about..

Ask him about his fine boat and say hello from me..
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Old 05-05-2007, 13:29   #6
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Thanks for the answers. Whow, what a good forum I have found!
When I say that I would like a ocean-crossing boat it's because halve of my family is in Montevideo and halve in Spain. We plan to spend some many years in the seas, first in the Caribbean but I would like to be able to some difficult ocean passages, not the Big capes, but the Atlantic to the west, for example. And the money I was talking about is just the first, enought to leave the marina for a while. We'll be living in the boat (or for the boat) the next years and spendig time on it.
We'll have plenty of time to wait for the best time to go west, from Florida to Cuba and so on... mmmmh!
And Trinidad? I thought it is a shelter for the hurricanes, in the season. May be is easier there to find a sailboat "ready to cruise"?
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Old 05-05-2007, 14:18   #7
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Quote:
And the money I was talking about is just the first, enought to leave the marina for a while. We'll be living in the boat (or for the boat) the next years and spendig time on it.
I'm not sure it works well that way. In your price range you will need to take care of minor problems and consider bigger ones too. That much ids for sure. Just for example lets say the standing rigging is in what appears to be great condition is 15 years old. That is a tough choice to make. It "looks fine" but it it? Some things get to an age where you know that when you take off you can't finish with them. You will repalce some things along the way when you have to. Those are the things that will cost much more than if you had done so before.

The question is about risk and how much more you will choose to take given you will be forced to take some no matter what.
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Old 05-05-2007, 21:43   #8
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There is also lot of high priced junk (not the boat type) in Florida. Look at everything before you buy.
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Old 06-05-2007, 22:01   #9
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Originally Posted by navi
..We'll have plenty of time to wait for the best time to go west, from Florida to Cuba and so on... mmmmh!
And Trinidad? I thought it is a shelter for the hurricanes, in the season. May be is easier there to find a sailboat "ready to cruise"?
Yo Navi,

it would be wise not to underestimate the difficulties of buying a yacht in a foreign port. This inevitably translates to higher cost. A possible offset to this might be a large fleet of modestly priced boats such as one might find in Florida. However you would have a much easier time of everything if you found a boat in your own general area.

The "best" place to buy your ideal boat is uncertain, however your luck should be good if you look where there are lots of boats of the type you want. Remember the reporter asking the captured bankrobber why he robbed banks--"Because thats where the money is."

Where there is an enormous fleet of cruising boats, one will also find the boatyards as well as other essential services such as chandlers, riggers, shipwrights, sailmakers, marine mechanics and electricians whose help you will need to prepare your new boat for sea. This whole process can cost as much as the purchase price of the boat. Try to maintain a contingency fund for the "unexpected". Let us know what you find.

best, andy
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