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Old 22-01-2014, 09:50   #1
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Transition from charter to cruising - questions

Frequent lurker (learner), first time poster.

We have a boat in charter in the BVI, a Leopard 46 catamaran. Our long-term plan has always been to charter the boat for several years, then take it over and cruise. Between the charter and cruising time, we plan to do the usual upgrades (solar, wind gen, better nav systems, SSB, new sails, possibly watermaker, etc etc). Im certain were not blazing a new path here, so Im hoping to get some insight into our options based on what others have done. Right now, were about 2-3 years out from wanting to take over the boat.

Our initial thought had been to move the boat to Ft. Lauderdale immediately after the last charter and get the various upgrades done there, based on the assumption that labor and supplies cost less and are more plentiful in that area than in the E. Caribbean. Following the upgrades, our plan had been to cruise the Bahamas and up the east coast, followed by the long trip back to the E. Caribbean for cruising that area. Lately, Ive been considering a different option, leaving the boat at a large marina in the E. Caribbean (Fajardo, USVI, BVI, or St. Maarten) for the upgrades and possibly for hurricane season storage, then staying in the E. Caribbean afterward for several seasons before sailing to the US. The benefit of the second option is that the boat is already in the E. Caribbean and ready to cruise there, avoiding the long trip back later on.

Is my assumption that cost and supply are much better in Ft. Lauderdale, making that the obvious destination for upgrades? If you had a boat already in the E. Caribbean, would that make it worth paying a cost premium to stay there? I'm not really sure how much less it would cost to do upgrades in Florida as opposed to the ilons.

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Old 22-01-2014, 10:02   #2
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pirate Re: Transition from charter to cruising - questions

Being a Brit.. I used St Martin to fit out my 2001 ex Moorings Bene 33.. tailor made stainless solar/wind gen/dinghy arch, 5hp OB, dinghy, AeroGen, 2x230W solar panels/regulator and sundry lines and fittings for less than $10K.. all new from Lille Marine.. mind that was 06'07.... apart from the Arch did all the other work myself.

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Old 22-01-2014, 16:13   #3
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Re: Transition from charter to cruising - questions

Thinks have gone way up since then!
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:08   #4
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Re: Transition from charter to cruising - questions

I was hoping for more answers to this question as well. When upgrading a used charter boat, is it worthwhile to come back to Florida or Puerto Rico to perform the upgrade work?
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:42   #5
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Re: Transition from charter to cruising - questions

There is one other factor to consider. That is convenience to you and your ability to follow up and supervise the work. I would think that would be much easier in Fort Lauderdale or perhaps further north on the Florida east coast. Plus in the course of the move you'll get a great chance to check it out and determine any other needs. I've just heard too many stories of owners leaving boats in distant shipyards for refits and other work and the work dragging on and on or not getting done as desired as well as other things happening including theft of items and damage.
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:56   #6
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Re: Transition from charter to cruising - questions

Same question, good answers here:

Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma - Page 13 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

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Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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