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Old 15-08-2016, 15:02   #1
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Refitting - best place in the world

Hi all, I've been a boat owner for over ten years and I'm quite a good sailor. However, in the maintenance department I still have a lot to learn. My plan is to buy a 40 - 53 foot monohull or 40-foot catamaran for world cruising and possible circumnavigation. I'm flexible in terms of where I buy the boat.

My budget is in the $120 - $200K (US) range with a refit budget of anywhere from $40 - $100K+. My question: where's the best place in the world to do a refit? Value for money is important of course but so is having skilled people readily available. I would like to participate in the rebuild so would be looking to learn as much as possible from the experts. In other words, I'm looking for the best location on price and local skills. The goal is to take a fundamentally sound boat and turn it into a top notch world cruiser.
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Old 15-08-2016, 15:32   #2
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Oh boy! I did my refit in Oriental, NC in the states. THought it was a great place..cheap cost of living (by US standards) and you have access to relatively cheap skilled labor on an as needed basis. Winters can get cold and summers hot, but overall a good balance year-round. Lot's a of boats to be found in the area.

But I bet there are thousands of other good places to refit!
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Old 15-08-2016, 16:50   #3
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Refit close to home. Anywhere else will cost you money in travel, accommodations, eating our etc.All of that will serve to wipe out savings elsewhere. Also, if you pay to have work done you can supervise, and, if you know the language you can be sure you are getting what you expect.

Dont worry, if you start crossing oceans you will probably do some refitting somewhere else eventually.
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Old 15-08-2016, 17:23   #4
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

If you buy in Australia then NZ could be an option as you will not be paying gst.

Mind you still not all that cheap.

Also depends what you are planning to 'refit'.... cosmetic? maybe SE Asia...

Apart from that either close to home or close to where you bought the boat.

Otherwise secondary costs will eat up any savings.
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Old 15-08-2016, 18:37   #5
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Seattle, of course!
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Old 15-08-2016, 19:00   #6
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Check out, "Vets On Deck." Get it done and maybe do some good. They have a program in North Carolina.

Sent from my VK810 4G using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 16-08-2016, 02:12   #7
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Thanks for the comments. I live a couple hours from the coast so I would have to pay accommodation wherever I get my boat refitted. I heard that Oriental NC is good. I think that's where Drake of SV Paragon fame did his. I also heard that southern Thailand has good and relatively cheap boat yards. That's where the couple on "Follow the Boat" did theirs. I imagine the cost of living would be low and I might be able to sleep on the boat some of the time. I also agree NZ is another option - I was there a few months ago and saw lots of boat services on offer (it's a great sailing nation). Perhaps a bit cheaper than Australia but still fairly expensive. But what about Panama or the Easter Med? South Africa? Saint Martin? Mexico? France?
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Old 16-08-2016, 08:36   #8
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

There is a boatyard in Isla Mujeres, MX that has a couple of big projects going on. It looks like things would take forever and everything would need to be ordered. On the west coast there are usually a couple of boats getting a lot of work done in Ensenada.
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Old 16-08-2016, 08:48   #9
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

There is probably nowhere on earth that comes close to Auckland, New Zealand, as a refit destination. The skills are unequalled, anything you want can be obtained and the NZ dollar is very low. There are so many competing options available and NZers have a tremendous work ethic. There are 400,000 local boat owners, it is a vigorous marine industry and NZ is foreigner friendly and English speaking.
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Old 16-08-2016, 09:07   #10
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Whangerai in NZ is also a top spot. My home port on the river Hamble UK is pretty awesome too but a bit off the world-girdling route.
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Old 16-08-2016, 10:21   #11
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

I think it really depends on what you are doing. If the refit it high skill but low labor like installing electronics then NZ or South Florida would be high on my list of places to go. If it's a job involving lots of labor but low skills like wood work then SE Asia, or Trinidad. If you are installing a new mast, then right next door to the mast builder to reduce shipping.
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Old 16-08-2016, 10:25   #12
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

The 'do it close to home" is good advice, if for no other reason than that refits often take a lot longer than anticipated (my wife has pointed this out to me on several occasions) and it's nice to be able to sleep in your own bed. I see you're in Sidney, so I suggest talking to the kind people at Penquin Marine in Campbelltown. If they can't do what you need, they can point you in the right direction.

Good luck

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Old 16-08-2016, 10:33   #13
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNMARDALL View Post
The 'do it close to home" is good advice,
My boat is my home.
When an on water refit comes calling South East Asia will be where I am at.
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Old 16-08-2016, 11:19   #14
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

We can recommend St Martin.

Maje
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Old 16-08-2016, 11:45   #15
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Re: Refitting - best place in the world

Phuket, Thailand. There are several boatyards/marinas, each with a large group of contractors in residence at that yard-for all specialties. We did a complete refit there, rented a motel room from the marina(not expensive), got around on our bikes, and got all our work done there. Teak work, especially, is very good there-but rigging, sails, fabric work, refer, genset and prime eng work, S/S work(chainplates), painting, cabintry, aircon and plumbing work, etc,etc,etc were all available-reasonable and very good.
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