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Old 14-08-2016, 09:59   #16
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

Have you considered leasing your boat to a sailing school/charter company?
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Old 15-08-2016, 05:59   #17
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

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Curious...whats the docking $$$ range in the Rio Dulce???
For dockage, for typical cruising monos (35-45'), rates range roughly from $150 - 350/month. May be more for cats depending on marina and how docked (for example some don't charge more for some side-to docks). Mooring with basic boat cleaning can be had as cheap as $65/month.
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Old 15-08-2016, 06:03   #18
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

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Sure a family of 4, $1000 (1hr). Private van $200 (5hr.)
Scenic 45 minute flight though, vs 5 hours in a drive!

Also, make friends who have planes. I've flow back and forth to the Rio a few times this way.

I did the private van option with visiting friends recently. Nice thing about that is you can stop at will from breaks, lunch, sight seeing, etc.
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Old 15-08-2016, 06:50   #19
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pirate Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

If you want to stay continental.. hark to previous posts.. if the East Caribe you can moor your boat year round in the St Martin lagoon for free..
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Old 15-08-2016, 07:29   #20
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

[QUOTE=belizesailor;2189900]Scenic 45 minute flight though, vs 5 hours in a drive!

For you pilot types out there, GUA is in the mountains Take off drop, into a river canyon and you can hold 250 all the way down to the Rio. The last 25 miles is on the lake so it's an all wx route. There is a private airfield owned by a flying club. Not sure how long it is but a Citation can come and go. There is a Beech Baron that fly's back and forth to GUA all week. Then there are all the helicopters, they're everywhere.
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Old 15-08-2016, 08:04   #21
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

windhorze, I have been commuting to our boat in the BVI's for 20 years through Puerto Rico and my wife is Puerto Rican, so we spend a lot of time there. There are many areas around the island where you can anchor / moor your boat for free, including Culebra. You will not find consistently cheaper airfare than to San Juan and it's a $2.50 ferry ride out to Culebra. Good supermarkets, West Marine and other stores on island at nearly stateside prices. George
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Old 15-08-2016, 08:19   #22
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

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windhorze, I have been commuting to our boat in the BVI's for 20 years through Puerto Rico and my wife is Puerto Rican, so we spend a lot of time there. There are many areas around the island where you can anchor / moor your boat for free, including Culebra. You will not find consistently cheaper airfare than to San Juan and it's a $2.50 ferry ride out to Culebra. Good supermarkets, West Marine and other stores on island at nearly stateside prices. George
Good info....however, do you use your airline benefits or buy full fare tickets? I would think that those who HAVE to buy full fare tickets, commuting could be prohibitively expensive.

Personally, I think getting to the BVIs is a PIA from the left coast.....I can usually get to Europe or Asia in less time.
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Old 15-08-2016, 11:24   #23
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

Saleen411,
We usually fly Southwest full fare (no change fees & 2 free bags) into San Juan (SJU) from Denver, spend a few days with the family, then fly over to St. Thomas (STT) on Seaborne's early flight ($62 fare), then catch the 0830 ferry to Road Town ($45 OW / $70 RT) arriving around 1000 AM. Then we get a rental car from ITGO, which is only a two block walk from the ferry terminal and keep it for a day or so to provision. It seems to work well and not be too expensive. We could fly SJU to Beef Island (EIS), but it is twice as expensive as STT, then the ferry and would only save a few hours, plus the air conditioned ferry is a nice relaxing ride. gts1544 - George
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Old 15-08-2016, 21:42   #24
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

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windhorze, I have been commuting to our boat in the BVI's for 20 years through Puerto Rico and my wife is Puerto Rican, so we spend a lot of time there. There are many areas around the island where you can anchor / moor your boat for free, including Culebra. You will not find consistently cheaper airfare than to San Juan and it's a $2.50 ferry ride out to Culebra. Good supermarkets, West Marine and other stores on island at nearly stateside prices. George
Thanks, thats great info...actually one of the cats I'm interested in was in Culebra before the owner brought the boat back up to the states to sell...And yes P.R. fares are quite inexpensive from LA, and I would be happy cruising out of that area for a while. Being a US Territory must have it's logistical advantages too! I've heard about the (temporary) free moorings on Culebra...

I'm curious, why have you used the BVI's for your base???

Thanks for sharing you knowledge and experience...
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Old 15-08-2016, 22:23   #25
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

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Personally, I think getting to the BVIs is a PIA from the left coast.....I can usually get to Europe or Asia in less time.
AHA...shocking to see LA-PR is 9-10 hrs...only about $300 though...but still you are right about the travel time...on the other hand it is reasonable to contemplate working a boat through the Carib. and up the coast to get it home at some pt...vs having a boat in Asia or Europe...which are both very appealing in their own right...but way more expensive to commute to...especially if going back and forth more than once a year...
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Old 15-08-2016, 23:02   #26
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

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AHA...shocking to see LA-PR is 9-10 hrs...only about $300 though...but still you are right about the travel time...on the other hand it is reasonable to contemplate working a boat through the Carib. and up the coast to get it home at some pt...vs having a boat in Asia or Europe...which are both very appealing in their own right...but way more expensive to commute to...especially if going back and forth more than once a year...
October 2014 we flew United standby all nighter SFO-IAH-SJU....Spent the night...then next morning SJU- Beef Island. Long ass trip.....tropical depression...Cape Air cancelled all flights.....grabbed a couple of last minute tickets on Seaborne and made it to Beef Island just before the airport closed late afternoon. Needed a drink bad.

This October we have full fare tickets on American...all night SFO-MIA- STT (Aprox $950 round trip).....then gonna catch the ferry to West End or Road Town.

Point is....no way could I do this as a commute. Glad it's worked out well for you though.
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Old 16-08-2016, 01:19   #27
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Re: Caribbean Commuter Sailing on the Cheap

Don't forget one thing -- it is hot and humid down there and there is that thing call mold that will make a mess of your boat if it locked up tight for months on end. there are folks that will clean it - we met a couple in Panama that have a place where they keep boats and clean them weekly - they have a lot of boats in there -

and of course the electronics take a beating in that kind of conditions and if you do not have someone looking after it you may spend your 2 weeks cleaning and repairing and not sailing.

Don't totally dismiss the idea of chartering your boat and having someone look after it and may be a more cost effective way to do what you want.
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