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Old 08-07-2013, 23:33   #1
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im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

Hello all,
Im fairly new to this forum, but since all my research keeps coming to this site haha, I'd thought I'd ask the pros.

I want to buy a lifeboats sailboat, preferably 35 to 40 foot, in Utile, Honduras or nearabouts. I intend to be a dive instructor with a local outfit.

Im leaving a successful multiyear job. I have sailing n lifeboats experience. What I need help with is
A, is it feasible? I don't care about low wages. Just the finding a boat part. So
A2. How do I find a boat there?

B.I've never been out of country. I have a passport. But what visas do I need? Stuff like that.

C. Anyone have first hand experience of utila? What's it like?

Im leaving a place that has heavy tourism. Im used to that. Im 29. And I just need to do something different for awhile. Im not burning bridges I can always come home. I just..don't want too. ya know?

Any thoughts?
-hesitation (name of my last boat, a Newport 27. And much missed)
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:56   #2
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

You might have more luck finding a boat in the Rio Dulce.
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:59   #3
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I'll consider anywhere from Florida to Columbia, if the boats worth it
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Old 09-07-2013, 00:25   #4
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

Utila is a great place to dive and very cheap, you will pay about $25 per dive. It is crawling with dive shops and dive instructors, the dive college cranks out a dozen new dive instructors a week, some actually pay to work there. You may want to go there yourself to check it out, you will get a visa just by showing up.
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Old 09-07-2013, 00:31   #5
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Cool, the visa things easy then. That's good. I've heard alot of second hand stuff and just need solid info. Anything else?
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:26   #6
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

There are several boats for sale in French Harbor Roatan.

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Old 09-07-2013, 10:54   #7
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

I would say that if you want to buy a boat down there you have just a few choices. If you want to bring one down from Fl. then you have lots of choices. Within a few hundred miles of the Bay Islands you have the Rio and Colon with year around safety. After that ther are probably a few boats for sale in Isla Majures and I guess Roatan. There might be some lurking in Belize. I think having your boat in the Bay Islands during Hurricane season would be nerve wracking. You can always sail over to the Rio I suppose, it's only a couple of days. Living on your boat in Utila would be day to day thing me thinks. Also there are reports of robbery to anchored boats there.
We have not dived all over the world but the Bay Islands are the best we have been to. It looks like there is a LOT of competition though. From what we know there is quite a bit of turnover in shops and instructors. It looked like most shops were near the airport and cruise ships on Roatan.
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Old 18-07-2013, 12:12   #8
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

I have dived Utila many times but not within the last ten years. The new airstrip was being built the last time I was there. that being said the island is laid back; very little for the tourist but extremely great diving especially the whalesharks during the year. Mostly diveshops and boat related but not many if any boat dealers... Many Europeans travel there and is known for its traveling backpackers. Cheap diving but difficult to travel there. I am from the Chicago area and last time I flew there it was four airports and five flights to arrive on the island. EVERYTHING is shipped onto the island...Docks for boats are a premium unless things changed in the last ten years... mostly anchored out. Hurricane Mitch was the last real hurricane that did any damage over ten years ago and destroyed lots of coral in the shallow parts of the island. The biggest problem is getting equipment and supplies delivered. If you happen to visit, there is a large unfinished concrete foundation ontop of the hill about town... the foreign buyer put 1 million USD into a would be mansion but the shipping charges caused the builder to quit. The people are friendly for the most part; I dove with Utila Dive Centre and stayed at the Mango Inn. I was treated well and the diveshop was a training center for new PADI instructors, many from Europe. Its on my bucket list to go back and dive again but I been saying that for ten years...
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Old 18-07-2013, 12:14   #9
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

I did an extended deep dive and the water temperature was 82 degrees at 211ft...
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Old 18-07-2013, 12:21   #10
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Wow, I can't imagine that. Here in Alaska the temp is 42 at 40 feet on a good day. Lol and I hate dry suits so I use a 7mm wetsuit
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Old 18-07-2013, 12:25   #11
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Thanks for the info Captn. It helps. I can't wait to go...
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Old 18-07-2013, 12:42   #12
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

First, I'm not exactly sure what a lifeboats sailboat is? Can you explain.

As far as getting a job as a dive instructor, have you looked into work permits in Honduras? Do not know the regulations there but most countries have very strict rules about foreigners working in the country. If there are locals trying to do the same job it could be difficult to do. One possible way around the work permits is investing money in the country like buying or building a dive resort or something similar.
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Old 18-07-2013, 13:34   #13
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Re: im going to Utila, Honduras. feedback on my grand plan please :)

I doubt that this 25 yr old story will provide much useful information, but you may find it interesting. Two friends & I rented a beach house on the windward side of Utila from a Dallas businessman for a week of fishing. His family owned a guide service that specialized in Central & South America. In his many trips to Utila, he married a daughter of the man that provisioned his fishing trips and consequently was able to build the "big gringo's" house on the island. She was actually was a Miss Honduras so it was pretty good duty. The windward side of the island was accessible only by boat - either by sea or by canoe via a channel through the jungle, but it only had water at high tide. Not recommended. The rental was supposed to be "furnished". Food, drinks, boats, captain, cook. The food & provisioning did not exist. Our "offshore" boat listed heavily to port because the starboard engine was dismantled on the beach so we did not really trust it for much off shore duty. We literally were isolated for a week and dependent on "catch". It was great! Hookup to fire measured in just a minute or two. Crabs from the beach were unexpectedly delicious. The captain knew how to fish and his wife knew how to cook.

After returning to the leward side of the island, our charter plane arrived to pluck us from paradise. The airport consisted of a very short, rough runway that stretched across a narrow peninsula.... water on both ends. The weather was hot, humid and the Cessna 172 was loaded heavily with 3 of us plus the pilot. I was very concerned and asked to see his takeoff calculation. Of course, there are none and my request is met with that familiar response, "No Problem, Senoir". He pulled out onto the strip, killed the engine, got out and pushed the plane backwards so that the tail was over the water behind us.... Making the runway just a little longer. As we bounced down the runway, the plane's instrument panel became disconnected and, I in the right seat held it off the yoke until we had altitude and the pilot could reattach it. No worry, we had yards of runway to spare.
That's how you build memories.
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