Hugh, I suspect you will find varied opinions on your 'Mexican Shopping
Adventure'. Were I in your shoes, here are a few things I would consider:
1. The 'right boat' for your needs is dependent on where you hope to cruise
. The more ambitious your collective cruising goals - and the more constrained your budget
- the tougher it will be to find what you want. This in turn results in two suggestions for you: post your specific cruising plans here so more relevant suggestions can be fetched, and choose shopping
plans with the assumption you'll need to see a large number of boats in a relatively short period of time.
2. While there will inevitably be some number of cruising boats for sale
in Mexico, it is unlikely to be the easiest, most efficient place to shop & buy. Logistics when moving up/down the coast can be awkward. Some of the boats will not be well outfitted as hopping down from the LA/SD area isn't the same trip that is made by boats sailing to & in the Caribbean
. And you'll then face the logistics of buying
in a foreign country while registering back home, applying for your 10 year permit
, etc. There will also be, to some extent WRT brokers and govt. officials, a language issue. Subsequent outfitting of the boat will inevitably need to rely on a USA-Mexican supply train, which is usually a hassle. All do-able but not as easy as buying in the USA.
3. Buying foreign avoids sales tax but, if you stage your purchase
near your departure, the same can be accomplished in the USA, on either coast by prepping the boat and then shoving off. There are many threads on this topic.
Were I you, I would consider shopping in Mexico only if I were certain
I was then departing for the South Pacific
or wanted to remain cruising in Mexico for an extended period. If I was considering a spell in the Caribbean
or departing to see Europe
, I would shop in the West Palm to Miami
stretch of Florida
. Boat prices are among the lowest in the country, you'll find returning Caribbean boats in abundance with some level of cruising gear
, air fares can be very cheap
with lots of choices, no language barrier, you can register the boat in a no-tax state if you opt for that choice, and rental cars are very cheap
there, as well. Outfitting and availability of trade
skills is excellent, especially if putting the boat in a less costly area (e.g. the "Space Coast" area around Melbourne).
I would initially not be drawn to shopping in the E Caribbean. There is a wider selection of brands/models out there because many Europeans are eager to fly home after having their Atlantic Crossing
'fling'...but it isn't an inexpensive place to outfit/repair and, again, moving around the islands while shopping can get expensive.
A good broker can be a very helpful piece of the puzzle...but they are few and far between. Don't assume any broker will solve any of your problems for you, until you've had the person show you otherwise.
Good luck to you!