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Old 25-01-2013, 12:05   #1
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Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

Good day:
I am making investigations into what I should do to be able to sail my own boat (when I get it) from MA to the Carribean. I have freshwater sailing experience bolstered by courses taken from the coast guard and others. I have purchased/ordered many of the classic books recommended by erudite members of this forum. I am a mature man of 55 who has the desire and modest though I hope ample means to make this a reality in about 4 years time(God willing). I hope to be a part of a catamaran crew that will be sailing this course in May. I want a boat that can be towed to my residence (by a commercial company) and back to the sea for trips of up to a months stay in the Carib. I will be sailing alone at first (Unless I can convince my beautiful wife otherwise) and my wife will fly down to stay with me. As an ocean sailing novice, I am all ears for any advice and recommendations. Does it make sense to buy a boat if a great deal comes along in this buyers market (A marine surveyers idea of a great deal, not mine) and upgrade it in anticipation? If so, what boat in the 30 to 30' range would be transportable to my residence and also well suited to sailing the East coast to the Carib? I am happy with very little in the way of creature comforts (Wilderness hiker for 5 months during one trip), but my wife needs modest comfort. I have been very impressed with the substance and quality of the assistance this forum provides. Whether or not anyone replies, I thank every member contributor for a wealth of information.
Warmest regards,
Kent
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Old 25-01-2013, 12:24   #2
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

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Originally Posted by justwannadoit View Post
Good day:
I am making investigations into what I should do to be able to sail my own boat (when I get it) from MA to the Carribean. I have freshwater sailing experience bolstered by courses taken from the coast guard and others. I have purchased/ordered many of the classic books recommended by erudite members of this forum. I am a mature man of 55 who has the desire and modest though I hope ample means to make this a reality in about 4 years time(God willing). I hope to be a part of a catamaran crew that will be sailing this course in May. I want a boat that can be towed to my residence (by a commercial company) and back to the sea for trips of up to a months stay in the Carib. I will be sailing alone at first (Unless I can convince my beautiful wife otherwise) and my wife will fly down to stay with me. As an ocean sailing novice, I am all ears for any advice and recommendations. Does it make sense to buy a boat if a great deal comes along in this buyers market (A marine surveyers idea of a great deal, not mine) and upgrade it in anticipation? If so, what boat in the 30 to 30' range would be transportable to my residence and also well suited to sailing the East coast to the Carib? I am happy with very little in the way of creature comforts (Wilderness hiker for 5 months during one trip), but my wife needs modest comfort. I have been very impressed with the substance and quality of the assistance this forum provides. Whether or not anyone replies, I thank every member contributor for a wealth of information.
Warmest regards,
Kent
Good luck..
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Old 25-01-2013, 12:26   #3
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Good luck..
+A1...
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Old 25-01-2013, 12:35   #4
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

First, pretty much any 30' boat could be transported to your place unless you're in Manhattan or some other equally inaccessible place. I had a 42' sailboat towed 80 miles from the nearest boat yard to my property in the country but cost me $1200 for the towing plus yard fees for hauling and such.

I do have to ask why you want to haul the boat to your house? Planning on getting a fixer-upper or just to save money on storage? If the latter it will probably cost more to haul the boat back and forth than to just store it at a yard.

Otherwise, sounds like you have a good plan in place; learn, read, practice, read and learn some more. The trip to the Caribbean on a cat will be great practice, assuming you're going with a good group.
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Old 25-01-2013, 12:45   #5
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

Hello again:
I should offer the caveat that I suspect this matter has been covered in whole and pieces on this forum, but I feel warranted in my request for 2 reasons. Firstly I would like current information and feedback and secondly I am using this as an opportunity to hopefully connect with some experienced sailors/cruisers who may not only tolerate, but understand my dream and desire and help point me in the right direction. We all started from "GO" in the beginning didn't we? Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to reach out and help me.
Kent
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Old 25-01-2013, 13:30   #6
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

From your first post I assume you're in MA somewhere? Plenty of members on the forum in your area. I may be back up there next summer myself.

So on what specific questions are you looking for current feedback and information?

One question you asked in your first post. Not just in this economy but any time you find a really killer deal on the perfect boat is a good time to buy, BUT some things that may impact that.

How long before you are ready to go sailing and how much will it cost you to store the boat until you leave? If you won't use the boat at all for a couple of years then the cost of storing the boat in New England could easily east up all the savings. If you have a piece of property of your own where you can park the boat then that might change the situation again. Don't know if you are aware, but if you are in MA, marinas and boat yards are probably more expensive in your area than any other part of the country, at least on the east coast.
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Old 25-01-2013, 14:39   #7
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

Thank you for your kind words Skipmac. I am in Massachusetts and I live about 55 miles from the coast. In my mind 2 things will happen with my dream. 1) I will do my research, try ocean sailing and figure out it is not for me. 2) I will do my research, get some experience and find out my dream is something I want to make happen. If #2 happens I hope to be ready to sail in about 4 years. If after my research and some experience I want to proceed, would it then make any sense to narrow the field of boats I think would work, keep my eyes open for a good condition boat, have it surveyed and if it still looks like it would work and the deal is a good one, buy the boat and have it trucked to my home so I can then take my time and outfit it with the equipment I want? I have many people and resources in my area that could help me. I also have a full workshop and much knowledge about fixing things. I have heard the advice that some think it is better to buy a boat when you are ready to sail that is "decked out" with most of the equipment you want. I won't argue with that, but from what I have read this approach seems to come with a steeper price than buying a boat earlier in the process(that also has much of the equipment you desire and need) and then you still have to refit the boat to suit your own particular wants and needs. I am thinking I would prefer to do this overtime and be more sure that the boat is ready to sail. I have a brother in law who is a trucker and room to store so from the research I have done about slip costs compared with moving the boat to and from the ocean, my idea makes sense to me. I would appreciate any well meaning input. Perhaps I am being too forward, but if anyone is in the New England area that might entertain showing me their boat and letting me pick their brain I would appreciate that. Thank you in advance for any assistance.
Regards,
Kent
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Old 25-01-2013, 15:27   #8
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kent.
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Old 25-01-2013, 15:37   #9
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

I dont think there are any "trips to the carribean for one month". With weather and distance, a month in the bahamas is barely doable really, Other than that.... good plan!
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Old 25-01-2013, 15:49   #10
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

Hi Kent,

I think you have found one of the issues that can impact everyone buying a boat; buy a new one ready to go or get one to fix up or in the extreme case, build one.

I have never bought a brand new boat but did buy one just a year old and have purchased several project boats. My latest was a fixer upper and this is my take on the issue.

I bought a boat that was very neglected and had all original everything: sails, rigging, engine, electronics, etc. The hull, deck and engine were sound but cosmetics were terrible, the boat smelled worst than any other boat I had ever been on and pretty much everything needed to be cleaned or replaced.

So I have spent three years fixing it up and at the end I will have spent about 10% more than if I had bought the same boat in better condition. This of course doesn't count the hundreds of thousands of hours of my time working on the boat (well maybe not quite that many hours, but a lot).

However, when I'm done I will have brand new rigging, brand new sails, mostly brand new electronics including the whole charging system, completely overhauled electrical system, completely overhauled engine, etc, etc, etc, So more money and more time than buying a less used boat but I will end up with a much better boat in the end.

Another point, I haven't been sailing in three years either, unless you count sitting in the cockpit under an oak tree in the woods watching the sun set.
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Old 25-01-2013, 17:00   #11
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I dont think there are any "trips to the carribean for one month". With weather and distance, a month in the bahamas is barely doable really, Other than that.... good plan!
Whoa. I didn't notice that detail.

Yes, a month's stay in the Caribbean? My first trip it took me almost two months just to get from FL to the Virgin Islands. Of course I did stop and make an easy trip of it but I wasn't spending weeks at a time when I stopped.

Kent, check a map. From FL to the eastern Caribbean like the Virgin Islands, Antigua area is over 1000 miles and all dead against the constant trade winds. Even the western Caribbean, Central America is about 800 miles.

Better budget a little more time for the trips unless you plan to keep the boat in the Caribbean and fly down for a month at a time.
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Old 25-01-2013, 17:18   #12
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

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Originally Posted by justwannadoit View Post
Hello again:
I should offer the caveat that I suspect this matter has been covered in whole and pieces on this forum, but I feel warranted in my request for 2 reasons. Firstly I would like current information and feedback and secondly I am using this as an opportunity to hopefully connect with some experienced sailors/cruisers who may not only tolerate, but understand my dream and desire and help point me in the right direction. We all started from "GO" in the beginning didn't we? Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to reach out and help me.
Kent
I will answer this post before I answer your original post. Specifically, what request are you making? Perhaps it is my inability to read between the lines but what I gather is you desire a generalized information of sailing ME to the carib.

Anyway, aside from harbor and dock specific to a locale, there is nothing "current" since the days the Earth cooled. ME is in the sometimes icy waters to the north, the carib is to the south and there is a great river in between. The good news is nothing has changed...other than seasonal fluctuations.

Do you wish to be part of a crew, composed of others more 'saltier' than you thereby you may gain knowledge and experience? Then, go. Heck, just walk the docks and inquire who's going and may you also go. Truth be told, the yacht clubs are full of boat owners who themselves would go but for an absence of crew. Make yourself available and see what unfolds. Yes, it is that easy.
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Old 25-01-2013, 17:51   #13
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

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Originally Posted by justwannadoit View Post
Good day:
I am making investigations into what I should do to be able to sail my own boat (when I get it) from MA to the Carribean. I have freshwater sailing experience bolstered by courses taken from the coast guard and others. I have purchased/ordered many of the classic books recommended by erudite members of this forum. I am a mature man of 55 who has the desire and modest though I hope ample means to make this a reality in about 4 years time(God willing). I hope to be a part of a catamaran crew that will be sailing this course in May. I want a boat that can be towed to my residence (by a commercial company) and back to the sea for trips of up to a months stay in the Carib. I will be sailing alone at first (Unless I can convince my beautiful wife otherwise) and my wife will fly down to stay with me. As an ocean sailing novice, I am all ears for any advice and recommendations. Does it make sense to buy a boat if a great deal comes along in this buyers market (A marine surveyers idea of a great deal, not mine) and upgrade it in anticipation? If so, what boat in the 30 to 30' range would be transportable to my residence and also well suited to sailing the East coast to the Carib? I am happy with very little in the way of creature comforts (Wilderness hiker for 5 months during one trip), but my wife needs modest comfort. I have been very impressed with the substance and quality of the assistance this forum provides. Whether or not anyone replies, I thank every member contributor for a wealth of information.
Warmest regards,
Kent
Buy low, sell high. This economy allows that. How long to wait before selling high, who knows? Take the depreciation if you can. Even if you can't, you can still go today. Is this your basic desire? Basically, who gives a rip of 'fiscal sense' when you are doing, living the "dream".

I am what many have called "book smart". Little do they realize but I am also "street smart" but in a limited sense. That is, I have the physical experience but am more informed by book. That said, even the best books are but a primer for the physicality. Said another way, books only bring you to the point short of physical application and physical application is where it's at, baby!

Example: a book teaches you three different ways to tie a bowline but does not teach you how to tie a bowline upside down, using one hand, on a pitching deck, at night.

Even the CG aux will teach you so much. I remember a time I was about 10 yrs old. I attended a CG aux class. The class was chock full of information of true and apparent wind, how to trim this or that sail on this or that rig for the wind and swell, etc. About 3 minutes after the class begun I became bored (even though I continued to pay attention) for having seen and done all this before and in all manner of vessel. The gist is while it is good information, it is limited because it is not the doing. Get out and do it, I say! Even if in a 8' punt, you are doing it.


I don't understand why you want a boat to be towed to and fro to your residence. I suggest you liaison with a boatyard for storage.

What a surveyor may find, what he may tell you is limited. Do not think he will find everything "wrong" or which needs to be corrected. This explains the disclaimers and recommendations on surveyor's reports. Even an old salt may not find everything which you find needs to be corrected. Let me say it this way, a surveyor may have a long and varied sailing history but his profession is in the yard therefore his interest is land bound. Plus, his interest begins and ends with whatever influence upon his craft is. In other words, while you pay for his expertise, you may not be his deciding interest. It is incumbent upon the owner to accept his recommendations but with a jaded eye. You won't know any better until you yourself go out and get that experience. Go in with eyes wide open. Prepare to get wet, to go into confined spaces.

Fitting your intended purposes, a Westsail 32 comes readily to mind.
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Old 25-01-2013, 23:07   #14
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Re: Cruise from NE to Carib-Believe in my sincerity

justwannadoit, Kent, Let me throw out an option for you to consider. We have a group that owns a 41' Beneteau in the British Virgin Islands with a few month long shares to sell. It is listed in the CLASSIFIEDS section under SHARED CORPORATE OWNER MEMBERSHIP available. Read the ad and if it piques your interest, either e-mail me or call me as per the ad. I will be happy to answer any and all questions that I can. It may be a way to get your feet wet without a large financial commitment and give you a taste of the Caribbean within your current 1 month time frame. I have been associated with this group for 15 years.

I would be very leary of attempting this trip single handed until you have made the trip several times and have a good feel for what is involved.
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