First let me say that I know next to nothing about boats. Used to be a deckhand
on a couple of fish
boats when I was kid, and have since moved inland to Northeastern British Columbia
Anyway, was peacefully cruising around the net minding my own business when what should I see but a government auction
of 75 foot wooden navy
training vessels. The price
was ranging from a couple of grand up to 16k. So I though, 'Well, I'm not really interested, but if they are giving them away...'
So I lowballed the bid and somebody else won the boat. Imagine my sruprise a few days later when the winner dropped out for whatever reason and the government emailed to say, 'Congratulations! You are the new owner of an ex navy
vessel. You have 6 weeks to get it off CFB Esquimalt (the navy base in Victoria)' To be fair they were extremely helpful within the regs they had to abide by.
Now, they couldn't allow anyone to go on the base and work on the engines and couldn't allow anyone to just fire it up and drive away, so I had to get it towed (which is very expensive) and as there was a shipyard just a kilometer away I had it towed there and got the bottom and upper hull
fixed, caulked and painted. 14k - now I was beginning to understand why nobody was bidding on those boats! Then I got someone to pilot it from Victoria to Nanaimo where I had a place reserved to park it. But he pooched the landing and hit the dock
going in and I had to redirect him to anchorage on an island where my sister knows people who were kind enough to let me put it on their mooring
buoy short time. Then I got in touch with a mechanic
on the island and he wanted 400 a day to look at the boat and see what needed to be done. So I said no, and started looking around for dock
space, which I believe I have finally found, complete with someone to live aboard in case they have to alert the marina if something goes wrong - like water starts coming in. Just getting that organized took weeks.
Good so far, but I can see that using anyone locally in BC is going to cost thousands and thousands to get the deck
and superstructure sanded and painted, which brings me to the reason I joined this forum: I was thinking of putting a few grand into fuel
and moving it down to Mexico
in search of cheaper labor. Anyone here had any experience with doing that? As the hull
is done it shouldn't have to be taken out of the water; just need people to work on the deck
etc. I was thinking of Puerto Vallarta
as I have been there on holidays a couple of times and found it relaxed and fairly safe.
Plan B, after it is fixed up for living, is to rent it out to tourists. Not to go cruising or fishing
but just as a place to stay. It has two huge cabins separated by the engine
room - one forward and one aft. There are two heads, but only one shower
and one galley
. Could put in another shower
but they would have to share the galley
as it would be very expensive to put in another one. Could easily put a barbecue
on the after deck though. So the second question is: Does anyone here have any experience with doing that? I imagine there have been lots of people who went to Mexico
and had to return home who wanted to rent out their boats like that. Would it be fairly easy to deal with the government down there? Or just not a viable idea?
I did meet some Canadians down there who started their own business so would be able to get someone to look after the details for a price
- it is only getting along with the government I am worried about. This would be a strictly legitimate operation - no time or inclination to do anything illegal.
Any advice would be much appreciated.