Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-05-2015, 13:37   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 16
Family Adventure 2017

Myself, wife and 11 year old daughter are planning on a Seabatical starting in June of 2017. I will list some details about us below and any comments, criticisms, or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Departure date Summer of 2017
Initial plan - purchase a boat somewhere in the southern caribbean in the summer of 2017. Spend the bulk of hurricane season developing our skills and the boat by bouncing around the Grenadines, Grenada and possibly Trinidad and Tobago. Start heading north in October/November and arrive back in the states before August of 2018. If we love the boat and want to keep it we would continue on to our home in North Carolina. If we have had enough of sailing, the boat or both, we would leave it in the Florida market to sell.
Crew and age at departure: me (45), wife (44), daughter (13, 8th grade)
Experience at present time: We currently live on the ICW and have been around boats all our lives; specific sailing experience, 2 bvi bareboat charters and 1 Grenadines bareboat charter, 2 week bvi charter planned for August 2015
Budget for boat purchase and upfitting for trip, $115,000
Initial boat - 40 - 45 foot monohull with at least 6’,4” inches of head room (I’m 6’3”) and hopefully less than 6 feet of draft.

Specific questions:

Does this sound ridiculous??
We are not locked into the Caribbean, would somewhere in the south pacific be an option based on our skill level?
Does it make sense to purchase a boat down island to avoid the trades heading down?
Is boat financing available on what more than likely be a vessel built in the 80’s or 90’s.
If a boat is purchased out of the US, what has to happen to be able to sell the boat once back to the states
What are the most common home schooling resources cruisers use?

Thanks in advance
Fletcher Johnston
Cape Carteret NC
__________________

__________________
fjohnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2015, 19:15   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 30
Re: Family Adventure 2017

I like your plan!


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
riderjuan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2015, 20:21   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Hi Fletcher and welcome to the forum.

Buying down island does have some benefits but to me a lot of negatives. None of the negatives are insurmountable and lots of people do buy boats down island but you should be aware of the situation.

1. You'll find 10 if not 100 times more boats in the states to choose from (of course it does only take one). With your specific criteria it makes sense to access a larger pool of possibilities.

2. You'll be dealing with a foreign country, foreign laws and quite possibly a foreign owned and registered boat. Will you be getting a clear title? What about importing the boat to the US, duties, paperwork, etc?

3. What happens if you shell out a few grand to fly to the Caribbean and the boat isn't what you expected? Not uncommon at all for a boat to look very different in person than represented by the seller or photos. With a smaller market you may end up flying back to the states to start over again.

4. Yes buying down island saves a long trip to windward but if you take your time it can be one of the high points of the trip. I've made the trip from FL to the VI a few times. Once I took three months to get there and had a ball. When you get to the VI the worst of the windward work is done.

5. Generally cheaper and a lot more resources in the states to fit out a new to you boat. Unless you get really lucky it will take at least a month or three or more to get a "ready to sailaway" boat, truly ready to sail away.

Financing? Depends on your credit score, collateral, ties to the states, etc. The old joke, "banks only loans money to people that already have plenty of money and don't need it" is sadly not too far from the truth.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2015, 20:28   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 45
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by fjohnston View Post
Myself, wife and 11 year old daughter are planning on a Seabatical starting in June of 2017. .......

Does this sound ridiculous??
Far from ridiculous....

Even if you need to tweak your plans, don't let anything stop you.
__________________
Boat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2015, 21:15   #5
Registered User
 
capn_mark's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Western Canada and Bahamas
Posts: 45
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Hi Fletcher,
What an awesome plan! Don't let anyone or anything get in the way of making it happen! Further to what Skipmac said, buying in the US would be a lot easier, and getting her fixed up and outfitted (no matter if the ad says 'ready to cruise', its not...) will be far far cheaper. Years ago we flew down to buy a boat in the Caribbean and unfortunately the prospects didn't match up to how the pictures looked. We were going to do a similar trip but ended up reversing it, and we bought on the US East Coast and departed from Florida then headed South for a year and a half.

I have been many places throughout the Caribbean with my wife and 3 boys who are of similar age to your daughter. Some will agree and some will disagree with this comment, but the favorite cruising destination of our family is hands down the Bahamas. I have been to the majority of the different islands, and they all offer something unique. We have talked and dreamed about crusing again, and we could easily spend 2 seasons cruising the Bahamas.

Have you seen the book 'Gentleman's Guide to Passages South'? by Bruce Van Sant? He talks about getting from Florida to the Caribbean, the Thorny Path, without much or any beating, but one needs to be patient.

Anyway, food for thought, you will get many opinions here. I had initially had my heart set on getting to the BVI's, and didn't even want to look at the Bahamas. Then we got there, and it was the perfect blend of what we wanted in our cruise, and we stayed much longer than the initial plan. It's great cruising much closer to home, and you can drive instead of fly to look at boats! I'm not sure how financing works in the US, but I would assume it would be easier if the boat is there at purchase? I know in general, it is be easier and cheaper to use your house as collateral instead.

Please keep us posted as your planning progresses.

All the best, Mark.
__________________
capn_mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2015, 22:01   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,965
Re: Family Adventure 2017

I think this is a great plan if you are happy to buy a boat coming off charter from Moorings/Sunsail. You'll have more choice in BVI and could always sail down to Grenadines.

Unlike buying from a private party, when you buy an ex-charter boat their staff and local vendors are responsible for fixing everything found in the survey and generally getting the boat in serviceable condition. You, of course, have your own local surveyor. I've had two friend who did this about 10 years ago (and sailed them to New England). They both have been happy with the boats and said the process worked pretty well (they said they had to spend several weeks on-site making sure that the punch list was done to their satisfaction).

The Moorings boats I've charted in the BVI were US Flagged so there's no issue bringing them back to the US. "Importing" a foreign flagged boat is also easy but there's a low duty of (I think) 1.5%.

Looking at the Moorings brokerage site it feels like your budget is about $20,000 light. You'll probably want to make some real improvements for a year's trip not just fix problems.For example, putting on a bunch of solar panels. I think you will also need to buy a dinghy and outboard.

You will lose very little of the purchase price beyond the 10% broker fee if you sell the boat a year later in Florida. The Moorings Florida brokerage might even do it for you.
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2015, 05:19   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 16
Re: Family Adventure 2017

riderjuan Boat Guy- thanks for the encouragement.

skipmac,capt mark - thanks for all the info. The two reasons I had for purchasing down island were the initial windward sailing and more importantly, our anticipated start time. We hope to depart after my daughter finishes 7th grade which will be some time in June. Starting in the US puts us dealing with learning a new boat, learning to cruise and hurricane season all at the same time. Would a possible solution be to purchase and upfit the boat in the US and then have it delivered to Grenada/TrinTob? Would the cost of delivery be outweighed by the savings and convenience obtained by purchasing in the US?

Carlf - Great Idea, it seems like purchasing a former charter boat is looked down upon but if the companies are responsible for the up fit and we only intend to keep the boat for 2 years at the most, it could be a great solution.

Again thanks for all the replies!

Fletcher
__________________
fjohnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2015, 06:22   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Winter Germany, Summer Med
Boat: Lagoon 380 S2
Posts: 1,026
Re: Family Adventure 2017

two major issues I see:

1) Timing. You will spend the hurrican season in troublesome waters. May be impossible to get insurance if that is important to you.

2) Buy in the Caribean? Good time for charter boats leaving the fleet. But expect to visit a ton of boat before you find the right one. There is a lot of crap on the market. Also consider the time required to close the deal, from finding the right boat to having her registered & insured in your name.


As far as clear title issues, that should not worry too much: If the boat is German, French or Spanish (which many are) its fairly easy to get a clear title. Other countries may be similar, but that is what I have experience with. Just find a suitable lawyer from the country of registry.
But beware that this can take time: 1-2 days plus courier time for German title but 6-8 weeks for a spanish title.

This forum is a great international resource to learn how to get a clear title in different countries.


other than that: Go for it. Do it while your kids still want to be with you. If your daughter is 11 now she will be 13 by 2017, maybe already too late.
__________________
rabbi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2015, 07:17   #9
Registered User
 
capn_mark's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Western Canada and Bahamas
Posts: 45
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Hey Fletcher,
Unless you can get the boat sooner than 2017 in the U.S., and have more time to outfit and learn on it? Depends on yer $$ situation... Might be worth finding a bit cheaper of a boat to get her a few months or a year earlier.

I was just reading an email from Paul and Sheryl Shard and thought of your plans. This is an awesome fellow Canadian couple who have been living aboard for years, and produce very nicely done sailing and cruising videos. Have a look at their website - they have just left St. Maarten for the Azores.

I am not connected to them in any way, but my wife and I met Paul and Sheryl in Florida 20 years ago, and I have been following their travels ever since. Great, knowledgeable people. I have a lot of the videos they have made, they are a great resource and it may help decide on some destinations. Enjoy!

http://www.distantshores.ca



Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
capn_mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2015, 08:19   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Winter Germany, Summer Med
Boat: Lagoon 380 S2
Posts: 1,026
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Another idea based on your timeframe:
Buy a boat in the (western) Med. The strong USD should allow for a bargain and the average boat condition appears to be better here than in the Caribbean. That's based on my previous search for catamarans on both sides of the pond.

Sail her in the Med until October, then via Canary Islands and Cabo Verdes across the Atlantic to arrive in the Caribbean at the end of hurrican season.
Enjoy Caribbean until May / June and head back to the US to arrive in time.

That's what we did 2011/2012 (except for leg to the US which was left to the US-based buyers of our boat).

I'd rather cross the Atlantic in the tradewinds than spend the summer in the Grenadines: Too hot, wet, stormy.

If Caribbean is cast in stone I'd go to the ABC islands, just south of the typical hurricane path.
__________________
rabbi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2015, 21:45   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by fjohnston View Post
skipmac,capt mark - thanks for all the info. The two reasons I had for purchasing down island were the initial windward sailing and more importantly, our anticipated start time. We hope to depart after my daughter finishes 7th grade which will be some time in June. Starting in the US puts us dealing with learning a new boat, learning to cruise and hurricane season all at the same time.
If I understand your plans, you will purchase the boat summer 2017 so start that after your daughter's graduation in June? If you wait until then to start the boat search, offer, survey, etc it might be approaching the end of hurricane season before you're done. Then add 2-3 months minimum after you buy the boat to get it ready to go. So realistically, unless you start the purchase process months before June you won't be leaving until fall and the end of hurricane season.

Yes it is windward work from FL to the eastern Caribbean but you have the Bahamas to island hop most of the way. You can plan the trip so you don't have more than a day or two max from one stop to the next. Lots of places to stop and things to see and really not to be missed. My three month trip from FL to St Thomas was one of the most memorable trips of early cruising years. Don't make too much of windward sailing. Pick your days and make short hops, motorsail to make better time.





Quote:
Originally Posted by fjohnston View Post
Would a possible solution be to purchase and upfit the boat in the US and then have it delivered to Grenada/TrinTob? Would the cost of delivery be outweighed by the savings and convenience obtained by purchasing in the US?
That is always an option for getting boats to where you want them. Several delivery captains on the forum who can give you an idea of the cost. Wild guess delivery FL to eastern Carib a few thousand, maybe $4-6,000?????



Quote:
Originally Posted by fjohnston View Post
Carlf - Great Idea, it seems like purchasing a former charter boat is looked down upon but if the companies are responsible for the up fit and we only intend to keep the boat for 2 years at the most, it could be a great solution.
Buying a used charter boat is one way to eliminate a lot of the uncertainties of buying a used boat down island. You will know going into it that the boat has had a lot of use but also probably well maintained. Just make sure that a thorough inspection and repair of any major problems is part of the deal.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 14:48   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Clayton, NY
Boat: Beneteau OC 41
Posts: 210
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Don't think anyone addressed the financing aspect; so, let me chime in. Financing becomes problematic if:
  • You don't have a job.
  • You take delivery of the boat outside the U.S.
  • The boat you want to purchase is more than 15 years old.
  • You can't get a survey that will support the purchase price.

In short, if you need a loan, start early and be advised that it won't be easy. Good luck.
__________________
robgrant1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 14:53   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Clayton, NY
Boat: Beneteau OC 41
Posts: 210
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Oh, and did I mention the dreaded sales tax, the bane of our existence? If you take delivery of the boat in the U.S., pick a low or no-sales-tax state and read up on the rules or prepare to be whacked to the tune of 6 or 7% of the boats value.
__________________
robgrant1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2016, 14:35   #14
Registered User
 
phoenix-marie's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Boat: Ohlson 41 steel sloop
Posts: 15
Re: Family Adventure 2017

I'd recommend getting the boat ASAP somewhere between NC and FL. I think the time to get across to the islands from NC or FL is less than refitting a "ready-to-go" boat! Plus if you want the two women in your life to really feel part of this, give them some time to get the boat ready to their satisfaction. If you have the boat ready to go in June, that gives you a couple of months with a boat you're already a little familiar with to get down out of hurricane range. Rare to have hurricanes before late summer / fall. Best of luck - sounds like a great adventure!
__________________
phoenix-marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-01-2016, 10:29   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Puerto Rico
Posts: 21
Re: Family Adventure 2017

Hi Fletcher, Im originally from just south of you. I grew up near Topsail. Let me know if you guys need anything down around Puerto Rico! Look forward to hearing more about this trip!
__________________

__________________
coastie743 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
family

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Wanted: Mediterranean 2015, Caribbean 2016 , Panama ,Galápagos Islands 2017 Hanse Sailor Crew Archives 22 27-01-2015 10:38
Bermuda 2017 Blue Stocking Atlantic & the Caribbean 0 02-12-2014 13:53
Want to Rent: Family of four preparing for 6 month Caribbean live aboard Adventure - need boat! kbdunning Classifieds Archive 17 24-09-2014 06:18
A great read about a family sailing adventure capcook Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 2 14-06-2012 02:15
Not too soon? 2017 Liveaboard needed! Zorro Liveaboard's Forum 0 16-02-2012 10:02



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.