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Old 03-04-2024, 06:20   #16
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

I know of three sailors who circumnavigated under sail, then did significant cruising in a trawler style boat. All three say the long term boat operational costs are a wash.

That said, if you want to cross an ocean, there are not many affordable options in a power boat. But for the Bahamas? Strong case that a 4-foot draft trawler is a better tool for the job compared to sail. Unless of course you simply love to sail, which the OP does not.

Good luck with whatever you decide. It's a lot of fun and life altering.
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Old 03-04-2024, 08:15   #17
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

Power is great for the Bahamas, but moving on down to the Caribbean requires a boat that can deal with 8-foot seas on the beam and big winds on a routine basis. For that you need a pretty big power boat, and without stabilizers they can be very uncomfortable. We had a chuckle in Panama talking to the paid captain of a 140-footer. He was complaining about the weather, which was ordinary Caribbean sailing to us on our 38-foot sailboat. His big powerboat was just miserable in those seas and the crew spent all their time lashing stuff down and fixing things. There are other power craft that would have been suitable, but that one wasn't. You need to choose your boat for the conditions in the places you are going. Caribbean sailing is great, but you will encounter big winds and seas unless you spend a lot of time waiting for the perfect weather window, which may never come.
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Old 03-04-2024, 08:31   #18
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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Power is great for the Bahamas, but moving on down to the Caribbean requires a boat that can deal with 8-foot seas on the beam and big winds on a routine basis. For that you need a pretty big power boat, and without stabilizers they can be very uncomfortable. We had a chuckle in Panama talking to the paid captain of a 140-footer. He was complaining about the weather, which was ordinary Caribbean sailing to us on our 38-foot sailboat. His big powerboat was just miserable in those seas and the crew spent all their time lashing stuff down and fixing things. There are other power craft that would have been suitable, but that one wasn't. You need to choose your boat for the conditions in the places you are going. Caribbean sailing is great, but you will encounter big winds and seas unless you spend a lot of time waiting for the perfect weather window, which may never come.
Having made the trip myself in a powerboat, I don't disagree with your premise that stabilization is highly desirable - and that a sailboat would be a better choice. But the OP is not a sailor, and the trip up the Caribbean from Panama is 4 days of slop that can be broken up by heading up Costa Rica to Limon, the. To San Andres/Providencia, both very manageable weather windows. From there, it's less than 3 days to either Cayman or Isla Mujeres. Point being is why would you buy a sailboat and spend months/years learning to sail it to avoid a few days of transit time vs waiting for relaxed conditions that normally set in around this time of year? The deeper draft of a sailboat will be with you 100% of the time in the Bahamas. Lousy weather passage a few days out of years of cruising the Caribbean. Gotta keep it in perspective.
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Old 03-04-2024, 10:16   #19
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

Get a Trawler and do the Great Loop or the Bahamas
As seen in the Bahamas 2 years ago
A sailor who went power, Happy as a clam
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Old 03-04-2024, 11:37   #20
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

Quote:
As seen in the Bahamas 2 years ago
A sailor who went power, Happy as a clam
I cruised the Bahamas on powerboats too, but honestly, it is boring
Compared to sailboat, first the drone of the engine at cruise power across
The Gulfstream, then the rocking and rolling of left than perfect weather.
Sailing to the Bahamas was an event, something I enjoyed, on a powerboat
It is uncomfortable.
This was one of my Bahama Boats, sold it after 18 months: Glacier Bay 2770.
The second boat is an Albin 28TE, much better boat, more comfortable and seaworthy. Owned it 5 years.
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Old 03-04-2024, 12:18   #21
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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Sailing to the Bahamas was an event, something I enjoyed, on a powerboat
It is uncomfortable..
I would not have been comfortable in your choice of powerboat either. Perhaps a more appropriate powerboat would have been more comfortable
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Old 03-04-2024, 12:31   #22
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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I would not have been comfortable in your choice of powerboat either. Perhaps a more appropriate powerboat would have been more comfortable
What would you suggest then for a suitable power boat?

(Let me clarify the comfort statement: The Glacier Bay was rocking and rolling both ways across the Gulf Stream, usually 15 degrees, occasionally 30. A perfect boat for Biscayne Bay with light chop, not for crossing to the Islands..
The Albin was plenty seaworthy, but with a high speed diesel running at cruise power 3,600 rpm it was noisy, I should have brought my noice cancelling head set)

The advantage is short crossing times, 3 hours versus 7-8 for a sailboat motorsailing.
I havce considered a Tiara 3800, and still mulling it over, but also burned out on boat maintenance, repairs, upgrades, etc.
After 31 Bahama cruises, mostly under sail, I may just charter next time, done my share of boat maintenance
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Old 03-04-2024, 14:06   #23
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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What would you suggest then for a suitable power boat?
You sailors are soooo silly.
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Old 03-04-2024, 15:50   #24
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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You sailors are soooo silly.
A floating condo power cat?
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Old 03-04-2024, 16:10   #25
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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A floating condo power cat?
Yep. The one pictured in my post above is flagged out of Baltimore. Picture is her in Papagayo Costa Rica so it's gotten around including the Caribbean.

NZ designers have been playing with power cats for a couple decades. These are serious ocean passagemakers - the one attached to this post is currently in La Paz. The previous owners spent 10 years circumnavigating on her. She sold a few years ago for around $350k so well past the OPs budget (it's also 65 feet long vs 45 feet for the one above). She easily does 225 nm days and burns under 5 GPH.

Not bad for a floating condo as you call it.

You asked about suitable powerboats. Here are four. I know, you sailor types have a strong bias that only sailboats are worthy. Bit of a blind spot if you are honest.

BTW - earlier today a Nordhavn 43 "Celt" dropped anchor in Nuku Hiva from Galopogas Islands. I believe it was around 15 days underway. As I said up thread, crossing oceans in a powerboat takes an expensive boat, but thats not the OPs use case.

Finally, another trawler built in the Philippines and has been all over the Pacific on her own bottom. Just went through the Panama Canal enroute to Florida. She sold to current owners a couple years ago for a shade over $150k.
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Old 03-04-2024, 17:39   #26
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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You asked about suitable powerboats.
Ah, but I asked Mr. Boatpoker for his opinion, not everyone here..

Nice boats for sure, but not my cup of tea.
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Old 03-04-2024, 17:44   #27
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

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Ah, but I asked Mr. Boatpoker for his opinion, not everyone here..

Nice boats for sure, but not my cup of tea.
Maybe a PM next time?
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Old 03-04-2024, 17:47   #28
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

now I know to not read this thread anymore, that is very helpful
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Old 03-04-2024, 19:30   #29
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

I agree with Mvweebles and others that a trawler or other slower motorboat is probably a better fit for your described plan. There’s a common fallacy because fuel is so expensive and wind is free, sailboats are economical. Trust me, they are not because that rig and sails are costly to maintain. Also, if you have anything like a schedule, you will motor more than you can imagine anyhow. I love to sail, but I guess I only sail about 50% because I want to get somewhere and the wind direction or speed doesn’t allow it quickly and I’m impatient, or the distance is too short to justify getting everything setup to sail it. If you don’t love sailing, don’t buy a sailboat.

As far as money, I use as a rule of thumb: 10% of the purchase price annually for maintenance and needed boat stuff, not counting your living expenses or travel expenses like marinas, fuel, or food. Perhaps double that for the first year to get everything ready. With a house, if you don’t fix something immediately, you may have a leaky roof or peeling paint. In a boat, you may kill your family ... serious.
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Old 07-04-2024, 04:42   #30
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Re: Bahama sailing newbie

How about chartering a boat for a week or two?

You could charter a sailboat or powerboat with Cruise Abaco out of Marsh Harbor with their 'Captain by day, Bareboat by night' program. Explore the Abacos and see if cruising is for you?
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