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Old 06-09-2011, 13:17   #1
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Best/Cheapest Way to Cruise Caribbean

I would love to do some cruising in the Caribbean. Im thinking of buying a a sailboat around 28-34 ft and dont want to spend much money (~10-15k).
I have sailed my entire life and fully realize what kind of boat I would be getting for 10-15k....but in the Caribbean i would imagine the max journey with no stops would be 2-3 days max, so I dont feel a proper bluewater capable boat is totally necessary.
My goal is to mess around and island hop. I am in my late 20's and feel like this would be a lot of fun and easier/cheaper than a trans Pacific trip or doing the same in the Med. Have a few questions for people who have any experience with this:

- Where is best place to buy a sailboat? Florida? Virgin Islands?

- What are the general cruising routes and winds? North to Southeast? Start in Floriday or Bahammas and go Southeast, or vice versa?

- Any other advice ie. fun places, cheap places, good books to read on the subject, good yacht brokers in the area, ect.?

Any advice or thoughts would be great!


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Old 06-09-2011, 13:45   #2
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pirate Re: Best/Cheapest way to cruise Caribbean

A lota info on all your questions can be found here... All At Sea - The Caribbean's Waterfront Magazine

It was a dark and stormy night and the captain of the ship said.. "Hey Jim, spin us a yarn." and the yarn began like this.. "It was a dark and stormy night.."
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Old 06-09-2011, 19:10   #3
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We are also looking for trip advice.

My wife and I and two small children are planning a three month cruise. We purchased a used Fountaine Pajot Mahe catamaran in April and have spent most of the summer doing day trips and a few overnights practicing for our big trip but have been going back and forth on deciding how to proceed.

First I must mention this is our first sailing boat and have limited experience but have had little trouble so far with navigating the boat on short trips within a hundred miles from home. Our hope is to do our three month cruise in one of two ways and destinations. First thought was to sail from our North Florida home south to St. Pete then to Miami and cross gulf stream to Bimini and down the thornless path and on to Puerto Rico and BVI's and at the end of the line have someone else bring the boat back for us as we only have three months.

Our second choice was to have the boat delivered to BVI or St.Thomas and start our trip there and make the reverse of the same itinerary. Our travel dates were starting in mid February and finishing mid May.

First is three months enough time to make this trip or are we being too ambitious? Should we shorten the trip and have the boat delivered each way?
And second which direction is safer or easier route at that time of year?.
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Old 07-09-2011, 00:28   #4
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Re: Best/Cheapest Way to Cruise Caribbean

Its always easier getting from the Northern Caribbean back up to N Florida. It usually takes me 7 to 9 days from BVI/USVI/SXM area up to Canaveral. And - I've just re-read some old trip logs to refresh my memory - pretty much the same t'other way! Mind you, that's deliveries where the name of the game is get it there as safely, quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Three months will be fine - you wont see it all but it'll whet your appetite to come back! I would suggest you get someone to shift the boat down; enjoy a cruise in the area then give yourself enough time to get back, maybe enjoying a bit of the Bahamas on the way. Tony

Coming South - Lots of options: down through the Bahamas/TCI/DR/PR but its a lot of motor sailing if you're on a mission. Otherwise head out East for a few days until you can free off and reach down.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:48   #5
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Re: Best/Cheapest Way to Cruise Caribbean

I think you can find something in the 30-34' range for that money Rare is the boat that is really to go I would figure spending some time and money making it ready to go for your needs Florida has many boats for sale and whatever work you need to do that is the place
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Old 07-09-2011, 14:56   #6
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Re: Best/Cheapest Way to Cruise Caribbean

So a good jumpoff point for a Caribbean cruise might be Florida? Oce again im looking to buy a cheap boat and set off to have some time period.

Any more thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:00   #7
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Re: Best/Cheapest Way to Cruise Caribbean

Come on a brotha out with some advice!!
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Old 11-09-2011, 18:15   #8
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Re: Best/Cheapest Way to Cruise Caribbean

What you are asking is answered in too much detail in the CF thread "Cruising on $500/month." Cruising on $500 per Month . . .
- - Just skip through the political and petty posts and stay with the meaty ones. Minimalist budget cruising is possible if you adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle and are in good health and are not in a hurry or have extravagant tastes or lifestyle.
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