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Old 22-04-2010, 01:28   #1
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Finding a Boat

I am looking for a boat 25' -30' to sail in the Carib this Fall and early winter. I can find plenty of boats for just a couple thousand around North Carolina where I live for that length. I am looking for a rough and simple boat for a few guys on an adventure. Anyway, it seems like I can get better prices by finding an old boat in a marina or behind someones house, than listed on the internet for sail.

In theory, I would like to find a port or area in South Florida where I can go with no boat and a few friends. We would buy the boat already that far south and then take off for the Carib. Any recommendations on finding a boat in a port? The best place to go? Is this possible?
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Old 22-04-2010, 06:57   #2
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You would be better off not restricting yourself to one locality. Why don't you look on
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Old 22-04-2010, 10:08   #3
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The single best place to look is Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami also. There are plenty of boats available there, and you can look on craigslist and ebay. But you probably should initially look to The Bahamas, rather than the Caribbean, which requires more of a boat to sail that distance, mostly into the wind. You can have all the fun you want in The Bahamas but you are targeting hurricane season, so lots of planning is needed to protect yourselves and the boat.

A "few guys" on a 25-30 foot boat for more than a couple of weeks sounds very crowded to me. After you have seen a few boats that size (look locally) I think you might agree that a bigger boat is needed.
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Old 22-04-2010, 12:09   #4
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you might find that there's a few things needing to be done between, "buying the boat' and 'sailing to the Bahamas'. Plan for that...Could even be a LOT of things to be done...Some may not be obvious until you have the boat. Be very careful of these, as they could be adventure killers. Which is better than sailor killers, which they could be if left untended..

Be careful and hire a surveyor..

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Old 24-04-2010, 16:11   #5
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Best bet is check out sites like and , target an area with a good groupings in your range, set up viewings and head on down... once there trawl the local boatyards for 'hidden gems' that just have a sign hanging of them... they're out there.
Just one cautionary note check carefully for repairs as a lot may have been damaged in hurricanes and not always repaired to the best standard.
Good Luck..

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Old 25-04-2010, 13:31   #6
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Think seriously about Speedoo's advice regarding size!

I own a Hunter 30 and it is a great boat for a singlehander, a bit cramped for a husband and wife sharing the v-berth, but next to impossible for an extra one or two persons.

I know, "guys" can adapt to just about anything. NOT!! When you want to sit up reading your book, but you have to drop the table so Charlie has a place to sleep, you will soon grow tired of the arrangement. Please note that I didn't mention using the quarter-berth for Charlie's bed. With two or more persons aboard, it's already full of gear, dive bags, you name it.

I suggest you think about purchasing a larger boat if you plan to bring a couple of your buddies along for the cruise. Get it surveyed before buying and be prepared to replace failing systems before venturing offshore. Try to cut corners and Mother Nature will bite your butt for sure, usually at the worst time and in a place where good repair facilities are few and far between.

Finally, RT also offers some good advice. Set your sights on the Bahamas before worrying about heading further south. Many of us visited the Bahamas and never felt a need to tackle the "Thorny Path".

Good luck!
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