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Old 31-05-2020, 14:23   #1
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Boat: Looking for sailboat (34'-41') in Sea of Cortez MX
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Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

My ultimate goal is cruising in Sea of Cortez. I am in Arizona.
My job contract might expire in one month. If not, (may be another 6 months) I still able to work from anywhere in the world as long as I have reasonable Internet speed.
Looking through Mexico inventory and I don't see much.
Now looking closely at California inventory and considering buying a sailboat there. I don't like California (used to live there) and prefer to stay there with a boat I buy as little as possible. Now the question.
1. How badly am I sinking myself financially into overregulated, overpriced California boat ownership for a few months?
2. Taking the boat to Ensenada soon after purchase (I still pay use tax - I know) reasonable option? I am way under qualified for single handling to sail to Sea of Cortez - therefore I stack there until Bahaha or another opportunity to have sailing partner.
Thank you upfront!
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Old 31-05-2020, 15:17   #2
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

If you're limited to the US, and Arizona's pretty close to San Francisco, well, the bay is a better place for sailing lessons, a better preparation for sailing to the Golfo de California, imho, because the winds are stronger so you learn more. Once part of the scene, crew is not a huge problem.

I am not personally aware of sailing schools around La Paz, but if you're fluent in Spanish, that might be a possibility.

Another one, is to hire a delivery skipper to train you on the run down to Mexico.

Good luck with it.

Ann

On edit, one aspect to consider is that Mexico has hurricane season from June to December, so you would probably want to move the boat a lot further south. You should not expect great internet capacity down there.
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Old 31-05-2020, 15:36   #3
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Can't you drive to the Sea of Cortez from Arizona, Puerto Penasco...? How big a boat are you buying? How about a trailer sailor?
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Old 31-05-2020, 15:46   #4
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Thank you, guys for the reply. Boat in 40ft (with bowsprit)range
Forgot to mention another option.
Spoke with owner of Cabrales shipyard in Puerto Penasco and he told me they move boats to and from California. Can't talk pricing here but it sounded very reasonable.
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Old 31-05-2020, 15:56   #5
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
If you're limited to the US, and Arizona's pretty close to San Francisco, well, the bay is a better place for sailing lessons, a better preparation for sailing to the Golfo de California, imho, because the winds are stronger so you learn more. Once part of the scene, crew is not a huge problem.

I am not personally aware of sailing schools around La Paz, but if you're fluent in Spanish, that might be a possibility.

Another one, is to hire a delivery skipper to train you on the run down to Mexico.

Good luck with it.

Ann

On edit, one aspect to consider is that Mexico has hurricane season from June to December, so you would probably want to move the boat a lot further south. You should not expect great internet capacity down there.
Thank you, Ann.
For me sailing learning is more about recovering what I learned in the youth skipper school something 40 years ago. A few guided lessons with details on local sailing specifics and particular boat configurations should be sufficient. Going over Baja is totally different story - I need probably a few month to be comfortable (to some degree) even with sailing partner. Delivery captain sets me back for a few thousand but with extensive training included it might be an option. All ASA courses on sailing subject in one shot - looks not so bad.
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Old 31-05-2020, 16:19   #6
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

I'm probably going to be selling my boat that's in La Paz - I'll PM you.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:37   #7
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Couple random thoughts.

2 years ago, I looked into having my Willard 36 trawler trucked to San Carlos. When it came down to it, not as simple as I thought it would be. It's actually two distinct gigs due to trucking restrictions into Mexico. Boat is transfered from one trucker to another in Tucson - the two trucks rendezvous at a large, commercial equipment rental center and use a crane to move the boat from one truck to the other. A good chuck of trucking costs are the pickup and delivery time at each end so this is doubled.

Second, (Ann) SF Bay is a decent haul from AZ so not nearly as convenient as SoCal.

Third, the person who said he is considering selling his boat in La Paz also posted it in the classifieds section. Hunter 36 that sounds like it's been cared for and well equipped. From experience, labor in Mexico is very reasonable. Parts availability is not. Having upgrades done would be a bonus, though you need to make sure the TIP is proper and canceled so you can receive your own. I hear very good things about La Paz and that it has a very strong cruising community. It's been 15 years since I've been but I like the city a lot. If access from AZ is workable, would make a lot of sense. If La Paz is workable, you may want to check Classifieds of Latitude 38. Not unusual to see cruising dreams die in La Paz or Mazatlan.

BTW - Mazatlan is around 225 nms away and has the benefit of several yards and an international airport. Had I not found a suitable team for my refit in Ensenada, I likely would have gone to Mazatlan simply because access via air is a huge plus if you plan more than a couple trips per year. Getting in/out of Ensenada is a pain despite being only 80 miles south of San Diego - crossing the border is a couple hour affair and while there is bus service, it takes several hours to trek the 80-miles. Best option is hire a driver at around $150 one-way. It adds up.

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:32   #8
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruso View Post
..............Now the question. 1. How badly am I sinking myself financially into overregulated, overpriced California boat ownership for a few months? 2. Taking the boat to Ensenada soon after purchase (I still pay use tax - I know) reasonable option?..............
Having purchased many new and used power and sail boats from SoCal and San Francisco Bay area in California I do not think they are overpriced for the location. What I mean by that, you can purchase the same sailboat in Florida where most production boats are made for a lower cost than in California because of the shipping differential cost. As far as California being over regulated have not seen that unless you are referring to the sales tax and annual property tax.

As others have said buy the boat you want and sail it for a period of time in Socal before you sail to Ensenada OR if you do not want to hire a captain seek out experienced crew who would like to sail the 200 miles with you to Ensenada.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:50   #9
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Lots of good deals for US registered boats sitting on the hard in San Carlos/Guaymas. Closer to you and already in the sea of Cortez.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:58   #10
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

There are a whole lot of folks who come down here to Ensenada from Arizona every week end....and a lot of Californians. If I were to choose between the slip prices and taxes in California and Mexico,,, it wouldn't be a difficult one!
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:05   #11
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

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Originally Posted by sail sfbay View Post
Having purchased many new and used power and sail boats from SoCal and San Francisco Bay area in California I do not think they are overpriced for the location. What I mean by that, you can purchase the same sailboat in Florida where most production boats are made for a lower cost than in California because of the shipping differential cost. As far as California being over regulated have not seen that unless you are referring to the sales tax and annual property tax.

As others have said buy the boat you want and sail it for a period of time in Socal before you sail to Ensenada OR if you do not want to hire a captain seek out experienced crew who would like to sail the 200 miles with you to Ensenada.
This is my dilemma... Living costs, birthing cost in Socal for a few months will eat into my budget otherwise would be used for outfit a new boat if bought in Mexico. If I buy the boat now, I am stuck in Ensenada or SoCal until my job contract expires.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:08   #12
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

I'm in ensenada,, and I will offer this.... Is is far and beyond better than being in southern Cal. Better food, better prices, and better winds. You can bring your parts down with you from home.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:14   #13
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Just spoke with one lady in Ensenada, she is helping with TIP problems if any.
Good news is "Bill of Sale" is enough to open TIP in Ensenada - I don't have to wait for USCG registration to move a boat to Ensenada.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:26   #14
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

Quote:
Originally Posted by rphdiego View Post
Lots of good deals for US registered boats sitting on the hard in San Carlos/Guaymas. Closer to you and already in the sea of Cortez.
Sometimes.. The boats sellers not under great pressure financially (no tax) dry storage cheap..Therefore they stay for sale for many months even years until "ready to sail" becoming TLC (read as project) boat.
When you know what you want... class of Baba 30/35, West Sail 32 or similar hard to find good one. SoCal on other side has a lot to choose from.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:27   #15
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Re: Please talk me out of buying a sailboat in San Diego/Los Angeles

There is more paperwork that is often really confusing and time consuming buying a US owned boat that is sold to a nonMexican in Mexico. We have known a few people that spent months being able to live aboard a boat they purchased but not able to leave the marina while their paperwork was slowly put in order. That said, I have seen a lot of boats I coveted in good condition, set up for cruising for sale in Mexico. There are several really common reasons for it. One, a lot of the time cruising is the husbandís dream and in retirement the letís okay letís give it shot. But she finds she doesnít like it, she misses the grand children, she never lived for 40 years in such close proximity to her husband, he yells at her a lot especially when docking in front of strangers, and some other reasons, or someone waited to retirement, got their ideal boat, fixed up just perfect, sailed away and had a heart attack, got some form of cancer, or had family problems and had to go home. One other we saw was they cruised the Sea of Cortez for awhile but never really got to be old salts and when it came time to return to the states were afraid of bashing back up the West coast. When we sailed back a little late in the season with hurricanes brewing to the South the only boats that bashed back that we met, and we had to wait a few times for weather windows, that were sailed by their owners were older full keel boats. Every single modern moderate displacement fin keel boat we spoke to was sailed by professional crews. And we knew a few couples that put their boats on ships to get them back. I lived most of my life in Southern California and on the water a lot since I was in elementary school. I read for a lifetime about the Sea but waited to retire to go, except for camping trips. We have sailed in California since 1974 and chartered in the Caribbean a few times and had I been smart enough to know how easy sailing in the Sea was I would have put a small trailerable boat down there 40 years ago for vacations. We were until a few years ago tent campers and we owned racing boats mostly, so when we would take our children for a week or two to the Channel Islands it was often like camping in a Volkswagen van. And by the I spent 3 years living at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale running a large multinational crew from there and the last week, at my last meeting before crews starting leaving I gave everyone a map I printed showing how to go anywhere in the United States without having to set foot in Arizona, we did not care for it too much. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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