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Old 05-04-2010, 01:02   #1
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A Boat for Five or Six People

I am a guy in my younger 20s. I recently sailed across the atlantic and fell in love with it. I am now planning a trip with about 5 other people to sail next winter around the carib. When I crossed the Atlantic it was with a skilled captain on his boat. Now we are looking at buying our own boat. We would sail several months. No ocean crossing.

1) We will buy a boat and get a mortgage on the boat while sailing. With a mortgage we might try to buy a boat around $30,000-40,000. What is the minimum size boat we should get?

2) Recommendation for a method to get a boat cheap? Maybe just look around ports in southern FL and talk to owners? Craigslist? It seems like most big boat selling websites usually just have the most expensive boats.

3) Are there any online resources anyone recommends to start learning more about navigation and sailing the carib?
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:55   #2
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Well, there are hundreds of people on this forum who are more capable of answering your questions than I, but here's what I can offer:

1. Since you posted in the monohull section, my advice would be a boat of at least 36 feet, if you're going to be packing in a crew of 5 or 6. And four of them better be very good friends. I own a 32 footer, which ostensibly "sleeps six," but four of them better be married or at least hopelessly in love.

2. I bought my boat last year. I found a tremendous number of boats in your price range on yachtworld .com and The former is for brokered boats, the latter is not.

3. If you want to learn more about navigation, I highly recommend taking at least one course with the ASA or US Sailing. I just passed the ASA Coastal Navigation course and found it very useful - despite the fact that my boat has two chart plotters, and counting my Iphone, I have a total of four GPS systems on board at all times.

As for sailing the Caribbean, there are many far more experienced folks than I on this forum who, I'm sure, will be able to direct you to online resources, but my thought is that if you're a guy in your younger 20s, why not just go down there and do it?
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Old 05-04-2010, 17:40   #3
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Your question is so large it is hard to know where to start. Do you love sailing or do you want to be a seaman, shipwright or sailor? You can get boats basically given to you if you hang around marinas with old boats in them. But you have to restore them to seaworthy capacity. You either spend the money or you build sweat equity. Usually takes a lot more energy to restore a boat, but you become a better seaman.
Navigation and sailing offshore is a learned ability. Best to take classes, or help make passage with crusty old farts that still sail but need extra muscle.
So there you have it. You can get everything you need for almost nothing or spend money as you need for specific skills, or do it all with $$ (almost all). The choice is yours.
I would add that you have to have quite a bit of initiative to go out and get it on the cheap.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:47   #4
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Re: A Boat for Five or Six People

I agree with Newt. There are many neglected boats to be had in the marinas. Try not to have a payment. If you each can come up with $5k you can get a good 35-40 footer and still have enough to fix it up. Keep it simple. Look for registrations that are a few years expired and work with the marina or gov. agency that resisters boats to find the owner(s). Start early and take the time to look for a real good one. They are there.
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