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Old 14-06-2021, 06:42   #31
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

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Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
Panama - no.
Colombia, yes, specifically Ferroalquimar. (they have a facebook page and a web page)

When you ask for your quote, its in Colombian Pesos, (COP) although it shows the $ sign.
Current exchange rate is about 3700 to the $. The rate is very favorable now.

Here is a tip. If you do everything through the yard, it gives them wiggle room on some prices, saving a heap overall. If you try to shop "outside" you will land up spending more money.

This is an historical ship-building and repair port. You can get anything done there. I had my generator rewound by the same place that does military submarines. The quality is ISO 9001,2,3. Galvanizing, propeller casting and balancing, all the trades are right there.

Look no further.
I agree with Gilana. We had a complete refit done a few years ago on a Westsail 32 at the same yard. But I would add that you have to be there.
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Old 14-06-2021, 06:42   #32
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

Cartagena would be a good choice but right now Colombia is going through political turmoil - although Cartagena has been spared for the most part but things can change - $1 is about 3600 pesos right now - another concern - any parts that need to be imported over $200 gets hit with a 30% import duty

Rio Dulce - I believe there is a bar before the entrance - is your draft to deep for it?
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Old 14-06-2021, 06:59   #33
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

I'd second save1960. The Rio Dulce is the place to do a refit. The sandbar can be a bit of an issue for deep keeled yachts, in which case a local will assist you by heeling the boat to one side pull you across (for a small fee, of course).

The workmanship in the Rio is generally pretty good.
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Old 14-06-2021, 08:12   #34
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

Saving money is a non viable goal. Getting the job done right is more important as if done wrong there goes more money. I found Curacao Marine pretty good with many expat skilled workers. Probably the best in the Caribbean. Shelter Bay is pretty good too. Peaks in Trinny a bit iffy with lots of wandering cruisers working short term. Dominica, agree nice but. /. . not a place for a major job. In hurricane zones which need to be avoided there is lots of talent; USVI, BVI, St Martin but better be out of there June to December. Oh yeah, without a project manager meaning you, expect more nasty surprises than thusfar. Good luck.
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Old 14-06-2021, 08:45   #35
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

Once in vacation in Tunisia, I noticed that many Europeans have their yachts work done in local marinas. Port El Kantaoui is a very good place for major refit at low price. The dinar(local curency is quite lower that it use to be, salaries are quite reasonable, but mostly labor very qualified. They have the skill, and experience, and all the machine shop, materials and tools to make a perfect job. I would recommand this country. Worker are honnest, and the environment very friendly and secure. The commun language is French, but ot my surprise, english, italian and german are also spoken.
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Old 14-06-2021, 09:11   #36
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

Dominica is not the place for a major refit. We were there for about 6 weeks this past Feb and were waiting on a new Ray Marine Auto Pilot arm. We were told by the Marine Service people that it would take 5 days to arrive. It took 5 weeks and then another 4 days to clear customs. It's a beautiful place to go when the boat is finished. good Luck!
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Old 14-06-2021, 09:35   #37
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

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Originally Posted by argonauta1 View Post
Saving money is a non viable goal. Getting the job done right is more important as if done wrong there goes more money. I found Curacao Marine pretty good with many expat skilled workers. Probably the best in the Caribbean. Shelter Bay is pretty good too. Peaks in Trinny a bit iffy with lots of wandering cruisers working short term. Dominica, agree nice but. /. . not a place for a major job. In hurricane zones which need to be avoided there is lots of talent; USVI, BVI, St Martin but better be out of there June to December. Oh yeah, without a project manager meaning you, expect more nasty surprises than thusfar. Good luck.
You can in fact do both on the Rio Dulce too. Skilled expat and local labor available at a fraction of USA rates. Less skilled - unskilled labor is very inexpensive.
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Old 14-06-2021, 14:56   #38
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

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That place that you are looking for is called Rio Dulce, Guatemala.
I am locked into Puerto Rico for the moment.
I am living aboard our Catamaran.

Getting labour here, even if you have the money, is a frustration on its own.

I then decided to import a whole chunk of items, from SS anchor chain to extra fridge and drawer freezer, fuel polishers, air conditioners, solar panels, 10kw lithium battery, 6kw inverter, ebikes, and the list goes on and on.

I ended up paying $10,000 for goods that would cost me at least $30,000 in the US.

So whilst I am still bound to install (and having to learn along the way) most of it myself, the cost saving was enough for me to take the plunge and do it.

The shipment took 5 weeks to arrive and I received it all last week. Getting all the niceties at a reasonable price, I installed some already.

Be there to overlook the project could be paramount.
Shipping to places (where I might like to go sucb as Rio Dulce in Guatemala will save you labour costs too, but it is a stretch to get to any of these places).

Decide where you need it most: save on parts, save and outsource the labour, or both - and decide from there.

One thing is clear- you need to take action before your dream becomes your nightmare.
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Old 14-06-2021, 15:58   #39
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

We did a huge refit in Phuket, Thailand....IF you can get there, without a doubt the best place to go! Anything and everything is doable, fairly priced, and available. But it's a long way there! If not doable, I've heard nothing but good things about Rio Dolce, and that would be my next best choice. We've been in the NE Caribb for the past 7 seasons....I haven't found a place to recommend yet....especially when you consider the cost. And the sail to Rio Dolce would be largely a down-wind sail. By far your best bet, I think.
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Old 14-06-2021, 17:01   #40
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

One thing which stuck me on reading these responsesómany of which are eminently sound advice, some not so muchóis the lack of response from Too Shea. Most OPís chip in somewhere along the line after three pages so, why not him? I suspect heís just as confused as when he started the thread, because so many places have been mentioned for ďcheapĒ work, he probably doesnít know whether heís drilled, bored, or countersunk.
Iíve been at it for ten years myself, with a similar size and age boat, and Iíve been through the same depressions, not to mention I suspect Iím probably older than Too Shea, (actually Iím older than nearly everybody now).
Personally, my advice would be: since he is financially okay, (his words), and presumably has the time, then plod onwards, but at a slower and more enjoyable pace. Do the jobs you like doing, and get local help to do the others.
It would be suicide to take it overseas, where it canít be supervised, everyone said that.
So in-between times, sail the sucker, and get a bit of enjoyment out of it!! Even if itís only day sailing, as we do at the moment.
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Old 14-06-2021, 17:11   #41
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Re: HUGE Refit, move boat to Dominica, Panama?

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One thing which stuck me on reading these responsesómany of which are eminently sound advice, some not so muchóis the lack of response from Too Shea. Most OPís chip in somewhere along the line after three pages so, why not him? I suspect heís just as confused as when he started the thread, because so many places have been mentioned for ďcheapĒ work, he probably doesnít know whether heís drilled, bored, or countersunk.

Iíve been at it for ten years myself, with a similar size and age boat, and Iíve been through the same depressions, not to mention I suspect Iím probably older than Too Shea, (actually Iím older than nearly everybody now).

Personally, my advice would be: since he is financially okay, (his words), and presumably has the time, then plod onwards, but at a slower and more enjoyable pace. Do the jobs you like doing, and get local help to do the others.

It would be suicide to take it overseas, where it canít be supervised, everyone said that.

So in-between times, sail the sucker, and get a bit of enjoyment out of it!! Even if itís only day sailing, as we do at the moment.
Its pretty common to not hear back from OP's...there was even a thread about this trend once.
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