Originally Posted by wingssail
Where "off the beaten path" can you find a marina with all the amenities for well less than $1000 a month, and how many months in advance would you have to pay to get that rate?
SailorBoy mentioned Gulfport, and that's a possibility, but hurricane
alley and Mississippi
bay depths kinda turn us off. But hey let's be open minded.
Rio Dulce is approx. $250 a month in most marinas(regardless of LOA
or number of hulls). Cost of labor is a small fraction of what it is in the First World. So basic grunt work
you need done you can have done for pennies on the dollar. The marinas will keep your boat clean inside and out, aired out for $50 a month. There are a couple of pretty good boatyards
that probably can do most technical work
you cannot or don't want to do yourself for approx. 30% less than in the First World. There is a West Marine
distributor. Most things from outside the country you will pay duty on plus a 12% VAT. But there are ways to legally offset the 12% VAT that requires some paper work.
Rio Dulce is 20 miles inland(virtually hurricane
worry free), with lots of quiet places to anchor
in flat water
. Fresh water means your bottom does not get as fouled. And what you find on your bottom comes off with little effort.
It is possible to have a small waterfront house with a dock
, electricity, air conditioning
, etc. for $75K. You can have a waterfront palace with dock
for $250K. Both of the above likely will not be accessible by car. So if you like Rio Dulce as a base, depending on what kind of sailing you want to do, you potentially don't need as capable / comfortable / as big boat. For example if you just wanted to cruise
, Mx, and maybe passage
to the Bay Islands or Cuba
most only need no more than a 35 ft boat for two people. A lot of people would be comfortable on 27-30 ft boat for 2-3 weeks at a time, knowing you have a sweet little house to go back to.
Minimal immigration and bureaucratic issues. If you over stay(more than 6 months) your visitors visa you pay a small fine per day when you leave and are welcome back anytime. Same thing for the boat. The boat is supposed to leave every two years for 3 months. But the cost of keeping the boat for more than 2 years is minimal and if you don't formally pay to stay more than two years the fine you pay on the way out is the same as if you had formally paid to stay more than two years.
There are several excellent resorts where you can dock and have an excellent meal or where friends and family
can stay when they come to visit. Same thing goes for the Marinas. The most you will pay is $125 a night for some luxury. $50 a night for a clean, comfortable place, with air con., pool, good food
Except for Easter Week and Christmas/ New Years Rio Dulce tends to not be crowded waters.
Lots of nooks and crannies to explore on the river, Lake Isabal and Golfito in protected waters. Being able to speak basic Spanish helps and makes things more fun but not essential. So it potentially is a great place for a newbie to start the pirate life. Most afternoons there are at least there 10-15 knot
City(and GUA International Airport) with everything a medium size city has in the USA is a 6 hour bus ride away, including excellent medical
and dental care at a fraction of the cost of the USA. Probably the biggest negative is the road between Rio Dulce and Guatemala
City is dangerous because if all the truck and poor shape the road is in in many spots. The solution is take the bis or fly from Puerto Barrios which is 1 hour away from Rio Dulce. Another way to look at it is based on what you save versus the First World you can go the 185 miles by helicopter between Rio Dulce, Antigua
and Guatemala City.
I am sure there are similar options around the world similar to the above all with their own set of trade