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Old 30-09-2018, 19:56   #1
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Long distance ownership

My wife and I want to buy a Lagoon 450 in the Caribbean. Our problem is is that we are not ready to retire so we would only be able to use the boat for 3 - 4 weeks at a time and then not seeing her for another 6 - 8 weeks. Has anyone done this before? Are moorages safe to leave your boat? What problems have you experienced leaving your boat? We live in the Pacific Northwest so it not a quick trip to the Caribbean. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 01-10-2018, 16:00   #2
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Re: Long distance ownership

We keep our boat in a marina that we can trust to keep an eye on things. **** happens, time flies and months can go by. We don't mess with a dehumidifier but there is some ventilation in our boat. I've used a mooring twice and it's too much worry.
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Old 01-10-2018, 17:06   #3
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Re: Long distance ownership

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Originally Posted by glassgal View Post
My wife and I want to buy a Lagoon 450 in the Caribbean. Our problem is is that we are not ready to retire so we would only be able to use the boat for 3 - 4 weeks at a time and then not seeing her for another 6 - 8 weeks. Has anyone done this before? Are moorages safe to leave your boat? What problems have you experienced leaving your boat? We live in the Pacific Northwest so it not a quick trip to the Caribbean. Thanks for any advice.
Where in the Caribbean?
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Old 01-10-2018, 17:50   #4
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Re: Long distance ownership

I lived in GA and kept a boat in the USVI for a couple of years and I wouldn't do it again. The boat was only a couple of years old and in good condition but leaving a boat for a month or three at a time in the tropics was rough on the boat.

No one big thing just lots of little ones. Mold and mildew and corrosion on electrical connections were constant issues. Bottom line, seems like most of the times I got down to the boat for a few weeks I spent the first half of the trip catching up on maintenance and had little time left to sail.
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Old 01-10-2018, 18:22   #5
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Re: Long distance ownership

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Originally Posted by glassgal View Post
My wife and I want to buy a Lagoon 450 in the Caribbean. Our problem is is that we are not ready to retire so we would only be able to use the boat for 3 - 4 weeks at a time and then not seeing her for another 6 - 8 weeks. Has anyone done this before? Are moorages safe to leave your boat? What problems have you experienced leaving your boat? We live in the Pacific Northwest so it not a quick trip to the Caribbean. Thanks for any advice.

What year is the 450? Would it be something you'd put into charter (I'm not a broker or anything) so you could make some money and have the maintenance taken care of by the charter company. Just thinking out loud.
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Old 01-10-2018, 20:48   #6
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Re: Long distance ownership

Thanks for the questions and comments! The boat (2011) is based in Granada. Have thought about a charter company but don’t like the idea of the damage/ wear and tear that comes with charter. What if we dry dock the boat to try to keep the mold issue down? Is this option too expensive?
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Old 01-10-2018, 21:50   #7
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Re: Long distance ownership

My wife and I are trying to do exactly what you describe and honestly after 3 years it is getting old. I would wait until you can spend more time on the boat than off. My wife complains that she feels like I am always working on the boat and in truth she is probably right. The boat takes a lot of work to keep up and if you condense it into your 2-3 week trips you will feel like all your trips are to work on the boat. Even at that I feel like I am slowly falling behind.


Hope you can retire soon and follow your dream then !
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:37   #8
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Re: Long distance ownership

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My wife and I are trying to do exactly what you describe and honestly after 3 years it is getting old. I would wait until you can spend more time on the boat than off. My wife complains that she feels like I am always working on the boat and in truth she is probably right. The boat takes a lot of work to keep up and if you condense it into your 2-3 week trips you will feel like all your trips are to work on the boat. Even at that I feel like I am slowly falling behind.


Hope you can retire soon and follow your dream then !
Exactly what happened to me. I recall one trip to the VI when I spent the entire "vacation" working on the boat and never ended up leaving the mooring. It wasn't until we moved onboard that I was finally able to catch up with all the little maintenance and repair jobs.
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:58   #9
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Re: Long distance ownership

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Thanks for the questions and comments! The boat (2011) is based in Granada. Have thought about a charter company but don’t like the idea of the damage/ wear and tear that comes with charter. What if we dry dock the boat to try to keep the mold issue down? Is this option too expensive?
Too expensive is a relative term and something you have to decide for yourself. Just keeping the boat hauled out doesn't keep away the humid sea air. Better than hauling out is to just keep the boat anywhere, floating or hauled out, where you can keep plugged into shore power and run a dehumidifier (or two or three) or if in the water run the air conditioning on a moderate setting.

Either will keep the interior dry (or at least drier) and keep down the mildew and perhaps more important the corrosion on all the wiring, switches, connectors, etc.

If you are able to keep to a frequent schedule IE being absent no more than 6-8 weeks and spending 3-4 weeks on board this might work out OK. In my case I was there less often which significantly exacerbated the problem. Of course there is no exact rule about how many days use vs days absent to avoid the problems but again, your suggested schedule could work out.
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Old 03-10-2018, 23:27   #10
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Re: Long distance ownership

Glassgal- DON’T DO IT!. We own a L450 and are moving aboard in January. She’s only been our liability since June and it’s beyond amazing how much crap goes on when everybody knows you’re no where around and can’t get there within a day or two. (Our boat needed to be moved out of a hurricane area for insurance and required lots of logistics).

I thought I had a decent handle being around boats my whole life here in So. California...not even close.

Ever had an international wire be seized at random by a foreign government and push your maintenance timeline off by months???

When you’re ready to move aboard or use it locally take the plunge. Good luck fighting your probable restlessness! Hehe, sorry.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:45   #11
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Re: Long distance ownership

I have owned my Passport 40 for two years now. It has always stayed in a 3-6 hour flight from me. I agree with many opinions; you will have a LOT of catchup to do with maintenance. I did spent a lot of time on the boat compared to other remote owners. Maybe 3 months total throughout the year. If you can at least spend that much time, go ahead. If not, just charter, buy a charter, or nothing at all. It's just a lot of time and effort. I love it, and I don't have a regular 9-5 job, Im freelance. So I can choose when to fly out to the boat (as long as I can afford it). This is not something most people can do.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:38   #12
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Re: Long distance ownership

Thanks for all the comments. It looks like I will be waiting a while longer until I can move in full time.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:03   #13
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Re: Long distance ownership

I wouldn’t say don’t do it, just be prepared for all the expected and unexpected problems that could occur, as others have stated. Did it with two different boats. One was on the Moorings private dock when they were closer to Roadtown. Hired a local who was employed by Moorings to “watch the boat”. Always came back to issues, stories of hatches left open for days, mold and dirt, and a list of things to do. A hurricane hit one year, and he was to move it to Hurricane hole, getting it off the dock. Didn’t, he left the island. Boat sheared off the concrete finger. Boat suffer sever rash, and damaged toe rail. Morgan Out Islanders are a tank. The Crealock 37 seasoned over in Trinidad for probably 7-8 years. Power Boats was a great place to leave it, but after 3-4 months absence, it took effort to get ready to travel again. But, we did it, and those were the best years of our life. My wife developed severe physical limitations due to an accident, then passed away. In our talks we she would say her goal was to say “we did it”’ not “I wish we could have.” None of us are going to get
Out of this thing alive!
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Old 09-10-2018, 16:30   #14
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Long distance ownership

Keepondancin has great points. Getting out there is paramount. My own accident a couple years back made our cruising plans look undoable; alas the spine has stabilized and a few surgeries later my limbs are ‘okay’ enough. We decided not to wait also and take our six kids for a once in our lifetime adventure.

An L450 is our ‘small boat’ due to 8 people total onboard. If it was just my wife and I we’d go for 38-42’ all day.

“Go small, go simple, go now.”-Pardey’s.

...and I totally agree.
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Old 09-10-2018, 16:47   #15
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Re: Long distance ownership

Why not buy a boat and keep it near where you are now? Seems easier and less expensive, and you'll get more time on the boat. If you want to retire in the Caribbean you could either move or ship your boat there, or sell it and buy one in the Caribbean. I haven't sailed in the Pacific Northwest, but it sure looks like a beautiful area.
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