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Old 16-11-2016, 15:20   #1
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Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Hello all,
This is my first post, Iíve been lurking and reading for a while and trying to learn as much as possible from everyone here. My buddy and I are single and in our 30ís with work schedules that give us long blocks of days off between work days. We are looking purchase a sail boat to live on, and sail around the Caribbean on our days off. We plan to keep the boat on a mooring in Eastern Puerto Rico/Culebra island or the US VIís. We have considered a CSY 44 and a Catalac 34, but did not move quick enough on either. We are looking for suggestions or recommendations for other models of boats to look at that would suit our needs. Our budget is between about $40k to $70K.
Our main criteria are a boat that is:
Ready to sail around the Caribbean with minimal work to get started.
Has two separate double berths
Able to sail with crew of 2 (novice sailors)
Able to be a live aboard disconnected from ground power

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice!
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Old 16-11-2016, 16:40   #2
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Welcome, Flunkn. How about coming back to South Florida, where there are a bunch of boats on the market, and finding a broker the two of you like? Describe your need, and let him/her come up with available boats you should look at.
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Old 16-11-2016, 18:10   #3
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Thanks for your reply tkeithlu,
We are open to this option. What part of FL would you recommend? Tampa, FT Lauderdale, Jax? Also, what would be the benefits of using a broker as opposed to other methods such as POPYachts or craigslist? Are boats generally cheaper in FL than the Caribbean?
I'd also like to get some suggestions of different boats that folks here could recommend to us.

Thanks!
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Old 16-11-2016, 19:09   #4
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Maybe someone with first-hand knowledge of the south Florida market can step in with specific advice. My bet is the Miami to Ft. Lauderdale area is going to be the richest hunting ground, and closest to you. Of course, you could start from where you are with a few emails to brokers in that area; they've got websites, and there is Sailboat Listings.com with bunches of boats in Miami. I built my own (don't even think about it) and am based in NW Florida. Beware the neglected boats available at very low prices - they have not had care since 2008. This forum often deals with the woes of people stuck with horrible and expensive refurbishing tasks. Buy ready to sail.
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Old 16-11-2016, 19:24   #5
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

I do have one second thought. If you buy a boat in the US and head southeast, you probably should take an experienced cruiser with you. That's a pretty serious trip for two novices. Another recurring theme on this forum is beginners whom everyone wants to encourage (I want to encourage you to live your dream) but at the same time not lead into trouble when they don't realize the extent of the learning curve ahead of them or the variety of skills they will need to master - not just sailing.
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Old 16-11-2016, 19:48   #6
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

A friend of mine is selling a well equipped CSY 44 located in St. Maarten.
As he is sick and unable to sail anymore, the price is unbelievable low.
Send me a PM for further details.
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Old 16-11-2016, 20:18   #7
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

I think tkeithlu has it about right. If you are gonna buy in the US, another option is the NC and VA coast for a large selection of boats. Starting a bit further north also gives you time to poke your way down the coast, sea trial and build miles before you find yourself hard up in a more remote location.

Google 'mahina.com boat list' for a good shakedown of different boat designs and a list of boats. There are a lot of suitable boats out there. Whatever you get, time and money spent getting to know it and the systems onboard will pay dividends.

Good luck from a group of fellow 30 something cruisers.
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Old 17-11-2016, 04:25   #8
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Flunkn.
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Old 17-11-2016, 06:16   #9
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

For your purposes I would go with a gently used Beneteau, then add solar for your power requirement.

You're going to get the best value out of a Beneteau, and something that is generally speaking easy to maintain.

If you buy an older boat, like a CSY 44, without any boat maintenance knowledge you risk landing yourself in a world of expensive and time consuming hurt. Not only will you not be in a position to make an educated purchase and understand what the boat needs going forward, you'll not have the knowledge of what needs fixing when as you go along. Old boats need constant maintenance on a level that newer boats do not, all other things being equal.

Of course there are well kept CSY 44's out there, but even those are going to be on a rolling schedule of maintenance and equipment replacement that you have to stay on top of.
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Old 17-11-2016, 09:15   #10
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Welcome to the group.
Avoid "blue water" custom boats. Avoid Ft. Lauderdale to Miami (overpriced). Dont limit your Yachtworld search to the US because you will miss out on boats in the Caribbean.
Consider well cared for production boats just out of charter outside the US.
They have the biggest depreciation already taken out. The survey will tell you if the boat is sound. The better charter companies usually maintain their boats well: Moorings, Horizon, etc. Avoid the sales tax outside the US.
Consider BVI Yacht Sales. Honest people: Chris or Todd.
Just my humble opinion, but I got a great boat for a great price in the BVI.
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Old 17-11-2016, 09:23   #11
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Try national liquidators website in Fort Lauderdale. The prices are market value. You offer what your willing to pay.
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Old 17-11-2016, 09:23   #12
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjymd View Post
Welcome to the group.
Avoid "blue water" custom boats. Avoid Ft. Lauderdale to Miami (overpriced). Dont limit your Yachtworld search to the US because you will miss out on boats in the Caribbean.
Consider well cared for production boats just out of charter outside the US.
They have the biggest depreciation already taken out. The survey will tell you if the boat is sound. The better charter companies usually maintain their boats well: Moorings, Horizon, etc. Avoid the sales tax outside the US.
Consider BVI Yacht Sales. Honest people: Chris or Todd.
Just my humble opinion, but I got a great boat for a great price in the BVI.
Hi, Ive been lurking here for a little bit absorbing info, just wondering why you suggest avoiding bluewater custom boats? Is this because you end up paying for a whole load of gear that may not be necessary to inshore sailing, or have blue water boats generally had more abuse and so are more prone to maintenance?
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Old 17-11-2016, 09:54   #13
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

We bought a Beneteau 40 out of Moorings fleet and it has worked out pretty well for us. It takes work as former charter boats have been used hard. But, it works well for our use case. I use the boat 8-weeks a year and my co-owner lives on St. Thomas and uses the boat weekends and a couple of week a year. We keep the boat in a marina.

Check out the Hunter 460 that National Liquidators has listed in the USVI. It has a soft spot on the foredeck, but I understand that it is otherwise sound and has unused sails.

Simple is good. The more gear you have the more often things will break. Water is available and solar is a great option in the VIs/PR, so generator and water maker are not necessary. Finding a boat with the features to cruise will save you a lot of money fitting out. PR and St. Martin are a lot cheaper than the VIs for gear.

There's a nice looking Beneteau 411 at Tortola, a Benetau 400 at St. John that I saw recently on YW. Check out Craigslist too. We worked with Clive at BVI Yacht Sales to buy our boat.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 17-11-2016, 09:56   #14
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Hi,
If the original poster is not interested in this CSY44 we might be. Any further info would be much appreciated,
Thanks,
Cande
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Old 17-11-2016, 10:31   #15
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Re: Recommendation for liveaboard Caribbean Cruiser

Do not miss Chagas in Trinidad for your boat shopping pleasure. Also lets you start off in a great sailing area of the Grenadines and for work reasons lots of easy flights to US. I know you said where you were looking to base the boat however remember that Trinidad is outside the hurricane zone for insurance purposes and peace of mind.
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