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Old 03-03-2017, 12:04   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: South Florida
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Hello Form South Florida

My wife and I are seriously considering buying a sailboat and taking off for up to two years sailing the Bahamas and the Caribbean. I am a lifelong boater and we owned a 32 foot Maxum for 10 years doing a lot of boating. I once took the Maxum from up the Hudson river to Homestead, FL and back by myself. I am ex-Navy with a nuclear power background along with electrical and electronics background. I am now a IT consultant and my wife is a Clinical Psychologist ( yes, she has been treating me for the last 26 years ).

We got out of boating some years back as I got more into long distance endurance motorcycle riding and competing in events. We both had a lot of things going on that kept us from being able to do the kind of boating we like which is taking long trips and being on the water.

We now have the opportunity to take a few years off as our two boys have graduated college, we recently sold our house and cut a lot of unneeded debt. We are both healthy ( I am 60 and she is 53 ) and thought now would be the time to do this.

I am looking at a boat around 45 foot that would could have some space to allow us to setup a cabin as an office and carry all of the things we think we would need out on the water.

The minimum things I think the boat should have is:

Ease of sailing where one person can handle the sales
6 foot or less draft
6 opening hatches
Port windows that can be opened
75 HP engine
Solar charging power
75 gallons of fuel tank
150 gallons of water tank
Two refrigeration units
2 cabins
2 heads

Some questions I have are:

What about medical insurance
How large of fresh water tank is a minimum
What is the smallest and largest boat we should look at
How easy is it to get repairs if needed in the Bahamas and the Caribbean
How easy was it to get supplies and any medicines that are needed
How large of a refrigeration is required to store perishable food items
What food items should we forget about
What kind of sailing rig is best
What about boat insurance
Where was the best places to cruise
Where was the worst places to cruise
Is it safe to leave the boat for a week or two at a time if we needed to fly home

What is the best navigation maps for cruising the Bahamas and the Caribbean
What is the best chartplotter and what kind of redundancy is required
What about life boat
Is a satellite phone required
What about satellite TV available

Thanks in advance for any good information that you share.
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:43   #2
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Re: Hello Form South Florida

Welcome to the forum, Greg.

Let's back up a minute. Why sail? Your experience is under engine power, and it's perfectly possible to do all the things you are dreaming about in a trawler. More space, more reliable arrivals, less draft, etc.

If you're going cruising, there's an electronics list that needs to be added to your minimums.
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:44   #3
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Re: Hello Form South Florida

Hi Greg and welcome to the forum.

Obviously 26 years of therapy hasn't really helped you at all since you are not cured of the boating disease.

Lots of options for boats that might fit your requirements but a ballpark budget would significantly help to narrow the field. If you're planning to spend $500 K vs $50K its opend up a lot more options.

And then there's the whole monohull vs cat or tri controversy. Please say you've decided and make that choice known otherwise this discussion may quickly deteriorate into an endless argument and get you nowhere.

Regarding the other questions, boy do you have a long list. Might be easier to break them down into smaller bites so you get better responses on each one. Also a lot of them the answers will 99% depend on your likes, dislikes, lifestyle preferences, budget (there's that one again), technical expertise, etc, etc, etc. Others will vary a lot depending on where you are, like medications. Getting scripts filled in Nassau would be a very different issue from getting a script filled in Port au Prince.

Another example, refrigeration. Lots of people still do with none. Some can't leave the dock without as much or more frig and freezer space as they have at home. Most fall somewhere in the middle.

Also, lots of what you list can be easily added (but again with that pesky budget) like solar, generator, refrigeration, even opening ports and more hatches. Not so easily things like water tanks.

Where to cruise? Kind of depends on what you're looking for. That's about like asking a stranger what kind of girl you should marry. Depends on what kind of girl you like. Do like deserted beaches or shopping and casinos? Crowds or solitude? Museums and concerts or a tiki bar on the beach?
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious for the benefit of the oblivious.
Rust is the poor man's Loctite.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:17   #4
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Re: Hello Form South Florida

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Greg.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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