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About sugarbird

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    Some of this and some of that

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  1. sugarbird

    Cruising Quarantine Issues RE Covid-19

    The bug is in the USVI, and community transmission is happening. 17 positives in a population of maybe 125,000, many tests outstanding, waiting for results. Local medical services have been iffy for a long time, and medical professionals here are scared shitless. The situation is changing daily, and quite likely to get more restrictive. There's been a bit of drumbeating re: "sealing out borders," but the stupid f*ckers don't seem to realize that food and medical supplies are all sourced from the mainland. "Non-essential" businesses and govt offices closed, the "vibe" in grocery stores is getting more glum and tense every day, enforcing 6' social distancing in checkout lines - clerks and cashiers wearing masks and gloves. Elsewhere, good friends were cruising in the Exumas, when they decided to cut things short and return to the US. They stopped in Nassau on Thursday to find 7x24 curfew. They were able to buy groceries and departed yesterday. Said it was like a ghost town.
  2. sugarbird

    Disappearances at sea

    This used to happen much more often than it does these days. Knew a really experienced, competent sailor who was doing a delivery of a beautifully built and maintained 60' (wooden) ketch from NE to the Caribbean - made it to Bermuda without a problem, but then just slipped off the face of the earth. His girlfriend hung around St. Maarten for maybe a month, scanning the anchorages, walking marinas, talking to new arrivals, hoping upon hope. Zip.
  3. It's my backyard... and a bit more diverse than many visitors experience, although homogenization and Disneyfication to feed the mass tourism beast are rapidly driving out the subtle nuances. Agree that the BVI's are the easiest, and a decent introduction. If you're a fan of French food/culture/sailing, Martinique is ground zero. I like the Grenadines. Sorry, I'm not saying what my personal favorite is. I get asked all the time "What island(s) should I visit?" to which I typically respond, "Close your eyes and visualize a fantastic few island days, and write that story down." Then read the cruising guides, and try to match up where you can best meet your needs. Short sails and then beach bars and restaurants? Full days/overnights of sporty sailing? Marinas, a mooring in a crowded harbor, or a deserted anchorage (not too many of those left anymore). Casinos, fine dining, discos and dancing, or conch shack and beach bar? Museums. old forts, trudging around quaint old colonial towns, or walking the beach and snorkeling?
  4. sugarbird

    My Big Mushy Boat Listing - Selling a Boat in Motion

    Best bet is to connect with those who are "in love" with the make/model. I once had a guy repeatedly pester me to sell, but I wasn't ready. A couple years later the tables turned, and I struggled to find any takers. The spread between ask/sell can be pretty hefty, have you been able to dig up any sold comps? Also look at time on the market until sold. As much as it seems to make sense for a buyer to bite on a "pre-positioned" boat, I think it narrows the population of prospective buyers drastically, even here in the Caribbean. Sounds like you're ready to get off the boat - I'd #1. Put my head down and knock out all the cosmetic shit as quick as possible, while #2. Plan the marketing campaign, with competitive asking price and the note "under way to XXX." #3. Delivery sail her (as opposed to cruise) to the US location that makes the most sense for you. #4. Gut check what's the lowest you could sell for without hating yourself. Good luck.
  5. sugarbird

    Retirement Planning

    As far as planning, I've long been a fan of "contingency planning," after witnessing/participating in a couple failed IT projects that depended upon best case scenarios playing out. Yes, positive thinking is powerful, but IMHO it's far from the whole story. Best to think about possible best case/worst case, and expect reality to fall somewhere in between. If best case actually pans out, well, bonus! There are a couple variables that are difficult to accurately predict - health (it's like a casino, if you keep playing at some point the house wins). Inflation (those of us who were adults in the late 70's and lived through moderate inflation probably "get it" a little better) can gut your financial plans. Another thing to consider is how well you know yourself, and how risk adverse are you in your bones? The reality of cruising might not match up with the dream, and unwinding can be difficult and expensive. Your stated requirement of 80% of income needed in retirement does seem high... but if once retired/cruising you expect to enjoy fine wine with dinner, frequently eat at fancy restaurants, have pros do all your boat maintenance, etc., that might be the case. Sorry, rambling a bit... certainly some folks have found a plan that works for them, and I guess that's the key, to find what works for you. Good luck!
  6. Hard to choose just one... Tobago Cays here
  7. sugarbird

    Generator in a marina all night?

    My impression is that what I think of as common courtesy is becoming much less practiced across the board, while cluelessness, rudeness, obnoxious and dysfunctional behaviour is growing, embraced and even celebrated. Perhaps a sign of the times, I dunno. So the choices are to try and "let it go" and not let it get to you, or engage - and hope you don't get into a major pissing contest, punched, stabbed or shot. In this particular case I'd be very tempted to knock on the hull and explain that their generator is loud, pumping fumes into my sleeping cabin, and ask them to shut it down until sunrise anyway. If that failed it would be very tempting to escalate. Tossing a broken bolt or cotter pin on deck is an old favorite, but as it's a charterboat that probably wouldn't have much impact. If they're departing the following day it might be fun to help them undock, with a wave, smile and "Good f*cking riddance asshole!" shout out to the skipper? If you're both staying longer I'd go to the marina office, complain, and ask to move to a different slip. Some charterers seem willfully oblivious to anything but their own selfish interests.
  8. sugarbird

    The Zombie Fleet

    There are so many trashed boats sitting around in the Caribbean since Irma and Maria it would make you cry. This old girl has been sitting in somebody's front yard for about 20 years.
  9. sugarbird

    Swan 42

    I get that, and in fact a pretty big chunk of my own "free time" goes into boat R&M, and I take satisfaction from most of it. An awful lot of the major DIY "restorations" I've seen (and there are a shit-ton of hurricane damaged boats being worked on in the islands) are undertaken with less than a full grasp of the time and money commitment necessary, by folks who have at best mediocre skills and scant financial resources. Also, DIY repaired boats may be uninsurable and virtually unsaleable. There seems to be this smoked up idea floating around that "I can buy this damaged boat and for a few thousand bucks, I can fix it up in a few months, sail it around for a year, then sell it and make a tidy profit." Which is possible, but low probability.
  10. sugarbird

    Swan 42

    "If" you value your time at about $.50/hour, and are prepared to dedicate every available minute for the next few years to the rehab. And you'll still need a pretty good stash of cash to purchase all the various bits and pieces needed to put her in any kind of decent shape for safe use. Madness, or brilliant foresight and master of perseverance? See below... "The difference between courage and stupidity is measured by success and survival." Evan Currie
  11. sugarbird

    Do Some Boats Just Suck In Reverse?

    My answer to the OP's question "Are some boats just poor in reverse?" is short, sweet and similar to other replies - Yup. With trial, error, and a fair amount of practice, you can usually figure out how to get the crankiest of the lot to sort of get where you need to go in reverse (using techniques above), but you get a good cross current running and/or a stiff breeze abeam, and it can quickly turn into a train wreak. Always fun when crew and bystanders are calling out "tips."
  12. sugarbird

    Inflatable Leak

    For some reason this is what popped to mind when I read the thread title...
  13. sugarbird

    Caliber 40 LRC with previous lightning strike

    Many (most?) used boats have undisclosed, sometimes significant problems, that may take months or years to discover and resolve, so in some ways knowing about the strike could be seen as a bonus. If you really like the design, and the boat in question, it may be worth doing the necessary, extensive detective work to determine what exactly was done. It's a 24 year old boat that has had a bunch of stuff repaired and replaced - sometimes, repairs & upgrades are better than new - I once had a an ex-race boat that, every time something broke, the original owner had the offending bit redesigned, and/or beefed up. I'd want to talk to the people who did the work. Skilled, reputable craftsmen, able to step you through damage and repair details, or cheap hack, who doesn't return calls, and nervously glosses over the repair process? If all this checks out, an in depth survey would be appropriate, but every survey I've ever had done has missed things.
  14. sugarbird

    Winding Down - an end in sight

    Sounds like a decent plan, best of luck! Accepting the nature of changing and evolving reality, and making necessary "course corrections" can be challenging, especially when you've been doing something you've always wanted to do, has been working out pretty well, and you're fairly competent at. If I'd have invested all the money I've dumped into boats and cruising over the past fifty years I'd be a rich man, but a much poorer person in terms of life experiences.
  15. sugarbird

    Keep off the Rocks!

    Early into my relationship with keelboats I was taught to NEVER 100% trust any single aid to navigation. A few groundings later it started to sink in. GPS driven chartplotters have taken a lot of the fear out of piloting and navigating, which is good news/bad news. It's hard NOT to trust the pretty glowing chart, and the magic triangle of our boat dancing along the chart, with SOG, ETA, projected course, waypoints, Lat/Long, etc. right there. I'm going to continue use the hell out of the technology, but you have to think "We're probably pretty close to where the chartplotter says," not "That's where we are." I think it's a little like defensive driving on a motorcycle at speed - you simply can't wait and try to react to bad shit that happens... you have to be scanning the road ahead continually and thinking "What might go wrong here?"