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#1 Ishmael

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:24 AM

or more...

Give me some help here.
I don't think our C&C 35 is the perfect boat for extended cruising, although it is great fun for blasting around the islands and protected waters here. A little lively for long-term liveaboard and not a lot of storage space.
So selling the 35 is probably the first step, rent out the house, whatever.

Buy a boat here in BC, sail up to Alaska and down to Panama and through the canal...getting used to the boat and the lifestyle...
Buy a boat in Florida and sail down to the islands...limited time for learning the boat but half the price for someone else's dream gone sideways.
Buy a boat in Honduras and hope for the best...cheap boat, who knows what you are getting into but you're in the midst of it right off the bat and not a lot of investment...

Horror stories, helpful advisories, whatever. I know I'm on crack, so flame on.

#2 Soņadora

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:13 AM

well, there are some stories to consider:

John and Kristina Carpenter sailed a 27' Nor'Sea from San Diego, through the canal and up to Nova Scotia...with his MIL and two teenage daughters aboard

Read somewhere...maybe CW way back...about a guy who bought a Dana 24 and hauled it to gulf of Mexico in TX or AL or someplace. Sailed there for a bit. Put it on the trailer. Drove to where ever (I suck at southern geography) at the tip of Sea of Cortez, then sailed around there quite a bit.

Met a couple in Gig Harbor who owned a boat called 'Kite'. It was a Baba 40 Pilothouse. Way they did it was sell up, drove down to Florida then drove up and down looking at boats until they found one. Lived out of suitcases for a couple months with 2 young kids in tow.

If my wife wasn't so smart, we would have sold everything years ago and bought a 40'er of some sort from wherever (teh interwebs is great for tracking shit like that down). Then we'd either sail from point of sale or get it trucked somewhere. Probably east coast.

If you can sell the boat, keep the house, wrangle up the funds for something in the 40' range then your only real issue is time.

and remember this rule: there's no such thing as a cheap boat! ;)

BTW, Victoria is beautiful. Scared the shit out of us greenhorns getting there and back, but loved the city.

#3 Moonduster

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:49 AM

The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.

Good Luck

#4 Paps

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:44 AM

The Ishmiesters Caribbean vacation, I love it!!

Me, I'd start in the warm weather and stay there as long as possible. So Florida.

Seriously, apart from the guilt aspect, picking up someone elses dream for 50c on the dollar or better is a good place to start. Nothing sharpens a sellers pencil more than an out of the way foreign location.

#5 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:21 AM

Because of North American geography, the Mid Atlantic is not much farther from the Carribean than Florida. Florida through the Bahamas to the West Indies is commonly referred to as the "Thorny Path" as its upwind all the way. You do have the opportunity to gunkhole the Bahamas that way.

I'd look to buy late summer/fall, store/prep it over the winter around the Chesapeake (easy to fly in/out of Washington or Baltimore). Commission it in the spring and work your way up to New England as the weather warms up. Back to the Chesapeake in the fall amd maybe do the Carribean 1500 to Tortola.

#6 savoir

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 11:38 AM

Select your class of boat before you select the starting point.

For long term cruising I recommend something in the 42 - 47 ft bracket.

#7 Roleur

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:03 PM

I would do it a bit differently. Simply find the best boat (best value?) anywhere in the US or Canada. Then truck it to TX or FL or MD. My guessimate is that the prices on a particular model of boat will vary $50k in this market. If you find the right boat at the right price you can easily justify trucking the boat if necessary to the desired starting point for a fraction of the premium you might pay to find a boat located in a particular place.

Having just bought a boat 6 months ago, it is just amazing what boats are really selling for these days (lower than asking price).

If you get lucky you find a boat near Victoria. Get to know the boat in the Salish Sea, take it around Vancouver Island, and then truck it to FL or wherever on the East Coast. Also speaking from experience, it is no fun owning a boat that is far away.

#8 Gatekeeper

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:19 PM

Start in the Great lakes...fresh water boats that are only half as old as the appear due to the 6 month dry out they get every year.

If a 20 year old salt water boat is 20 years old, I would guess the same boat from the Great lakes is only 7-8 years old (by comparison)...and you can go anywhere in the world from the lakes.

#9 curm

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:19 PM

When you start looking at boats from South Carolina down, remember that those used boats have been sitting in the sun for 365 days a year and rarely get hauled. Northern boats are, as a rule, in better condition. My suggestion would be to look for a good boat in Canada, the Great Lakes or New England. How you get it to the Carribean is a matter of personal preferences and finances.

#10 oldestoldersailor

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:23 PM

We lived on Vancouver Island for a few years in the 80s and wanted to cruise the Carib. also. We sold our house and boat on the island, went to Florida and bought a boat in Ft. Lauderdale, there are literally thousands for sale at any one time, cruised the Bahamas for a couple of years, then the Thorny Path to the Caribbean. You will find so many interesting places to stop it may take you a few years to reach the Windward and Leeward Islands. To name a few, Bahamas Out Islands, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic (our favorite, especially the Baha de Samana,) Pourto Rico on the east end and the islands of Culebra and Vieques, The Virgins are great sailing but getting very busy and expensive. Favorite anchorage was in the outer harbor at St. Barts, young guy used to show up in a dinghy each morning with fresh croissantes from the bakery! They are addictive! We did this for about 15 yrs. by sailing all winter, finding a good spot to store boat and returning to Canada to work, then getting back to the boat in about Nov. each year. We kept a home in Canada as a home base and am glad we did. We are now retired, or just tired, and sailing a 4kn. sb. on the eastern end of Lake Ontario. We have many great memories of our cruising days and friends from all over the world that we still keep in touch with. You will have good times, great times, scary times, and very uncomfortable times, but will have a lifetime of memories! My advice, just go do it!

#11 Soņadora

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:19 PM

We lived on Vancouver Island for a few years in the 80s and wanted to cruise the Carib. also. We sold our house and boat on the island, went to Florida and bought a boat in Ft. Lauderdale, there are literally thousands for sale at any one time, cruised the Bahamas for a couple of years, then the Thorny Path to the Caribbean. You will find so many interesting places to stop it may take you a few years to reach the Windward and Leeward Islands. To name a few, Bahamas Out Islands, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic (our favorite, especially the Baha de Samana,) Pourto Rico on the east end and the islands of Culebra and Vieques, The Virgins are great sailing but getting very busy and expensive. Favorite anchorage was in the outer harbor at St. Barts, young guy used to show up in a dinghy each morning with fresh croissantes from the bakery! They are addictive! We did this for about 15 yrs. by sailing all winter, finding a good spot to store boat and returning to Canada to work, then getting back to the boat in about Nov. each year. We kept a home in Canada as a home base and am glad we did. We are now retired, or just tired, and sailing a 4kn. sb. on the eastern end of Lake Ontario. We have many great memories of our cruising days and friends from all over the world that we still keep in touch with. You will have good times, great times, scary times, and very uncomfortable times, but will have a lifetime of memories! My advice, just go do it!



great story!

What boat did you do this in?

#12 Ishmael

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:32 PM

Select your class of boat before you select the starting point.

For long term cruising I recommend something in the 42 - 47 ft bracket.


I'm looking for a Nordic 44...there's a Norseman 447 listed nearby, but I didn't like the look of the boat near as well. http://www.yachtworl...A/United-States. It can't decide between having a triple-spreader or a double-spreader rig, depending on which pic you look at.

A friend is also talking about selling his Fast Passage 39, which would be a good sea boat...too many options, and like Moon said, that beat from Panama would be a bitch. It's also 4700 nm straight shot from here to Panama, so that would take quite a bit of time. I'm tempted...

#13 Roleur

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:30 PM

If you are into Perry-designed bluewater boats around the 40' mark how about this?

http://www.yachtworl...A/United-States

A Fairweather Mariner 39. My favorite Perry boat that mortals can afford.

#14 Schnick

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:48 PM

Boats in BC are WAY too expensive. I have been looking hard at this same plan for a few years. I can get a nicer boat than my current Catalina 36 for less money if I buy on the East Coast. I've been thinking Florida or even Texas/Carolina area. I think the guy who suggested something up in New England was on to something, but I want to finish my cruise by going UP the coast to Newfoundland so it makes more sense to me to pick a boat that is already down south. The trip down from BC to California sounds unpleasant and the trip from Panama to anywhere nice in the Caribbean sounds crappy too. Why do all that suffering just to lose money on your boat?

#15 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:04 PM

Start in the Great lakes...fresh water boats that are only half as old as the appear due to the 6 month dry out they get every year.

If a 20 year old salt water boat is 20 years old, I would guess the same boat from the Great lakes is only 7-8 years old (by comparison)...and you can go anywhere in the world from the lakes.


Alternatively, try this. Is your C&C a keeper for after the sabbatical? then keep it or loan it to a CAer in return for moor age, TLC, etc.

Go to Tortola and buy a tired charter boat with most of what you want. Maybe an ex moorings boat with its minor refit completed Sail it for a year around the islands. Sell it for 10K less than you bought it for. You won't have the delivery to deal with so you can skip the expensive electronics and safety gear you need for the delivery. It will have "enough" for cruising the islands.

If you want to do the Bahamas Thorny Path (great if you are not in a hurry to get to the WI), then buy in Ft Lauderdale with the same objective.

Yeah, tropical boats are tired. If you only want to own this boat for a year, it really doesn't matter.

#16 Tom Ray

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:30 PM


Start in the Great lakes...fresh water boats that are only half as old as the appear due to the 6 month dry out they get every year.

If a 20 year old salt water boat is 20 years old, I would guess the same boat from the Great lakes is only 7-8 years old (by comparison)...and you can go anywhere in the world from the lakes.


Alternatively, try this. Is your C&C a keeper for after the sabbatical? then keep it or loan it to a CAer in return for moor age, TLC, etc.

Go to Tortola and buy a tired charter boat with most of what you want. Maybe an ex moorings boat with its minor refit completed Sail it for a year around the islands. Sell it for 10K less than you bought it for. You won't have the delivery to deal with so you can skip the expensive electronics and safety gear you need for the delivery. It will have "enough" for cruising the islands.

If you want to do the Bahamas Thorny Path (great if you are not in a hurry to get to the WI), then buy in Ft Lauderdale with the same objective.

Yeah, tropical boats are tired. If you only want to own this boat for a year, it really doesn't matter.


Another advantage of this approach is that you get right into the very definition of cruising: fixing your boat in a beautiful and exotic location! ;)

#17 savoir

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:21 AM


Select your class of boat before you select the starting point.

For long term cruising I recommend something in the 42 - 47 ft bracket.


I'm looking for a Nordic 44...there's a Norseman 447 listed nearby, but I didn't like the look of the boat near as well. http://www.yachtworl...A/United-States. It can't decide between having a triple-spreader or a double-spreader rig, depending on which pic you look at.

A friend is also talking about selling his Fast Passage 39, which would be a good sea boat...too many options, and like Moon said, that beat from Panama would be a bitch. It's also 4700 nm straight shot from here to Panama, so that would take quite a bit of time. I'm tempted...


Nordic 44s are pretty thin on the ground. At least they go to windward.

#18 Ishmael

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:00 AM



Select your class of boat before you select the starting point.

For long term cruising I recommend something in the 42 - 47 ft bracket.


I'm looking for a Nordic 44...there's a Norseman 447 listed nearby, but I didn't like the look of the boat near as well. http://www.yachtworl...A/United-States. It can't decide between having a triple-spreader or a double-spreader rig, depending on which pic you look at.

A friend is also talking about selling his Fast Passage 39, which would be a good sea boat...too many options, and like Moon said, that beat from Panama would be a bitch. It's also 4700 nm straight shot from here to Panama, so that would take quite a bit of time. I'm tempted...


Nordic 44s are pretty thin on the ground. At least they go to windward.


Would you like to expand on the "thin on the ground" comment? I doubt Bob's feelings will be hurt.

Lots of valuable comments here so far, and some that hadn't occurred to me. Buying an old charter boat for a year...that's an interesting concept. Sailing down from Sault Ste Marie, Portland, Charleston, Ft. Lauderdale, all have their merits. I'd like to think we're moving into the next phase of boat ownership, which involves moving from the C&C to something else. I'd also like to cast off the mortal coils which bind us to the earth and sell the house, but SWMBO will probably not be up for that just yet.

#19 savoir

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:33 AM

thin on the ground = not many to pick from = they were not big sellers

#20 oldestoldersailor

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:37 PM

We did the original trip from Florida to the Carib. in an Alden designed "Fuji 35" built in Japan. Two and a half kn. sb for sure and hated to go to weather, but a great seaboat and more than adequate for the trip along the Thorny Path, by the way read the book/guide but don't put too much stock in it. We owned that boat for 10 years and one summer got two foot itis and put her for sale, thinking we should have something bigger. We had her looking very good and she sold almost immediately for our asking price. Woe is me, stupid, you just sold your winter home! Searched aroung Tortola/St. Marten for a couple of weeks and found an older Beneteau 43/Idylle 13.5, last of the Frers Beneteau's, and in private bareboat charter by an el-cheapo owner. Boat looked bad but was sailable and great liveaboard, so bought her for a song, sailed her and fixed her for 5 more years, and actually made some money on a boat. I had reservations about that Benneteau when we first bought her but was actually very impressed with her as a seaboat, and she sailed very well. IB's. idea of buying an ex charter boat is actually a very good one. There are dozens in the Carib. for sale, especially in the Virgins/St. Marten, and if you are handy at all is a very good way to cruise for not a lot of money. If you cannot do a lot of your own work though, forget it as the yards and local boat people, although there are many good ones, are very expensive. Ishmael, we met a lot of people who had sold up everything, including the homestead, and found themselves behind the curve when they returned home as far as real estate prices and costs of re-establishing a home, so were kind of stuck financially. Hate to say it but I agree with your wife on this one. Rent it out. One more bit of advice and I will shut my pie-hole. Do it now! Saw lots of people waiting until they were older, then one of them gets sick or has a heart attack, game over and stuck.

#21 Y-rag

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:06 AM

if you are thinking about 1 season then my $0.02 is;
Avoid the thorny path, IB is right, Have a look between the bvi and Grenada or Trinidad for a boat. There are some that could be a good deal.
If you are patient and watch the weather ( Chris Parker of the Caribbean weather center is a must) you will never have to sail upwind.
Most of your time will be at anchor, pick a boat for comfort, there are lots of beneteaus, and such, perfectly adequate.
Honduras and panama could hold some deals if you want to cruise the western areas, but it is a long upwind slog to the other side.
Most importantly GO ! You don't need the best of everything, Go
You won't regret it

#22 dogfish

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:43 AM

The buy in the Caribbean seems like the best idea...

for example


#23 Ishmael

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 05:35 PM

Lots of great input. I found a nice clean Kelly/Peterson 44 in Guatemala. Of course, that's totally downwind from where we want to be...:blink:

#24 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:19 PM

Lots of great input. I found a nice clean Kelly/Peterson 44 in Guatemala. Of course, that's totally downwind from where we want to be...:blink:


Pretty good cruising in Central America. West Indies are crowded and expensive. B)

#25 savoir

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:14 AM

If Central America is the go then here's one that is already there. The best bargains can often be found in the world's far flung cruising crossroads. If a boat is for sale in Panama there is usually a reason. This one is the deep keel version meaning it will sail better than most.

http://www.yachtworl...g_id=75559&url=

#26 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:51 AM

If Central America is the go then here's one that is already there. The best bargains can often be found in the world's far flung cruising crossroads. If a boat is for sale in Panama there is usually a reason. This one is the deep keel version meaning it will sail better than most.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/boatMergedDetails.jsp?boat_id=2375395&ybw=&units=Feet&currency=USD&access=Public&listing_id=75559&url=


I own a 1990 c-42 and that price is pretty high for a pretty stock boat. Plenty of quality for the the Intended cruising ground ( at least one has circumnavigated. Several have transpacific runs under their keels). As with any 20 YO boat, it is all about the current condition.

I'd look at the much more reasonably priced Freedom 38 before this at that price.

Or, if you will pay that price, PM me :)

#27 savoir

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:27 AM

The asking price doesn't mean a whole lot these days.

#28 Ishmael

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:59 AM

If Central America is the go then here's one that is already there. The best bargains can often be found in the world's far flung cruising crossroads. If a boat is for sale in Panama there is usually a reason. This one is the deep keel version meaning it will sail better than most.

http://www.yachtworl...g_id=75559&url=


But...but...it's a Catalina 42! You'd no more want to cruise the Caribbean in a C42 than sail around the Americas in a Vega 27. Totally unsuited. :lol:

I'm taken with the looks of Rio Dulce on Google Earth with photos. It's pretty rustic, in a lot of ways. I could like that a lot. I could pretend I'm Gatekeeper on Lake Nopissing.

Except for the heat and the mosquitoes.

http://www.yachtworl...Dulce/Guatemala

#29 savoir

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:17 AM

Well I guess that means a Beneteau is out of the question . . . . . . . reaching for the delete button now.

#30 GnarlyItWas

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:59 AM

The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.

Good Luck



+1, shit trip

#31 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:51 AM


The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.

Good Luck



+1, shit trip


I thnk the only decent way to do it is work your way along the Coast (with a fair bit of motoring) to T&T and then pick your time to head NE. Straight beat to the Windwards? NFW. If you buy in CA, plan on cruising there. Hire Jon to deliver the boat to the Windwards and met him there.

#32 Solen

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:44 PM

Ish I don't think the boat model, price and location should be a deciding factor on this. It is ONLY about what you want to experience.

When bringing Solen home I found (as expected) that my favorite is calling on new ports - the coming and going and everything that goes with it in the way of Anticipation, Planning, Execution and Celebration.

Having margaritas in the tropics is the least interesting part to me and it does NOT require a boat, nor does fixing on one in any way improve that experience.

I may be different but to me small industrial towns, fishing villages, commercial harbors, secluded anchorages and endless beaches all have stories to tell, stories I would not want to miss. This is what we saw wen we sailed Solen the lenght of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and I can't wait to do it again.

My own ideal itinerary would be to go out the Great Lakes, which could easily take a couple summers, sail to the Viking settlement at the top of Newfoundland and then eat my way in seafood to Newport - ship the boat to Dublin (or get a crew) .... stir up the the Irish Sea - cross Scotland via Loch Ness (mast up) - drink some single Malt - then Norway, Denmark, Sweden - Then down the French Canals to the Mediterranean.

As you can see, to me it is the voyage that drove my choice of boat. I ended up with a 37 foot center boarder that sails like a charm in anything - its a bit short on storage but it can take me all those places if I do my prep.

#33 TQA

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:21 AM

If you only have one year then BUY A BOAT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND ST MAARTEN [ inclusive]

Something like this


43' Beneteau Oceanis
  • Boat Name: "PAPA YO"
  • Year: 1987
  • Current Price: US$ 69,000
  • Located in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Engine/Fuel Type: Single diesel
  • YW# 39304-1647728


#34 Ishmael

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:21 AM

If you only have one year then BUY A BOAT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND ST MAARTEN [ inclusive]

Something like this


43' Beneteau Oceanis

  • Boat Name: "PAPA YO"
  • Year: 1987
  • Current Price: US$ 69,000
  • Located in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Engine/Fuel Type: Single diesel
  • YW# 39304-1647728


I'm pretty sure I'm not worthy of a boat with blue shag carpet on the companionway stairs, not to mention the talking bass on the bulkhead.

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#35 Boomberries

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:42 AM

Some good feedback and various options to ponder. I am stoked for you and Mrs. Ish, to be planning for some warm weather sailing!! B)

ps - Ish, you will be with us in spirit this weekend. : )

#36 Tom Ray

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:49 AM


If you only have one year then BUY A BOAT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND ST MAARTEN [ inclusive]

Something like this


43' Beneteau Oceanis

  • Boat Name: "PAPA YO"
  • Year: 1987
  • Current Price: US$ 69,000
  • Located in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Engine/Fuel Type: Single diesel
  • YW# 39304-1647728


I'm pretty sure I'm not worthy of a boat with blue shag carpet on the companionway stairs, not to mention the talking bass on the bulkhead.

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Is anyone, really? Reminds me of a story I heard in which a wealthy oil cowboy from TX or OK decided to buy a boat and sail to the islands, having never sailed before. He showed up at the broker's office in cowboy boots and was told, "You can't wear those on boats!"

"The hell I can't!" And he went and got boat soles put on his boots.

OK, so you can. But it's still wrong. :P

#37 Paps

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:21 PM


If Central America is the go then here's one that is already there. The best bargains can often be found in the world's far flung cruising crossroads. If a boat is for sale in Panama there is usually a reason. This one is the deep keel version meaning it will sail better than most.

http://www.yachtworl...g_id=75559&url=


But...but...it's a Catalina 42! You'd no more want to cruise the Caribbean in a C42 than sail around the Americas in a Vega 27. Totally unsuited. :lol:

I'm taken with the looks of Rio Dulce on Google Earth with photos. It's pretty rustic, in a lot of ways. I could like that a lot. I could pretend I'm Gatekeeper on Lake Nopissing.

Except for the heat and the mosquitoes.

http://www.yachtworl...Dulce/Guatemala


Oh yes please, I have always hankered for a P44 and that one looks well sorted.

#38 blurocketsmate

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:51 PM

The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.


+1 for most of this. You can easily find a comparable boat on the East Coast, maybe a better deal in Florida.

Would you be spending a lot on your own boat anyway, or is she ready to go?

Consider truckng to the Great Lakes, which might be cheaper than buying a whole new boat and getting her ready. A friend did the Great Circle with a Grand Banks 36, and trucked the other way, from the Great Lakes (Duluth?) to Bellingham, for like $8000. That was several years ago -- you can probably figure twice that now.



#39 Ishmael

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:13 AM


The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.


+1 for most of this. You can easily find a comparable boat on the East Coast, maybe a better deal in Florida.

Would you be spending a lot on your own boat anyway, or is she ready to go?

Consider truckng to the Great Lakes, which might be cheaper than buying a whole new boat and getting her ready. A friend did the Great Circle with a Grand Banks 36, and trucked the other way, from the Great Lakes (Duluth?) to Bellingham, for like $8000. That was several years ago -- you can probably figure twice that now.



Our boat right now is close to being ready for light cruising, apart from redoing the standing rigging. However, with 60 gallons of water and 22 gallons of fuel, I'd be schlepping a lot of jerry cans around on deck in the Carib. It's an 80's racer-cruiser, so there are very stylish fixed ports and not a lot of airflow. I can get good enough dollar out of it here that I can put a very good chunk down towards another boat on the east coast, and avoid $20-30K in shipping costs there and back. If we indeed end up back here we could always get another boat. There's always another boat. :)
One of the things about the west coast is that there is spectacular cruising within a narrow band, and then it's a serious slog to get anywhere else. I really like the idea of starting at the Great Lakes, and going down the east coast.

#40 Paps

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:28 AM



The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.


+1 for most of this. You can easily find a comparable boat on the East Coast, maybe a better deal in Florida.

Would you be spending a lot on your own boat anyway, or is she ready to go?

Consider truckng to the Great Lakes, which might be cheaper than buying a whole new boat and getting her ready. A friend did the Great Circle with a Grand Banks 36, and trucked the other way, from the Great Lakes (Duluth?) to Bellingham, for like $8000. That was several years ago -- you can probably figure twice that now.



Our boat right now is close to being ready for light cruising, apart from redoing the standing rigging. However, with 60 gallons of water and 22 gallons of fuel, I'd be schlepping a lot of jerry cans around on deck in the Carib. It's an 80's racer-cruiser, so there are very stylish fixed ports and not a lot of airflow. I can get good enough dollar out of it here that I can put a very good chunk down towards another boat on the east coast, and avoid $20-30K in shipping costs there and back. If we indeed end up back here we could always get another boat. There's always another boat. :)
One of the things about the west coast is that there is spectacular cruising within a narrow band, and then it's a serious slog to get anywhere else. I really like the idea of starting at the Great Lakes, and going down the east coast.


Or kicking off from Rio Dulce!!

#41 Ishmael

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:03 PM

I'm spending a lot of time looking at boats on the internet, and I have found some stellar listings...

Like a Fast Passage 39 for only $69K in Nanny Cay.

Posted Image

Just needs a bit of TLC.

Posted Image

Wow.
http://www.yachtworl...ng_id=1469&url=

#42 redviking

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:23 PM

Just fly in, rent a car and keep looking. Do it now! Cruisers are not on a schedule, nor start off with any preference. Buy the boat that is practical and is the easiest and safest solution. Used solid cruisers that don't resemble bleach bottles are available in Floreeda... Some of these old fucks will never leave the docks anyway. Walk any dock, in just about any marina and spot a boat you like with old guy who tells you he last sailed her 4 years ago, and make him an offer. Buy new used sails from Bacon, go over the engine, and get a rigger to double check your work and cast off.

You'll get respect in the anchorage a plastic condo will never get.

#43 hard aground

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:21 PM



The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.


+1 for most of this. You can easily find a comparable boat on the East Coast, maybe a better deal in Florida.

Would you be spending a lot on your own boat anyway, or is she ready to go?

Consider truckng to the Great Lakes, which might be cheaper than buying a whole new boat and getting her ready. A friend did the Great Circle with a Grand Banks 36, and trucked the other way, from the Great Lakes (Duluth?) to Bellingham, for like $8000. That was several years ago -- you can probably figure twice that now.



Our boat right now is close to being ready for light cruising, apart from redoing the standing rigging. However, with 60 gallons of water and 22 gallons of fuel, I'd be schlepping a lot of jerry cans around on deck in the Carib. It's an 80's racer-cruiser, so there are very stylish fixed ports and not a lot of airflow. I can get good enough dollar out of it here that I can put a very good chunk down towards another boat on the east coast, and avoid $20-30K in shipping costs there and back. If we indeed end up back here we could always get another boat. There's always another boat. :)
One of the things about the west coast is that there is spectacular cruising within a narrow band, and then it's a serious slog to get anywhere else. I really like the idea of starting at the Great Lakes, and going down the east coast.

How immediate are your plans Ish? If they are in the relatively very near future the biggest issue with the Great Lakes idea is that hurricane Irene kicked the shit out of the Erie Barge Canal last season. Don't think they have it fixed up yet which would mean you would have to make a trip out the St Lawrence. Still a nice sail, but definately adds a bit of time needed to your plan.

#44 sailglobal

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:55 PM

Lots of great input. I found a nice clean Kelly/Peterson 44 in Guatemala. Of course, that's totally downwind from where we want to be...:blink:


Ish, the Norseman 44 aft cockpit is a great boat if you can get past the fat transom (sorry BP). Goes upwind well and roomy. A bit rough behind the ears but acceptable. The peterson 44 is a good boat, but the 46 is worth the extra S's by far. You're getting good advice, "JUST DO IT" is the best you'll get. NB, the Carribean is good, however South Pacific is way, way better and cheaper and less crowded. Good luck with your plans.

#45 Ishmael

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:00 PM




The 1000 miles from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal out to the Windward Islands is the 2nd nastiest beat in the world, 2nd only to the one from Cabo San Lucas up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. For that reason alone, I'd strongly recommend purchasing on the East Coast - ideally way up in New England, and in the spring ... enjoy New England and then slide down the coast in the fall.


+1 for most of this. You can easily find a comparable boat on the East Coast, maybe a better deal in Florida.

Would you be spending a lot on your own boat anyway, or is she ready to go?

Consider truckng to the Great Lakes, which might be cheaper than buying a whole new boat and getting her ready. A friend did the Great Circle with a Grand Banks 36, and trucked the other way, from the Great Lakes (Duluth?) to Bellingham, for like $8000. That was several years ago -- you can probably figure twice that now.



Our boat right now is close to being ready for light cruising, apart from redoing the standing rigging. However, with 60 gallons of water and 22 gallons of fuel, I'd be schlepping a lot of jerry cans around on deck in the Carib. It's an 80's racer-cruiser, so there are very stylish fixed ports and not a lot of airflow. I can get good enough dollar out of it here that I can put a very good chunk down towards another boat on the east coast, and avoid $20-30K in shipping costs there and back. If we indeed end up back here we could always get another boat. There's always another boat. :)
One of the things about the west coast is that there is spectacular cruising within a narrow band, and then it's a serious slog to get anywhere else. I really like the idea of starting at the Great Lakes, and going down the east coast.

How immediate are your plans Ish? If they are in the relatively very near future the biggest issue with the Great Lakes idea is that hurricane Irene kicked the shit out of the Erie Barge Canal last season. Don't think they have it fixed up yet which would mean you would have to make a trip out the St Lawrence. Still a nice sail, but definately adds a bit of time needed to your plan.



Mrs. Ish is eligible for early retirement in July of next year, and she's still dithering, so there's lots of time to make last-minute decisions. I can walk away from my job any time, aggravating piece of shit that it is. :ph34r:

I haven't set anything in stone, our world is too much in flux right now to plan anything for real. Going down the St. Lawrence sounds like a great ride, but we'd be paying a premium for a freshwater boat that we would immediately cover in salt. Starting out in Nova Scotia or somewhere else on the northeast coast might work better for timing, and I'd like to cruise the east coast if possible. We'll see when we get closer, and we'll have a much better idea of what's available and how the various timings would work out.

#46 Streetwise

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:23 PM

If considering east coast freshwater boats, don't forget Lake Champlain as a source. You could get some cruising in up here and then head to the ocean north thru the St. Lawrence or even south thru the Hudson. Here is our local dealer's stock:

http://www.yachtworl...ly&&type=(Sail)

And there are a few other brokerages on the VT and NY sides of the lake.

I have no stake in the broker listing, but he is a great sailor (ever hear of Golden Dazy?) and our family bought thru them.

Good luck!

jason

#47 Paps

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:21 PM

I'm spending a lot of time looking at boats on the internet, and I have found some stellar listings...

Like a Fast Passage 39 for only $69K in Nanny Cay.

Posted Image

Just needs a bit of TLC.

Posted Image

Wow.
http://www.yachtworl...ng_id=1469&url=


Those cushions look almost new!

#48 TQA

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:54 AM

The OP specified ONE YEAR in the Caribbean.

Trust me you do not want to start from Florida or ANYWHERE else on the US mainland and you really really don't want to start from the Rio Dulce..

Buy in or near Trinidad and you get a beam reach up to St Maarten and then a downwind sleigh ride back to Florida. There is a reason that doing it in the OTHER direction is called the thorny path.

BTW as well as the blue carpet and Billy Bass that Bene comes with 200 galls water tankage. Luxury on a cruising boat - that will do two people for a month with daily showers.

#49 Ishmael

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:24 AM

The OP specified ONE YEAR in the Caribbean.

Trust me you do not want to start from Florida or ANYWHERE else on the US mainland and you really really don't want to start from the Rio Dulce..

Buy in or near Trinidad and you get a beam reach up to St Maarten and then a downwind sleigh ride back to Florida. There is a reason that doing it in the OTHER direction is called the thorny path.

BTW as well as the blue carpet and Billy Bass that Bene comes with 200 galls water tankage. Luxury on a cruising boat - that will do two people for a month with daily showers.


You know, I actually trust you on this. Thanks, I can rip carpet out (done it many times) and replace Billy Bass with something more fitting. Maybe a salmon. I could program it to speak quips from Steven Leacock.



I keep losing sight of the timeline...I'm up for forever, SWMBO is nervous at a year. I can only push so hard.

#50 TQA

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:28 PM


The OP specified ONE YEAR in the Caribbean.

Trust me you do not want to start from Florida or ANYWHERE else on the US mainland and you really really don't want to start from the Rio Dulce..

Buy in or near Trinidad and you get a beam reach up to St Maarten and then a downwind sleigh ride back to Florida. There is a reason that doing it in the OTHER direction is called the thorny path.

BTW as well as the blue carpet and Billy Bass that Bene comes with 200 galls water tankage. Luxury on a cruising boat - that will do two people for a month with daily showers.


You know, I actually trust you on this. Thanks, I can rip carpet out (done it many times) and replace Billy Bass with something more fitting. Maybe a salmon. I could program it to speak quips from Steven Leacock.



I keep losing sight of the timeline...I'm up for forever, SWMBO is nervous at a year. I can only push so hard.


I am on my forever boat and liveaboard out here in the Eastern Caribbean and you know it is pretty darn good out here.




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