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Old 08-01-2008, 02:49 AM   #1
rascalarg
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I am in the process of buying a sailboat (if I state yacht later, then I do mean cruising sailboat), which I plan to take down to South America. I have already explored one on this forum, shipping a yacht here, as deck cargo, and I received some really useful information. Now I am going to ask advice on the other.

I would like the boat to be here or in the vicinity during Dec '08, Jan / Feb '09, primarily as I am aware that this is the better time to sail south, before you are battling against the bitter winds from the Antarctica.

But what is the purpose of having a boat if you don't sail it? Of course there is the time, the weather, the hazards that we have to be aware of in some seas, and the costs, without even considering that I might not find the boat I like in Florida.

But I strike lucky and do, and not planning to sail solo, I am looking for a delivery crew.

Here are my related questions, from your experience of a journey like this:
  • Where do I start looking for a qualified, experienced skipper and crew?
  • How long should the passage be, from Florida to Uruguay?
  • How long does it take to get a boat ready to sail, assuming it is in reasonable cruising condition?
  • Do most insurance companies cover this type of transportation as a norm or do I have to ask for something more specific?
  • How much can one assume as the daily costs for food, supplies etc? Fuel, I appreciate, will depend on how much the engine is used?
  • Information about the minimum requirements for fitting out a yacht with safety features as required for insurance purposes, in addition to the safety of the crew.
  • Please feel free to suggest anything else that I may have (not written) or maybe have thought about.
I am currently reading all types of literature and hunting for information on websites, however a push in the right direction would be welcomed.

If it would at all be possible to happen so quickly, then I am on my way to Florida shopping, but please be aware I will not buy just to achieve this desire to have a boat in South America by the dates stated above.

I seek information with NO expectations if the purchase will happen this year or in years to come. I am just covering all my options before making any final decision.

Thanks

rascalarg

p.s. honesty welcome
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:13 AM   #2
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Rascal,

Here are a few honest questions before we even start to try and deal with the hypotheticals :-

# How much do you intend spending to buy, fit out and provision the boat ?

# What type of sailing boat and what size ?

# How much off-shore experience do you have
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rascalarg View Post
I would like the boat to be here or in the vicinity during Dec '08, Jan / Feb '09, primarily as I am aware that this is the better time to sail south, before you are battling against the bitter winds from the Antarctica.

.......I am looking for a delivery crew.
  • Where do I start looking for a qualified, experienced skipper and crew?
  • How long should the passage be, from Florida to Uruguay?
  • How long does it take to get a boat ready to sail, assuming it is in reasonable cruising condition?
  • Do most insurance companies cover this type of transportation as a norm or do I have to ask for something more specific?
  • How much can one assume as the daily costs for food, supplies etc? Fuel, I appreciate, will depend on how much the engine is used?
  • Information about the minimum requirements for fitting out a yacht with safety features as required for insurance purposes, in addition to the safety of the crew.
  • Please feel free to suggest anything else that I may have (not written) or maybe have thought about.
I am currently reading all types of literature and hunting for information on websites, however a push in the right direction would be welcomed.
I'll go backwards a bit. If you have no sailing experience, you will not find insurance. If you can document blue water sailing experience, you might be able to find insurance. You need a boat to even look for insurance - no broker is going to be interested in talking to you without lots of information about the boat, a survey, the crew, their skills, etc. Your other questions indicate that you don't have the experience, so more info. further down.

In that case, you will have to hire a delivery crew. There are plenty of experienced delivery skippers around. A friend of mine has a delivery service, if you get that far I can refer you to him. It's not cheap. The good news is he has many Spanish-speaking crew to choose from.

How long from Florida to Uruguay? Too long. It is a brutal trip, and will take several months. Possibly, sail from Florida across the Atlantic to the Cape Verde Islands, perhaps, and then sail back to S. America.

Outfitting the boat. Communication equipment, such as HF radio, VHF radio. EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). Life jackets. Life raft. Backup GPS, in addition to the boat's navigating GPS.

Food is food, whether you're in a house or on a boat, so the costs are dependent upon such things as: canned food? Frozen food? Frozen meals? (does boat have a freezer, or refrigerator, for that matter). No way to really estimate until you know when/where you're going, where you're provisioning, etc. If it were me, I'd provision for a four-month passage, buy all the food in Florida before heading out. Cheapest. I'd guess around $400 per person for full provisioning, but that is a really wild guess.

Fuel, you're only going to get one or two chances to fill the tanks, and on a sailboat they're usually pretty small. The further the passages, the less you want to use the engines.

This is so general that I worry about how helpful it will be to you.

Find a boat that you want to buy, have it surveyed for seaworthiness and value. Until you have a boat, little planning can be done. You really don't want to cross the Atlantic during hurricane season, so leaving is probably November/December. That's a cold time to be sailing the north Atlantic, but with the right crew knowledgeable about deliveries to S. America, easily doable.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
Rascal,

Here are a few honest questions before we even start to try and deal with the hypotheticals :-

# How much do you intend spending to buy, fit out and provision the boat ?

# What type of sailing boat and what size ?

# How much off-shore experience do you have
Hi MMNETSEA,

I have delayed responding to your message as I am learning that this is not really a feasible option in the timescale mentioned and there is a lot that I need to consider and plan and budget for before buying and setting sail, and I would not wish to put anyone else, the boat nor myself in danger from poor planning and tight budget constraints.

I do appreciate the feedback you have given me, on both matters and I am still persuing the shipping option or possibly buying locally, although it appears to have more downs than ups, but I have local contacts here to help me through that hurdle if need be...

It was an very ambitious idea, within these time restraints, but I am slowing down from my initial enthusiasm to take a step back and pursue with more time, and careful consideration...

Thank you very much..
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Old 08-02-2008, 01:08 AM   #5
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Hi Jeanne,

You said, so general, however it is to the point....

Many thanks for this lengthy feedback, full of useful information and an initial check list of things to think about...

I am discovering that finding a boat should be my first priority... and this will answer the many other questions I have been trying to solve from my desk....

As I mentioned above this has all been hugely helpful to prevent an over enthusiastic idea going absolutely pear shaped, and now I am happy to step back, and look hard for what I want and plan well before I head to sea...

Many many thanks...
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:15 PM   #6
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Thank you for your courteous replies to MMNETSEA's and my responses. Please feel free to ask questions, and we would like to know how you are doing with your ideas.

When Peter and I first gave thought to cruising our progress seemed extremely slow, but each step in the process seemed to come a bit quicker until one day, voila, we had the boat we wanted and were rushing headlong out to sea. We've never looked back since, and there are no regrets.

I wish you the same success and satisfaction.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
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Rascal,

Please don't rush your decision on a boat due to "any" timetable. We have only found ours in the past year and have been working to ready it for cruising. There are cruise-ready boats available, but whether one of those is for you remains to be seen. Choosing the "right" boat for you is far more important than meeting a deadline. The kind folks here on this site have been ever so helpful to us in our search for the ability to make knowledgable purchase decisions, and I am sure that they can help you also. If you have not done so already I heartily suggest that you go sailing with someone in your area to ensure that it is right for you; This includes any family members that you are including in your dream. Our boat is chosen, bought and paid for, but commisioning it is yet costly and time-consuming.

I cannot imagine trying to make many of the decisions that we have had to make without a bit of sailing experience to see just what is was that we really wanted. I think that we have made a good choice for us, but I still learn of things I did not know about and wonder if they would have influenced my decisions. Ask a lot of questions, but please remember that the answers often hinge upon your tastes, training, iteneraries, and other personal choices. Often the wonderful people here can give you the required insight, but try to include specifics to help them to help you.

Enjoy the search! You may sometimes have to remind yourself that you are making dreams come true, and the timeframe isn't always up to us.

Fair winds,

David
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