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Old 06-11-2010, 05:41 AM   #1
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I want to sail in the Carribean for about 2 months each winter. Bareboat one week charters are not enough. I am assuming the best way to do this would be to own a cruiser and keep it on the hard somewhere in the carribean for the rest of the year. I am assuming that I can buy and older, but in good condition, fairly well equiped cruiser 35' to 38' for $30,000 US. I am guessing that south florida would be the best market area. I am guessing costs while crusing would be $1200 to $2000 per month, and $200 ? per month the rest of the year. Reality check ?
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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The $200 per month storage fees sound a bit low for the Caribbean, but as you look around I think there are places where that is true. The problem with storage in the Carib is that petty and sometimes major theft is a problem for those unattended boats. You'd want to look for a yard that locked its gates at night, and perhaps had a night guard patrolling. You should talk with some of the yards in the Carib to find out what their storage charges are.

You might want to do your boat search in the Caribbean. St. Martin and St. Thomas are both broken dreams destinations, with Puerto Rico another possibility. You'd have the advantage that the boat was already where you wanted to be. There are bargains, but you will need to look very carefully down there, and be very careful about legally buying the boat. Since there hasn't been a bad hurricane down there for quite some time, you might be successful in avoiding looking at previously sunk boats, but do look carefully anyway.

Good luck. The Caribbean is a great place to be if you like sailing. It's great down there.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
broken dreams destinations
I am interested in more information of what this means and how that assists in boat purchases.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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Broken dreams destinations. The oceans are dotted with them. In the Atlantic, it's usually the Caribbean. In the Pacific it's New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia. Mexico.

People who have spent perhaps years getting their boat ready to head out on their dream of sailing around the world, only to discover several months into the journey that one of the partners in the venture doesn't like it very much after all. Or health problems got in the way. Or just age caught up with them. And they had gone downwind and bringing the boat back to their starting point was a lot of work, so there it sat, waiting for a buyer.

Our second year spending the hurricane season in Venezuela we met a min-flotilla of three US sailboats single-handing their way back to the Virgin Islands. All three men had been left by their wives before they had even reached the Panama Canal, and so there they were, heading back up the chain of islands to either find somebody to crew with them, or to sell the boat.

One west coast US fellow made it to Malaysia before giving it up, and then he had a tough time finding a buyer; the boat languished for more than a year without even a single visitor.

Not so sad, though. Eventually the boats find a new owner better than the last, and finally get to sail off into the sunset.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:11 AM   #5
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Very interesting. Looks like Broken Dreams Destinations would be ideal places to go boat shopping then. I do see lots of listings in those places for a variety of coastal and blue water ships.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:48 PM   #6
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Hi, just heard from my friend in St. Martin, who is a delivery skipper and also does repair work for visiting yachts.

He just checked prices in St. Martin/Sint Maarten, and says that it averages about $10 a foot a month for storage, plus the price for haulout and back in, pressure wash. Some yards dig a hole to bring the boat onto the ground rather than on jackstands (definitely safer in a hurricane). The hole in some yards is $300, strapping is compulsory and extra in some. For 39 ft the cheapest yards were $400 and 380 euros a month storage.

He thinks that Trinidad and Grenada are similar in price, with Grenada being the most popular; there are also some marinas in Grenada which are supposed to be cheap.

Hope this helps.

J
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:39 AM   #7
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All three men had been left by their wives before they had even reached the Panama... Great !

JeanneP, you mentioned your friend works on visiting yachts, I'm a mechanic by trade and can fix just about anything, can a guy make a living working on other peoples boats out there, thats kind of my idea, or is that just a pipe dream ? Could I go to Hawaii as a live aboard and get work in the marinas ? Just wondering...
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:55 PM   #8
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Joe,

I don't know anything about Hawaii, so I can't answer whether there's any work there for the itinerant US cruiser. Keep in mind, however, that to work legally in a country not your own you must have a work permit, a work visa, etc. The reality is that cruisers often work under the radar, such as refrigeration experts working on cruisers' problem refrigeration, diesel mechanics, canvas work, sail repair, marine carpentry. Not all of them are that good at what they do, but most of them get by.

We've met many US cruisers who have stopped in their cruising to work legally - in American Samoa, Guam, and Hawaii. Usually they make more money that way than the under the radar work.

Specialized skills can make finding legal (and therefore better-paying) work easier, such as the German jet engine mechanic, who was able to find work everywhere he went. Since specialists like that are in short supply, he was able to find a job and get all the paperwork done before arriving in that country, and then he and his family settled down for a year or more to replenish their cruising kitty before moving on. We've also met oil rig specialists who were in great demand for short-term work, and a few others like that.

With a willingness to work, it seems to us that most fellows found ways to keep going while working along the way.

The Caribbean, back when it was the new Wild West and building up its tourism, looked the other way when laws bumped up against the reality of qualified people to develop the infrastructure. For example, the Jones Act was ignored in the US Virgin Islands. If a live body wanted to take out paying tourists for a daysail on their boat, there wasn't anybody to complain about the nationality of boat or skipper. When a mechanic was needed, who cared where (s)he was from if they got the job done? As the islands developed, though, a lot of Americans left the mainland to find work in the USVIs, and rules and regulations started favoring its own citizens.

Anguilla, with a population of only 1,800, became the upscale tourist destination of the Windward Islands, and employed several thousand people in the expensive hotels and restaurants that cropped up. Those workers came from the other islands, of course, and again, a lot of the niceties of the law were overlooked in the effort to provide tourist services.

French St. Martin was another example of this. 30 years ago the French considered a Caribbean job to be akin to a posting in the French Foreign Legion or exile to Devil's Island. Many of the businesses on the French side were owned by Americans back then. Nowadays, the place is overrun with French businesses and all those Frenchmen are making sure that non-French have proper legal papers to be working there. - with the exception of the Haitians who do the cleaning and dirty work. On the Dutch side, there are again so many cruisers finding work that it still seems like a wide open place. But occasionally the local officials would make a sweep of the island arresting illegal aliens working in various businesses. From what we could see this was a mere hiccup in the business as usual atmosphere, but jail there wasn't something one wanted to experience.

What I don't usually hear is those cruisers talking publicly about what work they find.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:23 PM   #9
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Thanks JeanneP, I new I could get some good insite from you, you seem to have alot good experiance out there on the high seas so thanks again...
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