Originally Posted by JeanneP
Who is taking care of the boat in Belize? It's not exactly the ideal place to leave a boat unattended. Have you seen the boat at all these past 18 months?
I am worried that those people who said they wanted to buy it might have stripped the boat of everything of value by now. Your first task is to be sure it's secure, and that it has the gear necessary to make a transatlantic crossing. Getting the boat ready, after all this time sitting idle, will probably take you several months at the very least, and if there has been a procession of "salvors" on the boat, it might cost many thousands of dollars to get it ready.
If you are not particularly knowledgeable, you might consider hiring a professional captain, and go with him to the boat to survey it before committing to taking it anywhere. It will be quite warm down there, so you might want to take a nice winter vacation in the coming months to visit the boat. You should also line up officials and whomever might provide the legal clout you need to get the boat out of there.
I would hope that I'm wrong, but worry that I'm not.
Ha!! Welcome to the world of boat ownership! Apart from the costs of getting her ready to bring back over to UK, you will probably have VAT to pay when you arrive!
Having said that: Tell us a bit more about the boat: What make and size cat? What year? Was it in charter service down there (eg with Moorings or TMM) or has it always been prvate? Did your father have it from new? What state are the maintenance records/log in?
Getting out of Belize is a bit of a flog to start with - you are against the prevailing winds and initially a slightly unhelpful current. Depending on the state the boat is in, you may have to get it to somewhere a bit more "civilised" than Belize - which is not exactly noted for its boat maintenance skills or supply of necessary spare parts.
I can actually help with all of this as I'm a bit closer than you are and know the area and the boating scene there. So, for example, I could go and inspect the boat for you, report on it and if she is moveable, get her to, well - anywhere you like really, but I would suggest the Virgin Islands (where I live) to outfit her in slower time for the trip.]
However you do it, I have to say it aint gonna be cheap!
best of luck, Tony