Am considering basing a boat in the Caribbean using it once or twice a year (6-10 weeks at a time). Which system is the best financially? If I am in a slip at a safe yacht club or similar which is safer from vandalism etc.? I assume that weather wise St. Lucia and south is better, is this true? Anyone with actual experience with this decision making? dwm

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thank you for the info. I am more than leaning towards hauling out everytime we leave. I met someone in St. Lucia last year( as we were leaving after a sail trip with Moorings) who puts his 38 footer on the hard at Rodney Bay every year. He plans 3 days before and after sailing for maintenance and cleanup everytime. Seems the way to go. dwm
The choices of leaving a boat long term in the water with nobody on it vs on the hard, much wiser to leave it on the hard. Of course if you could find somebody you could trust to look after the boat you could probably even get away with leaving it in a good anchorage but that means finding somebody and working something out with them.
That part of the decision making is becoming clear to me. Do you, or anyone you know, have a handle of the difference in costs of the two choices? dwm
Hi Dean,
We sailed in the Carrribean, each winter from Nov. to March, from 1989 to 2003. We tried both leaving the boat in the water, and putting it up in a shipyard and found the putting it up in the shipyard both easier and less expensive than in water storage. Neither method is cheap by any standards but the boatyard was certainly cheaper than in water. ie. $400 per month as compared to $500 or better in the BVI's, one of the more expensive places to keep your boat. We also found it "Politically expedient" to have a local Boat Manager when entering and exiting whatever country we had left the boat in. It was not very expensive to do so, buy your bottom paint from him and/or have him do some of the maintenance for you before you arrive, etc. Also for all the reasons mentioned above it is worth the extra peace of mind to have a local rep. on site to prepare for hurricanes and watch the boat. We survived 13 hurricanes in the Zone above 10 degrees north in a shipyard with nothing more damaging than a blown down flag halliard one year when we left the mast up. Some shipyards insist you remove the mast and others don't, but for peace of mind we usually took it down, that expense and the hauling and relaunching costs have also to be taken in to account. All that said, we enjoyed the Carib. immensely, even though it is getting kind of crowded, and after retiring from much longer distance cruising now we still have many local friends there and look back on our days of sailing there with a lot of good memories. Hope this helps a little and Good Luck.
Wow, just the expertise I was looking for when I posted this forum, from all the posters. I thank you all. This makes the work easier because I can focus on one issue more concretely, finding the proper shipyard vs comparing both situations throughout the process. Still a daunting task but easier. dwm


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