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Mellanah
11-06-2015, 10:47 PM
Hi!

I have a story set loosely in the Alabama Gulf Coast / Florida panhandle region. My characters need to get down to the northern end of Cuba quickly and by boat. I've been trying to research the boat they'd need and the route they'd take, but the information is just overwhelming. I'm looking for someone who might know about boating in this region. I'm such a visual person, and I'm struggling to "see" how they'd go about this.

What would be the best boat for 5 people to take around the Caribbean as quickly as possible? Money isn't a huge issue so long as we're not talking mega-luxury. I'm thinking an average, easy-to-find boat that won't stand out.
Where/how often would they stop for fuel?
Will they be stopped on the way out of the country?

I'd thought to have them use an Ocean Yacht Odyssey, but I'm not sure it's very fast. And all the sailing routes I've found are leaving from Miami. Anyone able to help?

King Neptune
11-06-2015, 11:06 PM
How fast do you want them to get there?
http://www.yachtworld.com/boat-content/2013/09/cruisers-we-love-10-top-picks/
The Azimut probably would work nicely. It has a thousand mile range at long power.

If you are looking for a sailboat, then this might work: http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/54172

They could run from the Pensacola area to Tampa, top off fuel, etc. and there would be about two hundred miles to Cuba. The Coast Guard isn't likely to stop them as they leave U.S. waters, but Cuban customs/coast guard might stop them when they entered Cuban waters, and it might be a problem to re-enter U.S. territorial waters.

The ocean 57 odyssey has a cruising speed of 24.2 knots from the twin 800-hp 3406E Caterpillars. There are faster boats, but you shouldn't complain too much. I didn't look up the price, but the test boat was in Galveston Bay, so such things are available in that area.
http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boat-tests/ocean-57-odyssey

brswain
11-07-2015, 12:19 AM
Hi!

I have a story set loosely in the Alabama Gulf Coast / Florida panhandle region. My characters need to get down to the northern end of Cuba quickly and by boat. I've been trying to research the boat they'd need and the route they'd take, but the information is just overwhelming. I'm looking for someone who might know about boating in this region. I'm such a visual person, and I'm struggling to "see" how they'd go about this.

What would be the best boat for 5 people to take around the Caribbean as quickly as possible? Money isn't a huge issue so long as we're not talking mega-luxury. I'm thinking an average, easy-to-find boat that won't stand out.
Where/how often would they stop for fuel?
Will they be stopped on the way out of the country?

I'd thought to have them use an Ocean Yacht Odyssey, but I'm not sure it's very fast. And all the sailing routes I've found are leaving from Miami. Anyone able to help?

When you say "sail" do you mean actually sail as on a sailboat, or are you looking for a power cruiser?

What do you mean by "mega luxury" also?

That Ocean Yacht Odyssey 65 is a big, fairly expensive boat (just under $1M used). How experienced are the five people? It weighs 90,000 lbs and could be a bear to handle if you don't know what you are doing.


From a review of the boat:

Cruising along at 26 knots, turning 2070 rpm, the decibel level in the saloon was just over 70, hardly enough reason to turn up the football game. At cruising speed, the MTUs consumed 58 gallons per hour.

Pensacola to Havana is about 500 nautical miles. So it would take you, at a cruising speed of 26 knots, about 20 hours. Realistically, given waves, wind, etc. if conditions were less than flat it might take you longer. Also note, that trip would consume roughly 1,100 gallons of diesel. At about $2.25/gallon it will cost them about $2,475 one way.

And, this boat only has tankage for 1,100 gallons of fuel. It can barely make the trip in one stop, if you hit bad weather you will likely run out of fuel. So if you want to do it in a boat like this you are going to have to run closer to the coast, and take on fuel in someplace like Tampa/St. Pete.

I can't tell you much more about powerboats; I'm a sailor. To me the Ocean Odyssey looks like a horrible pig-beast of a boat using that kind of fuel - I've used 1,100 gallons in about the last year and a half of sailing from Trinidad to Fiji by way of New Zealand. But the mechanics of navigation, fuel consumption and

If you want "quick" and "nonstop" under power you're moving into mega-yacht range. A lot of smaller power boats that move fast (in excess of 10 knots at "planing" or "semi-planing/displacement" speeds) don't have the tankage to accommodate long off shore trips. 4-500 miles is enough for most weekend jaunts.

There are "Trawlers" that could do it. These are not-fast power boats that run at "Displacement" speeds. 8-10 knots or so, but they are WAY better at fuel and have a lot more tankage for their size than the go-fasts. The boat that Jinx Schwartz uses in her Hetta Coffey books is one of these. They go slower, but further.

------------------------------
Sailboats are a completely different issue. Fuel doesn't limit you so much. There are some reasonably fast boats out there, some of the catamarans are lighter and faster than the monohulls and may suit your story. (not ALL catamarans are fast...)



By way of comparison, if I were to do that trip on my own boat (53' monohull sail boat) the numbers would roughly be as follows:

With GOOD wind: about 6 days, running the generator a few hours every day or every other day. Use maybe 25-30 gallons of diesel on the generator. I motor at 7 knots, and can sail at 8+ with good wind.

With NO wind: About 7 days. I'd be on my last gasp of fuel there too; my motoring range is around 1,200 miles. I'd wait for weather where wind was expected unless there was some pressing deadline.

brswain
11-07-2015, 12:21 AM
How fast do you want them to get there?
http://www.yachtworld.com/boat-content/2013/09/cruisers-we-love-10-top-picks/
The Azimut probably would work nicely. It has a thousand mile range at long power.

If you are looking for a sailboat, then this might work: http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/54172

They could run from the Pensacola area to Tampa, top off fuel, etc. and there would be about two hundred miles to Cuba. The Coast Guard isn't likely to stop them as they leave U.S. waters, but Cuban customs/coast guard might stop them when they entered Cuban waters, and it might be a problem to re-enter U.S. territorial waters.

The ocean 57 odyssey has a cruising speed of 24.2 knots from the twin 800-hp 3406E Caterpillars. There are faster boats, but you shouldn't complain too much. I didn't look up the price, but the test boat was in Galveston Bay, so such things are available in that area.
http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boat-tests/ocean-57-odyssey


That review lists a range of 431 miles; it would take multiple stops to get to Cuba from the Panhandle. Not that this is a bad thing, from a narrative perspective.

King Neptune
11-07-2015, 12:50 AM
That review lists a range of 431 miles; it would take multiple stops to get to Cuba from the Panhandle. Not that this is a bad thing, from a narrative perspective.
If I were doing that trip, then I would sail, and to Hell with time. If I really had to get to Havana quickly, then I would find a airplane that could get me there in a few hours.

BTW, the distance from Pensacola to Tampa is 289.69 nautical miles, and the distance from Tampa to Havana is 270.1 Nautical Miles, so it would just take the one stop in Tampa. Getting back might be the problem, but someone's who's going to throw that kind of money at a boat and fuel can find a way. Actually, Key West is only 90 miles from Cuba, so they should be able to get that far and refuel in Key West.

Mellanah
11-07-2015, 02:45 AM
You know, I hadn't considered a sailboat. How quickly could a sailboat make the trip? Three of my characters are experienced with the sea and the other two are clueless. I have to admit, I hadn't considered how much fuel that would truly consume. This is a paranormal, and the three experienced characters have sea-based magic (which is why they won't fly in a plane). That much fuel and the pollution caused might be a big problem for them.

This is why I decided I needed to ask. I visit the region to see family once or twice a year, but I've only been on a boat once for a trip along the coast. Maybe I need to do research on sailboats. Thank you SO MUCH for all of this input. I do not want to write something that would make an experienced boater throw my book across the room. ;)

Oh, and when I said "mega-luxury," I was thinking of the really huge boats that require a small crew and are almost like miniature cruise ships. They are on a mission to find someone, and they want to slip around the area as quickly and subtly as possible. I'm just not sure where the sweet spot is between "boat that can cross the Gulf" and "boat that won't draw too much attention." Aren't the types of boats capable of crossing all pretty big?

Thanks for helping this clueless writer out!

King Neptune
11-07-2015, 03:28 AM
A sailboat making 6 knots 24 hours a day could make the two legs in 3.9 days; you might add a bit for the stop in Tampa, if you keep that.

There are scads of boats of various sizes, shapes, types, etc. all around Florida. Something along the lines of a fifty foot boat either sail or motor wouldn't draw attention. Sailboats with an auxiliary motor are very common in the Caribbean, but there is plenty of variation. With the sort of characters you mentioned I think a fifty footer would work.

brswain
11-07-2015, 04:22 AM
If I were doing that trip, then I would sail, and to Hell with time. If I really had to get to Havana quickly, then I would find a airplane that could get me there in a few hours.

BTW, the distance from Pensacola to Tampa is 289.69 nautical miles, and the distance from Tampa to Havana is 270.1 Nautical Miles, so it would just take the one stop in Tampa. Getting back might be the problem, but someone's who's going to throw that kind of money at a boat and fuel can find a way. Actually, Key West is only 90 miles from Cuba, so they should be able to get that far and refuel in Key West.

I screwed up the estimates for my boat...mixed the 1,100 gallons of fuel up with the 500 mile distance in my head when I did the calculations. Easy mistake for me, I'm making the ~1,200 mile trip to New Zealand from Fiji in a couple of days, so that distance calculation is on my mind!

For us that would be a 2.5 - 3 day trip, straight out. Not six.

There's got to be fuel in Cuba, though it may take some finagling to get that much to the waterfront if you need to keep a low profil.

brswain
11-07-2015, 04:26 AM
You know, I hadn't considered a sailboat. How quickly could a sailboat make the trip? Three of my characters are experienced with the sea and the other two are clueless. I have to admit, I hadn't considered how much fuel that would truly consume. This is a paranormal, and the three experienced characters have sea-based magic (which is why they won't fly in a plane). That much fuel and the pollution caused might be a big problem for them.

This is why I decided I needed to ask. I visit the region to see family once or twice a year, but I've only been on a boat once for a trip along the coast. Maybe I need to do research on sailboats. Thank you SO MUCH for all of this input. I do not want to write something that would make an experienced boater throw my book across the room. ;)

Oh, and when I said "mega-luxury," I was thinking of the really huge boats that require a small crew and are almost like miniature cruise ships. They are on a mission to find someone, and they want to slip around the area as quickly and subtly as possible. I'm just not sure where the sweet spot is between "boat that can cross the Gulf" and "boat that won't draw too much attention." Aren't the types of boats capable of crossing all pretty big?

Thanks for helping this clueless writer out!

Most sailboats...3-5 days. 50+ footers should be 4 days or less. With sea based magic that would give me 18 knots on the beam and a two knot following current? Hell, with that I could do it in two!

We sail our 53 foot sailboat with myself, my wife and our fifteen year-old daughter. Though to be fair, until July we had our eighteen year-old son along too and he's a great sailor - this trip to NZ will be our first long (overnight) sail without him. But a crew of five can easily handle the trip, though at least one of them should know how to handle the boat and have decent skills. Better if a couple do.


Edited to Add:

Thinking about it more, I think a sea based magical person could have a much larger impact on a sailboat than a power boat. Short of giving favorable currents, there isn't much you can do to make it go fast except maybe change the weather to keep the seas calm and flat.

You can play games with the wind to help a sailboat a lot, unless that counts as air/weather magic in your universe and is separate from sea based magic.

King Neptune
11-07-2015, 04:52 AM
I screwed up the estimates for my boat...mixed the 1,100 gallons of fuel up with the 500 mile distance in my head when I did the calculations. Easy mistake for me, I'm making the ~1,200 mile trip to New Zealand from Fiji in a couple of days, so that distance calculation is on my mind!

For us that would be a 2.5 - 3 day trip, straight out. Not six.

There's got to be fuel in Cuba, though it may take some finagling to get that much to the waterfront if you need to keep a low profil.

There's fuel in Cuba, and there's fuel on the west coast of Florida.

Lowballing speed and putting in some slack I figured under four days. There are strange currents in some places, but that shouldn't be much of a problem; in some places the current would be going the right way, and in other places they are not. A few on a boat should allow the OPer to develop the plot well enough.

Mellanah
11-07-2015, 07:58 AM
Actually, they are sea-based, but they can control a variety of elements. One of them is a confident air-worker and another is learning to work with the water. This might actually work better with a sailboat. How fast could he augment a sailboat to go before it becomes unbelievable?

King Neptune
11-07-2015, 06:55 PM
Actually, they are sea-based, but they can control a variety of elements. One of them is a confident air-worker and another is learning to work with the water. This might actually work better with a sailboat. How fast could he augment a sailboat to go before it becomes unbelievable?

Sailboats are limited to the speed of the wind, which is rather variable. That region is prone to hurricanes that can have rather high winds; you might play with that. Otherwise, there is this:
"In 2007, America's Cup yachts had an average top speed of around 10 knots, or 11.5 mph. This year, the average is closer to 40 knots — about 46 mph. Designers built the hulls for the 2013 competition out of a custom carbon fiber that makes the yachts stronger while still keeping them light. Sep 3, 2013"
http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/3/4672686/billionaire-death-race

Some racing yachts sail at speeds that are amazing, but they really do go that fast. It is still limited by the wind speed. If you want them to have an ordinary sailboat that goes fast, then a top speed of 10 knots would be damned good.

brswain
11-08-2015, 05:23 AM
Sailboats are limited to the speed of the wind, which is rather variable. That region is prone to hurricanes that can have rather high winds; you might play with that. Otherwise, there is this:
"In 2007, America's Cup yachts had an average top speed of around 10 knots, or 11.5 mph. This year, the average is closer to 40 knots — about 46 mph. Designers built the hulls for the 2013 competition out of a custom carbon fiber that makes the yachts stronger while still keeping them light. Sep 3, 2013"
http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/3/4672686/billionaire-death-race

Some racing yachts sail at speeds that are amazing, but they really do go that fast. It is still limited by the wind speed. If you want them to have an ordinary sailboat that goes fast, then a top speed of 10 knots would be damned good.

Sailing faster than the wind is definitely a specialized thing, you would stand out like a sore thumb in anything that could do that!

brswain
11-08-2015, 05:39 AM
Actually, they are sea-based, but they can control a variety of elements. One of them is a confident air-worker and another is learning to work with the water. This might actually work better with a sailboat. How fast could he augment a sailboat to go before it becomes unbelievable?

There are two ranges of speeds in the water - Displacement, and Planing. High speed powerboats get themselves up out of their bow wake and "Plane" across the water. Sailboats, in general, tend to push through the water, not over the top of it - hence they are Displacement hulls.

The maximum theoretical speed of a displacement hull is limited by it's waterline lenght. Essentially, to try and keep it simple, if you are Displacing water the fastest you can move through the water is the speed of a wave with a wavelength equal to your waterline. It has to do with the fact that you create a wave, and you can't get out of the trough because you're too heavy. My son the aspiring yacht designer can explain it better, but that's enough info for what you need anyway.

There is a formula for this - 1.34 X SQRT (LWL) (1.34 times the square root of the waterline).

What this means is that barring any breakout conditions, e.g. surfing off a wave where you get out of your own bow wave, it is quite difficult to exceed that maximum hull speed for a sail boat.

So there is a "Maximum" speed you can realistically do, and every boat was a sweet spot for speed and comfort. My boat doesn't go a lot faster with 30 knots of wind tan it does with 18-20, we just have to make the sails smaller to keep it under control anyway.

If you had the ability to keep a displacement hulled sailboat "perpetually surfing" you could get some mad speed out of it, in theory. Kind of like riding on the back of a water elemental... But you can get some crazy speeds with some types of boats, lighter boats, with the right sails in optimal conditions.

So TOO MUCH wind is slower, what you want is optimal wind for the boat in direction and strength.

Broad reaching to Cuba on a J/160 with a spinnaker up in 20-25 knots of breeze would be a crazy fast ride. If your mages could keep the wind steady and the water flat you could make serious speed.

You could, in fiction, easily sustain speeds of 12-18 knots in those conditions without giving a real sailor too much pause. It is fantasy, after all!

http://www.jboats.com/j160-sailing-reviews/47-j160/j160/170-j160-performance-sailing-experience


Broad reaching speed in 15-20 knots true wind is about 10.5-11 knots steady with speeds over 12 knots in puffs and on waves.

I've see the smaller cousins of this boat exceed those speeds in some conditions, breaking out of their bow wave and cracking into planing speeds that looked to be in excess of 18-20. That is some white knuckled sailing though!

jclarkdawe
11-08-2015, 06:07 AM
America Cup boats doing 40 knots are foiling. They're also catamarans, again producing better speed. A normal cruising catamaran, with the right conditions, are probably around 20 knots. Foiling cruising cats are coming onto the market, but are very new and don't have the best history for ocean cruising.

Advantage of a sailboat over a power boat in that area is it is less suspicious, although you're going in the better direction.

Bottom line there's a big range of possible boats, from a bathtub with a motor to boats that cost upwards of a million bucks and can exceed 60 mph. Figure out what your story needs and then ask us what boat will accomplish that.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Mellanah
11-08-2015, 07:06 PM
Broad reaching to Cuba on a J/160 with a spinnaker up in 20-25 knots of breeze would be a crazy fast ride. If your mages could keep the wind steady and the water flat you could make serious speed.

You could, in fiction, easily sustain speeds of 12-18 knots in those conditions without giving a real sailor too much pause. It is fantasy, after all!

http://www.jboats.com/j160-sailing-reviews/47-j160/j160/170-j160-performance-sailing-experience



I've see the smaller cousins of this boat exceed those speeds in some conditions, breaking out of their bow wave and cracking into planing speeds that looked to be in excess of 18-20. That is some white knuckled sailing though!

I think I can work with this speed. I've decided to have the heroes charter a flight down to Key West to cut down some of this trip. Then they can buy a boat there. It has the added bonus of freaking out my hero who has otherwise refused to fly. Bwahahaha. The trip to Cuba is much, much shorter from there. Then I can spend more time on the actual quest.

Mellanah
11-08-2015, 07:17 PM
Advantage of a sailboat over a power boat in that area is it is less suspicious, although you're going in the better direction.

Bottom line there's a big range of possible boats, from a bathtub with a motor to boats that cost upwards of a million bucks and can exceed 60 mph. Figure out what your story needs and then ask us what boat will accomplish that.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

I'd like a sailboat with places for 4-5 people to sleep that can go a decent speed. It needs to be something that wouldn't be impossible to find and buy on the fly. They'll be going from Key West to Cuba and maybe around other Caribbean islands if the quest takes them there. I'd like it to be as speedy as possible, which I can augment a little with magic.

As I've been researching, I'm seeing that a lot of sailboats now have computer controls? Are sailboats not just sails now? (I am such a noob.) If I can get the boat figured out, I think I'll need to watch YouTube videos or something on how to sail it.

King Neptune
11-08-2015, 07:53 PM
Sailing faster than the wind is definitely a specialized thing, you would stand out like a sore thumb in anything that could do that!

Hey, the OPer has special people with special skills. If one is writing fantasy, then one can have fantasies.

King Neptune
11-08-2015, 08:13 PM
I think I can work with this speed. I've decided to have the heroes charter a flight down to Key West to cut down some of this trip. Then they can buy a boat there. It has the added bonus of freaking out my hero who has otherwise refused to fly. Bwahahaha. The trip to Cuba is much, much shorter from there. Then I can spend more time on the actual quest.

That makes sense; although four days on a sailboat probably could work also. There are plenty of sailboats available that can make 10 knots, and the Florida Strait is 90 miles, so that's ten hours, or a little less. There is a strong West to East current, but that just means they'll have to aim West of where they're heading. Forty footers are generally considered minimum for ocean sailing, and most would have space for four or five people; fifty footers can work out better, but 30 footers are also common . Those aren't super expensive palaces on the water.
Look through these sites for a boat you like, or you could search for yacht brokers in Key West.
http://www.boattrader.com/browse/saltwater-fishing-boats/make/key-west
http://www.sailboatlistings.com/cgi-bin/saildata/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&city=Key%20West&view_records=1&sb=date&so=descend

brswain
11-09-2015, 11:33 PM
I'd like a sailboat with places for 4-5 people to sleep that can go a decent speed. It needs to be something that wouldn't be impossible to find and buy on the fly. They'll be going from Key West to Cuba and maybe around other Caribbean islands if the quest takes them there. I'd like it to be as speedy as possible, which I can augment a little with magic.

As I've been researching, I'm seeing that a lot of sailboats now have computer controls? Are sailboats not just sails now? (I am such a noob.) If I can get the boat figured out, I think I'll need to watch YouTube videos or something on how to sail it.

No on the computer controls. Except maybe the Maltese Falcon and a few mega yachts like that.

Your average sailboat still relies on sails, lines, and human control.

There ARE power assist controls, but they aren't computerized. Our boat for example has powered winches and hydraulic sail furling. A winch is a drum that you wrap lines around to give you mechanical advantage to get them in. In most boats you stick a handle in the top and crank them. Some larger boats (this isn't common on boats < 50 feet) you can get a winch connected to an electric motor, so you push a button and it cranks in.

Similarly, a "furling" sail wraps up like a window shade around a slotted tube sail attaches to. Smaller boats have manual ones, a drum at the bottom with line around it winds the sail in. A larger boat may have a mechanical or hydraulic system.

Electronics systems DO integrate, for example my computer has charting software that connects to the chartplotters on the boat. Those can talk to the autopilot. So I can, in theory, plot a course from point A to B to C to D, push a button, and the boat will follow the course pretty exactly. But I wouldn't call that "computer control" as it is pretty brain dead compass navigation, and you still need to stay on watch. It just means you can read a book instead of holding the wheel. And the automagic stuff doesn't always work, wind and current in the wrong combinations can really screw with it. It's just a jumped up autopilot and does nothing but keep the bow of the boat pointed in the the right compass heading to get to the next point, it does nothing to adjust for wind, trim sails, etc.

But boats in the size you're talking about aren't "computer controlled" as a rule.

brswain
11-09-2015, 11:38 PM
America Cup boats doing 40 knots are foiling. They're also catamarans, again producing better speed. A normal cruising catamaran, with the right conditions, are probably around 20 knots. Foiling cruising cats are coming onto the market, but are very new and don't have the best history for ocean cruising.

Advantage of a sailboat over a power boat in that area is it is less suspicious, although you're going in the better direction.

Bottom line there's a big range of possible boats, from a bathtub with a motor to boats that cost upwards of a million bucks and can exceed 60 mph. Figure out what your story needs and then ask us what boat will accomplish that.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

20 knots in a "normal" cruising catamaran isn't really available. Maybe on a Gunboat or one or two cats like that - but we're talking multimillion dollar specialty boats. Your typical cruising catamaran just isn't that fast on average. At least not the ones I've seen out here cruising with us. They are often faster reaching than a monohull, but not 2-3X the speed on a sustained average.

brswain
11-10-2015, 12:07 AM
I think I can work with this speed. I've decided to have the heroes charter a flight down to Key West to cut down some of this trip. Then they can buy a boat there. It has the added bonus of freaking out my hero who has otherwise refused to fly. Bwahahaha. The trip to Cuba is much, much shorter from there. Then I can spend more time on the actual quest.

One small comment - buying a boat has more in common with buying a house than buying a car. The J/160 I mentioned above still sports a price tag North of $500K. Even a lower priced, smaller 50 footer you'll run into a couple of hundred thousand pretty quickly.

The process generally involves:

1) Viewing the boat
2) Making an offer
3) Acceptable of offer (subject to financing and "Survey"; like a home inspection but way more detailed)
4) OPTIONAL: Financing
5) Survey and Sea Trial
6) Closing

I mention this because generally speaking, if you walk into a boat broker with $600K in cash and want to buy and close on a boat in a single day without a survey YOU WILL MAKE A HUGE IMPRESSION. You'll stand out, and the broker will be telling stories about you in every yachtie bar in the Keys for weeks. You might be able to buy a boat that size in a day if you started out first thing in the morning, but you've got contracts to sign and so forth as well as documents to file with authorities.

So...you need a lot of cash and some Jedi Mind Tricks if you want to buy a offshore capable boat on a day's notice without leaving a trail that could be followed easily. And hope there's no serious problems with the boat... (That's what the survey is for, but you can certainly suspend that reality for narrative!)

You could deal with some agency; meaning you have someone arrange the purchase of the boat ahead of time so they can come flying down the dock and jump on it.

Note - they could also possibly charter a boat, rather than purchase it. This would save a lot of headaches. It would also leave a paper trail, but not one that anyone would be talking about as one of the weirdest deals they've done in 30 years as a yacht broker.

King Neptune
11-10-2015, 12:38 AM
Another alternative would be to rent a sailboat for a week or two or a month. I don't know the process, but it is easier and less costly than buying one, especially buying a new sailboat.

Mellanah
11-10-2015, 04:03 AM
No on the computer controls. Except maybe the Maltese Falcon and a few mega yachts like that.

Your average sailboat still relies on sails, lines, and human control. .....



Ah, I see. I think I was confusing computer assistance / navigation for actual control. I just kept seeing control panels as I was looking at pictures of sailboats. I'll research this more in depth before I write the scene! I think I need to pick up a "Sailing for Dummies" book. :-D


One small comment - buying a boat has more in common with buying a house than buying a car. The J/160 I mentioned above still sports a price tag North of $500K. Even a lower priced, smaller 50 footer you'll run into a couple of hundred thousand pretty quickly.

The process generally involves:

1) Viewing the boat
2) Making an offer
3) Acceptable of offer (subject to financing and "Survey"; like a home inspection but way more detailed)
4) OPTIONAL: Financing
5) Survey and Sea Trial
6) Closing

...

This is exceedingly good information to know. I wasn't sure how casual buying a boat is, so I would have botched this. You have surely saved someone's book / Kindle from future throwing and breakage. :D It would have been a little easier before I decided to have them fly to Key West because one of their people owns a dock, but she would have either had one on hand to lend or had to search for someone to buy from.


Another alternative would be to rent a sailboat for a week or two or a month. I don't know the process, but it is easier and less costly than buying one, especially buying a new sailboat.

Yeah, it looks like next stop: researching charter/rental companies. At least I have narrowed this down a lot!

Thank you both SO MUCH! I was feeling very overwhelmed by all the research, and you've helped me a great deal. I have such a hard time picking out good information on Google.

King Neptune
11-10-2015, 04:46 AM
Yeah, it looks like next stop: researching charter/rental companies. At least I have narrowed this down a lot!

Thank you both SO MUCH! I was feeling very overwhelmed by all the research, and you've helped me a great deal. I have such a hard time picking out good information on Google.

Good luck finding enough information. Don't get bogged down in details, especially if this is just one part of a larger work.

A lot of the information in regard to buying boats is not online, because everyone involved expects to look at the boat and talk to the broker, same with rentals. Maybe even more so with rentals or charters, because the company handling it would usually expect to deal with past clients.

jclarkdawe
11-10-2015, 05:49 AM
What I'd do at this stage is go shopping. You want a sailboat capable of holding five people. I forget where you're starting from, but do a search for boat sales in that area. Find a sailboat that you think you like. Then come back and ask us about how it will work.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

brswain
11-10-2015, 11:16 PM
Good luck finding enough information. Don't get bogged down in details, especially if this is just one part of a larger work.

A lot of the information in regard to buying boats is not online, because everyone involved expects to look at the boat and talk to the broker, same with rentals. Maybe even more so with rentals or charters, because the company handling it would usually expect to deal with past clients.

I think a charter is the simpler solution. In truth, a charter company with an idle boat isn't going to bat an eye at a last minute charter request. They'll want to do a skill check on the charterer, but outside of that you could arrange that easily. The charter company probably wouldn't allow a trip to Cuba in their terms, but once you sail over the horizon...

I definitely wouldn't get bogged into the details - feasibility works. You don't need perfection since those of us that would notice any serious flaws are about .01% of the population.

Richard White
11-10-2015, 11:22 PM
I guess we should point out that this "adventure" is not taking place in the Caribbean, but in the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Straits, unless you're planning on sailing south and east of Cuba after your team picks up the person they're going after. *geography pedant*

King Neptune
11-10-2015, 11:35 PM
I think a charter is the simpler solution. In truth, a charter company with an idle boat isn't going to bat an eye at a last minute charter request. They'll want to do a skill check on the charterer, but outside of that you could arrange that easily. The charter company probably wouldn't allow a trip to Cuba in their terms, but once you sail over the horizon...

Yes, charter probably would be easier, and as you say a charter company wilould be very happy to have an idle boat produce income.


I definitely wouldn't get bogged into the details - feasibility works. You don't need perfection since those of us that would notice any serious flaws are about .01% of the population.

And there are enough variables, that even a mistake might be possible.

GeorgeK
11-11-2015, 04:58 AM
All that I can tell you is don't have a drug dealer allergic to smoke.

I will never go on another Caribbean cruise.