A missionary friend of mine in Belem, Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon needs a boat to travel up and down the Amazon. Great news, they were donated a 1982 Mainship 34 trawler! Bad news, it's in northern Ohio, USA. Question 1, time is no concern, but how long would it take an experienced captain to travel the eastern islands of the Caribbean down to T&T from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale? Question 2, could this boat even make that trip? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
People cross oceans in canoes but I would not recommend going to Belem in a 34 ft MS. It will be a great boat from Belem up the Amazon but as RTF suggest, ship it there. Probably cheaper than paying a crew who would spend an awful lot of time waiting on weather. IMO
You never really learn to swear until you become a boat owner!
People have made saltier voyages in lesser boats, but those tend to be exceptional cases. The MS 34 wasn't built for trip such as you propose. Since it is lying in northern Ohio, presumably on Lake Erie, it is probably not equipped nor has it likely been maintained with an eye to going offshore. Any prudent seaman planning this passage, even in a robust vessel, would invest serious time and money getting it ready. The donor of the vessel probably has his/her heart in the right place, but it sounds like the offer was "here it is, now come and get it."
I second RTF, dimer2, and HopCar. If the mission in Belem is determined to have this thirty-three y.o. Mainship, have someone deliver it to an east coast U.S. port on its own bottom, then deck ship it via slow cargo - probably in incremental legs, like Jacksonville to Puerto Rico, etc. But better yet, sell it and use the proceeds to acquire a local riverboat.
Used motorboats are not allowed to be imported in Brazil. They can come on their own hull for a period of time that I would say cannot exceed 6 months, (I guess)
Of course that there's no rule without exception and I really recommend your friend to touch base with the nearest Brazilian embassy/consulate for accurate information.
Yet, I would say that a boat like the Mainship, it is far from being appropriate for the task. The local wooden boats are much better fit for purpose and with local engines they last forever. The Amazon river is populated with boatyards in their river banks to fix these boats with minimum wages. The Mainship? Will have no experts nor the engines will have spares. By the way, you cannot neither import engine spares
Knowing all this, what would I do? I would sell the Trader for the best offer in USA and I would bring the money to Brazil and would buy a local boat to go up and down the river and into de forest.
On this same topic, I am still looking for my dream job operating this fine vessel:
It seems a different land in Manaus. And a different job.
On your wish to proselytize, Good Luck.
Regarding the trip. Mucho Espensivo.
There is a reason someone 'donated' this boat. It is in tough shape. At this stage of it's life it is more suited to being a 'grandkids diving platform' than an ocean voyager. (not that they ever were suitable for ocean voyaging!).
Follow "Portuguese" advice. Sell it for whatever you can get. Use the money to buy something where you are looking to minister.