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Old 07-16-2017, 09:53 PM   #1
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I have a dream... and a plan

Hello,

I am new to the forum but I wanted to introduce myself and see if I can get some help... I'm 50% through my 3 year plan and am way ahead of schedule but like all plans I have hit a possible snag... I've travelled extensively in Central and South America and have fallen in love with Bocas del Toro, Panama. I was looking a getting a trawler and living aboard but after extensive research on the internet I've begun to realize that getting one to Bocas from Florida could be a difficult undertaking as I only want a small trawler... 30-35 ft as it may only be me as my current gf thinks I'm nuts and never thought the plan was serious. Can anyone give me some advice on the trip to Bocas from Fl? Is it doable safely in a small trawler? I really don't care how long it takes.. just that I make it in one piece. I'd consider buying one in Central/South America but I haven't been able to find any on the internet.

Thanks,

Kindacray
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:05 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:34 AM   #3
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Yes, Welcome!

That would be an interesting trip. The smaller the boat, the most a road trip would be advantageous. Suspect either would be doable.

Perhaps the passage makers here can comment on a sea trip.

Bocas del Toro was hot on my list for a while, be sure to give a report when you settle in there.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:18 AM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.


Ty
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:21 AM   #5
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Yes, Welcome!

That would be an interesting trip. The smaller the boat, the most a road trip would be advantageous. Suspect either would be doable.

Perhaps the passage makers here can comment on a sea trip.

Bocas del Toro was hot on my list for a while, be sure to give a report when you settle in there.


I'll do that... I may make a trip to Panama City and David later this year to see if there are any trawlers for sale as I can't seem to find anything on the internet but that seems to be the case for just about everything in Panama.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:31 AM   #6
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No hurry or schedule and Bocas del Toro is quite doable. Now it does depend on the boat as in the 30-35' range there's a lot of variety. Frankly, I'd also recommend going a little larger.

However, the trip. The key to making it in anything approaching a reasonable time is crossing from Key West to Cancun. It's a trip of moderate length but conditions in the open sea there can be rough so timing is a major factor. Also, I'll state that I would not recommend doing this single handed. I don't care about the success some have had, this is me recommending and it's to you based on what I perceive as limited experience.

Once you reach Cancun, coming down the coast of Mexico and Belize is simple. A lot of short trips. Honduras and Nicaragua present more challenge in terms of facilities and safety. Then you're there.

I love Bocas del Toro. Not sure I'd love it for a single man. Have you been there, spent time there? If not, I'd definitely recommend that first. Beautiful area, very relaxing, nice in so many ways. I'd just fear you finding yourself very much alone and that gets tired. That's why many single people choose the Eastern Caribbean, just for more social interaction.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:10 AM   #7
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No hurry or schedule and Bocas del Toro is quite doable. Now it does depend on the boat as in the 30-35' range there's a lot of variety. Frankly, I'd also recommend going a little larger.



However, the trip. The key to making it in anything approaching a reasonable time is crossing from Key West to Cancun. It's a trip of moderate length but conditions in the open sea there can be rough so timing is a major factor. Also, I'll state that I would not recommend doing this single handed. I don't care about the success some have had, this is me recommending and it's to you based on what I perceive as limited experience.



Once you reach Cancun, coming down the coast of Mexico and Belize is simple. A lot of short trips. Honduras and Nicaragua present more challenge in terms of facilities and safety. Then you're there.



I love Bocas del Toro. Not sure I'd love it for a single man. Have you been there, spent time there? If not, I'd definitely recommend that first. Beautiful area, very relaxing, nice in so many ways. I'd just fear you finding yourself very much alone and that gets tired. That's why many single people choose the Eastern Caribbean, just for more social interaction.


Thanks for the advice.... I've been to Bocas multiple times and always solo and have not had any problems meeting people and having a good time. I also have friends that live in Costa Rica who are always making visa runs so I would think I'd have a lot of visitors. I may try the eastern Caribbean for a short 3 or 4 month trip just to get my feet wet and I'm flexible.. You never know. It could take me 3 or 4 years to get to Bocas.

Also, I was looking at boats in Texas.. would it be feasible to go down the Mexican coast vs crossing the gulf.. that part scares me a bit
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:27 AM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. k. Only 7 posts so far but I'm surprised no-one has yet suggested coastal hopping along the gulf coasts of FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, Mexico etc. to your final destination. I can't speak from experience but it would seem readily doable in pretty well ANY sized vessel if time is not a factor and a gulf crossing is not in the cards...
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice.... I've been to Bocas multiple times and always solo and have not had any problems meeting people and having a good time. I also have friends that live in Costa Rica who are always making visa runs so I would think I'd have a lot of visitors. I may try the eastern Caribbean for a short 3 or 4 month trip just to get my feet wet and I'm flexible.. You never know. It could take me 3 or 4 years to get to Bocas.

Also, I was looking at boats in Texas.. would it be feasible to go down the Mexican coast vs crossing the gulf.. that part scares me a bit
You can follow the coast of Texas and Mexico around to Cancun but you make the trip many times as long and you have few facilities in much of the area between Brownsville and Cancun. It's 345 nm from Key West to Cancun. It's 636 nm from Cancun just to Brownsville. Taking the coast all the way around, it's over 1400 nm from Cancun to Key West, so 4 times the distance of running across.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:05 AM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. k. Only 7 posts so far but I'm surprised no-one has yet suggested coastal hopping along the gulf coasts of FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, Mexico etc. to your final destination. I can't speak from experience but it would seem readily doable in pretty well ANY sized vessel if time is not a factor and a gulf crossing is not in the cards...


Thanks.. I've done some research and it seams there are not a lot of facilities along the Mexican coast until you hit Cancun... also Nicaragua is pretty barren from what I could find. I'll prob feel more comfortable crossing from Fl to Cancun once I get the boat and some experience... I've been boating all my life but trawlers are a little different from what I'm used to. Thanks again.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:13 AM   #11
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You can follow the coast of Texas and Mexico around to Cancun but you make the trip many times as long and you have few facilities in much of the area between Brownsville and Cancun. It's 345 nm from Key West to Cancun. It's 636 nm from Cancun just to Brownsville. Taking the coast all the way around, it's over 1400 nm from Cancun to Key West, so 4 times the distance of running across.


Thanks.. the distance is not an issue for me and of course I'd have tow insurance all the way to Brownsville so that would be a plus.. Good thing I have a little time to figure it out.
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