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Bienvenidos!

 Moderated by: bartmanaz  
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verBoatin
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I'm currently stateside thinking of comming down to buy a boat. The trouble is with the exception of one article I read from a guy who was really positive, every forum I've contacted up here think it's a really bad idea. One guy said "how can you have any trust in  any transaction you get involved with if you don't speak spanish?" See what I mean.
 
So, I realize that I might run the risk of asking questions  to a group were everybody knows everybody else in the sailing community, never the less, I am curious if I can ask some questions and get some honest answers.

I don't want anybody to slam their neighbor, I just need some advice about the whole process. Anybody up for it?

JUBILATION JOHN
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Mana: 
It sounds like you have been asking questions on all the wrong forums until now.  I would suggest you contact the San Carlos boat brokers who have boats listed on the home page here.  You will be surprised to find that mastery of the spanish language is not required to buy a boat and that many of the brokers are gringos.  In fact many of the boat sales are titled by U. S. companies. 

I have my boat listed in San Carlos and can't understand why more people don't buy their boats here and forego sales taxes and property taxes in the U. S.? 

I'm sure you will find differing opinions even on this forum but start with the professionals they can make your task a whole lot easier and safer.

Good Luck and welcome.

John

Misty Too
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Charlie at San Carlos Yachts sold my boat to me 3 years ago Very professional, he did  a great job, and made the transaction very uncomplicated. Even for a gringo like me! There are some very trustworthy people doing business in San Carlos.

mxsailor
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I agree with John. I've lived here a while and have several friends who have bought their boats here. This is also the best sailing area I've seen for casual cruising. I sailed down to Mexico in 1997 and my boat has stayed in Mexico all this time. I like the boat brokerage people here, too. They're helpful and honest. If your new boat needs repairs, upgrades, etc. I like San Carlos for that too... I would suggest the yard at Marina Real for best prices.

Vince Radice
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We just recently purchased a Morgan 41 center cockpit from Charlie. The transaction was very smooth and pretty painless. I recommend highly the service San Carlos Yacht sales can offer you.


Turk
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With all due respect, you are going to find some exceptional people in SC to do business with.  I purchased my boat from San Carlos Yachts and it was a troublefree experience.  In fact, they took care of everything.  Any impression you have received is certainly not the experience you are going to encounter with San Carlos Yachts.  Ken

Charlie
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I'm honored to have such kind words said about San Carlos Yachts!  We do work hard, try to do the best we can, and it's very, very nice to see our efforts appreciated!  From Joanne, Marisa and me, many thanks!
Charlie Bloomer

Vince Radice
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No worries Charlie, I will expect my normal 50% commission from any sales you get over the next year now!!!!

:shock:

Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

Simanza
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I bought a boat in San Carlos and it was a fantastic experience. The people at San Carlos Yacht Brokers were amazingly diligent, scrupulously honest, and a pleasure to deal with. Charlie and Joanne were absolutely wonderful.

If the boat is a US documented vessel then the transaction is all done stateside -  the escrow process is similar to buying real estate and the US Coast Guard essentially establishes clear title. Conveyancing is actually done by a US marine documentation service (there are several).

Mark


Via Libre 1
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Just a word on San Carlos Yacht Sales, ...We have never been treated with such professionalism in the 'States' as when we purchased our boat through them! even though our purchase was small in comparison to their typical sale, we received the same wonderful service as any 'Big' buyer....There are many who could take a lesson from Charlie! ...Honest, Safe, and Straight Forward.... Brent and Lucy (Via Libre)

NavojoaKid
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I agree about San Carlos Yachts. We made a small time purchase as well. It was our first time buying a boat. They made us very comfortable and walked us through the process.

I would recommend them to anyone wanting to buy a boat in San Carlos.


verBoatin
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Mana: 
Thank you all. Charlie, thank you as well.

I read a wonderful article on Latitude 38 which (in very useful detail) described a wonderful experience purchasing a boat in San Carlos.
To the rest of you my sense is you all had a favorable experiences regarding my question. Now whether you are all friends of Charlie or have a vested interest in promoting the local boat re-sale industry, I don't know. Frankly after dealing with stateside boat forums who have tried to belittle me about the idea, I don't much care anymore.

To my private messager, thank you. I liked your insight about how to find my own deal in Mexico, however due to the fact that you came up short offering some useable details and when you tried to find me a boat in Phoenix, all of a sudden I felt like you were trying to make some drug money. Maybe, I'm wrong but you don't instill confidance.

After doing research, trying to find out what it would cost to ship a boat to my neighborhood, what kind of storage I could find here and at what rate, and all the people who insulted me for even thinking about the idea, I have lost all hope.

I wish you all well, because you seem like a great community. I only wish I felt as positive about the sailing community in general. In the last month I have to admit, I have never in all my life (i'm 54), in any arena of any kind, met with as many rude, antagonistic people, intent on putting me down as I have in the sailing community on-line.
 
If it weren't for my love of sailing, after the last month I am tempted to support any legislation which would lead to abolish or limit any form of boating. Clearly, I am only now realizing that the sailing community has some great people, but also some of the lowest forms of human life included in its ranks.

I wish you all well, perhaps a cabin in Montana is a better fit for me.
 

bartmanaz
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verBoatin

I for one, am really sorry to hear about the negative comments you've heard elsewhere about boat buying and ownership in Mexico.  From my own experience as the moderator of this board, a webmaster, a part time resident of San Carlos and a boat owner there, I think I can attest that most of those who would blow smoke at you about the experience have never been in Mexico or owned/used a boat here and have only got third hand horror story info that they pass as gospel.  To all of them i can only say Baloney, but in stronger non-PG 13 terms.

I'll give you a factoid-the two marinas in San Carlos have over 1,000 slips between them and there are also several hundred boats in the various storage areas in town.  So conservatively there are over 1500 boats and yachts in San Carlos, with probably the majority owned by Canadians and Americans.  Those people can't all be stoopid, can they?

Yes, San Carlos Yachts is an ad client so I do have an indirect interest in helping them promote their business.  My stong suggestion would be to make a trip down and meet the various brokers and ask around to other owners and make your own decision. 

Thanx

Bart

 

Charlie
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If it were possible to unring the bell on all the negativity you've experienced, I'd be at the head of the line to pull that cord!

Sadly, there are always people all too happy to rain on someone's parade.   But Bart offers the sage advice.  First, grab a copy of Latitude 38, the sailing magazine from Northern California and read "Changes in Latitude"--any issue.  Then, come to San Carlos, experience the place and the people, look at boats, have coffee at Barracuda Bob's or any number of other places around town in the morning and keep your ears peeled before giving up your quest!

We wish you only the best of luck in your search!

Charlie

maryt
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Dear verboatin,

We live in Seattle also but spend winters in San Carlos.  We bought a sailboat down in San Carlos last year and have no complaints about the process.  Trust me, language is a not a problem.

If you are still considering buying and would like to discuss it or ask questions, feel free to call us at 206-965-8116.

Al and Mary

AZKLMSR
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My experiences have been equally positive.  While I've not bought a boat in SC, I'd have no worries if I did my home work.

I've been comming down each summer since 1974, so I may be a new commer.  I call Isabel (She's a sweetie) at Marina Real the day before I come down.  She has a slip picked out for me and know's what services I want.  If I'm in a hurry, they"ll launch my boat for me.  Enrique will gas my boat (21 ft) with the same service as a 45 ft sport fisherman.  They help my wife in and out of the ramp.  I've had darn near every boat owner in the marina help her back in when needed.

Over at the SC marina, I've gotten equally good treatment at the fuel dock when buying 200 ltr of gas as a guy buying 2000.  Good folks, trying pretty hard.

I've had boats serviced in SC with no hassles.  Overall, if folks are telling you to expect trouble, I doubt they've been to SC, or they did something silly.

Go down there are go out on a charter, get the feel of the area.  You won't regret it.

 

Kurt

John S
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verBoatin;

With all due respect to your online research on US 'sailing boards' there is no substitute for going San Carlos and see for yourself that dealing with Charlie, Marisa and Joanne is one of the best experiences you will ever encounter. And of you end up finding a sailboat and buying it- even better!

I am a licensed and bonded yacht broker in California and have done a number of boat transactions with San Carlos Yachts. You will not find a more professional, honest and downright efficient group anywhere. And I speak from experience, having just returned from a trip to the US capital of boating- Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The cost of boat transport has risen dramatically in the last few years due to the rising costs of fuel. Still, if you do your homework, you should be able to find a boat transport service in your budget.

You will find it difficult to find a more efficient storage operation anywhere in the world than Marina Seca San Carlos. They can store about 600 vessels with metal posts on each side for hurricane/storm protection. By contrast,  I was in Marmaris, Turkey last December and all the sailboats were stored with flimsy wooden logs propping them up.

There are two marinas at San Carlos to serve boaters' needs. You should not have a problem to secure a berth if you contact them in advance.

If you are still not convinced, I can perhaps send you a copy of an article I wrote for Latitude 38 April 2006 ("Marina San Carlos, The Story of a Marina and the Family That Built It") I have been a San Carlos visitor and aficionado since 1977, and wrote at least three articles about San Carlos in Latitude 38 since late 1990's.  I would be happy to give you any information that might help you get to San Carlos and/or Mexico and get a boat. And you will not need any Spanish at all.

Hope this helps you

(John Skoriak) 

iseadreamer
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Dear Verboatin,

I have been reading this thread and, frankly, am confused how you feel negativity?  All these folks re: San Carlos have been kind and friendly: and, in my experience, correct in the assessments of the San Carlos area as being a really great place to do boat transactions and boat business in general.  Perhaps all your negativism results from Americans in the U.S.?  If so, that should tell you a lot.

verBoatin
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Thank you all for your responses, once again.
 
I suppose I need to clear up one or two issues. The negativity I encountered came from other sites, local boat yards, and locally based boat transporters. I asked some very specific questions on a few web sites about hiring a surveyor, purchasing issues, etc, which I won't list here. One site, "sailnet.com" repeatedly rebuffed me and tended to avoid answering my questions. That site in particular has a couple of members who rule the roost and denegrade those who are new or not part of their inner circle. Another site, also refused to answer my questions and implied that they would not until I had listed my sailing resume first. Nuff said.
Regarding the local boat yards and transporters: after I volunteered my plans and the types of boats I was looking at, I got the impression that they (a) did not like the profession they were in, (b) did not want to answer general price range questions and (c) wanted to vent at me about all the problems that I would encounter and had a large amount of stored disgust for people who hadn't been through what they had been through.

Ok, that is the background.
Having received your responses, I feel that buying a boat in San Carlos would be a positive experience. Of that I have no doubt.

Where I am at now is I am realizing how hard it is to find people who are willing to help me with my other questions. (If I have the energy and stamina I can find my answers, I'm just pretty discouraged at this point.) I guess I might compare it to going into a ski shop asking what I need to do to plan a two week back country ski trip and only receive negative responses from the service providers as well as fellow skiing enthsusiasts. Normally you would think people would want to encourage you if they were in that business.

AZKLMSR
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Nice honest letter.

Boat ownership is supposed to be fun and it sounds like you're not having fun.  I'd suggest you do a couple of things.

1)  GO to SC for a few days and relax and enjoy the prettiest place in Sonora.

2)  Charter a boat from Vince and do some sailing.  He's got a mono hull and a couple of multies that look pretty cool.

3)  talk to the folks at the SC marina.  They can help you if you want to talk to folks about moving a boat from out of country.

4)  look at the local listings and see if there is anything you like

IN the end, play with nice folks that are having fun and just forget the folks who arent.  They are missing the point

Best of Luck

 

Kurt

mxsailor
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 I agree with Kurt... there's another thing you may want to consider, too. Leave the boat in Mexico! After I sailed mine down from SF in '97, I found that sailing in Mexico was so much more rewarding, interesting and fun. And if you fall off the boat you don't die immediately from hypothermia  ;)

So, I would go back and work in SF during the summer and drive to SC in the late fall and sail Mexico during the Winter & Spring. If you can set your life up like that, it's pretty nice.

Eventually, I learned I could telecommute from San Carlos, and moved here full-time a year ago last Christmas.

verBoatin
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MX:
Trust me, I've never been there and yet if I could, I would be there right now. Meanwhile I am researching my options and shopping for a boat.

I telecommute too, but one day a week I am required to be in my office. I am hoping that will change this year but until then, I am stuck stateside 50 out of 52 weeks. I'd love to winter in SC too, but alas I have responsibilities on the Polo grounds. Sorry, just kidding.

I should end this thread and begin a different one, but I'm just curious, are the moorage rates there as high as I read on another topic? $8-12/ft.???  Those are about the same as here and maybe higher unless I missed something. Are your slips wired for broadband like they are here?
Here in Puget Sound, it's moorage can be as low as  $2.50/ft (although that is probably for smaller boats), but the average is around $7 and the high is about 12.
Wow. Which of you dudes has connections or is rich and wants to build a marina? I'm thinking if they are getting those rates in Mexico, you guys need more capacity.


bartmanaz
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You can see the price list for marina San Carlos at http://www.marinasancarlos.com/images/prices.pdf.  Both dailly and monthly prices per foot are quoted.  What many of the sailboats use are the moorings in the Bahia and then dinghy back and forth.  Still well protected from weather, etc.

In an earlier post, think you commented on adverse comments about transporting a boat to Mexico.  US trucks still cannot operate south of the border so the procedure is to use a US hauler to move the boat to a trans-shipment point, usually at Marco Crane in Tucson, and the haulers from Marina Seca pick up there and bring the boat to Mexico.  Marina Seca office can provide more info on this and I believe can assist you in arranging transport to Tucson from other places in the US.

Bart

 

verBoatin
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Thanks bartmanaz:
the pdf link for rates was useful. Looks like if I ever come down that way with a boat, I'll be headed someplace else for moorage. Or maybe I just don't know 'nuthin and it's like that everywhere down there. I'm just guessing that the high demand for a resort like life style and limited space is what drives the per ft. price up that high.

For some reason I was expecting prices to be more third world. I guess where I live in the United States is more third world and you guys are uptown.


mxsailor
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You could be right about uptown expense... Most cruisers I know, without huge cruising kitties, anchor in the bay or rent a mooring if one comes available.

I only put into a marina if I need to rest up, get fuel, make repairs or provision... usually 2 or more of those reasons. Besides, marinas sometimes feel like trailer parks.

When I'm cruising, I'm not spending much money. Just an occasional refueling, groceries and internet session. Much rather be away from civilization. Best things in life are free.

Do you have Google Earth?

bartmanaz
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Reality is that marinas on the Mexican mainland coast are few and far between.  There is no marina per se in Kino Bay so going north from San Carlos, the next marina is in Rocky Point and going south, it is, gulp, Mazatlan.  There are plans to build more but these are long term development projects so the days of third world marina rates are a thing of the past. 

Bart

Charlie
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Bart's on target about marina rates.  If you want an eye opener, check the rates on line at Cabo, La Paz, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta!  San Carlos is inexpensive by comparison!

Grant
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Here are rates for Cabo....

http://www.igy-cabosanlucas.com/marina/rates-prices/

Those numbers are not in pesos by the way...

 

 

 

mrmikek
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We arranged transport and importation with Marina Seca San Carlos last spring and have nothing but good things to say about their operation.  Very professional, very friendly and very nice while we were in their yard.  They set us up with Dudley boat transport from Seattle to Tucson, then they brought the boat on down.  $7500 total cost.  Our experiences in San Carlos have just been super.  We are counting the days till January and our return.

 

The best of luck to you,

Michael

nice guy
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Simanza says - "the US Coast Guard essentially establishes clear title".

This is NOT the case. The USCG only knows about loans or liens that have been reported to it and recorded in it's files. And this only applies to USCG documented vessels. There are lots of state registered boats here in Mexico and elsewhere.

There are all sorts of liens that can be incurred by a vessel that do NOT show up on USCG records - including any repairs, marina fees, yard fees, etc that might have been incurred in Mexico.

Please see a US based documentation specialist about this to clear up this issue.

One other point - nobody has mentioned the lack of marina slips in the San Carlos area. For boats over 40' they are basically full permanently.

mxsailor
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What are the rates at the new Guaymas marina?

Vince Radice
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About the same as san carlos actually but the faciliy is very nice, super clean.

bartmanaz
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Vince

is it open for business now?

Bart

 

Vince Radice
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I have heard they are open now.

Mike too
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I heard they were open 1 month ago :D and then someone who talked to a manager down there came in here and told me the are not open because, guess what :shock:, They are waiting for one last permit to get signed :?.  Mike- Captains Club

Vince Radice
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Perhaps they are not officially open but I bet if you showed up with your boat and tied up to the dock they probably wouldnt turn you away. I had heard that they had actually pulled someones boat with the travel lift. Next time I am in Guaymas I will drive by and get the skiny.



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