Cost of Caribbean Yacht Services

KeelsonGraham

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Can anyone enlighten me on the cost of yacht services in the Caribbean vs the UK. Is it generally cheaper to have work done there or in the UK?
 

Sea Change

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Parts and materials are certainly much more expensive in the Caribbean.
My quote for Coppercoat (materials only) was £850 in the UK, delivered to my house, but over £1000 here, pickup from the supplier. Other things have much bigger markups. Everything is shipped in and there can be various fees to pay.

Yards seem expensive, by our standards. In Grenada we would be paying about £4k for six months on the hard. Up in the States we can haul out for less than £1k.

I understand that you can still get good value work done in Columbia, but in the islands the labour rates are pretty high.
 

KeelsonGraham

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Thank you Sea Change. That’s useful info. I was wondering whether to get jobs done in the UK, or wait till we get to the Caribbean.
 

Sea Change

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Thank you Sea Change. That’s useful info. I was wondering whether to get jobs done in the UK, or wait till we get to the Caribbean.
I would definitely do it in the UK. I wish I'd done a bit more before we left actually.
The UK has many downsides but I can honestly say it seems like the cheapest and easiest place to fit it a boat. Down to little things like buying your stainless nuts and bolts on eBay. Huge secondhand market too.
I was taken aback by the prices of chandlers in Spain and Portugal, and it's only got worse as we went on.
The one saving grace when doing boat work in Europe is SVB24.

My current bugbear is paint. In the UK I could get 2.5l of high quality 2-pack for about £80 delivered, in a colour mixed to my needs. Why oh why didn't I buy five tins. And you can't bring it over on the plane.
In Europe I could get stock colours of International Perfection for €45/litre, and over here the price is easily double that.
Same thing is replicated across many products. So do as much work as you can, and stock up well, before you leave the UK.
 

davethedog

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We are in the Caribbean now and have been for the last year or so. I would try to get as much done in the UK as you can, especially bug ticket items such as lithium batteries (if you want them), davits, watermaker etc as they cost more here and the choices can be limited on each Island.

We are heading back to the UK this year and will look to get some works and updates done when back rather than here.
 

geem

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We are in the Caribbean now and have been for the last year or so. I would try to get as much done in the UK as you can, especially bug ticket items such as lithium batteries (if you want them), davits, watermaker etc as they cost more here and the choices can be limited on each Island.

We are heading back to the UK this year and will look to get some works and updates done when back rather than here.
We can get most stuff cheaper than the UK. We ship stuff in from the USA using a company called West Tech shipping. Example. A couple of bearings for my pedestal shaft. Buy them in thr USA and have them shipped to the West Tech warehouse in Florida. They fly or ship, depending on what you specify, to Antigua. The cost of flying the bearings to Antigua, clearing customs and delivering to any anchorage was £8. This is the total cost. We ship 'yacht in transit' and give them copies of our customs papers, etc
My new Raymarine Axiom +12 was £700 cheaper in the USA. Shipping was £25.
If you need parts, the Caribbean is not a problem using this method. If you need work doing, it can be very expensive. Lift out and storage is a lot more pricey than we pay in the UK
 

davethedog

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Just get any lithium installation done in the UK as the lithium batteries are more expensive here and less choice. Also a lot of shipping companies will not ship them unless at a very high cost. And I know a few people here that have tried.
 

geem

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Just get any lithium installation done in the UK as the lithium batteries are more expensive here and less choice. Also a lot of shipping companies will not ship them unless at a very high cost. And I know a few people here that have tried.
Shipped my cells with .West Tech shipping. No problem at all. Cells and batteries are often cheaper in the USA. The cost of shipping for 8x280Ah cells including customs clearance and delivery was $50US
 

davethedog

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Shipped my cells with .West Tech shipping. No problem at all. Cells and batteries are often cheaper in the USA. The cost of shipping for 8x280Ah cells including customs clearance and delivery was $50US
Well...looks like I am wrong then....

Will pass this on to a friend if mine that is after some lithiums.
 

geem

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Well...looks like I am wrong then....

Will pass this on to a friend if mine that is after some lithiums.
West Tech ship to different countries in the Caribbean. I only have experience of using them in Antigua. I have had 52 parcels via them and only lost one. This was where the seller did not put my West Tech account number in the address as requested
 

Sea Change

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Just get any lithium installation done in the UK as the lithium batteries are more expensive here and less choice. Also a lot of shipping companies will not ship them unless at a very high cost. And I know a few people here that have tried.
My lithium came in to Grenada, total cost for 4x280Ah cells and a 200A BMS was about £550. So substantially more than I paid in the UK but not eye-wateringly so. I understand that St Martin would have been cheaper, but it made sense to do the installation somewhere where I was staying put for a few months.
 

ridgy

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My lithium came in to Grenada, total cost for 4x280Ah cells and a 200A BMS was about £550. So substantially more than I paid in the UK but not eye-wateringly so. I understand that St Martin would have been cheaper, but it made sense to do the installation somewhere where I was staying put for a few months.
I trust there is a zero missing there in that 550 number. Please tell me I'm wrong.
 

Sea Change

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I trust there is a zero missing there in that 550 number. Please tell me I'm wrong.
That's for a single battery, made up from four cells.
My first battery cost me £407 in early 2021, delivered to my door in the UK (and no surcharge for Highlands delivery!). That was the four 270Ah cells and a 120A BMS. Later I upgraded the BMS to 200A, which cost about £75 delivered in Spain.
 
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