Amazing Sailboat Delivery to Mexico

Island Packet 485 Delivery to Mexico

Sailboat Delivery Captain

I had just received my U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters Captains License and was offered this job to completely outfit, test, commission and eventually deliver this amazingly beautiful Island Packet 485 52′ yacht.  

Becoming a USCG Sailing Captain

First, before I became a USCG Captain, I had to have the sea time and experience to move to the testing phase.  I had been at sea while I was in the U.S. Coast Guard as a service member and I also gained additional sea time while sailing with my wife down through Mexico and crossing the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, Hawaii and back to San Diego.  

I purchased my online Captains License Study Program through Mariners Learning System.  It only took a couple of months from the time I received my learning kit to the time I took and completed my tests (with flying colors) on my first try. 

Commissioning the Yacht

The Island Packet 485 is an amazing yacht and this one had almost every system imaginable inside and out. We had to go through every system in detail to ensure everything worked and if it didn’t, we had to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair.  These systems included:

  • Solar
  • KVH Satellite
  • All Communications
  • Air Conditioning
  • Heater
  • Autopilot
  • All Navigation equipment
  • AGM Batteries and Outback Powerhouse
  •  Heated floors
It may not sound like a lot, but just the communications systems included; AIS transceiver, two ICOM IC-M506 VHF radios, IC-7200 transceiver, IC-M802 MF/HF radio, AT-140 HF antenna tuner, 2 SAT phones, EPIRB, PLBs and much more.  

The Haulout

We hauled the boat out at the Shelter Island Shipyard and replace the anode on the bow thruster, since the diver couldn’t get in to replace it underwater.  We also checked all the through-hulls and ensured the yacht was ready for sail. 

Sea Trials

We took the yacht out to sea just outside of San Diego harbor and had a great sail.  In in-mast furling system was a little different but we got used to that right away and she handled beautifully in 20 knots of wind.  With the exception of a few minor things to dial in, she was ready to sail South to Mexico.

Sailing through Mexico

After doing the inbound paperwork and receiving a Mexican TIP (Temporary Import Permit) we headed deeper down the coast of Baja Mexico until we reached Marina Puerto Los Cabos. We checked out the town, re-provisioned, and headed to Puerto Vallarta.

We sailed to Marina Vallarta and arrived at night.  Since the co-Captain and I had both been in this port before, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Typically though, I do not enter ports at night.  

The next day I flew back to San Diego.  

Catamaran Boat Delivery

The Newport Beach boat show had just finished and I was hired on to bring a Bali 4.3 back to San Diego, from Newport Beach.  It was a quick day sail and although it was a little rainy, not a bad day at sea.  

Barra Navidad, Puerto Vallarta and La Paz

While I was in San Diego, the owner and the liveaboard Captain took the boat south to Barra Navidad.  The owner flew home, however wanted the boat moved to La Paz, so I was called in to fly back down to Mexico to help move the boat north.  

The other Captain and I had some great sailing conditions going north.  

After stopping in Puerto Vallarta at Paradise Village Marina for a while, we then sailed the boat up into the Sea of Cortez and finally docked her in La Paz.  

The Video

If you want to see the boats in action, please watch the video, Island Packet 485 Delivery to Mexico, below.  Happy sailing!


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