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As Flyin Sideways moved North to escape the heat of Southern Mexico, they found a great price on a slip in the country’s second-largest port city of Guaymas (pronounced “why-mas”).

The city lies approximately 300 miles due South of my place, and the trip down took about six hours. Driving down alone, I had to stop at immigracion and pick up a free permit to travel in the “hassle-free zone” which extends from the border to Guaymas along highway 15, but no further East or South of my destination. For that, I’d need extra Mexican governmental clearance.

For now, I prefer it hassle-free.


How the heck did they paint that up there?


Guaymas and neighboring San Carlos are both great cruiser destinations, kind of a Northern-most point for sailors hauling out for hurricane season, or selling it all and “swallowing the anchor”. And there are lots of boats for sale, a few of which I was able to briefly inspect.

Most of the boats slipped at our local marina were very salty-looking.




The winds here seem pretty reliable, and there are a lot of anchorages, too.


The only real constraint imposed on most of these keelboats are the relatively shallow areas upon which you could run aground, if you weren’t keeping a close eye out. My little swing-keeled MacGregor 25 might be quite happy down here.

Day 2-

We headed towards San Carlos and breakfasted at Rosie’s, then made our way to the marina where local broker Don Brame is situated. He runs San Carlos Yacht Sales, and some of his offerings seemed to be worth a look-see. Working around each others schedules (his, mostly), I got to look at one boat that day, a Cape Dory 30.





Not a bad-looking boat, but it was only the first I’d seen during my stay. Thanking Don for his time, we headed back to Guaymas, where the yard there held another boat that piqued interest, Zorra.

She’s a 1975 Tayana 37. Add the bowsprit, make that 42 feet.


Getting back in contact with Don’s office, I set up an appointment for the next day at 0900 to check her out.
In the meantime, Joe was taking a long look at her hull and noticed an anomaly on Zorra’s cutwater. It looked as if there was an impression of the wire rope bobstay stamped on it, leading us to take a harder look at the bowsprit.

Zorra 020

Under that white paint(!) is a laminated teak and mahogany hunk of wood, with what appears to be a crack at the apparent fulcrum. This will bear further inspection.
Good eyes, Joe!

Dinner that evening was at the taco stand “Safari”, right across the street from the marina. Every bit as good as any I’ve had in Mexico.

Day 3-

Met with Brisa, Don’s cohort at San Carlos Yacht Sales, and she brought the keys to allow access to Zorra.

A tiller instead of a wheel in the smallish cockpit, with mucho storage space below decks. Lots and lots of wood, which is something that really doesn’t encourage me. It was a short inspection, as Brisa had some appointment to attend.

Since then, I’ve been delving into the particulars of these Tayanas, and will want a second look at her to confirm what I’ve learned about their build specifications. Things like the spreaders, mast and boom, which may be made of wood.

A bit later we took off for the San Carlos area to enjoy Playa Algodones, a beautiful crescent-shaped strip of beach.




Then we headed back towards San Carlos.


Really beautiful coastline around here, huh?

Karin had set up an emergency dental appointment in San Carlos, so we dropped her off at the dentist’s office, and Joe and I made our way to the nearby Captain’s Club for a bit of lunch. No sooner had we been served our delicious crab tostadas we got the call from Karin for her pick-up.

The cost of her exam, x-ray and consultation? Free. Just the few dollars for a course of antibiotics the dentist had prescribed.

Karin, I hope you’re feeling better by now!

The rest of the day was spent huddled aboard in Flyin Sideways’ air-conditioned saloon, where my Jeopardy skills were shown to be sorely lacking.


Day 4- There was a contingent of skydivers/scuba divers showing up in San Carlos to make a few dives, and Joe got the chance to dive with them that day. I’ve never taken the time to get certified for scuba. Perhaps someday.
Anyway, while Joe was off blowing bubbles, Karin and I did some laundry, and she put the boat to rights for that evening’s soiree.

Later that day the owners of another boat for sale, Coaster, got into town. In the heat and humidity of the afternoon, I was allowed to inspect her.




Odd galley arrangement, with the stove at 90 degrees to conventional wisdom. She’s got a deck-stepped mast, and peering down into the bilge, I checked the mast compression post base. It was starting to go soft.

Looking up the mast, it’s got quite an “S” curve.


The owner and I tried to pull on the shrouds to see if the mast would straighten up some, to no avail.

Later, the scuba divers showed up, and we partied.


Day 5-

Guests, like fish, start to smell after about three days, and I think I was positively reeking by that morning.
Thanking my hosts, I hit the road around 0830 and drove the 300 plus miles without incident. A bit of a wait at the Nogales border, quite different than the usually sleepy Lukeville border I’m so accustomed to.

Another trip down there with Pam and the dogs is in the works, but for that trip I’ll be looking into renting a nearby casita.

Come Autumn, I might drag the MacGregor on down to Guaymas. It’ll be quite the change from Puerto Penasco.



  1. ya know what’s crazy ? I think I recognize some of those divers !! Anyways, it looks like you are planning a ride down here in the future- wouldn’t that be a crazy hoot ???

    • A couple of those folks are supposedly world-class cave divers, and well traveled.

      Sure, I’d love to get on down to Belize!

      Your old place is going to come up for rent, again. Hard to find decent renters today.

        • Leana
        • Posted May 26, 2016 at 10:47 pm
        • Permalink

        I am always on the edge… but I will certainly call if I need a place to stay. My old place is even better now !! LOL…We meet all kinds here-,,, you can park your future big ass boat somewhere (or dock on the harbor)- and you can stay here for free– how bout that ?? !! 🙂

  2. “…but I will certainly call if I need a place to stay.”

    Oh, p’shaw. You should stay here at the Ranch. 😉

  3. Hi Tom, did you happen to notice anything else regarding Zorra, the Tayana 37? From what you posted, it looks like there is a crack in the bowsprit, which I understand is not all that unusual with these boats.

    I’m interested in checking this boat out (she’s still for sale) and I’m on the east coast of the U.S., so I’m trying to learn as much as I can about her without traveling to Mexico.

    • Well, it’s been 8 months since I’ve looked at her.
      I think what stood out the most besides the cracked bowsprit was the dark paint scheme, the lack of a bimini and old electronics.
      I assume you’ve looked at the San Carlos Yacht Sales’ website?

      You should travel to Mexico.

      • Thanks. Yes, I did look at that website. It’s also listed on yacht world. Those things you listed are certainly some of the downsides, though can be addressed by a new owner 🙂

      • Maybe I’ll go to Mexico. It seems like I’ll have to take a bus from Tucson, AZ.

      • I’m currently looking at places to sleep down there. Seems an RV park not too far East of the marina has 35-100 dollar private or communal accommodations.

        No RV needed.

      • I do hope to get there one day, as it seems like a great area for cruisers. However, the flight from NY to Tucson is a little expensive for me at the moment.

    • I found an old email from the broker with more information. If you shoot me an email at *************, I’ll forward the info to you.

  4. Enjoy Mexico!

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