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Bahamas Bareboat Charters? #166569
07/25/2018 01:05 PM
07/25/2018 01:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 489
Jacksonville, FL, USA
onlymedication Offline OP
Traveler
onlymedication  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 489
Jacksonville, FL, USA
Hello all, I am an avid (depending on how you define it) BVI'er. Just moved to Jacksonville, FL earlier this year. We haven't taken a vacation in a couple of years. My wife and I are working on starting a family and, don't want to jinx it, but we may be on our way to our first. So, if that's the case, I'd like to possibly take her away for a week of fun and relaxation before she gets big and round and before the little one comes along to take our freedoms away ;-), but somewhere close, easy to get to, and hopefully less costly than going all the way to the BVI or, our next planned adventure destination, Belize.

Does anyone have experience or guidance on bareboat chartering the Bahamas, either from Florida, or from somewhere in the Bahamas? Sail or power, we are sailors, but in this case, I'd almost prefer a power boat. I'm thinking this fall. Any insight, advice, direction would be very much appreciated.

TIA!

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Re: Bahamas Bareboat Charters? [Re: onlymedication] #166618
07/26/2018 07:13 AM
07/26/2018 07:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,870
Maryland
Eva Offline
Traveler
Eva  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,870
Maryland
Since you are a frequent BVI-er, I won't give you the standard advice about island travel in September/October -- I'm sure you know the drill.

There are really 2 major areas to bareboat charter. The easiest (relatively) and with the most choices for charter companies, boats, amenities, etc. is the Abacos. The Out Islands for beginners, if you will. The entire area is directed towards travel by boat, with dinghy docks everywhere, and beach bars galore. Sunsail and Moorings are your obvious choices (with power and sail boats), but there are smaller outfits as well. Line of sight sailing within the largely protected Sea of Abaco, and an anchor-swallowing sandy bottom in most places (there are moorings available in a few spots). You would fly into Marsh Harbour (MHH), and most of the bases are there. A huge and well-stocked supermarket (Maxwell's) with convenient liquor stores and bakeries (Must. Have. Bahamian. Bread.) for provisioning. Marinas throughout, so you can get water, ice, etc. Clinics available in most of the major settlements (I'd abraded my cornea on an overnight passage, and got a prompt and free consultation at the clinic in Green Turtle Cay).

A little tougher conditions, but more remote and -- in my eyes -- more rewarding, are the Exumas. There are 2 charter companies based in New Providence (NAS) -- Navtours and Dream Yacht Charters -- that you use as a base to cross the Yellow Bank over to the northern Exuma cays and the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. I could spend weeks in the Park (and have), BUT, no restaurants, no groceries, no ice, no water, no fuel. Just some moorings and beaches to die for. There is a little bit of civilization north at Highbourne or Norman Cays, or south at Staniel Cay. And you can visit the damn pigs if you want. Or you can charter out of Emerald Bay Marina on Great Exuma, which has a little more "action." Tides and currents can be a major issue here, so you need to be alert.

Here is my trip report from my last Exuma charter: Exuma Charter. Going back next year, with Navtours.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Bahamas Bareboat Charters? [Re: onlymedication] #166748
07/27/2018 10:12 PM
07/27/2018 10:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,142
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
Traveler
kneafseym  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,142
Somewhere out there
We love the Exumas, but as Eva said it is a lot of work due to the tide and strong currents as the tide changes. Our guest were not happy when we said the only time tomorrow to snorkel thunderball Cay was at 7am. I didn't want to wait until 7pm.

Pigs are over rated.

Little Farmers Cay is was under rated. Some good places there run by great people.

Provisions are slim as is water refills.

Everywhere is Upwind or Downwind from Georgetown.


Mike
Re: Bahamas Bareboat Charters? [Re: onlymedication] #166852
07/29/2018 09:58 PM
07/29/2018 09:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 489
Jacksonville, FL, USA
onlymedication Offline OP
Traveler
onlymedication  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 489
Jacksonville, FL, USA
You guys are awesome. Worth the note on hurricane season in the tropics, but yeah, I get it. Travel insurance and keeping an eye on the weather are a small price to pay.

Will look into both of these options, based on preliminary read and my goals for this trip which would be to relax and enjoy and little or no work/hassle for the wife, I’m thinking the Abacos sounds best.

Again, appreciate the comments. Anything more is welcome. I’ll be back with questions I’m sure once I have a chance to start looking in to details. Fingers crossed and prayers!

Re: Bahamas Bareboat Charters? [Re: onlymedication] #167110
08/02/2018 01:47 PM
08/02/2018 01:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,371
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
Traveler
Winterstale  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,371
Bradenton, FL
We are planning for the Bahamas next June - Abacos.

We are looking into Cruise Abaco as they are well reviewed and are smaller, which we like. The one thing I have already noticed is that they do not offer special discounts at any of the companies and Cruise Abaco does not even do “seasons”. They also want a $5000 damage deductible!

Would love to hear from anyone who has chartered with them and how that worked out.....



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Bridget
Re: Bahamas Bareboat Charters? [Re: onlymedication] #167211
08/04/2018 04:41 PM
08/04/2018 04:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,371
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
Traveler
Winterstale  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,371
Bradenton, FL
The other thing that might be cool to consider (and we are) is a “by the cabin” charter with Dream....they put you on a really beautiful Lagoon 62 and the pricing is pretty good! And.....you get to learn the lay of the land with ZERO responsibility for the boat!



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Bridget

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