Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: on the boat - Chesapeake
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?
Most of this applies to the US East Coast snowbird cruisers.
When the fees in the Bahamas originally went up to 150/300 there was a backlash. For a couple of years cruising numbers were down. It's hard to separate the effect of the fees from the overall economy.
During those years some people spent the winter in Florida. Lots of cruisers aren't too happy with anchoring and tax regulation in Florida.
For snowbirds there aren't a lot of options. Most aren't interested in the passage to the VI and on to the Eastern Caribbean. Too intimidating for people that consider the hop from FL to the Bahamas a "passage." The VI isn't cheap either and can't possibly absorb the number of cruisers who disappear into the islands of the Bahamas. Getting down island requires more short offshore jumps with less weather and routing support.
Even given the current fee structure I avoid considering the Bahamas as a fueling or provisioning stop. In an emergency? Sure. Planned? No. Just sail on and exercise good fuel management (and stores management, and water management). For cruising the Bahamas, as noted above, I think the Bahamian Government is trying to maximize revenue. That means some people will stay away but most will continue to visit and pay.
sail fast and eat well, dave
beware "cut and paste" sailors.
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