Re: Bahama Charter Suggestions
We chartered a Lagoon 420 from Dream Yacht Charter a little over a year ago, right after Sandy had blown through the area. My first big cat and it was our first time in the Abacos (most of our other chartering has been in the BVIs and down in the Windwards).
I can't really compare the Lagoon to other big cats, but we were generally pleased with this boat. You should quickly learn to take full advantage of the twin engines to help you dock the boat and get through the narrow channels. We had to enter ManOWar with a 40 degree crab angle due to the wind blowing across the channel entrance at 30 kts. Sandy sucked the wind out of the area as she left so after the first two days we mostly were under power.
Dream YC was a pleasure to work with, they helped us by shifting the charter period a day (due to the storm) and in many other small ways. They had relocated to the east side of the bay, opposite from where Moorings/Sunsail is based, and the restaurant (Jib Room) had not yet reopened for the season so we had a cab ride or long walk to the other side for shopping, bars and restaurants. Because of the storm and the early point in the season the area was deserted. If you use Dream, say hi to Terrence from Capt Ed - he was the base manager and a great guy.
Our itinerary included a mid-day stop at ManOWar, then on to Guana Cay (anchored in the harbor, drinks at Nippers, dinner at Grabbers), then Treasure Cay (marina), Hopetown (mooring ball), Little Harbor (anchored outside the entrance as we arrived at low tide - you should try to get there for sure), then back north to White Sound (marina) before heading back to Marsh Harbor. We didn't go outside due to the sea conditions and rage at Whale Cay, and the waters had been stirred up to almost totally obscure the bottom even in the shallows. That said we never touched bottom with the 4-6 draft of the Lagoon.
I will definitely return, sometime when the waters are clear and warmer and not right after a hurricane :-)
Capt. Ed Caldwell, USCG OUPV Near Coastal
ASA Instructor for BKB, BCC, BBC and CON
S/V Grace, a Hunter 340 on Lake Lanier, GA