Is it time to boycott the Bahamas? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
I do agree with you there. A MegaYacht uses more resources, causes more damage, and is more of an eyesore than a 30foot sailboat.
And yet, one fill up of diesel on a MegaYacht would create more revenue that twenty 35 foot cruising boats would produce in a year!

270' O'mega Yacht - fuel 200,000 litres
135' megayatch - fuel 37,854 litres
even the little 112 ' megayacht carries 20,763 litres

At a buck and a half a litre that is no small change.

I guess it is all relative.

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post #12 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

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I think they'll raise then quickly withdraw once the Cuba situation clears up. Cant wait for more competition for my cruising dollar
Well, I wouldn't hold my breath on the the Cuba situation "clearing up" anytime soon :-)

And, I question whether Cuba will immediately become the cruising destination to flock to, instead of the Bahamas... Initially, of course, people will likely head down there, but once the word gets around how primitive and limited the facilities are beyond Marina Hemingway, how poor the charting is compared to the Bahamas - especially to those spoiled by the incredible accuracy of the Explorer charts - I'm not so certain it will immediately supersede the Bahamas as a cruising destination...

Plus, who's to say the Cubans wouldn't institute a cruising fee structure roughly on a par with the Bahamas, anyway? They know a certain percentage will be clamoring to visit, no matter what the cost. It will be interesting to see, but I'm not expecting this to be a significant influence on the Bahamian fees anytime soon...


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post #13 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

The idea that touristy places like to soak the tourists is not new, but it should not be done to extremes like this, and would probably generate a lot more revenue if it were lowered to almost nothing or nothing. People on yachts have always been thought to be mega rich, but in truth sailboats under 50' in length are reasonable in price so that a couple can purchase a nice used one and go sailing when they retire early. retiring early already entails some financial discipline and likely some sacrifice, so sailors tend to be somewhat cheap. However, they also tend to like to eat, bathe, buy crap for relatives at home, and generally spend money on stuff either because they have to or they want to, and a sailboat which spends months in a country will bring some good revenue. If the Bahamas and other places would look at trying to actually help bring more people into their waters for longer periods of time, I think they would find overall revenues could go far higher than what some increase in fees would produce. The real losers in an increase like the one proposed and temporarily shelved in the Bahamas are the people of the Bahamas who earn their living off of the boats that come to sail in Bahamian waters.

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post #14 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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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.

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post #15 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

On the upside, higher fees means less cruisers, means less crowded anchorages, and less impact on the environment. Personally, I'd pay a higher fee to visit more secluded and pristine waters, if it would work like that.
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post #16 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

FWIW I think of travel in the Bahamas as somewhat akin to visiting a theme park (e.g. Disney World) with one's kids on a vacation. To do that today, one is commonly looking at something on the order of $275 per adult and $250 per child (under 12) for a 3 day visit. By comparison, the cost of the Bahamas isn't bad.

From the viewpoint of the Bahamians, the greater price trade-off's make sense. A 1/3rd increase in prices would need to result in more than a 25% decrease in traffic before the Bahamian's would suffer a loss of revenue (on the admission fee). Of course, with fewer visitors, there would be less consumer spending on/in the local economy but cruisers, despite popular misconception, only make up a relative small proportion of total tourist spending, and particularly so the segment that is dissuaded from visiting by the relatively greater admission fees. They tend to bring most of their stores with them and are relatively frugal while in country. They do, however, tend to generate garbage and do deplete the fish stocks--particularly so if they are reliant on fishing to provide a good portion of their diet.

I suspect the Bahamian government keeps a reasonably sharp eye on the trade-offs to ensure a positive balance between costs and benefits (to the Bahamas) and will adjust pricing to maintain it. The US might be wise to employ a similar approach, no?

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post #17 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by mark2gmtrans View Post
The idea that touristy places like to soak the tourists is not new, but it should not be done to extremes like this, and would probably generate a lot more revenue if it were lowered to almost nothing or nothing.
Sorry, but I doubt such an effort to try to bring in more people who spend less money by a reduction of fees is gonna be an overall Win/Win for the Bahamians...

They're not stupid, they see the sort of boats the typical Mom & Pop cruisers are bringing to the Bahamas these days... Forget about the initial cost, most have probably $5K sunk into their davits and tenders alone :-) Maybe another $5K in crap sitting housed in NavPods mounted at the helm...

Most have probably spent over $1K in diesel fuel alone chugging down The Ditch, often stopping in marinas where anything less than $100 for the night would be a bargain... And so on...

Does anyone really think another $3-400 bucks is gonna deter those folks from spending their winter in spots like this?





I often get a chuckle from the over inflated sense of worth many of us cruising on modest boats, in a low-key fashion, have about our "importance" or effect on the Bahamian economy... The Bahamians knw where the real money comes from (along with selling their islands to Disney and Carnival Cruise Lines), they'll take one of these to 30 of me, every time... :-)


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post #18 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Most have probably spent over $1K in diesel fuel alone chugging down The Ditch, often stopping in marinas where anything less than $100 for the night would be a bargain... And so on...

Does anyone really think another $3-400 bucks is gonna deter those folks from spending their winter in spots like this?
Totally agree.

We spent 5 months in the Bahamas 2009-2010 and The $300 fee was the least of our financial concerns (we did not really have any - financial or otherwise)

$300 is a piss in the ocean compared to the overall cost to take some time out and cruise the Bahamas - Priceless.

now, if they can only import some decent wine and steak, that's what the place really need ;-)
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post #19 of 58 Old 08-28-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

Once again it is impossible to get this community (the sailing community as a whole) to get together on anything for the benefit of the community.
Obviously 3 or 4 hundred dollars is not a bad deal for 5 or 6 months anywhere, but that wasn't my point.
For those who only wish to spend a week or two, it is outrageous. For me it would mean not stopping for fuel on the trip from the Caribbean to the US, because my budget just doesn't include an extra $400.00 for a two hour stay.
I used to stop in Great Inagua whenever I was passing, just for an evening ashore for the best crack conch ANYWHERE, but I'm not paying an extra $400 (or $300) for dinner.
Whether we go or not, the big yachts with unlimited budgets will continue to go and ripping off the little guys does not appreciably enhance the lives of the Bahamian citizens.
Perhaps none of you who responded negatively to this post will ever sail to the Caribbean via the Bahamas and back, never need fuel on a windless 1200 mile trip (fuel management or not, 1200 miles w/o wind is stretching it for most of us), or just need to duck in for shelter for a couple of nights.
But some day in the future when fees are exorbitant for every island group, you may not be able to take that long dreamed of bareboat vacation because those fees are the straw that broke the camel's back.
I am truly sorry that so many of you cannot see the greater picture here. As someone who has sailed the Caribbean and the Bahamas since the late 70's, I have watched with dismay this trend to squeeze every penny that they can out of folks just trying to enjoy a life of freedom away from the rigors of modern society.

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post #20 of 58 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
And yet, one fill up of diesel on a MegaYacht would create more revenue that twenty 35 foot cruising boats would produce in a year!

270' O'mega Yacht - fuel 200,000 litres
135' megayatch - fuel 37,854 litres
even the little 112 ' megayacht carries 20,763 litres

At a buck and a half a litre that is no small change.

I guess it is all relative.
Most mega yachts fuel up where it's cheapest, and that's not in the Bahamas. Mega yacht skipper in Nassau told me it's worth their time and fuel to return to the States to fuel up.
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