Getting a small boat to the bahamas - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Getting a small boat to the bahamas

Just out of curiosity, I contacted Discovery Cruise Lines who runs a ferry from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport, Grand Bahama about the cost of them shipping my 20' powerboat on her trailer from Lauderdale to Freeport. It was around $350. Not bad. I'd anticipate that a Catalina 22 or similar size sailboat might be just a tad more than that. This would enable people with small boats to sail the bahamas without doing the crossing in a too small boat.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-19-2011
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That's a nice a idea. Not that I live anywhwere near Florida. A few curiosity questions. What do you do with your trailer once you are in the Bahamas? And how do you launch your boat.

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-19-2011 Thread Starter
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I dont know if you need a trailer or just a cradle. I intended to put the trailer at a marina but there are storage places.
Something I found was that a sailboat is not the best way to explore the Bahamas because many places require less than my 4' draft. I intended to take my 20' Tolman Standard over to Freeport and then use it to explore the nearby reefs and then to go thru the Lucayan waterway and then around to Abaco. Once at Abaco, I could explore as I see fit while "camping" aboard my boat. AS the Tolman gets about 5 mpg with 90 hp Yamaha, it is financially feasible. I'd consider the 50 mile trip from Little Harbor to Spanish Wells in Eluthra in good weather aboard her.
A small sailboat could also take advantage of the Lucayan waterway if she could drop her mast thus cutting off the expensive marina at West End and the necessity of spending a day going from there to Great Sale Cay.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-19-2011
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So you are just going to pull the boat onto the ferry with your tow vehicle and then park your truck and trailor at the marina. I guess my question came out more complicated than what I meant it to.

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post #5 of 15 Old 05-20-2011
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be careful of the Duty, if you leave it there too long....

you'll take it back home the same way? (in 6 mo's)?
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-03-2015
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Re: Getting a small boat to the bahamas

As of 2015 the price of shipping a small boat from Florida coast to Freeport Bahamas has drastically increased. Is there any other way of possibly getting the a small 16' boat towed by a larger vessel and load the trailer? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-04-2015
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Re: Getting a small boat to the bahamas

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Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
I dont know if you need a trailer or just a cradle. I intended to put the trailer at a marina but there are storage places.
Something I found was that a sailboat is not the best way to explore the Bahamas because many places require less than my 4' draft. I intended to take my 20' Tolman Standard over to Freeport and then use it to explore the nearby reefs and then to go thru the Lucayan waterway and then around to Abaco. Once at Abaco, I could explore as I see fit while "camping" aboard my boat. AS the Tolman gets about 5 mpg with 90 hp Yamaha, it is financially feasible. I'd consider the 50 mile trip from Little Harbor to Spanish Wells in Eluthra in good weather aboard her.
A small sailboat could also take advantage of the Lucayan waterway if she could drop her mast thus cutting off the expensive marina at West End and the necessity of spending a day going from there to Great Sale Cay.
I remember fuel in the Bahamas as being triple the price of the US or more. You are also going to have to carry fuel from gas stations to the boat in many places. Along with the cost of cruising permits and transportation, you have 100% duty on any item for the boat, even if you took it to the US for repairs and are returning with it. And that's with my business partner being best friends with the PM!
On the good side, I've done the Freeport/Little Bahama Bank area with 13' draft without problems and a lot of the Bahamas with 9', so I wouldn't let 4' concern you too much.

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post #8 of 15 Old 02-04-2015
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Re: Getting a small boat to the bahamas

Why wouldn't one just sail (or power) their way over. You can see the island from the FL coast. You would never be out of sight of land.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-04-2015
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Re: Getting a small boat to the bahamas

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Why wouldn't one just sail (or power) their way over. You can see the island from the FL coast. You would never be out of sight of land.
Wow, dude, you must have incredible eyesight! Closest the Bahamas get to Fla is 49 miles. Even from half way, you would need to be standing on a deck 320 feet above the water, to see Bimini, which is a very low island.
Never mind an AVERAGE current of 2.5 knots on the 49 mile trip which could mean 5 or more at some point, certainly overpowering a 22' sail boat's speed, unless it's blowing way more than you'd want to be in, if you were sailing a 22'er in the Gulfstream.
However, I welcome you to do the trip on a 22' sailboat and please, report back to us and let us know how things went.

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post #10 of 15 Old 02-04-2015
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Re: Getting a small boat to the bahamas

Not that I am recommending it but Cat22's have crossed the Gulf Stream before. Not something I would want to do but I have read about others doing it.
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