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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Trips to the Bahamas from Florida
|Author||Topic: Trips to the Bahamas from Florida|
posted 12-08-2003 03:19 PM ET (US)
Has anyone boated from Florida to the Bahamas? If so, do you need any special licenses, documentation, etc?
I was planning a trip to Florida this fall, but the plans have fell through. We are planning a summer trip to Port Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island. I think its only about 45-60 miles from Florida. We went last year via plane and wished we had a boat the whole time. Killed me to shell out $80 to ride arounda half day with some local yocal on a crappy boat. This time we want to take my boat.
Is the 23' Conquest big enough to make the trip? Its equipped with a GPS, Sonar and radio. Are there any other safety precautions to take?
posted 12-08-2003 03:58 PM ET (US)
My dad took me and my family to the bahamas in our 36 foot formula. If it is calm, you could make it. i suggest that you goe with another person because crossing by yourself is dangerous. We had to get a sticker from US Customs to enter the bahamas. If you go i would leave around 6:00 to 6:30 to have the majority of the ride be smooth.
Tightlines & happy whalin'
posted 12-08-2003 04:44 PM ET (US)
Go to the florida sportsman web site, lots of folks go over from se fla. You're 23 may be a bit iffy with a single motor. It's a long way over the stream. You can do a search in the tropical section and you'll find much great info.
posted 12-08-2003 05:01 PM ET (US)
Check out this thread. It gives a long list of suggested items that you should carry on your boat. If you plan on doing a deep-water offshore trip, pack as many safety items as you can and remember what Murphy said: "If anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible moment." Additionally, consider Hoyle's Law: "Murphy was an optimist."
posted 12-08-2003 05:06 PM ET (US)
One last thing, I've gone over 200 miles in an Outrage 18 (70 out, 70 back, and about 8 hours of trolling at 8-10 knots) with a single engine. The waves started picking up on the return trip too. If you trust your boat, your motor, and most importantly, your captain, you can do it safely.
I would recommend another boat go with you though. My trips are always around oil rigs or shrimp boats so I can get help if necessary.
posted 12-08-2003 05:25 PM ET (US)
Great advice on the "go with company" front - especially if you're running a single engine.
I did the 100 mile each way trip from DeTour, Michigan to Little Current, Ontario in my 15 footer with an entourage that included 2 25's (Outrage and Revenge), a 22 Outrage, a 21 WA, and a 19 Outrage. The 2 25's, and the 22 had twins - the rest of us had singles. I believe I was the only one who *NEEDED* to take on fuel for the trip.
Granted, it was different water - but your Whaler can make it - just depends on the weather.
posted 12-08-2003 05:36 PM ET (US)
The Bahamian government has recently raised the cost of a cruising permit. Much has been written in boating magazines about this topic. I think its now $150 for a boat under 35 feet. Check it out first so you're not surprised when you clear customs.
Some information on formalities:
Its a great place to visit. Love the Abacos.
posted 12-08-2003 05:37 PM ET (US)
I definately planned on hooking up with some other boaters. I'll try to coordinate ahead, but figured that during the summer, we'd be able to find someone leaving south florida for the bahamas.
are there any legal things to be concerned about? I read on the bahamas site that you just need to fill out a form to enter into the country. I wasn't sure if you needed to tell the Coast Guard that you are leaving and to listen for you (kinda like backwoods hiking).
I have been adding to the safety/tool kit as time goes to make sure that we have all the necessities and practicing some routine maintenance.
posted 12-08-2003 09:36 PM ET (US)
bbrunner, Sounds like a fun adventure! Do you need a crew? (just kidding) Please take a sea anchor with you. This inexpensive piece of equipment will allow you to keep the bow into the wind if you have engine trouble. Good Luck!
posted 12-08-2003 11:48 PM ET (US)
I HAVE MADE THIS CROSSING MANY MANY TIMES OVER THE YEARS.
I have done it in smallcraft, and large....done it from sailfish marina in wpb to west end in three hours..I have also done it on a three person seadoo jet ski while my wife drove our sea ray 270 sundancer..I have seen this trip take 8 hours on a day that started out beautiful, ocean was glass
then when you hit the gulf stream..it was like being in a giant washing machine...10ft plus coming from all directions
11 of us in the searay club out of ft pierce left once, back in the loran days when you lost loran halfway there [53 miles wpb-west end]....on the return trip the two 42 cruisers were knockin the waves down for the rest of us..then a 35ftr then me in a 32'...the 35' lost its entire windsheild..the smallest vessel with us was a 20' bowrider...man they had it rough.
posted 12-09-2003 08:01 AM ET (US)
Here is a good article on the crossing. Every weekend there are paeople making the crossing so I would suggest joining a group of boats and going for it. Be advised though fall and winter are not the best time for the crossing since north winds are common and the northbound flow of the stream will really stack up the waves.
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