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Old 08-31-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

*** reposted as a new topic from original Newbie on board" thread" ****

THANK YOU ALL for the wonderful responses! Just as I expected - sage advice from seasoned veterans with the experience.

We decided to take your advice and put the "training" money towards a 2 week charter next May/June. Amy has already spoken to her boss about taking that much time off consecutively as there is often a schedueling problem to someone to take her patients and it's easy for me as a self-employed IT headhunter.

Since our chosen cruising grounds for the liveaboard dream are the Bahamas/Caribbean (completely sold after reading Lavigne's book) we determined that our choices are the Bahamas or the Virgin Islands. Both easy to get to from Atlanta, lots of facitlities for boarters, great cruising grounds etc. Would love to hear y'alls (that's Southernese that I picked up, the Canadian in me would say "you guys' ") opinions - pros/cons of each.

Our initial research has come up pretty dry in terms of charter companies offering trawlers in either location...
- USVI - Trawlers in Paradise website seems to have been hijacked by a charter broker website - I remember stopping at their docks once on St. Thomas and touring a GB. Are they still around? CYOA appears to have a 39' Mainship and a 44' cat - we prefer monohull since that's what we'd buy - BVI - looks like bareboatsbvi has a 36' Heritage and a 43' cat

- Bahamas - Florida Yacht Charters appears to have a base in Abaco but I can't find any of the Mainships they supposedly have only a big Lagoon cat. Great Harbor has a charter program to help sell their vessels but not our style at all.* Southwest Florida Yachts in Ft. Myers doesn't allow their boats to go there.* Chitwood Charters in Sarasota does but it would take a week to get there via the Okechobee (sp?) waterway.

Any suggestions/experience?

Finally, since we are big users of VRBO.com to book vacation rental properties from the owner we thought there might be something similar in the trawler world. Perhaps a couple finishing up a winter in the islands wanting some shore time and having their trawler generate some cash for the cruising kitty. I imaging the insurance issues preclude this type of arrangement.

Regards, Ken & Amy
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

As your being*first time charterers in the islands, I am recommending the Sea of Abaco.* Beautiful water, protected cruising, and good destinations makes it an ideal cruising ground.* I'm not sure about monohulls, but http://www.cruiseabaco.com/*has a good reputation for good equipment.* I think they have captains available on a daily charge basis.* Good luck.

You can click on our blog below.* Then click on the Bahamas 2010 trip page.* It will give a glimpse into that area.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:11 PM   #3
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

Don,*

Have you used them, or know them?* I'd love to charter that power cat for a week.* *
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

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Don,*

Have you used them, or know them?* I'd love to charter that power cat for a week.* *
*No, because we have always taken our own boat over.* I have seen and talked with many of their customers.* Most are very satisfied.* They have a large fleet of sail boats and a few power cats.* They base in Marsh Harbor which is a great location.* It is just about in the center of the Sea of Abaco.* The Abacos are very easy cruising.* The water is beautiful.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:22 PM   #5
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

Charterworld.com charters trawlers in BVI.***** KJ
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:58 AM   #6
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

I have been to the Sea of Abaco and it is awesome - rented a home on the harbor in Hopetown on Elbow Cay and a 26' center console. .. great snorkeling and of course Nippers. It is perfect boating. The boart rental people were based on Great Guana and came to big us up in Marsh Harbor. Which is why I was excited when Florida Yacht Charters website showed a base in Marsh Harbor but their website doesn't show much of a trawler fleet there. I guess my best bet is to call them for current info.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:57 PM   #7
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

I have heard of a couple of others that will charter monohulls, but there are few.* I have heard no good reports on them.* It would not be a good idea to rent in Florida hoping to have the weather windows for the departure and return trip.* If the weather was good, you would hardly get over before turning around to head back.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

Agree 100%. * If we had a couple of months we could charter from Chitwood in Sarasota and do a long trip. *With just 2 weeks we'll fly direct to Marsh Harbor. *The other alternative is a couple of weeks on the west coast of Florida and the Keys out of either Chitwood or Southwest Florida Yachts as we can drive to Sarasota from Atlanta.*
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:09 PM   #9
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

Quote:
KenF wrote:
Agree 100%. * If we had a couple of months we could charter from Chitwood in Sarasota and do a long trip. *With just 2 weeks we'll fly direct to Marsh Harbor. *The other alternative is a couple of weeks on the west coast of Florida and the Keys out of either Chitwood or Southwest Florida Yachts as we can drive to Sarasota from Atlanta.*
*We just moved our boat out of SW FL last May.* Great cruising around there.* Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound have some great stops.* SW FL Yachts has a good reputation.* For going to the Keys, it is probably better to charter out of Miami.* You would have a minimum of 100 miles of open water to Marathon or Key West from SW FL.

You could easily kill two weeks cruising SW FL.* I think Capn Chuck is down at Ft. Myers Beach now.* We have some pages in our blog with pictures of the area.* I like it better than the Keys.* We also have some of the Keys on the blog.
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:21 AM   #10
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Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

The Bahama is nice , but its a monoculture and much of the area is quite thin , so navigation is required , and many anchorages are small.

This requires a Bahamian Moore , two anchors one fore , one aft.

All this is worth the effort for an experienced cruiser that will be there for a few months.

The Carib is a sunken mountain range ,loads of deep water, far harder to run aground and the different islands have different cultures , and resturants!

The West Coast of FL would be a great* learning cruising area.

Easy nav , Sea Tow if you miss and loads of harbours.

Gulfport in Boca Ciega Bay is one of my favorites.

*

Protected anchorage, city dink dock, and at least a dozen resturants , from Key West bar food to fine dining.


-- Edited by FF on Thursday 8th of September 2011 04:24:46 AM
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

Quote:
FF wrote:
Gulfport in Boca Ciega Bay is one of my favorites.

*

Protected anchorage, city dink dock, and at least a dozen resturants , from Key West bar food to fine dining.

*
*Fred, you got my attention there.* I have been in Gulf Port a few times for cheap fuel and a pump out.* I know there is a sailing club as you go in, but I know little else about it.* I just didn't think that it was close enough.* It is one of the most reasonably priced marinas around.* Hope I didn't miss too much.* Tell us about it.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:30 AM   #12
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Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

"It is one of the most reasonably priced marinas around.'Tell us about it.

???? ME?? I anchor out , row in to free city dock, across from bar/resturants,

I only know there is a marina there someplace from a street sign.

*

I dont do M>M.


-- Edited by FF on Friday 9th of September 2011 04:32:48 AM
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:26 PM   #13
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RE: Bahamas/Caribbean charter info please

Great tips fr4om all as usual! *Thanks. *Looking more like something in South Florida for this 2 week "skill building" trip. * Just checked the PMM website too and TrawlerFest is on in Feb. 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale. *Been a decade since the last one I attended at Solomons but it was memorable, educational and motivational. * **

Ken
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