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Old 11-10-2018, 01:53 PM   #1
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Marina to leave boat in Bahamas?

We’ve decided that our earlier plan to take the boat to the BVI this winter was more ambitious than we can pull off, and decided the Bahamas will be better for us for a number of reasons.

We will be leaving Florida approximately December 1 and heading to the Bahamas. I would like to have more time to plan, but for various reasons we have to get going. The boat will be there for about 90 days, with us doing several trips and returning to our west-coast home in between.

We plan on mostly doing the Exumas with possibly an Abacos run in the mix.

Can anyone suggest and/or recommend a marina to base the boat and leave it when we are away? The priority is mostly security for the boat, with access by air a consideration. We will need a place where we can have someone at least keep an eye on the dock lines and help us make sure the power stays on.
We have remote cams that help but need some level of trust with someone on site.

I have found lots of great info regarding places to visit but very little concerning where to leave a boat in the water in between trips. The boat is 63’ with a 7’ draft so that may eliminate some smaller marinas. I know there are a number of TF members with extensive Bahamas experience and appreciate any help you can provide. We have cruised the Exumas for one trip on a friend’s boat so we loosely know the lay of the land.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:24 PM   #2
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I have looked into New Providence island (in and around Nassau). There are some choices in Nassau but all the big city stuff (crowds, crime, etc) make them not that appealing. I looked at Palm Cay Marina which looks nice and is outside of Nassau city a bit. Active Captain reviews are good, but there aren’t many and they are short on specifics. Anyone have any direct experience with Palm Cay?

Alternatives outside the Nassau area?

We are interested in the snorkeling, beach-walking, maybe fishing. Atlantis and shopping are not our deal.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:39 PM   #3
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Lyford Cay on New Providence offers more privacy but not sure if it is open to the public.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:31 PM   #4
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Take a look at Spanish Wells Yacht Haven. Spanish Wells is a neat and safe town, with a proper grocery. It also has a boat yard, and various mechanics if needed. It is a short hop to Highbourne Cay or Harbor Island to explore Eleuthera, or the Exumas. It is probably a little harder to fly there than Nassau from the States. But, there are flights to North Eleuthera airport, and it is a short cab/ferry ride to Spanish Wells. When I was there the marina staff took care of arraignments to get to the airport, and were a delight to deal with. Also, the marina had a face lift a few years ago, and is now quite nice with stout wooden docks, good power, a pool, restaurant and RO water is available. I think most leave their boats in one of the many Nassau marinas, but Spanish Wells is a smaller and more quaint stop.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:04 PM   #5
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If you are looking in the Abacos try Marsh Harbor Marina and Jib Room. As I remember long term rates are fairly reasonable. Besides that it is a kind of fun place.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Lyford Cay is beautiful but apparently is private (the web site said you can stay up to 4 days as a transient).

Marsh Harbor is farther north than we would prefer, and the marina water depth seems pretty skinny for our draft.

Spanish Wells Yacht Haven looks great (thanks, Berwick). That is exactly the kind of place I have in mind. I need to check into the flight access and see if it is enough more complicated to be problematic.

As noted, many/most would opt for a Nassau/New Providence marina, and that may still prove to a good option. Does anyone have recent experience with a marina on New Providence where you would be comfortable leaving your boat?
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:14 PM   #7
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We stayed at Palm Cay in New Providence for 4 days a few months ago. Very nice place, a little pricey but great amenities. Good security. Large shopping for grocery nearby. Cab ride into Nassau or Paradise Island. Recommended.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:29 PM   #8
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If in the Exumas, perhaps Highbourne or Compass (though the latter is a little funky). Both are very well protected. If you eventually do chose the Abacos I would leave her in Treasure Cay. No better protected harbour IMHO.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:43 PM   #9
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Staniel Cay is a good choice for the OP's stated needs as well. Nice vibe there.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. Its hard to beat the access to New Providence to fly in and out so Palm Cay looks appealing. Good to have a positive first-hand review. I'll check further into all options and let you know what we decide.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:49 PM   #11
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Staniel Cay is a good choice for the OP's stated needs as well. Nice vibe there.
Staniel is very open to the wave action coming in through the pass, also boats going by create havoc as there is no such thing as a slow zone and boats get really rocked against the pilings in there.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:53 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. Its hard to beat the access to New Providence to fly in and out so Palm Cay looks appealing. Good to have a positive first-hand review. I'll check further into all options and let you know what we decide.
Palm Cay is nice. We spent some time there last year on our way back from the Exumas. Good security - with a chain across the entrance every night and all comings and goings monitored. Try and get a slip on the west side where the facilities are - otherwise it is a hike.

A couple of pics from last year.

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Old 11-12-2018, 10:26 PM   #13
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Staniel Cay is a good choice for the OP's stated needs as well. Nice vibe there.

You couldn't leave a boat there while you were away. If a blow comes from the west, they'll clear the marina, it gets pretty bad.



Maybe make friends with John Malone and you could keep it at Sampson!
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:44 AM   #14
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Call Travis at the conch inn hotel and marina in marsh harbour. They are 7-9 feet at mlw for their large slips. 10 minute taxi to boat from airport. 1:45 minute jet service from Atlanta via delta. 242-367-4000. We just did a week on a 43 powercat there and it was great! Page 99 on the crushing guide to aback 2018!
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:08 AM   #15
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Emerald Bay on Great Exuma is another good option. Not too far from the airport and a very nice facility with great staff.

We also spent quite a bit of time at Palm Cay and had a mostly good experience. Great staff, great facility, but we had consistent problems with their fresh water.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:36 AM   #16
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Emerald Bay on Great Exuma is another good option. Not too far from the airport and a very nice facility with great staff.

We also spent quite a bit of time at Palm Cay and had a mostly good experience. Great staff, great facility, but we had consistent problems with their fresh water.
Another good choice. We have been here a couple of times. Great facility and well run.

Only concern would be timing. If you have a certain window to be there to leave the boat you would be subject to the whims of the Exuma Sound, which can get pretty nasty at times.
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