Bahamas Boat and Yacht Insurance

by W.R. Hodgens Marine Insurance, Inc.
Bahamas Boat and Yacht Cruising Map

Bahamas Boat and Yacht Cruising

Are you planning to cruise in the Bahamas? With a little pre-planning, your cruise can be a huge success!

Just remember to make sure you have The Bahamas as a operating area on your yacht insurance. Complete the Yacht Insurance Quote on this site for free quotes at competitive prices.

Cruising the Bahamas - An Overview

The Bahamas are famous for crystal clear waters and abundant cruising areas with fabulous anchorages and ports. Just a few of things you can do cruising in the Bahamas:

Bahamas Diving Water Activities
  • Water Sports:
    • Diving & Snokeling
    • Water boarding and skiing
    • Windsurfing
    • Stand-up Paddling
  • Sailing
  • Fishing
    • Rod & reel
    • Spear fishing
    • Conking
    • Lobstering
Bahamas Beaches Land Cruising
  • The beaches!
  • Tour historic buildings, lighthouses, etc.
  • Shopping
  • Night life
    • Restaurants
    • Night Clubs
    • Casinos
  • Nature Tours
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Taxi Tours

Bahamas Cruising
Don't forget to relax!

Getting There
Bahamas Cruising Entry Map
The Bahamas can be entered though numerous ports whether arriving by boat from the US or Caribbean. The Bahamas requires passports for entry and will grant cruising and fishing permits for extended stays. Check with the Bahamian Government beforehand for entry, permits, and departure fees.

When entering from the USA, the farther south you start the better the crossing of the Gulf Stream, a fast moving ocean current that is nearly as wide as the Straits of Florida is between the main land and the islands. Many people take advantage of the counter current running just outside the stream to move south faster. Typical ports of entry are from South to North: Bimini, West End and Freeport, Grand Bahama, Walker's Cay in the Abacos and Chub Cay in the Berry Islands. You can also go straight through to Nassau, the capitol of The Bahamas and enter there.

Leave from West Palm Beach or farther north for Walker's Cay. Fort Lauderdale or Miami to enter at Bimini or West End and Freeport, Grand Bahama.

From the South, entrance is usually made at Great Inagua, or straight through to George Town, Exumas.

Bahamas Entry from the South
Bahamas Entry from the South

Cruising The Bahamas

OK, you have cleared in, now where to go? The Bahamas is separated into three areas for cruising- North, Central and Out Islands.

Bahamas Cruising The North cruising area for boaters is famous for deep sea sport fishing, diving, upscale resorts and endless beaches. The main island of Grand Bahama has the most in port facilites and is the gateway to the Abacos on the north coast.

If you are powering in a medium to small boat you can take the Grand Bahama Canal which cuts through the middle of the island to put you straight into the Abacos. For larger yachts and sailboats you must go around Grand Bahama to the north end for the best sheltered journey.

Once in the Abacos you have many islands to visit with fine achorages and harbor facilities. Marsh Harbor on Great Abaco is the main point for reprovisioning and transportation. You can do everything listed above for activities in The Bahamas. Some people cruise the northern Bahamas and never cruise anywhere else.

Conch Shells in the Bahamas

Nassau Harbor Light The Central Bahama Islands is where the capitol of The Bahamas, Nassau on the island of New Providence is. From Nassau you can go anywhere in the Bahamas and fly anywhere as well, a great convenience for guests coming and going from your boat. Nassau has many marinas, restaurants, shopping, resorts and casinos offering something for everybody.

Pictured right the entrance light at Nassau Harbor.

Great cruising areas not far from Nassau are the Berry Islands just to the north, Spanish Wells at Eluthera Island to the west and the Exuma Cays to the south. All of these islands are remote and far from the beaten path offering a hands on experience with nature. The Thunderball cave named for the movie is at Staniel Cay in the Exumas and is a must snorkel stop.

The Bahamas Out Islands is where the weekly mail boat which carries the mail, passangers and all fresh supplies and is the big event for each island. There are no sheltered waters to reach these places and it is open ocean cruising. Many go as far as George Town, Great Exuma and no further but the Out Islands is where the big fish jumps and pristine solitude is the rule. San Salvador is where Christopher Columbus first landed as there is only the Atlantic Ocean between Spain and The Bahamas.

There is incredible wall diving, superb fishing and untouched nature is all around you on these Out Islands.

Tides in the Bahamas A special note must be made for tides in the Bahamas. Using tide tables is a must in the Bahamas to reach your destination more quickly and enter harbors more safely.

Bahamas Waters

Reading the Water Much of the cruising waters of the Bahamas is shallow from a few to twenty feet in depth. Wearing polarized sun glasses and noting the different colors of water from depth, grass, sand and rock will get you safely to your next stop. It won't take long and you too will be an expert in Bahamian navigation.

Bahamas Waters