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Old 05-10-2008, 09:20   #1
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Beer in the Bahamas

Beer and canned goods are very expensive in the Bahamas. Scuttlebutt has it that when cruising, a frugal beer drinking sailor should consider bringing in lots of their favorite canned goods and beer. I read on official Bahamian websites that the Bahamanian government iimposes a large duty on imported alcohol. I would much appreciate some practical advice from beer drinking cruisers who have Bahamas experience regarding loading up on canned beer before checking into the Bahamas at Bimini or elsewhere. Do the Customs officials come on board and inspect your boat for alcohol, tobacco or other items on which they impose duties? Or is it an "honor system" of voluntary reporting? Thanks much for any insight on this matter.
signed Joe, a frugal beer drinking sailor
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:23   #2
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We have never been boarded while checking in to the Bahamas and we always stock up pretty good, but don't get carried away. If you need to carry enough beer in to get you in trouble perhaps you should find out where the meetings are in the Bahamas
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:52   #3
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Ship's stores are usually duty-free. What is a reasonable amount of beer that qualifies as "stores" is dependent on the customs agent. I've carried as much as a case of gin and as much wine without problem. Don't know the beer equivalent but a few cases would probably not be questioned. When asked at customs - just say "ship's stores".
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:05   #4
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Chuck, Thanks for reporting your experience. No, I would not want to give the impression that I was going over to bootleg beer to the other cruisers. But my three month supply of a couple of cases would probably be over the limit even if the rest of my cargo was only meant as offerings to friends at sundowner time. By the way, maybe you could tell me where those meeting places are. Being the experienced cruiser that you are .
signd, Joe the frugal and dishonorable sailor
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:23   #5
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The differance between drunks and alcoholics is that us drunks don't attend meetings we usually take about 4 cases with us, not for personal consumption mind you, but with all of the socializing in the Bahamas your guest go through a lot. Even at 4 cases we never considered that a lot. Rum and wine can be cheaper there than in the states.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:09   #6
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If you clear in at Marsh Harbour they will have you pull in to a marina and they will come down to your boat. Green Turtle Cay does not and I'm not sure about Spanish Wells but with beer at 48 dollars a case make sure you bring plenty or start drinking rum.
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:56   #7
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Beer Into Bahamas

Have never been boarded or queried for "stores," including beer. Pets and weapons were asked about.

We take approx 12 cases of beer and 12 boxes of wine for personal consumption (six months). Last year at Bimini and Spanish Cay: no queries.
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Old 05-10-2008, 14:57   #8
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Thanks opsailor.Sounds like I won't have a problem. My little ole Jeanneau would not have room for much else if I loaded her with 12 cases plus all the other junk I carry. Your Hunter must have exceptional storage space. BTW what do you use for ballast after all the beer is gone?
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Old 05-10-2008, 15:25   #9
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Cleared in many times. Customs are not interested in "ships stores". In Nassau they come down to the marina but seldom board boats. They are more interested in firearms. Take all the beer you need, rum you can buy there a lot cheaper.
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Old 05-10-2008, 15:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agur's Wish View Post
but with beer at 48 dollars a case .
Nooooo....
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Old 05-10-2008, 15:56   #11
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No it's only $40 a case, sometimes you can get a case for $36. Now you see why we take lots of "provisions".
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Old 29-10-2008, 18:45   #12
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The answer to 'how much beer did you bring to the Bahamas?" is always 'a case too few.' 40 bucks for a case of Bud Light cans is about right. I suggest you learn to like rum. It is better for sundowners anyway. The beer is great for thanking cruisers who come over your boat and help you fix stuff like the fridge that you need to keep the beer cold.
I had no one board me in Bimini. Check in was easy.
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Old 29-10-2008, 19:17   #13
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We used to take 9 cases of Yuengling and never had any problems. Yeungling was the best beer we could find in cans. (Black and Tan) It was easy to get the beer in Miami at the Collins Canal - supermarket in across the road from the dinghy landing. Free buses in Vero Beach were another option for gathering the beer.
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