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Old 02-08-2010, 23:38   #1
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Rules for Beaching and Anchoring off Unihabited Islands in the Caribbean

I assume the rules are different from country to country but generally after we clear customs what are the rules about beaching and or anchoring just off shore in quiet sheltered bays or uninhabited islands and spending the night?
We plan to travel from Miami through the Caribbean to the Bahamas and then slowly work our way to DR. Weve never been through the Caribbean so its all a big learning curve for us. Any tips suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:37   #2
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Most countries prohibit anchoring in coral and restrict fishing by visitors - apart from that you would need to check up on each country separately. I know of no countries in the Caribbean which generally prohibit anchoring. Some places, such as St. John in the USVI, don't allow anchoring but provide mooring balls; or St. Barths which has nature preserves where anchoring is only allowed in certain delineated areas.
Apart from www.noonsite.com for immigration/customs information and other data on each country, there are a couple of Guides to the Leewards/Windwards which contain information on anchorages (among a lot of other useful information).
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:55   #3
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In the Bahamas you can anchor as close as your draft will allow. And up to the high water mark is public property on the beaches
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:54   #4
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I assume you sail a catamaran? Just run her up on the beach and hop off the bow.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:28   #5
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Here in Bermuda, being a British colony, you can go anywhere up to HWM. It is technically, one of the few places where you can legally "touch the Queen's bottom". She owns everything up to HWM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:37   #6
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Rules, mon? Ain't got no stinkin rules!!!
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:44   #7
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Rule #1

When beaching the dink always raise the outboard motor.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:44   #8
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Many of the nations have rules against anchoring in coral as mentioned (obviously not in swimming areas, marked channels, etc as well) Other than that:

You'll find a lot of uninhabited islands in the Bahamas. I'm not aware of any other anchoring restrictions. There are places you can anchor for days and not see another boat. If uninhabited islands are your thing, spend a lot of time in the Bahamas.

I know some Caribbean locations restrict anchoring and require you to pick up moorings. In the SVIs, unexploded ordinance is one reason you are encouraged not to anchor in some places, which I find a quite compelling reason.
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Old 03-08-2010, 16:54   #9
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Thanks for the tips and info
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