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Old 27-01-2013, 08:40   #1
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Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

Our family (2 adults, 3 teenagers) plans on a 7-10 day bareboat charter in the Exumas this June. I would appreciate opinions on the following:

  1. Which charter company do people have good/bad experience with?
  2. Would you recommend a 1-way sail?
  3. Which direction would you suggest we sail (NW to SE ending at Georgetown, or SE to NW ending near Nassau)?
  4. Any preference for sailing in June vs. July?
  5. ANY other information you can share would be fantastic.
Thank you in advance for your willingness to share!


CMan
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Old 27-01-2013, 09:35   #2
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

I recommend the Moorings as a charter company (moorings.com). They have a large fleet of boats to pick from and their service is excellent. Sailing in June is preferred than July as less crowded waters would be navigated. Snorkeling/swimming/SCUBA diving...wear a t-shirt for these activities, as the water is slightly cooler than July's. Get a travel guide such as Frommer's Bahamas 2013 ($13 USD from Amazon), and use it to plan some shore trips. With children's on board, you will need to make frequent stops to restock your fridge; fruits, veggies, sandwiches, snacks and soft drinks for daytime sailing. Pricey and limited supplies are to be expected in the Bahamas; if you find a store that has what you need, stock up! A disclaimer...I have no financial interest in the Moorings or Frommer's. Have fun! Mauritz
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Old 27-01-2013, 11:52   #3
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

Teknav,

Moorings aren't in the Exumas.

CMan,

AFAIK there's only one outfit chartering in the Exumas. It's a Canadian outfit from Quebec and most of their clients are from Quebec. I think they now offer one ways. Their main base is in Nassau and recently they've said they have boats in Emerald Bay (Georgetown). For the Exumas I'd do at least 10 days.
Bareboat Charters | Navtours Yacht Rental
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Old 27-01-2013, 12:00   #4
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

There are limited choices for what you want to do. I'd do Nassau to Georgetown one way. The Quebec outfit seemed pretty organized when I contacted them.....
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Old 27-01-2013, 12:19   #5
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

Yeah, start in Nassau and drop off in Emerald Bay. Some of my favourite spots are in the north end. It'll be very quiet in June or July. You'll have the place to yourselves.
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Old 27-01-2013, 14:50   #6
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

Thank you all - this is great info. Has anyone ever chartered from Georgetown? We don't have need to visit Nassau so we would be happy starting somewhere quieter.

Are there any charter companies with a base in Staniel Cay?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 27-01-2013, 16:28   #7
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMan View Post
Thank you all - this is great info. Has anyone ever chartered from Georgetown? We don't have need to visit Nassau so we would be happy starting somewhere quieter.

Are there any charter companies with a base in Staniel Cay?

Thanks for the help!
As I said, Navtours seems to be the only game in town. No charter boats out of Staniel. I guess you could start in Georgetown. The problem with GT is that you would have to go out into Exuma Sound right away whereas from Nassau you start inside, on the Bank. In June/July the weather is not as great a factor as in winter. Provisioning is better in Nassau, food is relatively expensive in the Bahamas. Don't know what Navtours does re provisioning. Also their fleet seems mostly in Nassau. I have seen most of their boats as charterers seem to like Normans Cay, one of my favourite spots. I spend a fair amount of time there in the winter.

Here's a pic of a Navtours boat in Normans. He seems to have found the shallow spot in the middle.
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Old 27-01-2013, 16:44   #8
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

CMan,

Just a word of warning, Exumas isn't like BVI. Most of your meals will be on board. There isn't a restaurant in every anchorage. Many charterers prefer to eat out, but in the Exumas, where??? In addition June/July is the slow season and some old stand bys such as MacDuffs on Normans might be closed.
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Old 27-01-2013, 16:48   #9
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

You might want to check this out - www.islandgirl-charters.com

I don't have any connection - but I know they pulled their boat out of 360Yachting fleet and it's now based in Georgetown. He's advertising good rates for June.

We did a charter out of Eluethera in May - sailed over to the Exumas - spectacular!!
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Old 27-01-2013, 16:51   #10
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

link doesn't work.
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Old 27-01-2013, 17:06   #11
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

OK, I'll try adding the http:// in front.

Let's see if this one works - Bahama Catamaran Charters
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Old 27-01-2013, 19:10   #12
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

Yes, I have heard there is a boat or two chartering out of Eluethera, bare or crewed. one is a cat. Starting and ending a charter in G-town would allow you to get off the beaten path out to Conception Island etc. However, if you havent done the Bahamas before, then Nassau to G town woud be mostly easy and great.
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:20   #13
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

If you prefer sailing to motoring you should begin in Georgetown as opposed to Nassau due to the prevailing winds.
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Old 28-01-2013, 11:26   #14
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

Thank you for all the responses.

Has anyone chartered from 360yachting? I've read (mostly) good and (some) bad so I'm a little concerned about using them but would love some first-hand experience.
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Old 28-01-2013, 11:43   #15
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Re: Bahama / Exumas bareboat: Which charter company to choose?

We chartered with 360 in May. Picked up their 47' Leopard at Rock Sound Eluethera. The boat was great, sailed over to Exuma and made a big circuit for 11 days, returning to Rock Sound.

While our experience was fine, there was a very strange double-booking of our charter boat. I feel that 360 did not handle it well at all. We got the boat we booked - another party, however did not. Needless to say, they were very unhappy. Very poor communication for all involved, literally dozens of un-answered phone calls and emails.

If it means anything, the link I posted earlier is for a boat that was pulled from the 360 line-up and is now managed independently out of Georgetown.

I also read the good reviews for them, so your mileage may vary. I wouldn't charter from them again even though our experience was fine.
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