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Old 27-08-2013, 10:07   #31
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I have an ice box and am not prioritizing a refrigerator.

I'm thinking I might need to make a change with that alternator though.
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Old 27-08-2013, 20:42   #32
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

i've thought about your situation and read some of the really good posts and would like to add some more.

1. after much consideration, i think it would be best to fix the alternator and use that as your primary battery charger. it would probably be a lot cheaper than a solar panel or a generator. it would not require any additional space on your boat. plus, your engine runs on very little diesel fuel. but bring a spare alternator.

2. i still prefer the coleman camping stove. you can buy the stove, lpg tank, and hose set up for under $100. if you handle it safely it will be safe. and lpg is widely available in the bahamas. cooking takes place mostly at anchor, so a gimballed stove is really unnecessary. we have a gimballed lpg stove and avoid using it on passage when the seas are up. we just came back from the abacos, two days in lumpy seas, and ate sandwiches, granola bars, and canned fruit the whole way back.

3. i'll relent on the 100 feet of chain. make it 60 feet of 1/4" high test chain, followed by 50 feet of 1/2" nylon rode.

4. it's great that you're thinking no refrigeration. it's the biggest power drain on my boat. if it wasn't for the first mate i'd probably shut if off and use it for storage space. but you'll probably have to forget an ice box too. ice is not widely available and expensive.

5. get the smallest outboard you can find. i have a yamaha 3hp. i'd be happy with a 2 although after 13 years my yamaha is still running so i guess i can't complain.

6. i didn't mention things like a vhf and a depth sounder. vhf is a requirement; if you get in trouble, the u.s. coast guard maintains high towers and repeaters and will pick you up all across the gulf stream.

hope we're not inundating you with ideas/opinions/advice, but if i think of anything else i'll be sure to post again...
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Old 28-08-2013, 07:02   #33
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

Back to your original question. Take plenty of provisions, and stay our of marinas and prepare your own meals.

In 1987, four friends and I sailed the Bahamas for two weeks before coming back. The last night, we stopped in Cat Cay, got a slip, and had a wonderful supper, but spent more money in 24 hours than the rest of the trip combined.

On my last trip, the single biggest expense we had was the few nights we tied up at a marina instead of anchoring out.
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Old 30-08-2013, 10:50   #34
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Ive been given an EPIRB. This means I will only have to pay for it if I break\lose it.
I have a question about binoculars. I have a very powerful pair of Zeiss I used for hunting. A friend informed me that they won't work for me, so whqt type should I get?
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Old 30-08-2013, 11:07   #35
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by SVStargazer View Post
Ive been given an EPIRB. This means I will only have to pay for it if I break\lose it.
I have a question about binoculars. I have a very powerful pair of Zeiss I used for hunting. A friend informed me that they won't work for me, so whqt type should I get?
If your friend means the hunting binoculars are too strong... 10x? I used mine for years and found them fine. Usually the reommendation is for less powerful so you can find something easier when scanning the water etc. But I had no trouble. The non marine ones did degrade over about 10 years of use though.
My favorites are a small pair of very clear birding binoc's. But use what you have, they'll be fine.
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Old 30-08-2013, 12:11   #36
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

sunscreen and shade (bimini)
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Old 30-08-2013, 12:40   #37
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

about the epirb. they should be registered. if its not registered, it would probably eventually bring help but there might be something of a delay while the authorities try to find the 'registered owner' - if any - to determine if it is a false alarm.

when i registered it i was asked for the names of shoreside contacts and where i would be sailing.

it can be registered online. if you google around you should be able to find the website. but check with the original owner first to make sure it's ok with him.
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Old 30-08-2013, 13:10   #38
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What is your Plan B

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
i've thought about your situation and read some of the really good posts and would like to add some more.

1. after much consideration, i think it would be best to fix the alternator and use that as your primary battery charger. it would probably be a lot cheaper than a solar panel or a generator. it would not require any additional space on your boat. plus, your engine runs on very little diesel fuel. but bring a spare alternator.

2. i still prefer the coleman camping stove. you can buy the stove, lpg tank, and hose set up for under $100. if you handle it safely it will be safe. and lpg is widely available in the bahamas. cooking takes place mostly at anchor, so a gimballed stove is really unnecessary. we have a gimballed lpg stove and avoid using it on passage when the seas are up. we just came back from the abacos, two days in lumpy seas, and ate sandwiches, granola bars, and canned fruit the whole way back.

3. i'll relent on the 100 feet of chain. make it 60 feet of 1/4" high test chain, followed by 50 feet of 1/2" nylon rode.

4. it's great that you're thinking no refrigeration. it's the biggest power drain on my boat. if it wasn't for the first mate i'd probably shut if off and use it for storage space. but you'll probably have to forget an ice box too. ice is not widely available and expensive.

5. get the smallest outboard you can find. i have a yamaha 3hp. i'd be happy with a 2 although after 13 years my yamaha is still running so i guess i can't complain.

6. i didn't mention things like a vhf and a depth sounder. vhf is a requirement; if you get in trouble, the u.s. coast guard maintains high towers and repeaters and will pick you up all across the gulf stream.

hope we're not inundating you with ideas/opinions/advice, but if i think of anything else i'll be sure to post again...
Some of the best advice I got was at a seminar at Boot Key about the first trip to the Bahamas. It was make sure you have a Plan B.

A lot of folks head from South Florida/Keys to Bimini. But what happens if you have problems before you get there, maybe engine or rudder issues. I would not try to sail into Bimini or go in with rudder problems, but it would be fairly easy to go into Nixion's harbor and drop the hook.

For the points I quoted

1. I would make sure the alternator is working and try and get some type of solar trickle charger, Harbor Freight has them cheap.

2. some type of camping stove, you will most likely only be cooking on the hook.

3. Get the best ground tackle you can. I use a Manson with a real Bruce as a second, but there are other good ones. Definitely want chain. Keep in mind you probably want a 7:1 scope and that means 10 feet. While I like the idea of anchoring in 10 feet you may not always have that option. Sad to say when options are limited that is often because of bad weather. To repeat get the best ground tackle you can.

4. Ice/refrigeration is a personal choice

5. Your boat is your house and the tender is your car. Some places you will be able to row. But a bigger motor lets you go diving places you would probably not be able to row to. Down side is you need gas.

6. Most marinas monitor CH 16 and will expect you to contact them before you dock. There is usually a net, often on CH 68, at popular harbors; well worth listening to to get the local news and help on minor things. A VHF is almost mandatory for my peace of mind. Some folks also get a receive only SSB to listen to Chris Parker weather. But if Chris says something important it will probably be on the net.

In additional to having a Plan B for things keep in mind that guys go to the Bahamas in Hobies. But the Hobies that get there in one piece make sure they get the right weather window.

Bottom line is if the weather is good the Bahamas is an easy trip.
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Old 30-08-2013, 14:46   #39
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

What a great thread with a lot of good information.
The ice/refrigeration thing...

I'm not sure I could live without ice in JD or rum but would be willing to conduct a 3 month science experiment long as it was held in the Bahamas

Good luck & have fun on your adventure!
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Old 30-08-2013, 21:31   #40
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Butane is readily available in Abacos. Any supermarket or mini market seems to have it
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Old 31-08-2013, 14:20   #41
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

This is a very helpful thread. I'm new to this site and it looks like it has very good information.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:39   #42
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I agree that this is a good thread as we plan on doing the Bahamas at some point in the future.

We have one of these O2 cool tent fans. It uses less than an amp on low and really moves the air on a stale night. With a 40watt panel it could run 24/7, a bit of a luxury.

The lack of ice I find worrisome, a refrigeration system and supporting solar looks to cost a bit and takes up deck space.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:42   #43
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Roller furler or hank on?
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:50   #44
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Singlehanded- roller without a doubt. Deploy, reef and furl without going forward. Some days you can run jib only easier than running the motor.
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Old 26-09-2013, 21:42   #45
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

Haven't been on here for a time, but here are couple thoughts. We spent 2 trips there some years ago, about 3 months at a time. Some things have changed, but some are constant.

Shade: If you don't have shade you'll cook. Bimini, a tarp you can easily rig or something.

Ice/refrigeration: You won't find ice. Oh, maybe once in a while at a lot of expense, but don't count on it. Either have refrigeration or plan on nothing cold. People do it. I wouldn't but many do and are just fine.

Water is another issue. It's not everywhere, and it's not always good. Plan to carry as much as is practical. We had a watermaker, but others we sailed with were always having to take off looking for water long before they wanted to leave. Figure out how to catch rainwater. It's not constant, but you want to when you can.

Anchoring: 2 anchors are not a luxury, they are required equipment in many places. Most anchorages are swept by tidal currents and boats swing both ways during the day/night. If they put out 2 anchors (most do) and you don't, you won't be very popular as you play bumper boats. So, you need at least 2. If you lose one - it happens - you're back into problems.

I carried 5, but you'll be fine with 3. For 2 of them, any of the suggestions you've read about above, and I'd add a fisherman. The double fishhook looking one. If you end up in grass or over rocky bottom you'll be glad. A small folding one will fit somewhere on your boat, even if you tie it to a stanchion with hose clamps. Don't laugh, that is how I did it on a bigger boat.

I'll second the fact that you can't count on catching fish. It'll be a pretty rare case.

The problem now is, you've got me thinking about it and I want to go back!
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