although we're mostly sailboat people here we're well aware of the requirements of power boat
people too. i'm sure you know the part about having your engine
tuned up and checked out before leaving, or the part about waiting for good weather
to cross. so i'll just renumerate some less obvious stuff -
cross to west end. you can refuel there while you check in. if possible, make the crossing with other boats.
have a good working built in vhf
with a good external antenna
. the u.s. coast guard can pick you up all the way across the gulf stream
and then some if you get in trouble.
fill your water tanks
at every opportunity.
have a suitable anchor
with at least some chain - say, 30 feet - and 100 feet of line. would be nice to have all chain but that's not too common on power boats your size. have a second anchor
with some chain and line. at the risk of starting an anchor war here, i recommend a manson supreme or other 'new generation' anchor, at least 25 pounds.
have two gps's (i use handhelds) and a handheld vhf
although i prefer the explorer charts
for most of the bahamas
, in the abacos i think steve dodges abaco guide is better. all of the route
and waypoint information you will need is in both guides. the dodge guide has much more 'local knowledge'.
it will cost you $150 to check in. much less than a day at disneyworld with the kids
. if you intend to fish
or spearfish, tell the customs
agent at check in so they can stamp your papers. you will need passports for everybody on board.
if you intend to anchor out occasionally, say at some deserted island, you will need some kind of transportation to shore - a dinghy
of sorts. not sure how your boat is laid out but i'm guessing an inflatable
is in your future.
don't take a lot of clothes. shorts, t-shirts, sandals, hats. sunscreen.
and finally, bring money/credit cards/atm card. everything is more expensive in the abacos.