Everybody has different ideas -
1) Polarized sunglasses - more bang for the buck than anything else you will use in the Bahamas.
2) Sails - If they are in decent shape don't worry.
3) Chart plotter - whether you prefer electrons or dead trees the Explorer charts are mandatory. We prefer paper. Also get Steve Pavilidis' guide books
. You will want a GPS
4) Radar - you probably won't use it in the Bahamas, unless you move at night, which is not recommended for a novice
. Getting there is another story.
5) Watermaker - if it's in the budget, sure. But 1/4 the price
of a watermaker will buy an awful lot of H2O for jerry jugs.
6)SSB We love it, but all you need is an all-band receiver to get the weather
- Love ours, but did the Bahamas for years without.
8) Solar panels
- see #7.
9) VHF is a necessity. As for AIS, see comments on radar.
- Very handy, but ours died on us down in Acklins one year and we managed to get back to the States in one piece.
11) Good ground tackle. I'm not starting another anchor
debate, there's lots of that already posted.
12) Shade - as in awnings, bimini
Think about what you really need, as opposed to stuff which "might be nice". If you don't have it you won't have to fix it.
You mention going to Grand Bahama. Try getting to some of the less citified islands, like the Berrys, Abacos, or Exumas
. Going to Grand Bahama to see the Bahamas is rather like going to Raleigh to see North Carolina
. It is, but it ain't.
Have a great time.
P.S. As Laidback mentioned, a planing rib
is a Godsend in the Bahamas when you're anchored.