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Ft.Lauderdale to Bahamas

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:22 AM
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Default Ft.Lauderdale to Bahamas

Can anyone tell me what is involved in running a boat from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas? A friend is talking about wanting to run the boat over there and spend the weekend, I'm just not sure what is involved as far as customs and also any suggestions on docking/staying over there would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:41 AM
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you need a US customs decal to re-enter the US.

what island are you going to?

FPC is going to Bimini at the end of the month, call us if you would like to join us.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:12 AM
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Not sure, I am not that familiar with any of it. Do you have a suggestion? What is the closest island? We are just south of Jacksonville so we would be trailering the boats down south and launching them there. Someone told me its only 50 miles? Is that accurate?
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:38 AM
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It's not worth it for just a weekend, they upped the charge for boats over 35 feet to $300. I have been over a bunch from 2002 -2005 and never had a sticker or any problems coming back. If you only have a weekend I would stay in the Keys.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:50 AM
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I know for the "Mut" there was a $300 entry fee from the Bahamian Government.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:08 PM
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I was able to find some info online, but it is not all that helpful. One boat is 28ft and the other is 24ft. We are just in the beginning stages of looking at doing this. I am not sure that I want to run that far with 2 single engine boats. That's a long way to get towed if you break down.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:21 PM
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i agree on the single concern... but you are 2 at least...
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemyjr1 View Post
Can anyone tell me what is involved in running a boat from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas? A friend is talking about wanting to run the boat over there and spend the weekend, I'm just not sure what is involved as far as customs and also any suggestions on docking/staying over there would be greatly appreciated.
Make sure you do your homework and if you go properly prepared it can be a great experience. I would suggest on your first trip you hook up with FPC and they will help you with everthing you need to know. If you want to head out on your own here is some but not all you will need to know.

1) I would suggest a boat length of 30ft or more with min. 2 engines. The bigger the better.
2) Weather - know your weather before heading out and make sure it well within the capabilities of your boat. Lots of references including NOAA. Remember you need to get back to FL as well and the weather can change so you will need a good forecast over the period you will be over there. Be prepared to fly home and go back for your boat later. Nothing is guaranteed.
3) Don't be in a hurry when you get there. Customs is not and it will take some time to complete the documents and yes you will be looking at a charge up to $300 that is good for 90 days if you return. You will need a passport.
4) Safety gear all in good shape including VHF. I also carry a Sat phone and inflatable life raft but many do not.
5) Bimini is only about 50 miles out from MIA, FLL and is the closest of 700 Islands.
6) Bimini Bay Resort is a great 5 star destination. Not much else there.
7) Have proper charts paper and electronics. Get a Bahamas cruising guide. The approach into Bimini can be a bit tricky the first time.
8) File a float plan. Let a friend(s) know your departure time, route, estimated arrival time and be sure to call them on arrival.
These are a few of the things that come to mind. Hope that is a bit of help. Good luck.

Bob

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Old 08-31-2009, 12:48 PM
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We are doing this run in November with three boats, 38 Fountain, 38 Cigarette TS and a 35 Cafe Racer...
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:23 PM
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check your insurance
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