The Bahamas

Abacos essential information

Sailing in The Abacos

Back to the Abacos, Bahamas


Find everything you need to prepare for a charter in the Abacos. From important base information to required documents for international travel, you can use this information as your guide before and during your charter. Don't forget to pack a copy to take with you.

Plan

Before you go

Address
Sunsail Bahamas
Abaco Beach Resort
Bay St, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas

Base hours
Daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Time zone
UTC/GMT -5 hours

Tourist information center
Abacos - Marsh Harbour (7 min walk from the base)
P.O. Box AB-20663 
Tel: 242-699-0152 / 242 367-3067 / Fax: 242 367-3313

What to bring

Customs + immigration
Entry, exit, and visa requirements depend on the locations you are departing from and traveling to. You are responsible for having the correct documents so make sure to check with the consulate of the countries you plan to visit before you travel. Please see the COVID-19 travel page for all entry and exit requirements. Visit travel.state.gov for the latest information.

Sailing licences
No sailing licences are required for cruising in this region. We strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on holiday with you as this is useful should you be contacted by Customs or Port Police. 

A formal sailing license is not mandatory to charter here. A completed sailing resume is required to ensure you have the necessary experience required to charter yourself. A fishing license is included with the yacht.

Luggage + packing list
Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht. The base has no facilities for holding luggage. Pack lightly and review our suggested packing list below for required and necessary items to bring.
  • Pack essential prescription medicine and change of clothing in a carry-on bag*
  • Passport and other travel documentation
  • Tickets and paper confirmations for pre-planned activities
  • Light-coloured, light-weight clothing
  • Formal wear for upscale dining establishments
  • Swim wear and cover up
  • Snorkel and Mask
  • Hats and sunglasses
  • Sandals and flip-flops
  • Athletic shoes and hiking boots
  • Travel-sized toiletries and hygiene products
  • Bug spray and OTC pain relievers/ointments such as motion sickness relief
  • 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter (for boats without generators**)
  • 12V to USB power adapter for charging mobile devices

*We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.
**All boats include a 12V DC outlet (a "car" outlet). Boats with generators have 110V outlets in the Caribbean and 220V in the Mediterranean and Exotic locations.

Drones
A Certificate of Registration must first be secured from the Civil Aviation Department in order to import a drone. The Customs Department will detain drones at the border if a Certificate of Registration has not been obtained. To register your drone online visit the Bahamas Civil Aviation page: http://www.bcaa.gov.bs/.  Further details on the Special Regulations may be obtained from the Civil Aviation Department, at 242-397-4700 or email: [email protected]

Currency
Local currency – Bahamian Dollar.

U.S. currency is accepted by all vendors. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted forms of payment.

Gratuity
Tipping is standard and expected in all restaurants/bars and for other services undertaken during your vacation. The rule of thumb is generally 10 to 15% of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this onto the bill.

Security deposit
A security deposit must be paid at the base by Visa or Master Card and is refundable at the end of your charter subject to there being no loss or damage. To significantly decrease your security deposit, purchase our Yacht Damage Waiver insurance ahead of time.

What's on board

Coolers
Coolers are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Only one per boat. Additional coolers subject to availability.

Mobile phones
Check with your service provider for information about cell coverage in this region. The Abaco Beach Resort & Conch Inn offer complimentary Wi-Fi. Bahamas WI-MAX  has set up hotspots at the major marinas around Abacos. They offer a pre-paid WI-FI service charged per day or per week and you can purchase this service ahead of time online. The Wi-Fi service is available in most harbors.

Music + iPods
While most of our newer boats have Bluetooth capability, we cannot guarantee all boats are outfitted with this equipment. For your convenience, we highly recommend you bring an AUX cord so you can listen to music from your mobile devices.

Electricity
Current is 110V, 60-cycle, 2 prong US type outlets. The dock is equipped with 110V. outlets. All of our yachts are equipped with power lines, battery charger, and 110V. plugs. There is a 12V. cigarette lighter and several 110V sockets by the chart table on the majority of our yachts.

For more information on what's included on your yacht, please view the full list here.

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Sail

About the marina

Marina facilities
Showers & Toilets
Laundry Service
White sand beach
Restaurant
Fuel
Ice
Water
Two pools
Free Wifi
24 hour security

Sailing grounds

Experience level
Level 2

Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area. View here for more information.

Sailing area
This information is covered in the chart briefing. There are several marine parks in the Sea of Abaco. It's illegal to carry out any form of fishing or to take any shells, coral or sea life in national marine parks. A waiver must be signed at the base if the client intends to leave the Sea of Abaco.

The sailing grounds for the Abacos is normally restricted to the Sea of Abaco only. The central cruising area is comprised of Great Abaco, along with a string of cays just east of these islands due to dangerous offshore reefs.

Charterers demonstrating extensive offshore and navigational experience are permitted to go down islands on approval by the base. A two-week minimum charter is strongly recommended for these clients.

Sailing area restrictions
Restricted zones will be covered in your chart briefing. 

It is strictly forbidden to sail alone, we require two persons minimum on board.

Night sailing
You must be moored at least one hour before sunset, night sailing is not allowed.

Charts + pilot books
All the charts and pilot books will be provided for you on the yacht. Chart Briefings will be done online before the charter to ensure social distancing due to COVID.

Sailing permits + taxes
No sailing permit or fee is required. When departing, all visitors are required to pay a $20.00 departure tax at the airport ($18.00 from Grand Bahama); children six years and under are exempt.

Moorings fees + taxes
Mooring balls are available for $20 USD to $30 USD per night.

Health + safety

Swim Safe
For your safety and to minimize our environmental impact, we strongly recommend that you do not engage in feeding any wildlife including (but not limited to) sharks, stingrays, and pigs whilst on charter. 

Travel advice
The Bahamas is generally risk-free of contagious disease. Current travel, health, and safety information can be obtained by visiting gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Travel insurance
Sunsail offers comprehensive travel insurance for your complete peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, please make sure that it covers all of the destinations and activities of your Sunsail holiday. Visit here for more details.

*Please note country entry/exit and vaccination/immunisation requirements can and do change. Sunsail is not accountable for these requirement changes and we advise visiting the destination's authority website to receive the latest updates.

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Shop

Around the base

Accommodations
Abacos Beach Resort 

Banks

Banks are open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ATM machines are available in Marsh Harbour only. Ask the base on arrival for locations. ATMs dispense Bahamian dollars.

Post office
Postal services are available at the base.

Shopping
There are two boutiques near the base.

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For more information on what's included on your yacht, please view the full list here.

Choose Sunsail

20+
Stunning sailing destinations 
14
Flotilla routes
48
Types of yachts
44 yrs
Creating vacations
4 hr
Service guarantee