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Old 10-06-2008, 04:24 AM   #15
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6

have to agree with you charlie. many, if not most, o/b powered sailboats carry way too big of an engine. 9.9 with the correct prop should do all mike needs to do, and then some. years ago i had a 4000 lb racing sailboat with a 6hp yamaha 2 stroke and discovered that i too was overpowered. wished i had bought a 4hp instead.

i love my 2 stroke but will readily admit the 4 stroke gets way better miles per gallon. and in mike's case it's not just the cost of the fuel - he'll need to carry enough gas to ensure his crossing of the gulfstream and maybe the bank as well....

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Old 10-09-2008, 02:56 PM   #16
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
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My first trip to the Bahamas was in a swing keel 30 footer. It was a Nimble 30. I *used* that shallow draft and really enjoyed having it! I was also pretty minimal while over there and equipped about the way you are now although the nimble had an inboard diesel (yanmar 2gm20f).

From my experience I would respectfully recommend:

- Don't attach anything to your lifelines. They are life saving devices and not for storage or mounting hardware. Please... I'm as guilty as anyone I'm just stating an ideal that I haven't always followed myself.

- The Honda generators are the bomb! We have used the old 650 and now own a 2k unit. You could certainly get by with a 1k unit.

- A 12 volt cooler worked really well for us. We arranged it so that the back and bottom were against cushions and wrapped a sleeping bag over it. Only the end with the fan was exposed and it operated fine. This despite the "fact" that they can only cool to 40 degrees below ambient temperature.

- Stay away from marinas as much as you can. I paid a reasonable amount for water at Marsh Harbor and a little more than a reasonable amount in the out islands.

- Steven Pavlidis... He is one of us! Absolutely hands down best guidebook for the Abacos. On subsequent trips over to the Bahamas he has saved our bacon more than once!

- Leave out of Lake Worth inlet and clear in at West End on Grand Bahama. Do *not* cross the stream if there is any northerly component to the wind or any forecast. Really shoot for light and variable if you can and just motor across. It's no time to be a purist. Minimalize your time out there. They are charging folks to anchor in the marina there at West End now. If you leave Lake Worth at midnight you can be in to the marina by around noon cleared in and out of there by 1pm and on your way to Great Sale Cay! From Great Sale you can go on to the out islands, perhaps Powell Cay or even Green Turtle. At Green Turtle you get to go outside on the Whale Cay Pass and then back in again at around Guana Cay. This looks really easy on the charts but beware a "rage" condition out there that can kick your butt! You might hear the local cruisers net out of Marsh harbor in the morning and one of the topics they discuss is what the condition of the pass is. Get *some* local knowledge before heading out into it. From Bakers Bay on Great Guana it's about a 2 hour motor to Marsh Harbor. Unfortunately I think that developers have ruined Bakers Bay by now... a shame.

- BTW I've never been asked for a radio license in the Bahamas. I've cleared in there a half dozen times, been approached and questioned (by air) by the USCG and boarded by the Bahamian military, but never has anyone there asked me for a license. Still... maybe better not to be the first...

My favorite anchorage in the Abacos is in the "creek" at Double Breasted Cay. Awesome!

Hope some of this helps


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Old 10-09-2008, 03:34 PM   #17
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 25

Thanks again for all of your input. I realize it takes considerable time and effort to write lengthy posts to people you don't even know. The great thing is we are all united by our passion for sailing and especially cruising.

I am encouraged by the post that mentions the boat with the shallow draft capabilities. I am modifying my transom mounted rudder to kick up easily. I plan on going in shallow at least to try it. I can see me backed in on a calm beach in 3 feet of water, maybe tied to a palm tree with an anchor too. I'll set up a little camp on the beach for the kids....

I have pretty much made up my mind about the equipment. I will go with the 9.9 high thrust 4 stroke (brand new). My boat is narrow and only 4500 lbs. I will borrow my friends 8hp 4 stroke for the dinghy and a back up. I will get a honda generator and a good charger. This may be hooked up via shorepower. Since I am only going for a month I have ruled out big solar panels or a wind generator. I can use the honda generator on shore and at home. I will get a 12 volt cooler and see how I like it before I go.


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