Melbourne Yacht Club Cruising



Copper Coat
10+ years anti-fouling



                       phone: 1-321-514-9197


photo courtesy of Ross Herbert

First Patriot Inc.
Insurance Agency
Sailboat Insurance Specialist

"Paul is half what other companies charge! He
 insures my sailboat for $779 a year".
 Sam Densler, owner, PDQ 36

“I highly recommend You get a rate from Paul”!

Bob Duff – 15 year Sailboat Insurance customer
Compare Prices – Up to 35 Ft, 30 years old- no survey!

Call 800 743-2565 or online:

Home Weather, etc. 2016 Calendar Melbourne Yacht Club East Coast Sailing Association Indian River Yacht Club Port Canaveral Yacht Club
Titusville Sailing Club Eau Gallie Yacht Club Small Boats Women's Sailing Sailing Classes Places to Stay Sailing Org. Links
(outside of  Brevard )
J 24 Fleet 87 Catalina 22 Fleet Manatee Cove Marina Sunfish Fleet 669 LMSA 2016 Calendar Links & Info Everything PHRF

photos courtesy of Jim Lacy

MYC  Cruising
Rafting Up Pointers    Bahamas Tips   Cruising Blogs

Most cruising is decided several weeks beforehand. Many cruises are done in conjunction with the ECSA.

Contact Dean White, Fleet Captain for more information.

Melbourne Yacht Club Cruise Information

ECSA Cruise Information

"Rafting Up by the Numbers" (pointers on the rafting process) by former MYC Commodore, Ed Roberts

Bahamas Tips (updated 1/22/2008)

Bahamas Air Sea Rescue (BASRA)

Float Plan
Be sure your point of contact back home has the necessary information to start a search or make emergency contact if needed. In general that means an itinerary, description of the vessel (info above), number of people on board at given times (if changes), understanding of when to consider you missing.  Make SURE you check in with them before the 'missing' time elapses!

If someone needs to reach you in the Abacos, use Have them put the boat name in the subject line and believe me, Patty or someone from the Cruiser's Net WILL find you.

Communication Plan for Crossing Stream
If you are crossing with other boats, make sure you discuss a communications plan.  (What channel and how often (hourly is recommended)).  BEFORE you are out there, know how far your radio will transmit on the chosen channel.  A proper mast-top antenna on high power should go ~20 miles.  If yours does not, replace your coax and/or antenna (you'll want that range in the Bahamas).

Crossing Recommendations
Do not head directly into the stream.  If you have to tack, wait until you get onto the bank.
A common  plan is to either go from Ft. Pierce or West Palm to Mangrove Cay - about 75-85nmi.
On the return, the distance from West End to Ft Pierce is 86nmi.

Customs in Abaco
You will need either a  passport for each person clearing. Everyone on board must have a pass valid PASSPORT. A birth certificate is no longer enough. (New Rule in 2008)
Fly the Q flag once you enter Bahamian waters (all yellow flag). Only one person should go ashore to clear in.  Everyone else should stay on board until the boat has cleared in. To complete the paperwork you will need; everyone’s  passport, boat registration, ???

Once cleared in replace the Q flag with courtesy flag.

Use "provisions" to fill out blank for what you have with you as far as food etc.

You may carry weapons into the Bahamas, however you MUST register them. If you are caught with an unregistered weapon, they can  take your vessel. The feeling is weapons  are NOT needed and we have never carried any and wouldn't recommend it.

If you plan to bring your pet, write to the
Department of Agriculture
PO Box N-3704
Nassau, Bahamas
phone: 242-325-7502

This is a $10.00 fee and is much easier to do ahead of time. Most ports of entry DO NOT HAVE AGRICULTURE offices there. There is no way to pay the fee and they will hold you and your boat at the port of entry unti you get someone to pay the fee in the March Harbor Office!! You will need to have your Vet fill out a health certificate within 1 month of entry.

Here is latest word on the check-in fee (2004, still current in 2008):

"The Bahamas has given due consideration to the concern of the boating community and has decided that the current Fees of $150 for boats up to 35 feet in length and $300 for boats over 35 feet, shall be valid for two entries during any 90 day period, commencing December 1, 2003 as an interim measure."

Once cleared in replace Q flag with courtesy flag.

Clearing back in to the U.S.

It is now possible to go to the Melbourne Airport (or any US Customes & Border Protection Office) before you leave. Call customs and make an appointment. Bring your passport and photo ID and they will isssue yuo a "pin" that you can use when you enter the country. That and the "user fee decal" number are all you need to enter with a phone call. Otherwise, you do need to present yourself at the US Customs and Border Protection Office.

Boats over 25 feet need to have a "User Fee Decal". This can be done on line through US Customs and is a $25.00 fee.

Also, Chris Reynolds tried something different in 2005.  His report of clearing in at Melbourne Airport can be found here,
Clearing in to the US the Easy Way.

The rules on taking conch have changed recently. The newest rules direct from the Minister of Tourism, dated October 24, 2007, states that "no vessel shall have on board at any time conch, exceeding six".

Navigation Once in Abaco
Recommend getting  current copy of Steve Dodge "Abaco Guide".  It is available at both West Marine's.  The waypoints in Dodge are good.

Abaco is in the process of changing to Red, Right, Returning.  The West Point/Eagle Rock (Hopetown channel) is a green flasher. North Parrot Cay is a red flasher.

Once in the Sea of Abaco - it's like the Indian River except mostly 20 feet deep and clear blue. You will get good at reading the water depth by the colors.

There is about a 2.5 to 3 ft tide change (high to low).  You may need to watch your timing at the shallower locations, i.e. entrance to Little Harbor.

Communication once in Abaco
Channel 16 should not be used - it is for emergency and local phone use. 68 is the cruising boat hailing channel, but even if it's quiet, you should move off to talk (a lot of people are listening to that channel). There is a Cruiser's Net each day at 8:30 (maybe 8:00) on channel 68, once you get down towards Green Turtle.

You are probably safer in Abaco than in the US.
We have never needed to lock the boat, but that's up to each captain.
Dinghies are safe at the docks without being locked up.  Just be sure to have a dinghy anchor to keep it out from under the dock.

Fun Things to Do
Fishing - pole or spear. Dodge has all the regulations.
Finding legal conch.
Meeting locals.
Visiting local watering holes - every bar has their own special rum drink.
Shopping - mostly Marsh Harbor, Green Turtle and Hopetown.
Going up in the Hopetown lighthouse.
Don't miss the 'Signing Tree' at Alan's Pensacola.
Don't miss Double-Breasted for a few days.

Link to Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club Links Page

Boating in the Abacos

Cruising Blogs

Joanne Abbowitt & Marion Terry' Blog on their Bahama trip

Sherry & Dave McCampbell's Blog on their Around the World trip


For updates to any info on this site, please email

                         Last modified on 05/17/2016