Leonard M. Thompson Int. (MHH)
Online Provisioning Store Available
No formal license is required
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This page provides useful planning, pre-departure and travel information. From servicing airports to base arrival procedures, it will tell you what to expect to make your holiday smooth and carefree.
We suggest you read the following information carefully several weeks prior to departure and also print a copy to take with you.
UTC/GMT -5 hours
Tourist Information Center
Head Office – Nassau
P.O. Box N 3701
Tel: 242 322-7500 / Fax: 242 328-0945
Abacos – Marsh Harbour, a 7-minute walk from the base
P.O. Box AB-20663
Tel: 242-699-0152 / 242 367-3067 / Fax: 242 367-3313
Area: 5380 sq miles (13,940 sq km)
Capital City: Nassau
Official Languages: English
Ethnic groups: Black 85%, White 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%
Religion: Baptist, Anglican, Roman Catholic
Government: Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy and a Commonwealth Realm
Industries: tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe
For more information, view this destination’s Cruising Conditions.
There are three ways to get to the Abacos:
– Fly into Marsh Harbour International Airport. Take a taxi to the base – Distance approximately 10 minutes by taxi. The cost is approximately $20 for the first 2 people and $3 for every additional person each way.
– Fly into Treasure Cay International Airport. Take a taxi to the base is approximately 30 minutes by taxi.
– Fly to the marina. Charter a private seaplane with Tropic Ocean Airways from South Florida and fly directly to where your yacht is located.
Due to the number of flights we organise, the Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact our inhouse flight specialist at 033 0332 1513* before you book your flights.
The taxi fare from the airport to the base is approximately $20 USD for the first 2 persons; every additional person is $3 per person. Transfers cannot be pre-booked for this destination.
A&P Auto Rentals Phone: (242) 367-2655
K&S Rentals – Tel: 242-367-2655
Cornish Car Rental – Tel: 242-365-8623
Sea Star Rentals -Tell: 242-367-4887
Bargain Car Rentals – Tel: 1-242-367-0500
Rental Wheels – Tel: 242-367-4643 / Email: info@rentalwheels
U-Save Car Rental – Tel: 242-699-3346
When driving, British rules apply, so please drive on the left and watch those roundabouts! Visitors may use their home license for up to three months and may also apply for an international driver’s license.
Boarding Time Procedures
Charter Boarding Time: 10 a.m.
Evening Start Time: 4 p.m.
If arriving after hours, an email detailing vessel name and location will be sent. Safety Briefing, will be available online for your viewing prior to your trip.
Charter End Time: 10 a.m.
A debriefing and final walkthrough will be done upon return so please allow enough time to complete this before the charter end time.
One cooler per boat on a vessel (additional cooler on request and based on availability).
Moorings Care packages are included on every yacht. These packages contain some of the basics to get you started for your vacation. All provisioning orders should be placed no later than 6 days prior to the charter start date. Visit store.moorings.com to order.
If you would like to provision at a local grocery store there are several options available including the following:
Maxwell’s – Open Mon-Thurs: 8am–7pm; Fri-Sat: 8am–8pm; Sun: 8am–4pm
Abaco Groceries – Open Mon–Sat: 8am–6pm; Sun: 8am – 3pm
Jimmy’s liquor store – Mon-Sat 10:00am -6:00pm.
Vernon’s Groceries – (in Hope Town) Open 8:00am – 1:00pm and 2:00pm – 6:00pm Mon-Sat
Check with your service provider for information about cell coverage in this region. The Abaco Beach Resort & Conch Inn offer complementary Wi-Fi. Bahamas WI MAX has set up hotspots at the major marinas around Abacos. They offer a pre-paid Wi-Fi Internet service charged per day or per week. You must reserve at least two weeks prior to departure to guarantee. The Wi-Fi service is available in most harbors.
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.
The electrical service on The Bahamas is normally 120 volts, 60 cycles AC, in which case North American appliances are fully compatible, while European appliances will need both converters and adapters. Voltage varies with location, however, and some places in the islands may have 220 volt electrical service. Call your hotel ahead of time to find out which system they use. The standard voltage on all yachts is 12volts in order to use electronic equipment that is 110v or 220v, and you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter.
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. Visit gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the latest information.
Luggage & Packing List
Soft-sided luggage or duffel bags are best, as luggage storage space on your yacht may be limited. We have no facilities for holding luggage at the base. Pack lightly and review our suggested packing list 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-colored, light-weight clothing
- Formal wear for upscale dining establishments
- Swimwear and cover up
- Hats and sunglasses
- Sandals and flip-flops
- Athletic shoes and hiking boots
- Travel-sized toiletries and hygiene products
- Insect repellent and OTC pain relievers/ointments
- AUX cable for playing music through your device
- 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter (for boats without generators**)
- 12V to USB power adapter for charging mobile devices
- Snorkel and mask
*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.
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. Further details on the Special Regulations may be obtained from the Civil Aviation Department, at 242-397-4700 or email email@example.com.
The local currency is the Bahamian Dollar, which is equal to the U.S. dollar. U.S. currency is accepted by all vendors. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted in most places. American Express is usually NOT accepted.
Tip according to quality of service. Porters usually receive $1 USD per bag, while most other servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive 15%. Some establishments include the gratuity in their bills.
Taxes & Fees
You might incur some costs while on charter such as mooring and docking fees or cruising taxes. We highly recommend bringing enough cash to cover these costs as they are not always payable by debit or credit cards.
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.
Vaccination and Immunisation Information
This destination is generally risk-free of contagious disease. Visit nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/ for the latest information.
Current travel and safety information can be obtained by visiting gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Swimming is often a fun and important part of a vacation. However local rules, flag systems, currents and where swimming may be permitted, can be different and vary from country to country. Snorkel vests, Life Jackets and Diver Down flags are all available on board.
- Talk to children about water safety at the start of a vacation, making them aware of the potential dangers.
- Accidents can happen at any time on vacation, but often they happen on the first and last day, so keep watch and do not get distracted when your children are playing by, or in the water.
- Children in or near water should always be supervised by an adult and never left unattended.
- Get in the water with them, it is easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun. Floatation devices are highly recommended for children but are not a substitute for supervision.
Be aware of your surroundings
- Check warning flags and signage on the beach and only swim where it is permitted.
- Beware of dangerous currents, these can be very powerful. Not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags.
- Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life.
- Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.
- Never swim at night or after drinking alcohol.
Look out for others
- Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party and use the snorkel vests provided.
- Know how and where to get help. If you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm, preferably the emergency services. Ensure you know the correct number for the country you are in.
Do not overestimate your ability
- Consider swimming lessons before you go if you think it would be useful to learn proper swimming technique.
- Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water swimming can be very different.
All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use this equipment during your vacation. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat on boarding – If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing.
We have a very limited supply of children’s life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them.
Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck.
Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.
The Moorings offers comprehensive travel insurance for your peace of mind, through our partner Red Point. If you have your own travel insurance, verify that it covers the destinations and activities of your Moorings holiday.
Whether this is your fifth trip or the first of many, we want you to feel at home when you’re at a Moorings base. At Marsh Harbour, we welcome you to explore base amenities before boarding and setting sail from the Abacos.
Abaco Beach Resort
Bay St, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas
- Laundry service
- Restaurant & Bar
- 2 Swimming pools
- White Sand Beach
- Non-motorised water sports
- 24-hour security and front desk team
- Free Wi-Fi
- Fuel station
- Dive shop
- Boutique and grocery store
- Ice + water
A formal sailing license is not mandatory to charter here. A completed Sailing or Power resume is required to ensure you have the necessary experience required to charter yourself.
30 miles around the base, otherwise the base must approve travel plans and a waiver must be signed.
Cruising Area Restrictions
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.
It is strictly forbidden to sail alone, we require two persons minimum on board.
Charts & Pilot Books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are issued at your chart briefing.
You must be moored at least one hour before sunset, night sailing is not permitted.
Moorings Fees & Taxes
Mooring Balls: $20 – $30 per night
The Conch Inn Hotel & Marina is the perfect home for your Abacos holiday. We offer hotel accommodations and marina facilities. We are conveniently located on Marsh Harbour’s restaurant row, in close proximity to shops and the downtown area.
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 and on the islands and are available at most banks. Ask the base on arrival for locations. ATMs dispense Bahamian dollars.
Letters can be posted from the base.
Da Blue Hole – on property
Snappas: 5 min walk
Jamie’s Place: 7 min walk
Angler’s Restaurant: 10 min walk/ 3 min taxi ride
Wally’s: 6 min walk
There are two boutiques near the base.
The Moorings Provisioning
Online Provisioning will be available soon for charters in Abacos.
If you would like to provision at a local grocery store there are several options available including the following:
Maxwell’s – Large supermarket that is a 15 – 20 minute walk from the base
– Open Mon-Thurs: 8am–7pm; Fri-Sat: 8am–8pm; Sun: 8am–4pm
Abaco Groceries – Wholesale/Retail store that is a 10 minute taxi ride from the base
– Open Mon–Wed: 7:30am–6pm; Thurs-Sat: 7:30am-7pm; Sun: 9:30am-4pm
Jimmy’s liquor store – Smaller provisioning store
– Open Mon-Sat: 9am – 6pm; Sun: Closed
Vernon’s Groceries – Smaller grocery store
– Open 8am – 5pm
Calypso coffee house – Specialist coffee
– Open Mon-Sat: 8am – 4pm; Sun: 8am – 2pm
One 18-hole course is available at Treasure Cay, 20 miles (32km) away.
For your convenience, you can add water toys to your charter prior to arrival at the base. They will be waiting on your boat upon arrival. You are able to rent these at the base; please keep in mind that we have limited availability. For more information, please view our Water Sports Options.
Dive Abaco is located at the base and is the most easily accessed dive shop. For more diving options contact your Moorings Holiday Planner.
Mermaid reef, Johnny’s Cay, Manjack Cay, No name Cay, and Walkers Cay reef are all protected underwater preserves.
The Moorings provides snorkelling equipment (flippers, masks & snorkels) for all charters for your pleasure. Children’s sizes are very limited; you may wish to pack your own snorkelling gear.
Fishing is allowed and a license is not required for charterers. To protect the marine environment, spear fishing using scuba gear and possession of spear guns are illegal in The Bahamas. Two areas are protected and fishing is not permitted: Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park Fowl Cay Preserve.
Fishing equipment can be rented around the base by a local free-lancer who provides fishing gear, nets, and slings and from Island Boy Tackle Some fishing charters are also available.
Spiny Lobster season is from August 1st – March 31st. Minimum size is a 5 1/2 inches tail length or 3 1/4 inch carapace length (measured from the base of the horns to the end of the jacket). Unlike Florida, lobster may be taken by a spear. It is illegal to take or possess female lobster with eggs. The vessel bag limit is six per person at any one time.
There is no closed season on conch, but it’s illegal to take or possess immature conch. In order to be legal, conch must have a well-formed lip (or flared-lip). The vessel bag limit is ten per person at any one time.
The vessel bag limit for scale fish is 20 pounds per person. The minimum size for any member of the grouper family is three pounds.
Stone Crabs may be taken if the claw length is four inches or greater. The season is closed from June 1 – October 15. It is illegal to harvest female stone crabs.
The trade winds that blow almost continually throughout The Bahamas give the islands a warm, agreeable climate, which varies little year round. The most refreshing time is from December through February when the temperature averages 70–75°F (21–24°C).
The rest of the year is a bit warmer with temperatures between 80–85°F (27–29°C).
The weather at this base is comparable to Miami, Florida; mostly sunny with some clouds. We advis e that you dress for sun and sand and bring a light jacket for the evenings when it’s cooler.
Historical weather (averages by month):
|°F Max||°F Min||°C Max||°C Min||Avg Precip (in)||Avg Precip (mm)||Avg Water Temp (°F)||Avg Water Temp (°C)||Avg Wind Speed (knots)|
The tidal range in The Bahamas is up to 3.5 feet.
A copy of the tidal charts is provided in the charterer’s folder at the base.
Due to the shallow nature of these waters it is extremely important that close attention is paid to the tide while underway as well as entering and exiting harbours.
The base provides clients with daily weather forecasts.
The Cruiser Net, VHF channel 68 – daily at 8.15 a.m.
Radio Abaco, FM radio 93.58 – daily at 8.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
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