2024 Bahamas Dockage and more


The departure port for the Homeward Bound Bahamas rally boats is Marsh Harbor in the Abacos. There are at least four marinas to consider, the Conch Inn and the Abacos Beach Resort. Last year's participants gave the Conch Inn high marks ([email protected]). The Abacos Beach resort ([email protected]) is very nice, but also very pricey. 

There are a couple of other marinas open in Marsh Harbour now – the Harbour View Marina is next door to the Conch Inn. 

There’s also the Marsh Harbour Marina, which is directly across the harbor from the Conch Inn.  A short dinghy ride but a long walk. The rates on both those places are similar to the Conch Inn (2023 rate was $1.75 - $2.00 / ft)

Besides the marinas, Marsh Harbor is a great anchorage and is a very protected anchorage. 

We are planning a departure dinner, most likely at Wally's (details to follow) also there will be impromtu no host cocktail hours at the various places. Stay tuned for details.

There are also great places to visit in the immediate Marsh Harbor area, so remember to allocate some time for Green Turtle Cay, Hope Town, Tahiti Beach, Little Harbor to name a few.

Charts: Good idea to order Explorer Charts if you don't have them. You can get a Salty Dawg discount if you order directly from the publisher.  Also strongly recommend Aqua Charts which allows you to see the electronic version of the charts on your phone or tablet. It has a great feature to be able to see satellite images overlayed on the chart... super helpful. You need to get the app (full features you need to pay for) and either purchase or rent the explorer charts ($36/year).  There is also a discount for Aqua Charts. https://sdsa.memberclicks.net/benefits-for-sdsa-members

Customs - Click2Clear:

This system is used to create your inbound and outbound clearance for the Bahamas. It is also used to pay for your cruising permit. I don’t think you are required to use the system, but if you don’t you will probably need to pay cash for your $300 or $600 cruising permit. It is suggested you get started with the system well before departure, putting in as much stuff as possible so when you are getting ready to leave you are not trying to figure out the system which is a little clunky. Most important is to record your rotation number (see below).
They have a YouTube video on the process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycehszsU25k

Click on the “Cruising Permit” in the upper right corner
Next page, click on “Click Here to Log in”
Next Page, click on “Request Cruising Permit”
This should land you on the Cruising permit page.
It might be possible to go direct to the page with: https://www.besw.gov.bs/TFBSEW/TFB.jsp

Cruising Permit Page:
On left side click on Pleasure Craft, then Create Inbound
There are 7 tabs to fill out information: Header, Maritime Declaration, Vessel Details, Crew/Passenger
Details, Stores on Board, Documents, Summary
Start with Header tab. Fill out all the info:
Customs Port of Arrival is MHHGAM (Great Abaco Beach Resort) or MHHPDK PUBLIC DOCK, MARSH HARBOUR
Previous Port is USHNV (Hampton)

Next Port is where you think you are going when you leave the Bahamas. I put Fort Lauderdale (USFLL-Fort Lauderdale)

Port of Arrival is BSMHH-ABACO
Previous Country is US

When you have all the info filled out, hit submit. This will give you a Rotation number (starts with PCR- and then 10 digits). You need this number to restart the session. If you lose it, you will lose all your info and must start over. Take a screen photo on your phone to capture it. You can pause at any point if
you have updated the tab you are on. To restart, you will need to use the “search inbound” on the left side menu to find your previous session using your rotation and registration numbers.

Maritime Declaration Is straight forward, hopefully you will answer no to all.

On Vessel Details, you will need to add records for the engines onboard. In our case we have 3 engines (2 inboard and an outboard for the dinghy). To add each record, hit the + on the lower right.

For Crew, it is like the vessel details page, use the “+” button to add the crew. Everybody on board is either crew or master; you do NOT have passengers.
For Stores, you can leave this blank, declaring liquor and wine will just complicate the process. If you have firearms, you should for sure declare them. They take guns very seriously.

Documents. Here is where you upload your boat registration and covid tests.
Summary: When everything is done, you submit your application. You will also need to pay. Once you pay they say you can’t change the application.

 After you submit, you need to go to the Payment Tab (far left). The business transaction number is your rotation number. Pull that up and then the payment tab is the right most tab.

Click2Clear Instructions