ABM Boatyards Support Safe and Enjoyable Boating In The Bahamas.
Cruising throughout The Bahamas is a wonderful experience, and the Association of Bahamas Marinas has 48 allied members to help you enjoy your adventure even more.
Part of the enjoyment boating in The Bahamas is the secure feeling that, with many vessels plying our waters and land never far away, help is just a VHF or cell phone call away. Most voyages occur without serious incident but if something serious breaks, and it’s too hard to fix at sea, you may need to head to a marine service boatyard. Scattered around The Bahamas are several yards where you can haul or lift a boat and most are ABM Members.
The largest and northernmost facility is the famous Bradford Marine Company’s facility in Freeport (and whose main HQ is in Fort Lauderdale.) The Bahamian shipyard boasts the Bahamas’ only dry dock for super- and mega-yachts, up to 1,200 tons. (Next door at Grand Bahama Shipyard, is a 27,600 ton drydock for larger vessels.) Bradford also has a 150-tonne Travelift for vessels 33’7″ wide. Because the facility is in the Freeport Tax Free Zone, imports of supplies and parts are tax free. Superyacht captains choose Bradford for its affordability and its technical expertise in refitting and for bottom treatments. Its machine shop can fix large shafts and props. Other shops offer joinery, canvas, engine, and welding of all kinds. Head there as well for affordable hurricane-strapped dry storage close to the USA. Contacts are: 242-352-7711, email@example.com, www.BradfordMarineBahamas.com
Further south, at the top of Eleuthera in Spanish Wells, is R&B Boatyard with a rail that can haul yachts up to 90ft-long or 120 tons. Catamarans go there for its wide Synchro lift that can submerge and lift boats to 50ft long or 28ft wide. R&B specializes in boat bottom and running gear cleaning and antifouling. Steel, stainless steel, and aluminum welding and fabrication are available. The industrious island abounds with third party mechanics, contractors, repairers, and shops. Spanish Wells is, after all, the commercial fishing capital of the Bahamas. R&B often has a transient slip or two available. The marine store at R&B is Eleuthera’s largest and stocks pretty much everything for repair and maintenance under numerous name brands, Sea Hawk, Marpac, Marpro, Perko, Starbrite, Pettit, Interlux, and Awl-Grip to name a few. The cay’s strong-work ethic is matched by the settlement’s quaintness and beauty. In the destination’s bars, restaurants and shops, the friendly locals will tell you about the area’s marine eco-tours and secluded beaches. Spanish Wells is a Bahamian gem of a destination, and well-worth discovering—even if you have nothing to repair. Contacts: 242-333-4462 • Robert Roberts, 242-557-7632, Robert@RBboatyard.com • Bruce Wilson, 242-557-7541, Bruce@RBboatyard.com • www.RBboatyard.com
With its splendid array of touristic facilities, Nassau & Paradise Island is a boat repair and maintenance hub that’s easy to enjoy. Lining the deep water, sheltered harbour are various marine stores and marinas that stretch along East Bay Street. One favourite boatyard for visitors and locals is the iconic Brown’s Boat Basin, family-owned since 1949. Brown’s offers haul and launch services with a 40-tonne travel lift that carries vessels up to 60ft long and a 17ft beam, and two gantry hoists to lift vessels up to 30ft long and an 8ft beam. It’s also a popular marina store and has a fuel dock for vessels up to 120ft. Brown’s specializes in topside cleaning and bottom painting services, and, for all kinds of repair and refitting, can arrange a multitude of 3rd-party contractors. Among a range of marine hardware and parts, the store stocks: stainless steel fasteners, zincs and cutlass bearings; cleaning and fiberglass supplies, and lines such as Camp, 3M, Jabsco and Perko. Paint brands include Seahawk Islands 44, 77 and 99 and Interlux Micron 66. The marina offers low-cost long term slip rentals. Contacts: 242-393-3331 or 242-393-3680, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The southernmost full-service boatyard is found two and a half miles south of George Town on Great Exuma. Brown’s Auto Marine Repair (a.k.a. Brown’s Exuma and no relation to the Nassau yard) is a godsend for the many boaters living there and visiting yachts that stay for months in beautiful Elizabeth Harbour. Their travel-lift carries boats up to 10,000lbs and 12ft wide. The depth along the recently dredged-entrance channel and near the marina is 6ft at MLW although the route south of Crab Cay has a 3ft limit at MLW. On Brown’s Exuma’s vast dry storage grounds, you’ll find a substantial marine store, gas dock, and outdoor machine shed. Specializing in engine and bottom repair Brown’s is a Suzuki engine dealer and a Yahama reseller. The shop offers fishing gear, and marine supplies that include genuine Suzuki parts. Certified mechanics are on hand alomg with a bevy of 3rdparty contractors. George Town is a beautiful town, oriented to serving flocks of boaters and sport fishers. Contacts: 242-336-3330, email@example.com.
The Association of Bahamas Marinas' newest member is the famed Rybovich Superyacht Marina & Shipyard, with two facilities in West Palm Beach and Riviera Beach, both with deep water inter-coastal access to the Atlantic. Its WPB location is also home to the ABM’s new Florida office where the Bahamas Charter Yacht Show takes place on February 25 & 26, 2021. Rybovich accommodates yachts up to 100m long, and offers pump-outs, in-slip fueling, crane access, escort and towing, provisioning, and sub-contractor access. It’s equipped with a 3,000-ton floating dry-dock for yachts up to 90m and a 660-ton Travelift. Captains and crew enjoy the M/Y Cafe, M/Y Gym, pool, crew lounge and shuttle services. With in-house project managers, craftsmen and external subcontractors, Rybovich is a world-renowned center for refits and maintenance. Contact for Services: 561-840-8204, firstname.lastname@example.org;• Marina 561-840 8308, email@example.com • https://www.rybovich.com
If it’s your diesel engine letting you down, the best company to call could be Compass Marine, an authorized dealer for marine and industrial brands such as MTU, Cummins, Volvo Penta, John Deere and Yanmar. Although they’re based in Nassau their certified mechanics can service your engine anywhere 24/7/365. Contact: 242-601-3319 or 242-424-5203, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.Compass-Power.com
To quickly get parts or supplies to yachts at sea, or to a marina or anchorage, two useful ABM Members are Trans-Island Airways and Tropic Ocean Airways. Both fly float planes for water landings and small aircraft for short runways in the Out Islands. Trans Island can fly to and from the US and between Bahamian Islands while Tropic Ocean can fly between the USA and a single location or to refuel at a second location. Contacts are: Trans Island Airways: 242- 362-4006 or 954-727-3377, email@example.com, www.transislandairways.com • Tropic Ocean Airways: 800-767-0897 or 954-210-5569, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://flytropic.com
If, while cruising around, you become immobile, you should hail nearby vessels with a PAN PAN alert on VHF 16. Most likely you’ll receive immediate aid. Bahamian waters are usually within range of a cell tower, 12 or so miles depending on your height, and you can call any number for assistance. A few good numbers to add in your phone contacts before cruising are: for the entire Bahamas, Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) in Nassau: 242-325-8864; in the Bimini area, call Bimini Big Game Club on 242-347-3391 or Bimini Police on 242-347-3144; near Grand Bahama call Ocean Rescue on 242-359-5110; in the central Abacos call Hope Town Fire & Rescue at: 242-801-9991; and for the southern Bahamas call Valiant Marine Salvage 242-422-7146.
Visit the Association of Bahamas Marinas website at www.bahamasmarinas.com for recommended marinas, allied members and boating resources. Be sure to check on the new Sea-Z Pass app that lets you pay for cruising permits digitally.