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VAT Surprise

We recently had parts shipped to us in Marsh Harbour. We’ve discovered Abaco Freight in Jupiter, but that’s another blurb. Our water heater sprang a leak and needed a gasket. Parts supplier was in Boston, so we had gasket Fedex’ed Overnite to Jupiter and then Abaco Freight shipped it to MH via Cherokee Air. The parts were $52, Fedex US shipping was $70 (remember this number), Abaco Freight was $20. The invoice from the parts house showed $122. When I picked up the package the VAT was $11.41. I assumed the VAT would be on $52 + $20. Wrong! Remember that $70 US Fedex charge, that was also included.

The moral of the story is try to minimize your TOTAL shipping cost, including all US shipping.

John (MV Duetto)

Shipping into Marsh Harbour (Abaco)

This is a quick note on getting packages shipped to Marsh Harbour from the US.

We recently needed to have 2 steering cylinders shipped from the US. We’ve had small items sent in the past and have used Fedex with good results. The cylinders were approximately 3″x3″x36″ and weighed 7 lbs each. I priced the cylinders from 2 distributors and they were virtually the same price. The Fedex charge was vastly different, $275 vs $125. Even at the lower price I thought that I would explore alternatives. I called Aramak shippers in Marsh Harbour. They said it was too small for them but they put me in touch with Abaco Freight in Jupiter, FL. I emailed them and Kimber Mazzeo (, the owner, got back to me right away. She explained that based on my sizing, the shipping cost would be $40 and they take care of getting parts through customs. She also explained in detail that she needed electronic copies of the cruising permit and an electronic invoice with the boat’s name on it. So the process is the distributor ships to Abaco Freight c/o you. They put it on a Cherokee Air flight (m-w-f) and you pick it up at the Marsh Harbour airport. I have to say from the time we placed the order we had the parts within 5 business day with no drama.

As an aside one of the distributors shipped for free, so the end to end shipping cost was $40.

John (mv Duetto)

New fuel and dockage prices for March

Good news continues on fuel prices. But for a few exceptions prices are down. The new monthly Explorer Fuel and Dockage survey is posted on our website

Only a few marinas couldn’t be contacted this month. They are highlighted in red on the survey so that you will know the prices are not necessarily current.

As always, we appreciate the individual reports you send us to keep this survey updated. Send an email to for any new prices you find as you travel along these beautiful islands.

Heading Ft. Laud 2 Marsh Harbor? Need Help With Raft Delivery

During our Ft. Lauderdale to West End Crossing, we lost our life raft. We have a replacement raft being held at the Lauderdale Yacht Club. We are in the Abacos, Marsh Harbor area until May 1st and are looking for a east bound boat willing to pick up the life raft at LYC and meet us in the Marsh Harbor area to pick it up before the end of April. The raft is a 6 man, 50 pound container, the size of a regular suitcase. We are willing to compensate for the trouble.

Four navigational lights relit

The Aids to Navigation Section of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force advises that the following navigational lights in the Abaco area have been relit. All of the lights are shown in the Explorer Near Bahamas Chartbook:

Great Guana Cay light, Chart AB 17, page 37 (26° 39.79’/77° 06.93′)

Man O War Cay light, Chart AB 20, page 41 (26° 35.38’/77° 00.24′)

Channel Rock light, Chart AB 4, page 22 (26° 15.13’/77° 37.81′)

Hole in the Wall light, Charts 4 and 6, pages 13 and 17 (25° 51.70’/77° 11.02′)

Comments can be directed to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, 242-362-3820 or 242-362-3749 or email



We have sent out an email request for fuel and dockage prices. Very few responses have come in due to the holidays. We hope to post more results early next week. Please go to our website to check the latest information under Fuel and Dockage Prices.

If you have recently gotten fuel or stayed at a marina, we’d appreciate any updated information you may have. Please email us at


Monty and Sara

Season; costs

Which months are considered to be “the season,” and how much does that alter transient dockage and costs in the Bahamas?

New Fuel and Dockage Survey November 25, 2015

A new survey conducted on November 25th found most fuel prices down. Only two marinas (Sea Spray and Treasure Cay) reported higher diesel prices. The marinas reporting no change in fuel prices since October are believed to be sitting on old inventory. The VAT of 7.5% is included in FUEL PRICES ONLY.

Here’s a link to the survey on the website:

If you have purchased fuel recently or stayed at a marina, would you send us information on the prices and whether they include VAT or not.


Monty and Sara Lewis

Treasure Cay update

We stopped at Treasure Cay on our way to Marsh Harbour. We usually anchor but decided to take a dock. When we pulled in we saw about 20 moorings where the anchorage was. When we registered we talked to Cliff Bootle, the dockmaster. The moorings cost $20/night. This includes showers. They are also redoing/upgrading many of the docks. Finally, they are switching to metered electric. The latter should be complete by mid-season.

All in all seems very promising.

John (Duetto)

Little Harbour, Abaco, Planned Development

From a resident of Little Harbour Abaco:

an update on the marina situation in Little Harbour.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 7.33.13 AM

First of all, here is an aerial photo of how the dock would look, with all the existing moorings shown.  The dock was drawn from measurements off the Abaco Club plans (which they refused to show us, but we managed to anyway), so this really is to scale.  The EIA (which they also wouldn’t show us, but we managed to photograph the whole thing at the local govt. office) says that the dock would take up 2 acres of the harbour, which agrees with the measurements (320 ft across the outside piers, 270 ft from the shore end to the outer end, 210 ft between the 2 parallel main piers.)  The usable part of the harbour (discounting shoals and existing docks) is around 11 acres, so this is a substantial portion of the harbour.  Especially when you factor in all the moorings that would have to be moved out of the way and relocated.  The 44 slips are listed in the EIA as being for boats from 30 to 60 ft, rather than the 30 to 35 ft we were originally told.

On Sept. 22nd we finally got our South Abaco town meeting in Cherokee Sound (originally scheduled for May).  At that meeting, 3 members of Abaco Club management (Nick Sims, Project Director; Tom Southworth, VP of Development; and Mark Aitken, Club manager) told us that “the plans had changed”, and there would now be a fulltime generator, rather than solar power, an R/O plant, and a pump-out station and waste treatment plant.  None of this was mentioned in the EIA.  Also not mentioned was the need to move moorings, or the restaurant and marina store.  The EIA said solar power would be used, along with the existing cistern and septic system.

We then wrote to government (BIA and BEST, with cc to everyone else) and told them that Southworth had changed all the plans and needed to submit new plans and a new EIA.  Apparently govt. called David Southworth (the boss), who told them – and us – that nothing had changed, and that his representatives at the Cherokee meeting “mis-spoke”.

 We have since sent a follow-up letter pointing out all the errors and omissions in the EIA, even assuming the original plans are adhered to.  We never hear directly from the govt. direct, but we have definitely got their attention, and BIA has told Southworth that he needs to consult with the locals.  BEST, BNT, the Port Officer, and local govt. have all been down to have a look.

As far as we know, Southworth still doesn’t have all the permits he needs to start work.  He has conditional approval from BIA (one of the conditions being the use of solar, another being no dredging), but is still doing the rounds of Port Authority, Min. of Works, etc.

A concerned resident of Little Harbour, Abaco