Should You Charter a Yacht From Florida to The Bahamas?
The answer is YES & NO; depending on time, budget, and Bahamas destination. These variables change with each yacht charter. So the real question is: How do you maximize your time while getting the most out of your budget?
These breathtaking islands are only a short distance from Florida, making them the ideal cruising destination for your next vacation or holiday. We can help you to plan and execute your perfect yachting vacation, avoiding some common pitfalls that many of our charter clients have fallen victim to.
In this article, we will discuss the best way to get to popular Bahama destinations to ensure your vacation is nothing but smooth sailing.
Yacht Charters from Fort Lauderdale or Miami To Bimini, Does it Make Sense?
The short answer is yes, you should leave Florida to Bimini. It rarely makes sense to meet your yacht in Bimini.
Bimini is an excellent choice for a charter destination leaving from South Florida especially Miami, it’s only 50 nautical miles away and easy to get to with straight shot across the Gulf Stream. The best time to cross the Gulf Stream is in the summer months when the water is calmer. It’s also stunningly beautiful.
If you’re chartering a motor yacht, it is possible to go from Miami to Bimini in under 3 hours, making a day trip a possibility. However, a day trip can be very cost inefficient, especially considering most of your day will be cruising across the gulf stream and not enjoying the beautiful Bahamian waters.
We recommend a 3-day charter to get the most out of your trip.
Note: We do not recommend day trips on holidays when customs can be backed up.
Abaco & Exuma Bahamas
Yacht Charter from Fort Lauderdale or Miami To Nassau
The answer is no, you shouldn’t charter a yacht from South Florida to the Bahamas (except Bimini), but the answer isn’t short.
If you’re looking to charter a yacht in the Bahamas for 7-10 days you most likely would be visiting the islands of the Abacos and Exumas. Most charter yachts depart from the capital of the Bahamas (Nassau) mainly for the reasons below.
Things to Consider When Chartering a Yacht From Florida to Bahamas:
Sales Tax – Sales tax in the Bahamas is 4% versus 7% in South Florida [Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach), Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) and Dade County (Miami)].
Price of Fuel – Fuel prices are around half the price in Florida than in the Bahamas.
Amount of Fuel – The amount of fuel the yacht will consume to get to the Bahamas & back to Florida could supersede the repositioning fee it will cost you to relocate the yacht.
Time – Miami to Nassau is 160nm, which means it would take one full day to arrive in Nassau, costing you a significant amount of money in fuel and wasted time cruising to your destination. The amount of time (money) it will take cruising to the Bahamas and back to Florida will most likely supersede the repositioning fee charged by the yacht owner and can take two days out of your Bahamas yacht charter.
Cost Savings Example:
- 100ft+ yacht that charters for $50,000 a week ($7,142 a day)
- Cruises 16knts @ 120gph fuel burn
- 10hrs (each way) x 2 = 20hrs
- 20hrs x120gph = 2,400gal
- 2,400gal x $3.50gal (est.) = $8,400
- Lose two days of time traveling open ocean that could be spent in the Abacos or Exumas – $7,142 a day x 2 =$14,284
- $5,000 Repo fee (est.)
- $8,400 fuel + $14,284 in charter time – $5,000 repo fee = $17,684 in savings!
Liability – Most yachts will have to charter off of a Demise/Bareboat charter agreement if departing from U.S. waters. Departing from Bahamian waters you can charter off of a Time Charter Agreement, limiting your liability as a charterer.
Vessel Status – Foreign flagged vessels that have not paid their U.S. duties by law cannot charter from U.S. waters.
Mother Nature– Weather can affect the amount of time it takes cruising to your destination. It’s never fun to sail through rough weather. Once you are in the Bahamas your captain should be able to alter your itinerary to best avoid rough seas.
International Airport– Nassau has an international airport which has direct flights from Fort Lauderdale and many more cites.
Ready to Experience the Yacht Charter Destination of Your Dreams?
Chartering a yacht from Florida to the Bahamas is a great idea, but make sure you follow our insider tips and tricks because we’ve been doing this for a very long time.
Heading out on the water without this knowledge can really set you back, both from a time and financial standpoint. If you want to make every hour of your vacation to the Bahamas count, and have the time of your life, you’ll want to keep our considerations in mind.
CharterLux brings you the friendliest service, the largest selection of yachts to choose from, and the knowledge and expertise of a locally owned and operated company that has been serving Florida and the Bahamas for years. Let us help you plan the vacation of your dreams and find that yacht charter from Florida to the Bahamas!