Yacht Charter and Boat Rentals in Marsh Harbour
Yacht Charter In Marsh Harbour
On a Marsh Harbour yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore much of Abaco within an easy sail. Whether a big game fishing boat rental from Walkers Cay, partying at one of the resorts or island-hopping the cays nearby, a Marsh Harbour sailing vacation is going to be an unforgettable experience.
The 'capital' of Great Abaco and the Abaco archipelago, Marsh Harbour is a major yacht charter destination thanks to the waters and islands nearby being the best sailing location in the Bahamas. It is a small city with everything you could want from one, only with a distinctly laid back, Bahamian feel.
Just 55 miles north of Nassau and with great facilities for boaters, Marsh Harbour sits on a lagoon on the east of Great Abaco, and is the perfect location for you to enjoy the 120 or so miles of coastline of the Abaco Islands. The second biggest international airport in the Bahamas is in Marsh Harbour, and its direct links to the US mainland and historical links to New England these are partly why it is such a popular spot with sailing types.
Explore Marsh Harbour By Renting A Yacht
Many going on a Marsh Harbour yacht charter choose to stay within these islands. Why? For water sports enthusiasts it seems that the Abaco islands with Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco at their center have it all. If game fishing is your bag then you should head over to Walkers Cay to the NW of Great Abaco where marlin and other game fish are in abundance.
Those who are into scuba diving or snorkeling will appreciate the coral reefs of Great Guana Cay, Tilloo Cay or Fowl Cay, all close to Marsh Harbour itself.
This part of the Bahamas was initially colonised by British Loyalist refugees during and after the US Revolutionary War in the 1700s. As such, there is a strong 'New England' feel to many of the towns like New Plymouth and Hope Town on Green Turtle Cay - those into culture and history can fill their boots too!
As to beach lovers? Where do you start?! Treasure Cay is one of the more famous vacation resorts but you will be hard pressed not to find one as good as Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay, just across from Marsh Harbour.
For those a little more adventurous? Grand Bahama to the west and Exuma to the south are within a day's sail.
How To Get To Marsh Harbour
Leonard M. Thompson International Airport (MHA)
Known locally by its original name (Marsh Harbour Airport) this is the second biggest in the Bahamas after Nassau. There are direct flights from North Carolina and Florida as well as domestic flights in from Nassau and other Bahama islands. For those flying from Europe this will mean a change of planes as there are no direct flights from the UK or Europe.
Marinas In Marsh Harbour
Across the Abaco island group there are dozens of marinas for different boats. There are two reasonably sized marinas in Marsh Harbour though there are a number of smaller affairs you may take a charter yacht from.
Abaco Beach Resort Marina and Boat Harbour:
One of the largest Bahamian marinas, Abaco Beach Resort is a major yacht charter hub with charter companies offering crewed and bareboat charter sailing catamaran, sailing yacht, luxury yacht charter and motor yacht rental.
Max Length 61m (200 Feet)
Max Draught 1.5m (5 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, supermarket, restaurant.
Marsh Harbour Marina:
The smaller of the two important yacht charter hubs, Marsh Harbour Marina has charter companies offering crewed and bareboat charter sailing catamaran charter, sailing yacht charter, luxury yacht charter and motor yacht charter.
Max Length 36.5m (120 Feet)
Max Draught 1.8m (6 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, restaurant.
Suggested Sailing Routes From Marsh Harbour
So, what do you want from a Bahamas yacht charter out of Marsh Harbour? Serious chill on a sandy beach? Snorkeling or scuba diving on a protected coral reef off your charter yacht? Your boat charter need not leave the Abaco islands to enjoy all of these.
7 Days - Abaco Cays and Islands: Leaving Marsh Harbour and heading east, you can spend the first night afloat off the colonial era town of New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay. Your second night can be at Coopers Town, another historic Bahamian town. After a good sail north then west, pop into Fox Town on Little Abaco for your third night. For night four you'll have sailed back down the channel to Treasure Cay Beach Hotel, Marina & Golf resort for its excellent restaurants. Back to chill again with your fifth night at Great Guana Cay, perhaps at Orchid Bay Marina. Return to base at Marsh Harbour after a sail south, perhaps visiting the nature reserve at Abaco National Park.
14 Days: On a 14 day Marsh Harbour yacht charter you can get as far SE as the salt and flamingo island of Inagua, island hopping through the Bahamas and pausing at places like Eleuthera, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Long Island and Exuma as you explore this fascinating yet extremely chilled part of the world. Get a taste for the local wilderness at West Side National Park close to Andros, before exploring Grand Bahama and then heading back to Marsh Harbour.
Best Times To Rent A Yacht In Marsh Harbour
Unlike Europe, the sailing season in the Bahamas runs from November to May - perfect for a dose of winter sun. The NE Trades are settled and you will encounter weather between 25-35 degrees C.
Within this period, March and April after the winter northerlies have passed are cooler yet the sailing is just as fun as the rest of the year.
For those who want to try something a little outside their comfort zone, August and September are said to be the very best sailing months of all.
There's a problem with this - many yacht charter fleets will not be in the area thanks to hurricane season that runs between July and November. If booked and a hurricane is on its way your vacation will be canceled. There is no minimising the danger of being in the region in a hurricane - there is no high ground and with the general trend for ever fiercer storms, it is not an experience to even risk being around for.
North East Trade Winds: These are regular and can get up to F6 at times, but steady and predictable.
What should I consider when renting a Yacht or Boat?
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a captain, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.
What are the Marinas in Marsh Harbour?
There are currently two reasonably sized marinas in operation in Marsh Harbour - Abaco Beach Resort Marina and the smaller Marsh Harbour Marina. Being a boating mecca, you will find the fuel, repair facilities and comforts you need closeby.
When are the best times to rent a boat in Marsh Harbour?
Marsh Harbour is in the northern Tropics and this means blissful trade winds and comfortable temperatures year round. The cooler part of the year from November to May is better for yacht charters simply because the hurricane season coincides with the hotter and wetter part of the year. As ever, if serious chill is the name of the game, then come out outside of school vacations.
Do you have to pay a deposit when renting a Yacht in Marsh Harbour?
You will typically pay 50% up front on reservation the yacht rent and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.
What happens if my Yacht breaks down?
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.
What should I think of before I rent a Yacht or Boat in Marsh Harbour?
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat rental before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Dress for warm weather but do have something for tropical rains - light but waterproof.
What Qualifications Do I need to rent a boat or yacht?
If you want to sail without a captain then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a captain on board your yacht charter you typically don't require licences.