The Bahamas is one of the world's most popular destinations for boating. Islands like the Exumas and Abacos are often referred to as the boating capitals of the world.  Yacht charters, boat rentals and private guides are available throughout the islands.

When renting a boat it is advised to have some experience handling the boat and knowing how to navigate the islands and shallow waters, otherwise a guide is recommended.

When arriving in the Bahamas by private yacht, boaters should observe the following:

1) Visiting boaters must clear Customs and Immigration at the nearest designated Port of Entry.

2) As you enter port, fly the yellow quarantine flag and notify Customs of your arrival. Customs and Immigration will come to your vessel.

3) No one other than the captain is permitted to leave the boat until your vessel has been cleared.

4) Everyone on board must have proof of citizenship and fill out an immigration card. U.S. citizens can present a passport or birth certificate (original or certified copy) and an official photo ID, such as a driver's license or voter registration card.

5) You must declare all onboard firearms with Customs. You must provide the firearm serial number and manufacturer, plus an exact count of ammunition. Though you are allowed to have a firearm on your vessel, you cannot take it off the vessel unless you obtain a permit from the Bahamian police ahead of time. Weapons must be under lock and key at all times. Any infraction of this law is dealt with severely.

Entry Fees:

Vessels up to 35 feet: $150.00*
Valid for two entries during a 90-day period.

Vessels over 35 feet: $300.00*
Valid for two entries during a 90-day period.

* Listed entry fees apply to vessels with four persons or less. The fee covers a cruising permit, a fishing permit, Customs and Immigration charges, and the $15.00 per person departure tax for up to four persons. Each additional person above four will be charged a $15.00 departure tax. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangements must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration. Regular hours for Bahamas Customs and Immigration Officers are 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Officers are on-call during holidays and weekends. There is no overtime charge.

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