I have a SO469, 5.5' draft, beam 15'. I am moving the boat to Florida and am looking to keep it long-term at a marina where I can take the family for quick trips (3-5 days) to the Bahamas. The pilot charts show the winds (at least in the first half of the year) to be coming from the E-SE, so based on that I'm thinking that basing somewhere near Key Largo or a little south would reduce the amount of time spent beating into the wind even (especially considering the Gulf Stream would kick me north). The main places I imagine we'll go in the Bahamas would be Nassau, Warderick Wells park, Stanley Cay, Marsh Harbor and Green Turtle Cay.
If anyone has any recommendations, just general areas or even specific marinas to look into, would appreciate it much.
If you are really planning on 3-5 days trips with family to the Bahamas you might want to consider getting a slip in the Bahamas. 3-5 days can be spent waiting for weather in the Gulf Stream. Even with good weather I would think 3-5 days is just to get to Staniel etc. There are marinas in towns with good air service in the Bahamas. I met a number of folks that get a six month slip in Marsh Harbor and do it this way. I suspect that Georgetown might be another good base of operations for the Exumas.
That's a really good recommendation. I looked into it and found a marina on the southeast side of Nassau (Palm Cay) that looks really nice and has a decent long-term rate. That's probably the best solution. Thanks much and safe sailing!
Take a look at Marsh harbor Marinas also. I met some folks that took a slip for six months at harbor view marina and seemed happy. I have not sailed near Nassau but from what I hear it can be difficult with crime and noise etc. Many airlines have good flights to Marsh Harbor so that part is easy. Lots of good family destinations only a few hours sailing time from there. Everything from quiet places like Manjack Cay where you can pet stingrays to big weekend party places. the other marinas to look at there, if you decide to check it out, are: conch inn marina Mangoes Marina jib room - Marsh Harbor Marina and the fancy one is Boat Harbor Marina. all of these are a short taxi ride from the airport and all seem to me to be really safe and secure.