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ARC Bahamas

Cruise with friends and experience true offshore sailing to the Bahamas. The ARC Bahamas fleet sails from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth the Chesapeake Bay to Harborview Marina, in Marsh Harbor in the Abacos. The start port and dates make the most of the available weather to maximize your Bahamian cruising, and our week-long pre-departure program will get you relaxed and ready for cruising.

The low-lying and reef strewn Bahama Islands offer a remarkably beautiful cruising ground, but the islands also offer arguably more challenging sailing than the high and steep Eastern Caribbean. By joining ARC Bahamas, you’ll get expert advice on making landfall in the Abacos from professional sailors who’ve been in and out of the reef breaks on many occasions and in all kinds of weather.

Note that the best of the Abacos – and the rest of the Bahamas – are best experienced in a shallow-draft boat (5’ ideally). While yachts with six-feet of draft can enter Marshharbor and Harborview Marina, those with greater than six-feet of draft should consider ARC Caribbean 1500 and the deeper waters of the BVI.

What’s Included:

Before you even get to the start, we help with your preparations by providing a comprehensive Rally Handbook and regular newsletters, and we’re here to help you find crew and answer your questions by phone or email.

From Time of Registration:
● Discount at Fawcett Boat Supply in Annapolis, from the day you register until the start of the rally
● Bound Rally Handbook
● Access to World Cruising Club’s extensive online resources for offshore sailing
● Discounted chart and pilot book ordering

In Portsmouth VA:
● 2 nights dockage at Ocean Marine Yacht Center
● Welcome Pack
● ARC Bahamas 1500 boat flag
● One issue of SAIL Magazine and an annual subscription for each skipper and crew member
● Safety equipment inspection
● Lecture program (Gulf Stream crossing, rigging, weather, first aid)
● Safety demonstration (live flare and liferaft demonstration)
● Comprehensive social program nightly
● Skippers’ Briefing
● Welcome Party
● Farewell Party

On passage at sea:
● Float plan filed with USCG and Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA)
● Position reporting Radio net
● Daily weather forecast sent by email
● Tracking of yachts, including loan of a satellite tracker
● Display of positions on rally website

In Marsh Harbor
● 2 days free docking at Harbor View Marina on arrival
● Welcome on arrival
● Local tourist information
● Full social program nightly
● ARC Bahamas awards ceremony
● Lectures on topics relating to cruising the Bahamas


ARC Caribbean 1500/ARC Bahamas Update.

There has been a mixture of emotions since the start of the 2018 ARC Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas. Nervousness, happiness, excitement, and stress, were all present at the Skipper’s Briefing in Portsmouth, VA. Knowing that there was no tropical activity forecasted, and with good winds to sail down the coast to Cape Hatteras where we would then cross the gulf stream, our fleet set off at 10AM on... Click here for more info..

Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas - now open for 2018.

Thinking of sailing south this autumn? Come and join the fleet as we head off towards the warmer climates of the Caribbean and South Atlantic Seas!We are delighted to announce that the Caribbean 1500 will once again be hosted by Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola. After the extensive storm damage last year, staff and salvage teams worked extremely hard to restore facilities in time for the arrival of... Click here for more info..

Day 5 at sea.

It's a new dawn, it's a new day and the crews are feeling good!Day 5 at sea and by now those on the leg to the BVIs have shaken off their 'landlegs', are well into their watch rotations and have settled into life at sea.For those headed to the Bahamas landfall is in sight and the trappings of land will be soon upon them - wifi, hot showers and cold beverages.         ... Click here for more info..
More news stories

Search Boat Logs..


Enjoy - Engine problems still not resolved

Good thing we have two engines.With no wind, we've been motoring for days.Two days ago, the port engine just died on us.Don and Ken have been collaborating non stop to troubleshoot the issue(s).The theory is there could be both electrical and fuel read more...


Enjoy - We have our very own yellow brick and it's got feathers!

First of all, we're alive and well and well fed.The crew loved Tali's coconut lime rice recipe, but hated the brussel sprouts smell.We made it through the gulf stream, and are catching an eddy now that give us current that helps us go South.We had read more...


Enjoy - We're off to the Bahamas finally!

We've crossed the ARC starting line and are off to the Bahamas. To track s/v enjoy specifically load the ybtracker app. If you use the ybtracker app, you'll want to go to the fleet tracker and select a Rally or Race. Choose ARC Bahamas. That read more...


Exit Strategy - November 07

AT 7:53 AST, 6:53 EST Exit Strategy is at 32-12.05 N/ 074-46.85 W on course for the Bahamasmaking about 6.5 knots.  All is well. read more...


Breeze On - We are getting there

We are 143 miles from the Bahamas. It is a beautiful, warm day with a clear sky. The water around us is that gorgeous shade of deep blue. During my evening watch the wind dropped and the sails flogged. We decided to motor sail as long as the winds read more...

More Logs...
We sold our house, bought a boat and entered the ARC Bahamas as a way to get us started on our cruising dream. We are a family of three, traveling with our 12 year old son. The WCC seminars in Annapolis and Portsmouth really helped to prepare us and our boat for that first big step into cruising. The checklists and safety inspections gave us the confidence we needed for an offshore trip. Thanks to the WCC we have a whole network of cruising friends to help us keep cruising in safety and style.
Matt Gillman, sy Troubadour
The Bahamas division of the Caribbean 1500 fit our plans perfectly. An easy 3 or 4 day sail with the absolute beauty of Green Turtle Cay waiting on the other end. The rally organization was fantastic. I highly recommend this route.
Bob Norton, sy Amour V

World Cruising Club

ARC DelMarVa, Caribbean 1500 & Round the World

For 26 years, the Caribbean 1500 has been the way to get south to the islands. Now, as World Cruising Club USA continues to develop other events closer to home and farther afield, its rallies are truly the way to fulfill your ocean sailing dreams.

There are several yachts who’ve used ARC DelMarVa as both an inspirational stepping stone and a practical test in getting their boats and themselves ready for bigger and longer passages. The 1500 is often that next step.

Photo shows Joe Reed & the Altair crew after another successful Caribbean 1500 passage. Joe is bound for St. Lucia and the start of World ARC in January 2017!

... more info

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