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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 free 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)
● Rig inspections by Southbound Yacht Rigging
● Discounted fuel polishing at Ocean Marine Yacht Center
● 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
● Customs and Immigration fees ($300 per yacht over 30ft and up to three crew).
● 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 will arrive into Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI as planned .

World Cruising Club has announced to skippers today that the ARC Caribbean 1500 will continue as per the published schedule to Nanny Cay, Tortola this November.Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm to hit the Leeward Islands in decades, caused widespread damage to the BVIs, surrounding Caribbean islands and beyond. World Cruising Club has been keen to ensure that the rally going to the BVI should... Click here for more info..

Hurricane Irma - ARC Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas in BVI and Bahamas.

ARC Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas RalliesHurricane Irma has left a trail of destruction across the northern Leeward Islands, including the British Virgin Islands and is now crossing the Bahamas and expected to hit Florida this weekend. The storm is the strongest to hit the region since records began, and early reports are that lives have been lost and damage to property has been significant.Our... Click here for more info..

The 27th Caribbean 1500 Wraps Up in Tortola.

For the third time in six years, the Caribbean 1500 got off a day ahead of schedule to take advantage of a promising weather window to get the fleet south. “Never waste a fair wind,” said Event Manager Andy Schell at the rally Skipper’s Briefing in Portsmouth, echoing a tradition sailors have adhered to for millennia. “We’ve got a good window - let’s go sailing!”Once offshore, it was a fast,... Click here for more info..
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Search Boat Logs..


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...


Breeze On - What a day

Shortly after I sent the last post to this blog the out haul on our mainsail broke. That means that the sail is not attached to the boom and cannot be used. It happened shortly after dark. George and Ray did a great job making sure all of the lines read more...


Exit Strategy - November 7th

At 1015 ACT, 9:15 EST Exit Strategy is at 33 07.2 N, 074 06.4 W surfing down some breaking rollers. read more...


Breeze On - We are in the Gulf Straam

We left the dock at 8:10 yesterday morning. We have been sailing ever since and we are now in the Gulf Stream. The conditions are, as Andy Schell says, gnarly. Big waves coming at us from several directions. It is hard to stay put when sitting, 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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