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Carib1500 and ARC Bahamas FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum size of boat and crew? 35' (10.67m) length overall (LOA) with at least two people on board. Smaller boats may be able to join us too - please contact us to discuss. 

How long will the rally take?  The ARC Caribbean 1500 passage from the Chesapeake Bay to Tortola takes around 7-12 days; and the ARC Bahamas route to Abacos takes 4-7 days, weather dependent. Click here for the route and dates.

When does the rally start?  ARC Caribbean 1500 starts on November 2, 2021 in Spring Cove Marina, Solomons MD. The start will be delayed if the weather is unsuitable.

What does it cost? There is an entry fee for the boat - $800 and a crew fee $125 per person (over 16 only), with discounts for entry before August 31. Full details are in the rally information pack. Click here to get the pack. The pack includes dates, entry requirements including safety equipment, rally benefits and fees.

What is included? Rally beneftits include 2 days docking before the start and after arrival; a social program at each port; weather forecasts whilst at sea, position tracking of boats, seminars and briefings before the start. See the rally information pack for a full list of benefits.

How do I join? Register your boat here; you can add your crew list later. Fees can be paid via credit/debit card or via check or wire transfer.

Can I use my engine?  This is a cruising rally, so use of engines is OK!  Boats in the fun competition Cruising Division must declare their engine hours for their results to be calculated.  

What safety equipment do I need?  We have a list of mandatory and recommended safety equipment that we will inspect on board the boat before the rally starts. This includes:

  • Approved ocean liferaft with more than 24 hour equipment pack (ISO or SOLAS types)
  • 406MHz EPIRB
  • Lifejackets (PFDs) with crotch straps and spray hoods/face shields for all crew
  • Offshore SOLAS flares (2 orange smoke and 4 red hand flares (of which 2 can be eVDS)
  • Means of sending and receiving emails at sea

See Support & Safety for more information

What training should I do?  We recommend that the skipper (captain) and at least one of the crew should have done some safety and communications equipment, heavy weather sailing and emergency management training within the last five years.   

You can learn more about the rally and tips for preparing your boat and crew by attending one of our 2 hour boat show forums, or 2 day residential seminars. We also have a number of handy videos on our YouTube channel.

Do I need an SSB (HF) radio?  No, but the daily radio net takes place on SSB.   At sea you will be outside of VHF range most of the time.  You must be able to send and receive email at sea - this can be with an SSB and a pactor modem, or via a satellite telephone/device. See our communications page for more details.

Can I take my kids?  Families with children of all ages have sailed with us, and all are welcome.

How do I find crew?  Personal recommendations are the best way of finding crew, but you can also register free on Ocean Crew Link to look for crew or respond to sailing opportunities. The Caribbean 1500 Facebook page is another good way to connect.

What about visas?  We will provide information about visas in the Rally Handbook, and the country information pages on are also helpful.  US and Canadian citizens won't need visas for BVI or Bahamas.

What about COVID?  Protocols for entry into the BVI are subject to change; we will keep you informed via the rally newsletters about requirements for testing and quarantine. For information about other islands in the Caribbean see the bio-security pages on

Can I take my pets?  We have no restrictions on the pets you carry on your boat, but you must comply with the laws and regulations for your home country and any countries visited by the rally. We will provide advice in the Rally Handbook, or look up the country information on

How many people take part?  There are usually 40-60 boats and around 200 people sailing in the rally, and as boats are docked together before the start, there is a great chance for people to mix and meet.

What about support on the rally?  There will be a team of friendly 'yellow shirts' in each rally port.  They will help with registration, local contacts, docking, excursions, social activities and emergencies.  You can also contact the World Cruising Club office at any time here or call +1 (757) 778-8872

How can families at home stay in touch with the boats?  All boats will be fitted with a satellite tracker, which will display the boats positions on the online Fleet Viewer.  All boats can also blog for free on the rally website.