Old Vs. New

Here is a discussion I had with a buyer who has a budget of $150k and he is considering an older catamaran vs. newer:

Let me try to be succinct.... if you can find a really well-maintained Lagoon 37 or 42 then none of what I'm about to say matters.... but the ones in the price range you have been looking at generally need a lot of work and have not been well-maintained. Yachts are like cars in that: at a certain age, everything starts to fall apart. And the repair bills can be endless and you can spend all your time dealing with that and no time sailing/cruising. If you are a "tinkerer"/engineer-type then maybe this is quite alright ...(Are you?).......Different models reach the end of their "maintenance-free life" at different times (Leopard has the longest useful life) but generally the manufacturers have recently been using better materials and components so that the newer boats last longer. If I were in the market now and had to stick to a certain budget, I'd look for the newest boat possible by the best builder possible. The best production builders for 1999 onwards are Lagoon, Privilege, Leopard and Fountaine Pajot can be OK but stick to as late-model as possible and never buy one of their hull #1-5's (when  new model comes out they always have screw-ups/leaks/issues and these dont always get remedied 100% by the manufacturer...FP has a terrible warranty reputation).... 
The 37 and the 42 had some flaws which are not limited to the following and maybe these aren't deal-killers for you:
- their salons are small compared to more recent models....i.e., the newer-designed Mahe 36 has a larger salon than a Lagoon 42! But the 42 has a longer waterline and will sail a little better
- the headliners were constantly falling down and the replacement headliners can almost never look decent
- the flooring lasted about 15 years and needs replacing
- the way the windows are designed creates a "hothouse effect" in the tropics that broils you when sitting in the salon...there are some partial remedies for this (Note: that is why Lagoon went to vertical windows)
- on some 42's the engines were placed under the bunks and the inevitable oil spills/fuel spills on the engine stink up the interior. Some people get sick inhaling this....by the way, when I ran Moorings Yacht Brokerage for 10 years we went to Lagoon about this and they moved the engines aft and sealed them off from the living space but there are only a few models like this
- the 37 can hobby horse (pitch) quite a bit in certain seas
It may sound like I dont like these boats but I really do and have really fond memories of my 42 and 37....but I'm just saying a newer/smaller boat can usually give you the same amount of usable space and will "wear longer"

PDQ Antares 44 and General Market Discussion

We are discussing Antares 44's and the state of the market in general:

- The Antares are great cats... they are semi-custom, well-built boats hand-made in small volumes. I love the high freeboard and the space that creates down below, with the huge amount of "reserve buoyancy" that you will thank God for 1000x if you ever get into really big waves....But when Antares pays for components they pay full wholesale price because they buy one thing at a time. So, they just naturally cost more. Now, when a large builder like Lagoon, which is part of the Beneteau Group (who build thousands of CNBs, Wauquiez, Jeanneaus, Beneteaus, Lagoons, Antares power boats, Swift Trawlers, campers, automobiles, temporary housing, prefab housing, etc)  buy engines, for example, they buy hundreds at a time and get them for less than half of what Antares pays. The same goes for sails, masts, rigging, electrical looms, plumbing parts, resin, etc. So, they build to the same quality for much less and they can afford to pass on a sizable discount to the buyer and still make a good return on their investment for the shareholders. I have owned two Lagoons and like them a lot. Outremer's are proven bluewater cruisers but they have wave slapping issues especially when you equip them with all the stuff most cruisers want and you give up some interior volume to get performance. In my humble opinion, speed is highly over-rated. Being able to go 1-2 knots faster because you are in an Outremer isn't worth the space you have to give up unless you race and want to win bets with other skippers. Privileges are the best-built cats in the world but being a low-volume builder usually cost a lot more than equivalent production boats, their salons are usually very small and to exaggerate a little: "They sail like slugs".... They also are like "hot houses" because their salons have windows directly exposed to the sun...So, in Seattle this wouldn't be noticed, but in the Caribbean it will drive you crazy in about 1 week because your aircons can't keep up and you will feel like a broiling piece of fish sometimes.
I have lived on cats for extended periods and in my humble/biased opinion the most important factors are "live-ability/easy for one person to sail" which supercedes everything else by a factor of 10; and by that I mean, is the salon as large as possible? Does the galley have enough storage space? Is there plenty of storage space elsewhere so clutter isn't everywhere? Is there plenty of room in the engine space to do maintenance or do you need an army of trained midgets to change the oil or bleed the injectors? Is the engine space sealed off from the living space (so those nasty-inevitable smells never get into your space)? Is the steering station high up with good visibility and easy access to the deck when something goes wrong under sail? My most-recent stint aboard was a 6 month cruise to New England/Chesapeake during the summer/fall on a new Prout 45. We loved the large salon. We loved the large raised steering station. We spent 95% of our waking hours in these two spots and had the time of our lives. Having morning coffee and sunset wine in the raised steering station because the views were always awesome was memorable...the rest of the time (at night and in the pouring rain) was spent in the salon. In 6 months I sat down in the cockpit a grand total of two times, so I think large cockpits are a giant waste of space unless I'm docked in St Tropez and I want to watch the French bikini team walking the docks .... 

- another reason I like Lagoon and Leopards are because of this reason: they are used by more charter fleets than any other brand (because they "wear-well"). When you charter one, you are given a "comment sheet" to fill out. There are over 100,000 charter weeks sold per year on all the Lagoons and Leopards worldwide, so they get back 70,000 comment sheets....A lot of "Type A", very intelligent people charter these boats and they love to write for hours about what works well on the boat, (most-importantly) what doesn't, and what changes should be made in the next model. These manufacturers listen closely and incorporate changes every year, and it really does make a difference. Antares, Outremer and Privilege don't have this constant and massive input and couldn't afford to make the changes anyway because they aren't set up for this....so you see a lot of little nuances on these Lagoon/Leopard that really are nice. I can show them to you if we get together and look at some boats.
- you may be interested to read my eBook "Insider Secrets To Buying Catamarans" which I attached and has been a 22 year "work-in-progress".... It is designed to educate you on all the mistakes I have seen/made (in over 1,450 deals I've been involved with over 23 years) so you don't waste time and money like I and others have done....I have owned 37 yachts and have learned some lessons the hard (expensive!) way.

- Regarding the 2005 Antares...here is a list of all Antares sold since 2008...I have full specs and photos of that one that sold in NC for $450k if you want to see them. She was on the market for over a year and the owner just wanted it gone so he accepted $100k less than he was asking at the time ... that happened in 2009. I have a private database that has all selling prices of all yachts sold since 1998 and will share all details with you....it costs me over $600/month for this.


YearCodesListed US$Sold US$Location
44'PDQ Antares2005S U TD FG 619,000(07/11)585,000(04/12)FL, USA
44'PDQ Antares2004S U TD FG 599,000(01/11)570,000(05/12)VA, USA
44'PDQ Antares2004S U TD FG 535,000(05/11)535,000(07/11)USA
44'PDQ Antares 44i2005S U TD FG 550,000(03/08)450,000(05/09)NC, USA
44'PDQ Antares 50k in Opt...2006S U TD FG 795,000(12/07)675,000(08/08)NC, USA

Here is a list of all the Antares offered for sale now:

LengthBoatsYearCurrent US$LocationName

44'PDQ Antares 44i2006649,000 Cruising in Florida, FLBLUE

44'PDQ Antares 44i 2006635,000 Jacksonville, FLMER SOLEIL

44'PDQ Antares 4425 I2008975,000 Marmaris, TurkeySPIRIT OF NINA

    Some general market comments: 
The Caribbean still has the best deals because we see an imbalance of sellers to buyers if you are considering production yachts...the Euro may be making a dramatic move and if Greece abandons the Euro and the "PIGS" (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) can't cover their debt payments, then the Euro will drop against the dollar. If it goes to par, or below the dollar, then all those French tax shelter yachts will become huge bargains for Americans/Canadians/Aussies/Kiwis...if the Euro doesn't make the move, be sure to play the seasonal price trends and locational discounts I mention in my eBook. The time to buy is between now and November 15th.......then again next summer...The Aussies are the biggest buyers in the world right now which is preventing the bottom from falling out of the market....because their currency is strong and they are mining gold and silver like crazy, they are spending money like drunken sailors...the Norwegians are right behind them... Norway has no debt and huge oil reserves and their economy is booming. Having a Viking heritage that genetically predisposes them to take advantage of crises elsewhere, they can't help themselves but to snap up bargains when they see them.

Besides what you mentioned, I think you should look at Lagoon 440's/500's and Leopard 46's ...and when your wife sees how much more room you get in a Lagoon and the level of fit and finish of a Leopard (for significantly less money than an Antares) she will probably twist your arm in that direction... 
I really think you should focus on younger 4-6 year old yachts and not those older models you mentioned...Everything just starts falling apart at age 7 and it's never-ending (dealing with that) after that...Also, technology has improved in recent years and you see a lot of nice improvements.....so I think if you have a budget of "x" then it's better to go with a smaller newer (post 2007) boat than a larger/older "money pit" (a large hole in the water into which you pour money)... I hope this all helps 

Best Deal On A Small Cruising Cat

This 2007 Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 will sell for only 120,000 Euros. This is well under what they have been selling for. One reason is that it is teh end of teh charter season and this charter boat is phasing out and the charter company needs to cash out. The other reason is that is does have some osmotic blisters; however, they are being repaired by the manufacturer and you will get a 5 year warranty on this. Contact Gary Fretz at bigyachts@gmail.com or at our Florida office 001.954.609.6282 for more details. Lying Caribbean. 2400 engine hours. 3 stateroom layout. This is a deal!

Boat Shows 2012-13

2012 - 2013 

September 11th to 16th2012 Cannes 
September 19th to 24th2012 La Rochelle 
September 26th to 30th2012 Barcelona 
October 06th to 14th2012 Genova 
December 08th to 16th2012 Paris 
January 19th to 27th2013 Düsseldorf 
April 10th to 14th2013 La Grande Motte 

Sunreef To Debut Two New Models At Cannes Show Sep 11-16

Sunreef Yachts to Exhibit 4 Yachts with
2 World Premieres in Cannes 2012

Sunreef Yachts will exhibit 4 new yachts at the 2012 Cannes International Boat Show taking place between the 11th and 16th of September. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary being in business, the company will showcase two new premiere models: the power catamaran 60 Sunreef Power EWHALA and the sailing superyacht Sunreef 82 HOUBARA. Two other famous models: the 70 Sunreef Power SKYLARK (2012) and the Sunreef 70 Sailing ANINI (2011) will also be exhibited, making this event the biggest yacht display for Sunreef Yachts this year. All of the yachts can be seen in Vieux Port, Jetee Pantiero, Multihulls Section, MTC 105. Please register before the show with us ...

2006 Lagoon 440 Sells For 295,000 Euros

This Lagoon 44 (2006) just sold for Euros 295k in Croatia.... I've noticed that the depreciation curve of Lagoons after 6 years will not go down if the catamaran is reasonably well maintained. I have all the selling prices of catamarans sold since 1998 so if you are in the market to buy or sell, contact me for full details about recent yacht sales. Or go to my website www.LargeCatamaransForSale.com

This 2007 Leopard 47 Power Catamaran just sold for $345,000 in the Bahamas. If you are in the market to buy or sell a catamaran contact me for a full comparables price study. Just give me the make/model/year of catamaran you are interested in, and I will send all actual recent selling prices and I also have full details on each boat. 

2008 Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 Sells For $180,000

This 2008 FP Mahe 36 just sold for $180,000 in the BVI. She has a 2 stateroom/2 head layout and had done a little charter....If you are buying or selling a catamaran, contact me for a complimentary "comparables study" of the make/model you are most interested in. I have all the actual selling prices of catamarans going back to 1998.

2008 Leopard 40 Sells For $260,000 In The Bahamas

This 2008 Owner's Version Leopard 40 just sold for $260k in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. Thise was a rare owner's version that had air-conditioning (most 40's do not have air). If you are buying or selling a catamaran, contact me for a complimentary "comparables study" of the make/model you are most interested in. I have all the actual selling prices of catamarans going back to 1998.

2010 Leopard 38 Recently Sells For $295,000

This Owners Version (3 stateroom) Robertson and Caine Leopard 38 just sold for $295k in Fort Lauderdale.....If you are buying or selling a catamaran, contact me for a complimentary "comparables study" of the make/model you are most interested in. I have all the actual selling prices of catamarans going back to 1998.

2007 Lagoon 410 Sells For $247k In Florida

This 2007 Lagoon 410 recently sold in Florida for $247,000. She is a 3 stateroom Owner's Version and in excellent condition. I know of a 410 that sailed from Ft auderdale to Palm Beach and averaged 19 knots on a broad reach. If you are buying or selling a catamaran, contact me for a complimentary "comparables study" of the make/model you are most interested in. I have all the actual selling prices of catamarans going back to 1998.


THIS 2005 FOUNTAINE PAJOT ATHENA 38 RECENTLY SOLD IN THE BVI FOR $165,000. She is a 4 stateroom/2 head version... If you are buying or selling a catamaran, contact me for a complimentary "comparables study" of the make/model you are most interested in. I have all the actual selling prices of catamarans going back to 1998.

2003 Manta Mk II 42' Sold ofr $275,000

This 2003 Manta Mk II Owner's Version 42' Catamaran sold for $275,000 recently in Florida. I like their unique davit/cockpit seating arrangement and they make good liveaboards. If you are buying or selling a catamaran, contact me for a complimentary "comparables study" of the make/model you are most interested in. I have all the actual selling prices of catamarans going back to 1998.

2006 Island Spirit 40 Just Sells For $200k

This 2006 Fortuna Yachts Island Spirit 400 Owner's Version (3 stateroom) just sold for $200,000 in Maryland. These are great bluewater cruisers.... If you are buying or selling a catamaran, contact me for a complimentary "comparables study" of the make/model you are most interested in. I have all the actual selling prices of catamarans going back to 1998.

2008 Leopard 43 Recently Sold For $280k In Tahiti

This 2008 Leopard 43 sailing catamaran sold two weeks ago for $280,000 in Tahiti. She has a four stateroom charter layout and had been in charter service for 5 years.... Leopards are well-built with a lot of well-thought-out extras and I regard them as a good value.

2001 Lagoon 570 Sells For $575k In the BVI

This 2001 Lagoon 570 just sold for $575,000 in the BVI. This was a 4 stateroom Owner's Version. She had all new soft goods including headliner in salon and new deck decks.... Lagoons are well-built and reasonably fast sailing yachts...
Contact me for a free comparables analysis (with all actual selling prices for the past few years) of the make/model you are interested in if you are buying or selling a catamaran.

2003 FP Eleuthera 60 Just Sold For 510,000 Euros in Greece

This 2003 Fountaine Pajot Eleuthera 60 just sold in Greece for 510,000 Euros. She was well maintained and well-equipped and a one-owner boat since new.

2009 Lagoon 620 Just Sold For 1,170,000 Euros

This 2009 Lagoon 620 just sold for Euros 1,170,000. She was in the French West Indies and had the four stateroom (plus crew)/galley down layout ... I LOVE these cats because they feature a large flybridge which increases the usable "real estate" by 30% and huge wrap-around panoramic windows in the salon. The Volvo diesel engines had less than 1,000 hours on them. I've owned two Lagoons and  they build a great yacht. The 620 has as much interior and deck space as an 85' monohull yet two persons can operate it. Catamarans are the future and if you haven't tried one, you owe it to yourself to do so......................

Sold New Lagoon 400 For 373,000 Euros and 9% Guaranteed Income

     I sold a new 2013 Lagoon 400 into a major charter company fleet and I think this buyer made a smart move. Consider this: The yacht will stay in charter for 5.5 years in the BVI and the owner will receive guaranteed income each month and never have any expenses while it's in the program because the charter company covers all that.  This owner has up to 12 weeks owner use/year and he can also use other yachts in 30 bases around the world.  So, he can cruise in the best locations around the world using his owner time. What a great way to see the world! The selling price was 373,000 Euros and the guaranteed annual income (paid out monthly) is 9% of that or 33,570 Euros. So, in 5.5 years he will receive 184,600 Euros.  Charter yachts are better built nowadays, so they stay looking/working like new a lot longer than before. At the end of 5 years this owner will cruise his yacht because he will be retired... I've been in the yacht charter business for 23 years and this is absolutely the smartest way to buy a charter yacht.
If you are looking to buy or sell a charter yacht, let me help you...I've been "down this road" many times before and will make it easy and fun for you.

Hottest Thing In A 40' Power Catamaran

This is the new DreamCat 40 which will be the new benchmark for charter catamarans. Why? Because the salon is bigger than any other similar-sized cat, the flybridge will be larger and teh price will be 20% less than any similar catamaran. This can be built with a 4 stateroom /4 head layout or in an Owner's Version with one hull dedicated to a large Owner's Suite. Because they are built in China you get more for your money. Contact Gary Fretz for more details.

Ultimate LiveAboard Power Catamaran

We are building this 52' Power Catamaran in China and it will be an awesome liveaboard yacht. Why? Because this 52' catamaran has teh deck space and interior space of a 70' monohull yet a couple can easily  handle it underway... The flybridge will be "the place to be" whilst underway or for morning coffee or sunset cocktails. The salon with it's wrap-around panoramic windows is bright and airy. A galley-up will ensure that the cook remains "part of the party" and the large breakfast bar also doubles as a cozy pub-bar at night with special recessed lighting ... Note the panoramic windows in the hull that make the staterooms seem huge. All beds are walk-around so it's easy to get in and out of bed and you won't wake up your partner. Optional 1100 hp engines will make this into a rocketship that can cruise in the 20's economically or top out in the mid-30 knot range. Optional hydrofoils will dampen the ride and give even more fuel economy. A couple can easily handle this sweet ride yet give plenty of living space. All this for a price that will surprise you... Contact me for more info...

How Would You Like $50k In Your Pocket Each Year?

I have a 2008 Lagoon 420 in charter in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas. She has a bunch of charter bookings for 2012 and will earn $50,000 net after all expenses for her owner... You can buy her for $420,000 and get an 11.7% annual return on your investment for 3-5 years...where else can you get a return like this? Contact me soonest as this is the best deal I have on a charter boat.

MAGIC CAT Sailing Catamaran is Awesome

Check out this Multiplast 85' sailing catamaran. This yard is a first class shipyard and has some awesome new designs.....

Yachts: The Perfect Escape Vehicle

AHOY Mates! Check out my weekly radio talk show Yachts: The Perfect Escape Vehicle. We are "live" on the Overseas Radio Network every week at 3:00pm Eastern U.S. time and you can access live and archived shows on the network's website: www.OverseasRadio.com. The show is aimed at the 6,000,000 American expats and expat-wannabees who want a change of scene, to get away from the U.S. and see what else is out there. Yachts are the best way to accomplish this because:
1. You can find liveaboard yachts from $15,000 to $15,000,000 and everywhere in between, so there is something for everyone.
2. A liveaboard yacht serves as your home AND it provides cheap transportation worldwide. Yes, it's possible to sail around the world for free and a number of people have done it.
3. You can easily "try before you buy" and visit your countries of choice and see what it's like to live there (on a yacht)...
4. If you don't like something about your neighbor, the weather or whatever; just cast off your lines, set-sail and MOVE ON. It's as easy as "1-2-3!"
5. It's much easier to enter a country on a yacht than any other way. because you are considered part of the international seafaring community and rules are different. For example, you can stay in Europe for 6 months for a small fee if you enter on a yacht. In the Bahamas, you pay $300 and you can stay there a year. You are usually treated like V.I.P. Royalty when you arrive on a yacht (even if it's a small one) unlike entering with the masses at an airport and being herded around like cattle.
6. Because of recent technological innovations, it's now possible for anyone to easily and safely navigate around the world, to have all the comforts of home in your yacht and to communicate and have internet access almost anywhere in the world.

Each week I have guests who are "living the dream",  I interview them and they explain how they formulated their escape plans, paid for their yacht and how they are enjoying it. I aim to give as much value as possible and to give valuable tips it would normally take years to discover... I invite questions and call-ins (during "live" shows only).

Power Catamaran Makes Great Second Home

   I inspected this Horizon 58 Power Catamaran for a prospective buyer recently and was most-impressed. The fit and finish was superb and everything oozed "quality". The salon has a galley-up which also doubles as a cozy pub at night. The full-beam Master Suite is on the maindeck forward of the salon and has  panoramic windows which make it feel huge. The twin Cummins diesels easily propel her along in the 20 knot range and the catamaran hull makes the ride ever-so-smooth. The flybridge adds a large amount of extra "real estate" for partying or for a great view at sunset or whilst underway. The three stateroom layout is not the best for charter, so I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a great liveaboard or family-cruiser. The usable space rivals that of an 85' monohull and with a beam of 24.5' it can be easily docked in most marinas and operated by an owner/couple... For more info please contact me.

My Recommendations For a One Week Cruise To The Abacos

A friend asked me to advise him on where to go when he charters a catamaran for a week in the Abaco islands of the Bahamas. I've been there 40 or more times and love the place. I've sold yachts to 5 people who sailed around the world and almost all 5 said that the Abacos are among the best cruising grounds ...in the world!
Here's what to see:

THE ABACOS ARE AWESOME because of the following:
- super clean gin-clear water
- sailing in a protected area
- white sandy beaches
- people who like outsiders (unlike some Caribbean islands) and who have a great attitude
- good food
- low crime
- good availability of Internet
- easy and quick access to the U.S. airport hubs
- an uncrowded, friendly, small-town feel

Here are the "don't miss" stops in Abaco:
- go to Hopetown and spend at least one night there...it's the quaintest of Quaint.......have lunch at the Hopetown Harbor Lodge oceanfront pool bar...good snorkeling 50' off that beach, fresh water pool feels great and I'd walk south down their beach and check it out...also rent bikes and ride around the streets especially along the Queen's Highway south of Harbour Lodge to the cemetery which is oceanfront (you can also walk this route)....dinghy to the Hopetown Lighthouse with your camera, donate $5 to the Preservation Fund, climb to the top and take photos with the beautiful aerial views in the background. I also like to walk north of Harbour Lodge thru town to the other cemetery next to the Fire Station, over the cliff to the north beach and walk to North Point because it's a beautiful walk on a spectacular beach.... Vernon's Grocery has great pies/provisions and is near there...... Vernon is the Methodist minister in town and is a good guy...support him!
- White Sound in south Elbow Cay is worth a stop for lunch at Abaco Inn (you can anchor around there and dinghy in)...it's perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean and it's one of the best places to surf in Abaco and the surfers will provide entertainment if you like watching that....
- then cruise south and maybe have lunch or dinner at Cracker P's which is on the nearby island of Lubber's Quarters...a short history of the extraordinary life of Cracker P:
Paul John Simmons, alias 'Cracker Pinder', hailed from Lexington, Georgia in the county of Oglethorpe.  'The Cracker'  was born in 1879. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. (We currently possess his bayonet). In 1915, an unfortunate incident occurred. The family duck was terrorizing the neighborhood, causing a fight between Cracker and Sheriff Hickory Cartwright. In the ensuing struggle, Cracker shot and killed the sheriff, becoming a wanted man. He made his way to Florida, where he caught a schooner to Wilson City,  Abaco.  He disembarked; knowing this would be his home.
Cracker  Pinder
    He immediately worked his way to Hope Town where he spent his first two years.  He then settled on Lubber's Quarters where he fished (though not very well) and farmed.  He planted many Sapodilla trees, which is a fruit we use in our BBQ sauce.  A cooking fire burned from the day he arrived until he left in 1954.
Cracker had a very limited wardrobe and therefore was the first naked person many locals had seen.  He would pole into town once a month for supplies.  People would bring him meat and fish in exchange for vegetables.  The Cracker led a reclusive life.  We only have a few pictures, some trinkets, and a sweet, sweet dilly tree to remember him by.  We can still see his concrete pier at low tide and the coconuts tower over the rest.  At Cracker P's his legend grows.....

- proceed south and notice the really cool castle to your left....the owner has a seaplane and flies it right into the hanger (out back) marked "Scare Air"...be sure to allow enough time for the following:
- stop at Sandy Cay National Park, tie up to a mooring, and snorkel or scuba. Fishing is not permitted here so there are huge amounts of fish....I think it's the best snorkel spot in the area and you could easily spend 2+ hours here. It's also a good lunch stop
- Go to Little Harbour.... see the cave where the Johnston's lived for two years...a little history/background: Professor Randolph Johnston was a long-haired art teacher who wore a beret at a New England college (in the 50's, mind you) ....he bought a schooner in 1951, had no idea how to sail, loaded his wife and 3 small kids, art stuff and furniture onto the schooner and miraculously made it to Little Harbour (with no navigation chart except an atlas). The schooner was sinking and they had to live in a cave for 2 years. He then set up an art studio and bronze casting facility where he created award-winning bronze statues and art pieces. They squatted on the land and under Bahamian law, if you do this on "Crown Land" for 7 years you can then apply for title...and they did...and the descendants are still there, financially well-off because they sold off some of the land and running an art gallery and Pete's Pub. Have lunch at Pete's (Randolph's son) and walk over to see the ocean...tour the gallery .... you may have to wait for high tide to get the boat into Little Harbour (or just anchor outside behind the point in protected water)
- head back north and cover the islands north of Hopetown ... Man O War Cay is a dry island (sadly, no beer/liquor sold there) and is worth touring the harbor, checking out Albury's Sail Shop for canvas bags/souvenirs witha a Bahamian/sailing flair. 
- Great Guana Cay is next...some people call it the "Redneck Island" and I'll let you figure out why... Dock in the main anchorage and have lunch or dinner at Orchid Bay Marina restaurant.... plan to definitely have lunch at Nippers Bar (a short walk to the ocean side) on a 50' cliff overlooking the widest, most-beautiful beach anywhere. Actually their Sunday Pig Roast is great and you may want to plan to be there then if you can....swim out front of Nippers...they have two pools and sometimes live music and it sometimes gets wild at night or on Sunday afternoons (maybe too wild for kids). 
- Baker's Bay development is at the northern end of Guana and their marina is magnificent. I'd try to take a ride through there and/or stop for a great lunch or dinner. They may charge you $50 to stop because you are a "non-member" but it really is well-done.
- do not stop at Treasure Cay,...to me it's overdeveloped and just like a crowded Florida vacation and you can get that sort of vacation in Pensacola or Panama City, FL ...Nothing special here and way over-hyped in the ads.
- Go to Green Turtle Cay and explore the town... it's almost as quaint as Hopetown...The New Plymouth Inn is a classic but it may not be open...I've dined their by candlelight and I felt like I stepped back 150 years to when Green Turtle was a Confederate blockade runner's base... I like to dine at the Green Turtle Club (elegant dinner) or Bluff House (for great sunset views). These two places are a short boat ride away from the main settlement and I think you can still anchor nearby...
- you probably won't have time for the following but if you have time: Spanish Cay has a friendly restaurant and you can rent a golf cart and tour this interesting island.......... Powell Cay has some awesome seashells....we found a huge number of different shells and there is usually nobody in sight for miles unless you are there on the weekend. I once saw a "Jubilee March of Conch" by the west shore of Powell: hundreds and hundreds of conch marching along together for some reason...it was awesome.....the other islands north of here are deserted and wonderful but you need time to cover this area

TIP: Invest in a copy of The Cruising Guide To Abaco (latest version) by Steve Dodge...you should preview it BEFORE your trip over some wine/cocktails and you'll get some good ideas.....Steve is a great guy and has spent many years and many hours trying to make his Guide the best (and it IS). It's full of aerial photos that give you a bird's eye view of all the great places ...I understand Steve flies there regularly and takes new shots.... I almost bought a lot south of Abaco Inn next door to Steve but he whispered to me that this area has washed out before (in hurricanes) and I should be careful. So, I never bought it and sure enough, it got totally washed out a year later in a hurricane. Thank you Steve!!!

Call me for a "politically-incorrect, but-interesting-to-know briefing" if you like....a brief background: The Abacos tried to secede from the Bahamas in the 1960's-70's when they were becoming an independent country. The Abaconians wanted to form their own libertarian-style country separate from the Bahamas (too socialist-leaning for the Abaconians) and when London told them "No!" they prepared to have an armed revolution to accomplish this. The Ragtag Abaco army wasn't very big and the Revolution never happened but you still see a libertarian, small-town attitude and I think this makes it a very special and wonderful place. Not to mention the extraordinary clear/clean-water, white sandy beaches, large number of fish and beautiful sea and landscapes.....