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Big Game "Landing Fee"

probate-rprobate-r Posts: 419 Deckhand
I was talking with a friend who was over in Bimini 2 or 3 weeks ago for a few days. When he arrived to clear customs, he radioed Big Game's dockmaster to ask where he should pull in. I guess the dockmaster assumed he was just clearing customs (he actually was staying there and had a slip reserved) and told him there was a $53 fee to tie up to their docks to clear customs. This is new since I was last there in August, but has anyone else heard of this or been charged this landing fee? While I respect Big Game and their right to do what they want with their docks ... the ones THEY pay to maintain, I also think its a little unfair that they take advantage of people (yes I think $53 is extreme and taking advantage of the situation) trying to clear into the Bahamas at the office that is basically at the end of their dock. I know they are trying to make a buck just like everyone else, but this rubs me the wrong way...

Whats everyone else think? Other options to dock while clearing?

Shawn
Intrepid 370 - "My Favorite"

Replies

  • MenziesMenzies Posts: 19,289 AG
    Doesn't sound right. Maybe you could drop the skipper off and then hold off the dock until he is ready to reboard and then go on?
    Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an App, they will start using it.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,246 AG
    Where the heck did they come up with $53? :huh
  • BullMarketBullMarket Posts: 186 Deckhand
    $53 makes good sense. a $50 bill doesn't cut it and they will never have change on $60 so more often than not they will end up the $60 while only charging "$53"

    If they are going to charge you, just drop someone off to clear and float around.

    In the past I have been able to sit at the south seawall dock and clear with no issues or fees. They only charged me $60 once when I asked if I could leave the boat there for a few hours which I didn't think was unfair.
    Palm Beach Pure Skin Care and Cosmetics PalmBeachPure.com
  • probate-rprobate-r Posts: 419 Deckhand
    Bull, I agree that it's fair to charge if you are going to leave the boat for awhile. No worse then valet parking in Miami!
    Intrepid 370 - "My Favorite"
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,246 AG
    As I have done clearing at Old Bahama Bay with the plans being to run on afterwards to the Abacos:

    "Old Bahama Bay this is the vessel HEY MON and we are entering your inlet. We'd like to clear Customs, have lunch and take on some fuel. Can we stick the boat somewhere for a few hours?"

    "Hey Mon! Welcome back! Tie up along the seawall just past Customs and enjoy your short visit with us. Do you need any Customs forms?"

    "Yes, that would be great! Hey Mon will need Forms for four persons." (I would have already filled out my Customs Forms the night before at the dining room table with some classic rock playing on the turntable and a jumbo Bacardi & Coke, but the new Forms they give me will be used the next time I clear in!)

    The point I'm making is to throw the Marina a bone with fuel, lunch, etc...... tip the guy who comes out to help you dock and I'd bet you'd never get charged if you tell them that on your inbound VHF call........
  • Capt KurtCapt Kurt Posts: 410 Deckhand
    That's the better way to enter the Bahamas Gary!
    visit Pure Pilates in Fort Lauderdale - http://www.pure-pilates.net
  • CNTDRCNTDR Great Harbor Cay, BahamasPosts: 890 Officer
    Always been $50 at Cat Cay
    Of course that island is private

    I also agree with Gary
    Great Harbor Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas
    pm me for rental info.
  • BspotBspot Posts: 189 Officer
    No TUF in Dec. Radio in to Cisco, take him a 12 pack of Bud Lite. We have never paid. Were you on 16?
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Rockledge / BahamasPosts: 3,110 Moderator
    Its been a while since I checked in at Spanish but they also started charging to use their dockage for customs or lunch. Seemed petty to charge $50 to check in. They also would not allow you to drop someone off and then circle around.

    From the Spanish Cay Marina Website:

    **There is no charge for our marina guests who wish to clear customs. However, there is a $50.00 charge per boat for those who are not marina guests.

    OBB is still free :-)
    Mark Wilson
    USCG 100t Master, Assist Tow, 200nm Coastal
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS, ABYC, IAMI, FMIU
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc. 
  • probate-rprobate-r Posts: 419 Deckhand
    Does anyone know whether Bimini Sands will have customs check in on big weekends, with all the new changes they are going through? Mr recollection is they used to have certain weekends where you could clear there. Maybe Brad will know...
    Intrepid 370 - "My Favorite"
  • C-QuestC-Quest Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    Bimini used to be a place we would go 20 plus times a year...about 8 years ago we had a bad experience and never been back since. It is a shame we had many good memories. Spanish Cay has charged $50 for more than 10 years as does Cat Cay - We usually go to Green Turtle and Clear there - it is very laid back and quick.
  • WPBWPB Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Spanish Cay charges because they have to pay to have the Custom's officer on the island unlike OBB. $50 seems a pretty fair trade off for no lines in the office. You are typically the only person clearing at Spanish at any one time.
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Rockledge / BahamasPosts: 3,110 Moderator
    WPB wrote: »
    Spanish Cay charges because they have to pay to have the Custom's officer on the island unlike OBB. $50 seems a pretty fair trade off for no lines in the office. You are typically the only person clearing at Spanish at any one time.

    Why would Spanish Cay have to pay and additional fee to the customs officer if they are an official Bahamas port of entry? That should be no different than Walkers, Grand Cay, OBB and such. Spanish does not charge you if you are staying at the marina, only if you are passing through and using their docks. That gave me the impression it was a marina fee and not a customs fee. Granted I only checked in at Spanish once when I ran my old Jupiter which was around 2007, a very long time ago. I think they had just started charging their dock fee at that time and took me by surprise. Typically we checked in at Walkers then ran to Green Turtle.
    Mark Wilson
    USCG 100t Master, Assist Tow, 200nm Coastal
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS, ABYC, IAMI, FMIU
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc. 
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Rockledge / BahamasPosts: 3,110 Moderator
    C-Quest wrote: »
    ....We usually go to Green Turtle and Clear there - it is very laid back and quick.


    Actually all the port of entries that I have checked in at (all coming from the North) have been quick and no lines when arriving by boat. Walkers has never had a Line since the hurricanes of 2004, the biggest problem there was finding a customs officer on the island. Then when moved to Grand Cay, still no line or issues. West End (OBB) typically is quick or maybe a couple other boats checking in with you. Spanish was quick but typically I have already checked in by that location so I can fish on the way. Commercial Airports or commercial cruise ships or high speed ferries are the worst as the drop off high volumes at once and typically with overlapping arrival times.
    Mark Wilson
    USCG 100t Master, Assist Tow, 200nm Coastal
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS, ABYC, IAMI, FMIU
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc. 
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,246 AG
    Some of these places ought to be handing out cold, Kalik Gold's to boaters that want to clear in at their locations! You try to 'entice' new customers to visit you, not put barriers up to make them think twice about visiting you!

    Maybe advertise special rates for overnight dockage and/or room for boaters that will dock up there to clear Customs. 'Use' the fact that boaters MUST stop somewhere to clear in , to get them to come to your Marina!
  • ryancanonryancanon Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    I cleared yesterday AM at Big Game Club, and was not charged. We did eat lunch as well...

    I was surprised yesterday AM by a local Fort Lauderdale marina that wanted to charge me $1 / ft to pick up a passenger after buying 100 gallons of fuel and 200lbs of ice.
  • Bimini DreamBimini Dream Posts: 407 Deckhand
    ryancanon wrote: »
    I cleared yesterday AM at Big Game Club, and was not charged. We did eat lunch as well...

    I was surprised yesterday AM by a local Fort Lauderdale marina that wanted to charge me $1 / ft to pick up a passenger after buying 100 gallons of fuel and 200lbs of ice.

    Now that's really crazy
    A Part Of Paradise
    http://onetoughkitty.com
  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,359 Admiral
    Sounds a lot like Lauderdale Marina
  • SlipkidSlipkid Posts: 241 Officer
    A guy dockhand at sailfish center told my wife that they have the same policy once while we were picking up fuel. I'm sorry, but that kind of thing doesn't sit real well with me... I'm sure they eventually get the guy who wants to tie up the dock for 2 hiurs waiting for someone to come from the airport though.
    2003 Viking 45C
  • eric.reeedyeric.reeedy Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    We have cleared in at Bimini Big Game many times and never were charged or asked to pay. If they are doing this now it is new and there are lots of other Marinas where you can tie up instead. Bimini Blue Water next door is a good option - JR is the dock master and he will take good care of you.
  • MikeOMikeO Posts: 112 Deckhand
    ryancanon wrote: »
    I cleared yesterday AM at Big Game Club, and was not charged. We did eat lunch as well...

    I was surprised yesterday AM by a local Fort Lauderdale marina that wanted to charge me $1 / ft to pick up a passenger after buying 100 gallons of fuel and 200lbs of ice.

    I took on 400gal and they wanted to charge me the same to have a small bag dropped off. No tip for him
  • biminibradbiminibrad Posts: 373 Deckhand
    MikeO wrote: »
    I took on 400gal and they wanted to charge me the same to have a small bag dropped off. No tip for him
    As Bimini Sands transitions to a home owner directed resort, common sense will prevail. If you are stwying at sands, you might be asked to pay $2.00 to cover our costs. If you are not, it might be $5.00, and asked to give way to paying guests of our resort. You are guests of the Bahamas and should and will be greeted with open arms, at least if I have anything to do with it. Fyi all inward forms except pink immigration are emailed prior to you arriving, please print on 8 1/
    2 x14 legal, they are picky
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,805 Captain
    I'll stick to the Keys.
  • biminibrad wrote: »
    As Bimini Sands transitions to a home owner directed resort, common sense will prevail. If you are stwying at sands, you might be asked to pay $2.00 to cover our costs. If you are not, it might be $5.00, and asked to give way to paying guests of our resort. You are guests of the Bahamas and should and will be greeted with open arms, at least if I have anything to do with it. Fyi all inward forms except pink immigration are emailed prior to you arriving, please print on 8 1/
    2 x14 legal, they are picky

    Thanks Brad!
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