Island Hopping in a Monterey Boat

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:00AM

You've dreamed of island hopping for years, thinking if you could ever get the right boat, you could spend the winter traveling the Caribbean Sea.

Monterey Boat's flagship, the 400 Sport Yacht is that boat.

The 400 Sport Yacht is perfect for island hopping, providing the best in water travel and safety. They're also pretty comfortable when you are docked or anchored. Since some of the islands lack the creature comforts you might want, our cruiser has everything you need from the galley to the head to the sleeping quarters.

So, where should you start your trip?

There are a couple of different tacks you can take. If you want to launch out of Miami, the place to start would be the Bimini Islands. It has long been the getaway for residents of Southeast Florida, especially since it's only about 50 miles away. Or you could launch out of Palm Beach and head to Freeport. If you're not ready to give up the hustle and bustle yet, Freeport will have the day and night life to keep you busy. It's also not far from the continent, only about 85 miles from Florida.

Either way, you'll need to have a passport. The Bahamas are a foreign country and it will be a while before you get to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

You could spend weeks in the Bahamas, skipping from one island to the next. There are a lot of them. But you eventually will want to head further south. There are just too many places to see. Each island has its own characteristics and features. One island may have a heavy British character while another may have more French culture. Some will even have an extremely exotic feel to them like you have traveled to Africa or South America.

So where should you stop and head back home? That's strictly up to you. The end of the string of Caribbean islands is Barbados, but if you don't have that much time, you might want to turn around after you get to the Turks and Caicos, especially since the next island is La Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti).

Before your trip, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about each island you are going to visit. Be sure to plan your docking and re-fueling stops ahead of time. By knowing what to expect, you can enjoy yourself fully with fewer hassles. Also remember to remain alert. While you probably won't run into Capt. Jack Sparrow, there are others with a pirate nature. Then again, you might just run into Johnny Depp or another celebrity, so keep your camera ready.

The beauty of boating is the adventures you can enjoy and island hopping is one of the best.

For the best advice on which boat you want to take on your adventures, talk to your area Monterey Boatdealer.

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