Launching at small powerboat at Turtle Cove Marina. A boat is
the perfect way to explore the dozens of small islands or "cays"
in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
in getting to Providenciales by
boat or yacht
Exploring the dozens of small islands in the Turks and Caicos is only
possible via boat.
Boating is a part of life for many residents and the government has
recognized this by having a reduced customs duty rate of 11% instead of
the usual 33%. This makes owning a boat more affordable.
There are several marinas on Providenciales, most of which have slips
for launching trailered boats and sell fuel. See below for a list of the
Before embarking on your voyage, make sure to have the necessary safety
equipment aboard. Equipment you should make sure to have is a VHF radio
and life vests for all passengers. You should also see the owner's
manual that came with your boat for specific tools required.
If you'd rather relax and have someone else, just contact one of
the boat charter firms below.
Renting a boat
Few companies rent boats on Providenciales. This may be due to the
challenging waters surrounding the islands and the likely chance of
damage by inexperienced captains.
SeaDoo jet boats can be rented from Sun & Fun Seasports, with sizes
ranging from jetskis to 8 passenger jetboats. Jetboats are fast, but are
also expensive to rent and consume fuel rapidly. An advantage of
jetboats is their shallow draft which allows them to go into shallow
water without risk of damaging a propeller.
16' Skiffs can be rented from Windsurfing Provo on Grace Bay. A skiff is
a flat-bottomed shallow boat, normally powered by a low-power outboard
engine and steered by a tiller. Like jetboats, skiffs have a shallow
draft, but do have a propeller that can be damaged by contact to sand or
stone. The skiff's flat bottom also makes the boat less stable in waves.
However, skiffs are inexpensive (compared to the other options) to rent
Check out our water sports on Providenciales
page for contact information for Sun & Fun and Windsurfing Provo.
Note: Jetboats CANNOT be operated in the national parks, which includes
the entire north shore of Providenciales and the iguana islands. There
are hefty fines payable if you are caught!
Buying a Boat
The full details of purchasing a boat is beyond
the scope of this article, but here are some general tips.
1. There are two types of engines on smaller boats: outboards and
sterndrives. There are pros and cons with both types, but outboards seem
to be preferred by the majority of boat owners here.
2. There are two hull types. Flat bottom boats like Skiffs have a
shallow draft, handle rougher in waves, and are not as comfortable to
operate. They are also less expensive. Vee-hulled boats cost more, have
a deeper draft (usually between 2 and 3 feet), and handle better. They
also (usually) have bigger engines.
3. There are two common seating layouts on the vee-hulled boats: centre
console or fishing, with the steering wheel in the centre of the boat,
and bow-riders / cuddys with more car-like seating with the steering
wheel on the right. Centre consoles are better for fishing as there is
walking access all around the vessel, but bow riders are arguably better
4. Boats can be purchased locally, but there is normally a limited
supply available. Is is not difficult to import a boat from the
limitless supply in Florida. Shipping costs for a small powerboat is
5. Unlike the usual 33% import duty, boats and marine supplies only 11%
6. Boat registration and insurance is not required for small pleasure
boats, but is available. Registration costs $500 for five years and
insurance is normally about 9-11% of value a year.
7. If you will be fishing, a fishing license is mandatory.
For more regulatory information, contact the Maritime Unit at (649)
941-3148, and DECR at (649) 941-5122.
Proper charts are a necessity for navigating among the
Turks and Caicos Islands . The foremost publisher is Waveyline
based in Grand Turk, which sells detailed charts of Providenciales and
Grand Turk, plus overview charts of the complete Turks and Caicos
archipelago. These charts can be purchased locally for $30 from Walkin
Marine, so there is no reason to leave without one aboard.
Electronic charts containing Waveyline data are available for Garmin GPS
chart plotters with the Bluechart Americas mapset, versions 7.5 and
above. Paper charts can be ordered from Waveyline directly, and can be
purchased on Providenciales from Walkin Marine.
Boating Supplies and Repair
The primary outlet for marine supplies on Providenciales, including
Perry Topsider boating shoes. Located inshore. Also services
outboard-engine boats. Dealer for Boston Whaler and Mercury.
|Caicos Marina and Shipyard
Facilities for repairing large vessels, marine diesels, and inboard,
outboard and i/o engines. Located on the southern shore.
|Osprey Marine Services
Aluminum welding. Located inshore near South Dock.
|Tibor's Machine Shop
Steel welding and machining. Located inshore, mobile service
If you are arriving by boat, call ahead on channel 16 before arriving as
customs officials are not stationed permanently at all ports.
Turtle Cove Marina
Large marina located on the northern side
of the island.
Marina component of Leeward developments.
Construction work underway to develop this marina in the prime
pleasure boating marina on the island.
Located on the southern shore.
|Caicos Marina and Shipyard
Located on the southern shore, has
extensive repair facilities.
Government operated dock used by
freighters. Located near Sapodilla Bay.
|Heaving Down Rock
Not a marina. The western end of Leeward Highways ends in a concrete
slipway used by locals as a free launching spot for boats, and by