Where do you hide when summer storms threaten? (published September 2016)
If you need a seasonal respite from cruising, the lovely island of Grenada is just the ticket. Just about 12 degrees north latitude, this mountainous and lush island hides natural hurricane holes among the bays of its southern coast. You can leave the boat while you fly home, or enjoy the local hospitality and a plethora of yacht services if you stay through the summer.
Most of the boatyards provide haul-out and tie-down services and some will undertake project management while you travel, and the marinas offer absentee yacht management and guardianage. Specialty yacht services abound. You can get composite or woodwork done, inspect rigging, repair sails and canvas, overhaul your engine or get a bottom inspection.
Turbulence Sails at Spice Island Marine will care for your rigging while Clarkes Court Boatyard and Marina boasts a 242-ton boat lift rumored to be the largest in the Caribbean. Prickly Bay Marina offers official clearance facilities and a bandshell that hosts yoga classes, live entertainment and weekly bingo for big prizes like a whole pig.
Simon at Navicomm is rumored to be the best electronics guy along with Herve at Grenada Marine, which is also a dealer for Raymarine. Palm Tree Marine is recommended for mechanical and electrical work and Underwater Solutions is the outfit to call for diver services.
Provisioning is excellent from large supermarkets to small local grocers. One highlight destination is the Meat and Meet at Whisper Cove Marina. Not only does the marina have eight berths and a few hurricane moorings out front, but Gilles, the butcher, is known for offering the best meat, sausages and smoked fish on the island from the air conditioned shop behind the bar.
If you plan to ride it out aboard but aren’t keen on marinas or hauling out, one well-sheltered lagoon is Port Egmont. With a dogleg entrance and 20-30 feet of water, the small bay has good mud holding ground and is surrounded by mangroves to tie off your lines.
Sometimes the end of the season means the end of the adventure and it’s time to sell up and move on. You can sail the boat back to U.S. shores or pay a delivery crew to do so. Alternately, you can list the boat where she lies. One option is to engage Chris Rundlett, the Grenada onsite representative of the Multihull Company and their 5 Oceans division that works with boats of all shapes and sizes.
Grenada is considered to be technically below the hurricane belt. Nobody told Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that stomped across the island and did major damage before wreaking havoc on the rest of the Caribbean and Florida. You should check with your insurance company before making Grenada your hurricane home.
That said, whiling away five months on the Isle of Spice is a great way to take a break, manage boat chores and enjoy a slice of paradise while you wait it out. The best part?
Afterwards, you’ll still be at the center of beautiful cruising grounds so it’s easy to slip the dock lines and continue the dream.
Grenada Yacht Facilities and Services Highlight
A number of marinas, boatyards and independent vendors are available to care for your vessel. Some are listed below with a partial summary of services. Check websites or your cruising guide for more information.
Clarkes Court Boatyard & Marina
Newest yard in Grenada located in Woburn Bay. Boat lift to 242 tons and submersible rail to 40 tons. Docks, showers, laundry, security, 30 berths, 30 moorings, shorepower 110/220 V, swimming pool and restaurant. Full services with woodwork, welding, rigging, canvas, painting, chandlery and more.
Spice Island Marine
Full service boatyard for repair, maintenance, and storage needs. 70-ton Travelift, duty-free chandlery, Turbulence Sails rigging shop, TechNicks metal fabricators and more.
Le Phare Bleu Marina
Located east of Calivigny Island in a protected harbor. 60 berths, buoyed entrance channel, fuel, canvas shop, Wi-Fi, webcam, serviced laundry, swimming pool, wash rooms and showers located onboard a lighthouse ship that’s docked there.
Port Louis Marina
Located in the Lagoon, near the capital city of St. George’s, overlooking the Carenage. Owned and operated by Camper & Nicholson Marinas, with 160 berths for yachts up to 300 feet. All amenities, including the nicest showers in Grenada, and a small market onsite. Charter companies based here so plenty of foot traffic and security.
Prickly Bay Marina
Customs and immigration onsite, restaurant and tiki bar, fuel, chandlery, wine and cheese shop, live entertainment and Wi-Fi. 24 stern-to berths and 20 mooring balls. Absentee yacht management, electrical and electronic services, ample cruisers social activities and more.
Martin’s Marina (Secret Harbour Marina)
Established in 2003 on the site of the former Moorings base in Lance aux Epines, Martin’s Marina has showers, garbage collection, Wi-Fi, bar, pool, storage, dockage in 53 concrete slips, duty free fuel, security and more.
The Grenada Yacht Club
In St. George’s near the Carenage, services include showers, laundry, garbage disposal, ice, fuel, shorepower 110/220 V, bar, Wi-Fi, telephone and fax, laundry, taxi service, propane, water, book swap and more.
True Blue Bay Marina
Hotel and cottages, pool, restaurant and Dodgy Dock bar. Horizon Yacht Charters and Brokerage is based here and the restaurant offers a periodic educational cooking exhibition. Surge can be an issue at the docks.
Full service boatyard with ten acres of beachfront in St. David’s Harbour. Storage for 220 yachts and repair facilities for 20 boats simultaneously. 70-ton lift with plenty of dry dock storage, specialize in topside and bottom paint. Bar, beach, and various yacht services.
Whisper Cove Marina
Dockage for 12 vessels, mooring balls, shorepower 110/220 V, laundry, showers, restaurant, bar, garbage disposal, propane pickup and more. Excellent brunch on Sundays, onsite butcher and deli, and French-speaking owners.
Palm Tree Marine
Electrical and mechanical services –engines and gensets, A/C, watermakers, fuel polishing, outboard service and more.
Electronics repair and installation. SSB radio repair, pactor modems and other communications equipment.
Hull cleaning, in-water replacement and polishing of props and shafts, anodes, and more.
The Multihull Company/5 Oceans
Broker Chris Rundlett manages listed vessels in Grenada and other parts of the Caribbean.