The Abacos on the Rebound

The devastation experienced in the Abacos is still visible in most places – but there are signs that the islands are reemerging, and cruisers are reappearing. Our aircraft and mechanic just returned from performing an emergency service in Little Harbor and after touring some of the islands and getting a first-hand local account we can provide our customers with an update on these fabulous islands. First, while caution is required when cruising these waters, most of the debris have been cleaned and there is good access to most of the islands harbors. Marsh Harbor experienced the most damage and is slowly coming back. Both the grocery and liquor store are open, and Abaco Beach Resort has dockage, rooms and the restaurant is open. There were many sport-fishing vessels at the marina and reports are the fishing has been red hot! In town, most of the marinas such as the Jib Room Marina and Harbor View Marina are focusing on getting their dock installed and are getting close to completion. Restaurants in Marsh Harbor are still slow to rebuild so be prepared to dine aboard.

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It’s A Wrap


Elbow Key’s Hope Town Inn and Marina are open and serving food in the restaurant. The favorite Fire Fly Restaurant is also open along with On Dah Beach and the soon-to-reopen Cap’n Jacks’s. On Guana, Nippers is under construction, but Guana Grabbers is open for business.

The Green Turtle Club is fully open with dockage, restaurant, bar and fuel all available. In town a couple of small grocery stores have supplies. MacIntosh Restaurant is now open and a few more bar / restaurants are offering take-out. The Bluff House Marina is under construction, but the beach bar is open. Fuel is in limited supply so best to call and plan for fuel.

Spanish Cay is fully operational with dockage, restaurant, pool, and fuel. The private airstrip is open for landing, but call for permission. You will find due to the small number of operational businesses they tend to be very popular – so call ahead – make your reservations and check for fuel. Of course, finding that remote island or uninhabited cove remains one of the many reasons why we all love the Abacos.

Employee Spotlight


Darris Adams is a lead mechanic for Gillen Yacht Services. With over 15 years in the field, he is certified on Yanmar and is a member of the Detroit Diesel Guild. Now in his second year at GYS Darris has been lead on several rebuilds. Having previously lived in the Bahamas he is the first to volunteer for assignments in the islands. Darris is an avid fisherman and the winner of the Gillen Yacht Services Annual fishing tournament.

IMAGE: Darris Adams lead mechanic

Dave Senior’s Boating Tips


In this issue we’ll focus on a very simple “do it yourself” tip that can help prevent potentially significant damage to your boat. Nothing ruins a trip faster than going into a stateroom after a long crossing with pounding waves only to find your hatches have leaked and the bedding is soaked with saltwater. Yes, we’ve all been there and for us this was a recent event. Spending a few minutes on very easy maintenance will usually keep these hatches sealed.

Simply rub lubricant (we like Super Lube because it is clear – part #21030) to the seals to lubricate and you’ll notice that the hatch will form a good seal. This will also prevent the seal gaskets from cracking. Make sure that the seals are well bedded in the tracks. If the seals have gone to long without servicing and no longer form a seal, they should be replaced. Put it on your list and we will gladly do them for you at your next scheduled service. However, this is an easy DIY job.

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Wheels UP!


Odds are that a Gillen aircraft has flown over your vessel in the past few months! Our aircraft flew to the Abacos to a customer yacht to perform significant repairs on a pair of C12 CAT’s so the vessel could return to Ft. Lauderdale for yard service. Then off to the West End Bahamas to deliver crew and parts. Flight plans included a Fort Myers trip for a Delta T Systems ventilation job and a flight to Cape Canaveral for a thruster diagnostic and repair. The aircraft headed south for a quick trip to Key West for delivery crew, then north for the delivery of Gillen’s fiberglass team to the New Port Shipyard in Rhode Island for some emergency repair on a large yacht. We are pleased that we can respond to our customers’ service needs no matter what port their vessels are berthed.

Need service or parts in a remote destination? You might find Gillen Yacht Services Aviation Department an effective solution.

IMAGE: GYS Fiberglass team returns from Newport, RI