Sailing and Boating Near Barbuda

Sailing to Barbuda is not to be taken lightly

Barbuda is a destination that is frequented by those looking for a quiet getaway where modernity and technology is not at the forefront of their every day goings-on. For this reason the island attractions many naturalists and outdoorsy types. One might think that yachting would be a popular pastime here as well, but due to the poor sailing conditions, only the most seasoned sailors consider making the journey.


The waters that surround Barbuda are so flat and unmoving that even the best sailors have trouble detecting coral reef until it is too late. For this reason there are more than 200 wrecks that surround the island – quite a feat when you consider how small Barbuda is. Because of the perilous conditions there are no marinas on the island, but you can anchor at Low Bay and River Wharf on the west coast, or Coco Point and Spanish Point on the south coast.

Just as you would if you were to sail to Antigua, you'll need to meet with Customs and Immigrations to gain clearance. The office is located in Village Wharf, but if you get on the VHF radio and let officials know you are on the way someone may meet you elsewhere. Operating hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will need to present a crew manifest and passport for every person aboard the vessel, the boat's registration, the release form from your last port of call, and a list of the ship's stores. Don't forget to fly your yellow "Q" flag as you enter local waters to let customs know you have not yet been cleared.

Sailing to Barbuda is not necessary recommended, but those who do plan to do so should make sure to do a lot of research and speak to those who have done so previously for any words of advice that are available. Most agree that sailing around Barbuda is best left to those with experience, which is why sailing excursions are a bit more common than sailing yourself.

Nearby Anchorages
Location Latitude Longitude
Low Bay - 2.2 mi. (3.5 km) West of Codrington 17.6274604113 -61.8550872803
Palm Beach - 2.6 mi. (4.1 km) West-Northwest of Codrington 17.6529803802 -61.8585205078
Pink Sand Beach - 6.0 mi. (9.7 km) Southeast of Codrington 17.5633992868 -61.7745780945
Gravenors Bay - 7.6 mi. (12.3 km) Southeast of Codrington 17.5515335299 -61.750202179

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