Growing up sailing, Floridian David Phillips always had a penchant for Hinckleys. “I grew up sailing as a small child and sailed all the way through college. Hinckley was the penultimate sailboat. And while they don’t make sailboats anymore, every time I saw a Hinckley, I immediately knew the quality.” 

Fast-forward to 2021, and quality time became the reason he and his wife, Tracy, decided to buy a Hinckley Sport Boat 40 X. The goal? To spend more family time on the water, away from distractions, and to explore their favorite boating locale, the Bahamas. “I got an email about an outboard model, which felt like a dream come true, as it’s such a well-built boat,” Phillips says. “We didn’t want to get into boating without being on an outboard. We took a test ride in one, and as soon as our feet touched the deck, we knew we were going to love it.” 

The Philips’ Sport Boat 40 X, Fine Print.

Following an 11-month build, they christened the boat Fine Print, as David is a real estate attorney and Tracy used to make printed designs for her former clothing line. And considering they married on Abaco’s Hope Town, the Bahamas hold a special place in their family history. As such, Fine Print has fast become a connoisseur of the islands. “We like to start down south and work our way north, following the prevailing southeast winds in the summer months,” Phillips says. “Fine Print has given us a unique opportunity to experience and immerse ourselves in the local culture. The Bahamian people are so proud of their home – for good reason – and we feel fortunate to be welcomed back to the crystal waters each time we make the passage across the Gulf Stream.” Here are the Phillips’ cliff notes to the ultimate exploration of Exuma, Harbour Island, and Abaco islands.

Family fun in the Bahamas.


There may be more perfect crystal-clear turquoise water somewhere else on this planet, but we have yet to find it! Exuma’s geography makes this a boater’s paradise. The Exuma Sound offers deep water for straight-line passages between islands on calm days. But if the prevailing east wind comes up, you can work your way up and down the western side of the cays in 10-15 feet of water on the Exuma Bank. Don’t miss the large marine park that provides unspoiled islands to explore.

Thunderball Grotto. Staniel Cay is arguably the most well-known destination in the Exuma chain of cays. The island was made famous by a scene in the James Bond film Thunderball. The underwater cave located just off the Staniel Cay Yacht Club is appropriately named “Thunderball Grotto” and the kids love swimming there.

Wildlife. Google “Exuma” and you’ll see lots of photos of the swimming pigs. We usually skip this one since it’s more of a destination for first-time visitors and the pigs can occasionally get aggressive since they are constantly being fed. We prefer visiting the few cays that have indigenous rock iguanas that will come greet you as you approach the beach. They prefer red grapes and will eat them right off a stick.  

Pipe Creek. We warn guests that after a day at the Pipe Creek sandbar they will be spoiled for life. At low tide the large sandbar is completely exposed, and the kids can throw the football or frisbee, build sandcastles, bury each other (or mom and dad) in perfect white sand, and snorkel the nearby rocky outcroppings. We like to arrive on an outgoing tide, anchor up for the day, and leave when the incoming tide washes our footprints away.  

Compass Cay Marina. The marina was built by a man named Tucker Rolle who painstakingly located the docks’ pilings in specific locations to avoid disturbing the natural coral reef located in this natural harbor. The secret to his successful sustainability? No gas or diesel in the marina and no dockside food service. The water is crystal clear, and the incoming and outgoing tides flush the marina regularly. Aside from the natural beauty of this place, it’s well known for resident nurse sharks, grouper, snapper, bonefish, and the occasional turtle.


Harbour Island (or as the Bahamians call it, “Briland”) is a small cay off the northern shores of Eleuthera. Best known for its pink-sand beach, photos don’t really do it justice. This has become our favorite beach to enjoy a true “beach day” with the kids or guests. Nearby resorts offer beachside umbrellas and food and beverage service, so we spend a few nights off the boat to stretch the legs and enjoy.

The Dunmore. Our favorite beachside resort on Harbour Island, with an old-school Bahamian vibe and modern amenities (great pool, pickleball and tennis courts, and gym). If not staying here, you can still make a lunch or dinner reservation, but during peak season book early.

Briland Club. This full-service marina features a well-designed breakwater, floating docks, in-slip fueling service, and much more. Developer Michael Wiener is currently building residences and various club amenities in addition to the finished, world-class marina. The property stretches across the width of the island — from bay to ocean — and once completed will be like no other development on Harbour Island.

Stocking Island, Grand Exumas, Bahamas.


As fate would have it, Tracy and I both traveled to Abaco for years with our respective families before we met. So, once we were engaged, we wanted a small wedding on Hope Town, an outer island in the Abaco chain famous for its candy-striped, red-and-white lighthouse. We were married at the Firefly Sunset Resort steps away from the Sea of Abaco in April 2014. Boaters can travel more than 50 miles from north to south in 10-15 feet of water with calm seas, as you are protected by the outer islands and barrier reef system to the east. 

Hope Town Inn and Marina. Tucked away inside the well-protected Hope Town harbor, this marina and resort offers amazing lighthouse views. Friends and family can stay in one of the on-property villas, so this is a great place to arrange for visitors when exploring the Abacos. You can run south or north on any given day to explore the other islands in the chain.

Green Turtle Cay. Located about 30 miles north of Hope Town, this is a great day trip from the Hope Town Inn and Marina. We normally run up for lunch at the Green Turtle Club — well-known for their conch fritters and goombay smash. New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay is one of the oldest settlements in the Abaco chain, with 1700s structures. It was settled by American colonists loyal to the British flag (aka “loyalists”), so this is also a good stop for Bahamian history.

Firefly Sunset Resort. Back at Elbow Cay, we like Firefly for bites and cocktails. Facing west, this is a top sunset perch. 

And since the Bahamas are where Tracy and David were married, they plan to find their way back annually, making new family memories with each passage.

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