BVI Moorings Charter - Suggestions?
Since I own a charter boat at VIP in St. Thomas I will not answer the Moorings question. What I will address is the flotilla Vs bareboat on your own.,
My wife and I put off the thought of chartering in the Virgin Islands thinking we did not have the experience. We had been Great Lakes sailors and the stories of reefs and such kept us away. We also only had experience on smaller boats, the biggest a 28 footer. All I can tell you is BOY WERE WE WRONG. The sailing in the islands is very easy for anyone with some degree of experience. We were amazed as to how easy it is. We feel it is easier than Great Lakes Sailing. If you stay in the USVI and BVI you are never out of sight of land, most of the major reefs (Johnson''s reef in specific) and anchorage entrances are marked. IF they are not the cruising guides and the guides with the Ariel photos give you all the information you need to navigate in confidence. Sure you''ll have some conversations between yourselves as to exactly where you are especially if you visit the many anchorage''s of St. Johns, but its easy and fun. Most have mooring balls if you are not comfortable with anchoring, but the anchoring is pretty easy and you can snorkel and look to see if your anchor is secure. Normal safty considerations and a little navagational ability will keep you safe. Most charting companies give you special charts for the islands, so you don''t need to be a expert navagator.
Being on your own will give you the flexibility in your schedule you''ll want. Especially with the kind of group your are speaking of.
As far as the boat size, we have never had to dock in the islands. It''s either a mooring ball or anchor. So size of boat is really is not an issue. A 45 sails like a 28. We chartered a 40 foot before we bought ours for charter. My wife was quite concerned, after the second mooring ball it was a piece of cake. As far as how big a boat do you need, depends on your group. I know VIP has some center cockpit Hylas that have three hugh separate cabins. Our 40 ft. has two heads and three small cabins, but hugh cockpit and main salon. Not a problem for six people. How much privacy you need and want will determine what size boat you''ll need. If you have some very private people charter two and have your own flotilla.
Yes, I guarantee it will be a dream vacation. Every time we go back it is still a dream vacation. We just keep expanding the areas of that dream.
Good Luck and as Nike says "Just DO IT"