Join Date: May 2002
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BVI Moorings Charter - Suggestions?
Moorings is a great company. I delivered new hulls to them for a few years. Fresh from the factory in Marion, SC to Roadtown in Tortola and to their base in St. Lucia (a more remote and peaceful place, but most likely more costly). They seem to take care of their people very well. Yes, they were all Beneteaus, but the Beneteau is a fantastic boat. You can single-hand up to a 40, if experienced. Over that, it gets a little tiring, but it is possible, I have had to do it in heavy weather on private boats. And please know that the 352s can be a pig going to weather due to the girl being kinda beamy. They can fit four couples, with one couple in the saloon, but if you are actually planning on sailing a lot, something a little bigger may be better and worth the money.
I DID NOT work for Moorings, but for a company signed to deliver the new Beneteaus, in case you think I have any say in the matter. And I have not done it for many years. But I have sailed Beneteaus since then and found them to be a nice, reliable, easy-sailing and comfortable boat that can certainly hold up in nasty weather. And some deliveries we had quite a bit of nasty weather, especially during hurricane season. (Jimmy Buffett has NO idea how hard it is to reason with hurricane season compared to delivery captains and crew!) And they have a great layout that affords a great deal of privacy for even 4 couples.
As for private boats, I have been hired on a few Beneteaus 45'' and more and find that they are still reliable and easily handled. In one extreme case, I had to single hand a 45f5 from where we had gotten hit by a storm cell after leaving Little River, SC heading to Bahamas. Someone (not me) forgot! to tighten the boom before he went out to tie down the main. He was almost sent overboard, I cracked a couple of ribs when I was thrown down the companionway (and I was holding on). He was complaining of chest pains but would not let me call for airlift. I had to sail her home for the day and a half it took us to get back to Little River, then steer her thru the jetty which had been kicked up because of the storm. Steering thru 20 foot swells with 2 cracked ribs is not fun, but she did it for me. SO - a Beneteau is a nice, reliable boat.
Much luck, and jealous,
With that said,
Best of luck and HAVE FUN!!