Public / Private Beaches in the BVI - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Public / Private Beaches in the BVI

Hello everyone,

First post here, so hope that that's the right forum section Just wanted to post a question for the community:

I am planning on heading to the BVI in the spring (first bare-boat charter in the south, yay!), and after reading a good number of cruising guides and other sources, I am still left wondering as to how accessible are "private" beaches in the BVI?

Cruising guide (Scott's) seems to suggest that you should stay away. BVI tourism web-site says nothing of the sort, but has beach descriptions, directions for getting there etc.

Can cruisers use (e.g. tie a hammock somewhere & spend the day) these private beaches (e.g. west Deadman's bay beach (Peter Island), Trunk Bay beach (Virgin Gorda), etc), or are they really restricted to hotel guests & adjacent property owners?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Public / Private Beaches in the BVI

All beaches are (partially) public in the BVI, even on private islands. The public portions are from the water including the foreshore.

English common law applies:

the foreshore has been generally defined as land that is below the high water mark of ordinary tides. That excludes the highest tides of a given month (the spring tides) and the lowest high tides, which occur at the neaps. Land covered during the high spring tides was presumed not to form part of the foreshore but to belong to the owner of the adjoining land.


So the letter of the law allows you to use the beaches. In practice it might be a bit more difficult and certainly wouldn't go to the extent of hanging up a hammock in the trees. Private security might interfere and make your stay on the beach less than satisfactory.

There are many beaches to choose from in the BVI that are beautiful, pristine and public
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Last edited by Zanshin; 01-25-2013 at 05:42 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Public / Private Beaches in the BVI

A few years ago I anchored in Deadmans Bay Peter Island, just off the beach. The beach patrol directed me to dinghy ashore at the far end of the beach away from the hotel, then I talked with them. OK to use the beach and resturant of the private resort.

We stayed overnight, and had good holding in about 30ft.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Public / Private Beaches in the BVI

Zanshin, Ulladh, thanks very much for the info. The crew requested a good amount of beach time during the trip, so we'll try to plan the route around good public beaches.
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Re: Public / Private Beaches in the BVI

Deadmans Bay Peter Island
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Public / Private Beaches in the BVI

Can't wait!
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-02-2013
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Re: Public / Private Beaches in the BVI

I know of at least one private beach owner on St. John who allows his Rottweiler to roam free specifically to discourage those who who dinghy onto his property.
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