College trip to the BVIs - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-25-2013 Thread Starter
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College trip to the BVIs

Hey guys-

So, I work at an outdoor adventures program at a university. We do trips of usually 8-10 college students doing active cool stuff, like backpacking and kayaking. I've been a sailor my whole life, so I want to try to get some sailing adventures on the books. I was thinking that the BVIs for spring break would be super fun. Since I will probably have mostly participants who have never sailed before/ maybe took their friends' Sunfish out once, I'm thinking that I probably want to hire a captain (I've bareboated with my parents before and crew for Great Lakes races regularly, but being the boss with strangers by myself sounds like a little too much.)
I would love some input on who I should charter from, what we should do, anything random the Internet might not tell me about the BVIs, etc. I skimmed some of the posts here, but I would have a much bigger group than most people.
So, yeah... Anybody want to share their wisdom?
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-25-2013
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

Welcome to SN.

There are numerous charter companies based out of the USVI and BVI that could provide a catamaran and captain for your group. Many companies will be providing incentives during the Annapolis Boat Show. I would suggest visiting traveltalkonline dot com and reading the BVI, USVI and chartering forums. When booking your vessel keep in mind that you need to include a place for the captain to sleep when you are counting heads and beds! Make sure all of your participants have their passports. If you have specific questions, I would be glad to try and answer them.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-26-2013
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

Very cool. You're going to need a big boat for up to 10 kids, plus you and a captain. You might consider two smaller boats. All the charter companies have captains you can pay by the day. Just remember, they expect to be tipped well too, particularly after spending a week with that many college kids.

Since you are familiar with bareboating, you know how small some of the bunks can be. Packing two college guys into a double can be hard to imagine in some cases.


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post #4 of 10 Old 08-26-2013
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

Footloose already has a college week setup where you can get as many boats as you need and other schools join in as part of a large flotilla. All with paid captains. The only reason I know this is because the flotilla came in next to us last March. We thought we had a nice quiet anchorage.

Yacht Week Spring Break w/Footloose Sailing Regatta | OnlineBVI - British Virgin Islands MagazineOnlineBVI ? British Virgin Islands Magazine
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Last edited by Tim R.; 08-26-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

Be sure to get as much insurance as humanly possible too. Although, I don't think you can get all inclusive, no matter what, insurance. You should consider how uncovered damage would be paid for.


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post #6 of 10 Old 08-26-2013
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

I personally think this is a great idea. I wish they would have offered something like this when I was in college. Please come back and let us know how it all turns out.

Blessings,
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-27-2013
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

When my daughter was 15, we allowed her to participate in a program offered by Broadreach, the "Arc of the Carribean". She and 9 other teens sailed from St. Martin to Trinidad aboard a Beneteau 52 with two adult crew, a captain and 1st Mate, over a period of 4-1/2 weeks. The kids managed the boat, did their own cooking (kind of), learned and laid their own courses, stood watches--day and night--dealt with squalls and storms and did what any crew making the passage in mid-summer would do. They also spent lots of time ashore, climbing Volcano's, taking part in community service programs, working at marine resource centers (she liked working with a sea turtle rescue center best) and delving into the life on the various islands. The kids came from all over the world, Israel, Turkey, Italy, France, Norway, the UK etc. It was a great program and she had a great time and learned a lot. Upon her return, on the first weekend we went sailing, she confidently announced that I could relax as she and mommy could/would handle the boat (at 42 feet it was "small" by comparison to what she'd been aboard).

While we had some apprehensions about the trip, we equipped her with a SPOT so she could let us know where she/they were from time to time and we had friends in the islands discreetly "spy" on the boat/crew at various locations and send us reports. All-in-all, it went very well without mishaps other than the run-of-the-mill stuff that kids are prone to wherever they may be. Health insurance and medical evacuation insurance covered that eventuality if necessary (tho' it proved unnecessary).

More recently, my daughter and one of her best friends accompanied her aunt and uncle and another couple and their child, all from the Chicago area, to the BVI on a two week charter of a 47' Beneteau from Pro Valor Yachts. While her aunt and uncle sail an O'Day 27 on Lake Michigan during the summer, they had never before sailed a larger yacht, nor anchored, and they admit that absent my daughter's knowledge/experience with a "big boat", and anchoring in particular, their trip would have been a lot more adventurous than they would have liked. An important aspect of that trip was again, travel insurance, and having the forms necessary to allow the adults to make medical decisions/directives for the "kids" (tho' my daughter is now 20) and HIPPA forms to allow hospital officials to disclose medical information to parents, insurer's and the like (American citizens are invariably transferred to US Medical facilities on St. John in the event hospitalization is needed and there, US Law concerning medical disclosures holds).

You might want to speak with Cecilia Donegan, a lovely Irish Lass don't-ya-know, at Pro Valor. We had good communications with her and she was a great help. (284.495.1931-voice/fax - 8 AM- 5 PM)

FWIW...

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-04-2013
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

hi anna, I've done some college spring break trips on my catamaran (Clemson, univ north Carolina, penn state) and they are a blast! call me and we can talk about it. 772 532 5969.
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

Thanks everyone! I hadn't thought about insurance... good point!!
My concern with two smaller boats was that there is only one of me, but I guess I should do the math and see how it stacks up pricewise; I wouldn't want to play sardines with strangers.

Any favorite things to do there? I want to have a variety of options... Are the hiking trails in the national parks any good? How about favorite snorkelling spots for beginners- that's one of my favorite things to do, and I'd love some tips on where I can take people without having to worry about them too much.
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Re: College trip to the BVIs

hi anna, my favorite are the 'Spanish virgins'. absolutely pristine, cheapest flights to the Caribbean, and plenty of things to do. there is the bio bay, which has the highest concentration of bioluminescence in the world, the 132 year old lighthouse on culebrita, the rain forest, old san juan, and really deserted anchorages.
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