Conch Charters, BVI - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 47 Old 02-27-2010
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Family O Fun - We had similar bad experience with Conch.

The boat instrumentation not working.
The boat was poorly maintained and smelling and there were possibly bugs on board.
Fridge/Freezer not working.
Poor/no Communication from company during and after trip.
Dinged for our damage deposit for questionable reasons with very poor handling/communication from management.
Do Not Recommend taking a chance with this outfit.
J&J
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post #12 of 47 Old 02-28-2010
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Unhappy Hmm, what boat?

Could you guys be specific as to what boat you chartered? Was it the old Bene's or the 2002 Bavaria? They do have a bunch of older boats.

Sorry you had such a bad experience...
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post #13 of 47 Old 03-14-2010
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We used Conch in 1997, 2002, and 2005. We'd use them again. Experience did teach me to carefully check out the boat systems upon arrival so the mechanics can fix things before you start.

Provisioning: We had the boat thoroughly provisioned for the 2005 trip. This worked out great as every minute spent planning saved several during the trip. I think we used Bobby's Market for food and alcohol. There was a seafood operation that we ordered frozen tuna steaks, seafood salads, and such from. Fabulous quality stuff. I don't recall the name but it was on the main road not far from the airport. Send me a PM if you'd like any more details.

BTW: don't miss Anegada.
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post #14 of 47 Old 03-14-2010
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I should have Googled the seafood place before posting the previous message. They're name is Sailor's Ketch. Awesome seafood.

-Chris
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post #15 of 47 Old 03-30-2010
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GeorgeDog you're a better man than I. When I go on vacation, I leave my "greasemonkey" suit at home! I expect the boat to well-maintained, lubricated, clean and seaworthy. It's not that difficult...it's called routine maintenance and any charter company that doesn't subscribe to that philosophy won't be around long. There's a finite number of sailors out there and all charter companies are in the same boat (no pun intended). The only way to differentiate yourself is throught service or price and I'd hate to be chartering a boat from the lost cost supplier in the market. It's simply not worth the hassle.
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post #16 of 47 Old 04-02-2010
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FWIW I just returned from a charter with Footloose and I really miss the Conch now Compared to my boat from Footloose, the Conch was a fine vessel in a top shape. Of the 6 days of charter we had their techs come out on 5 (and had to stay in place for a lot longer than I cared for). I suppose it is a bit of consolation that Footloose gave us 1.5 days worth of charter cost back but only in a form of their own sailing certificate which is fairly useless since I am definitely not coming back to sail with those guys.

To me the moral of this is that you may get what you pay for or a lot less than you paid for (and that $4K really don't buy much nowadays)
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post #17 of 47 Old 05-05-2010
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Just came back from a charter with Conch on a Bavaria 32. To sum it up, older boats, not all that clean, everything is functional but the beds and linens were horrible. No tools to change the propane tank. If you are okay with the idea of camping than okay. Not charged extra but had to constantly chase ice down to keep any kind of coldness in fridge. Probably not do it again, but we had a good time despite the boat and nothing broke. PM if you want. Shay
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post #18 of 47 Old 05-28-2010
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I chartered the Jenneau 45 (Jeanneau 45 ~ 1999) over new years this year.

Overall a very pleasant experience, would go back again and charter with them.

The intruments at the port side helm station were not working, the main sail was difficult to raise (had to winch it the entire way), and the heads all back filled a little, so you had to be sure to pump lots of raw water through them so when they did back fill, it didn't stink. the GPS was an antique, and I don't think it worked either (not that we needed it, plus we brought a handheld)

As for the interior, the cushions did show their age, and there were a few small tears in the covers, but the sheets were clean and pillows comfortable.

The only mechanical issue we had was the engine raw water pump failed about 4 days into the 10 day trip, while going through the narrow between Beef Island and Little Camanoe island the engine temp alarm went off, we quickly raised the sails and killed the engine and with a few quick tacks, made it through the channel fine, and sent the dinghy ahead to locate a morring ball in trellis bay so we wouldn't have to run the engine for long.

The next morning they sent someone out to replace the water pump, and we were under way by the time we finished breakfast.

Unfortunantly, they guy that came out wasn't a conch employee, he was a local mechanic they hired, and he put in the wrong impeller. We got another over temp alarm on us again the following day, this time as we were coming across virgin gorda sound. We were sailed it almost to the ball, and only ran the engine for a minute or two while picking it up (probably could have done it entirly on sail if we had tried). This time they sent someone from their staff out and he put the right impeller in, and cleaned out the chunks of the old impeller that were clogging the water pump. In all both water pump changes combined cost us about 1 hour of time out of our trip, and added some excitment along the way.

so in summary, Is Conch the best company out there? No, but they try hard to make sure you have a good trip, and yes the boats are not as new or clean as the moorings, but you also don't pay the same rates. Going out on a conch boat is kinda like going out on a friends boat, it's never quite perfect, but it gets you where you need to go, and you're comfortable while getting there. So stop picking apart everything that isn't perfect on the boat, and just enjoy the islands, and all the good food and drinks they have to offer.

Four Points - 1990 Hunter 27'

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post #19 of 47 Old 05-28-2010
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I've chartered with Conch about eight time beginning the second year they were in business. They always tried hard in the service department and I was satisfied enough to give them a lot of repeat business. Having said that it doesn't surprise me to see the complaints surfacing here. I have not chartered with them since about 2003 or so and at that time their service was slipping. I think they were getting too big and Brian and Cindy (the original owners) were taking a more hands-off approach. Too bad to see them go this way.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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post #20 of 47 Old 06-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
I think they were getting too big and Brian and Cindy (the original owners) were taking a more hands-off approach. Too bad to see them go this way.
Over the course of our charter I dealt with both Brian and Cindy. Most of the communications I had pre-chartering was with Cindy, so I suspect they have changed things around a bit and are going back to the original hands on approach.

Overall, I felt it was a good value for what we paid. If we go back to the BVI this year, definitly going to call them again.

Four Points - 1990 Hunter 27'

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