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  #1  
Old 04-01-2001
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Barbara D is on a distinguished road
Conch Charters, BVI

We are interested in chartering for the first time in the BVI. Conch Charters seems interesting. Has anyone dealt with them, heard any reviews on equipment & services? Does anyone have any other suggestions? What about provisioning? Is it best to let the charter company handle it or fend for yourself if you know where to go? Any info is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2001
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Long is on a distinguished road
Conch Charters, BVI

No direct experience, but friends chartered with the Moorings, out of Tortola, with great results.
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Old 04-02-2001
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smedley is on a distinguished road
Conch Charters, BVI

Barbara, I chartered with Tortola Marine Management (TMM) last summer and had a great time. They are very curteious and helpful. I don''t know how many people you have going, but if its more than 6 take a look at the Lagoon 41, great boat. We had eight people and had plenty of room. TMM offers provisioning, but we opted to fend for ourselves. There is a market within walking distance of the marinia. While acouple of us went over the boat and the chart briefing the others went shopping. We also bought some as we went to different places. I would be happy to give you anymore info if you need it. Just e-mail me. Good luck, Scott.
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Old 04-30-2001
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JohnHenry is on a distinguished road
Conch Charters, BVI

Just came back from Tortola BVI, on a 8 day
TMM charter. The 38'' Lagoon catamaran was a sailing/cruising delight. We had 4 on board
and all had plenty of room.
I would recomend TMM for the quality of service & condition of boats.
NOTE TO SELF FOR NEXT CHARTER: Bring much fewer clothes, bring all non-perishable foods from states and provision perishables from store 150 yards away from TMM.
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Old 07-27-2009
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wind4me is on a distinguished road
Conch Charters - Heard through the grapevine

I just returned from a charter in the British Virgin's. We used another company but I heard that Conch Charters used to be the "Little Engine That Could" of the BVI Charterer's. Now, apparently they've grown into quite a nice little operation with newer boats and good service.

I'm planning a return trip right now and will be looking at Conch and TMM. The last trip I chartered with Horizon and did not have a good experience at all but from what I read Horizon generally does a good job.

Sunsail and Moorings are clearly the company's to use of you really want all the pampering and fluff but to me it's not worth the extra dough. Horizon goes out of Nanny Cay which is really convenient to Sopers if you come in from ST Thomas, and if you're heading North your first day, it's very convenient.
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Old 07-28-2009
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brigadoonboat is on a distinguished road
conch charters bvi

I have chartered with them several times over the last dozen years. they are a great group, and their boats are in fine shape.
their little talk at the beginning of the charter is worth every minute, listen carefully. If you have never been in the BVI before, their knowledge will be most valuable.
stick with the mooring balls, its easy , worth the peace of mind and saves the bottom of the ocean. If you are on a budget, buy as much food as you can manage before you are set out on the boat. the taxi will let you off and you can get another from the store. walking is doable but not pleasant on the road to Burt Marina. bring some staples from home, because all you need is a bathing suit, and a maybe an other bathing suit, well, maybe a a shirt and pants for town- be respectful. Point is there is room in the suitcase the stores in tortola are fun, and you will enjoy the island style variety. its expensive, but cheaper then the restaurants on the islands you will visit. there are a couple of stores, and you really will have more fun then having someone else do your shopping.
Conch chaters is great, but the islands are unbelievable for the novice sailor. the water is deep(safe) and navigation is easy. be sure to visit the Baths, avoid the hot party spots, and at least once, swim at night, under the stars!
ps we will be at conch charters mid January 2010.
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Old 08-11-2009
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I skippered a boat for this outift some years back. The company is a no-nonsense operation, the boats are solid; no bells and whistles, and the price reflects this. If you charter with them, Andrew Waters is the fleet manager and he is a good guy to know and ask about the BVIs. Good luck and keep it off the rocks!
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Old 08-14-2009
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Ladyhawke2 is on a distinguished road
Conch Charters

We have chartered with Conch and found them to be great to deal with. While they have older boast, they are well maintained and we didn't have any problems at all.
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Old 02-24-2010
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familyofun is on a distinguished road
Do not recommend Conch

We just returned from a trip in which we chartered bareboat through Conch and I have the following to say about our experience with them. The boat was about what we expected however it was not really very inviting. For example, we had pillows that were about 100 years old that stank to high heaven along with tissue paper sheets that also stunk. Housekeeping was generally very poor-dirty cutlery and utensils, etc. Had to give the place a scrub down, but unfortunately had to live with the bedding the whole trip. Two heads would not stop stinking. We could overlook all of this with the right concern from the operators however Customer service was dismal. Phone calls not returned in general. When we did get a voice, there was basically no answer to our query on equipment that would not stop beeping or missing integral equipment.

We still managed to have an absolutely FANTASTIC time and learned to overlook or live with this aspect, but the salt on the wound was when we returned to Conch. First, they quickly closed shop and left us without water for the night. However not before sticking it to us as follows: We had run over the whaler line prior to returning. Line was cleanly severed however they called it prop wrap and quickly put through our $1500 Damage deposit . Just a tad slimy. I know this company started out with a Canadian couple who were know to 'care', however, perhaps they've grown tired of the business or are entrusting the wrong staff. We payed this company an extra $250 to sleep on board before our flights and the first thing we saw upon arriving home was an email complaining that we didn't do the dishes (with no water?).

Anyway, there are lots and lots of options out there (my husband has had plenty of previous good experience with Moorings) and I'd suggest if you are looking for a good deal, but still want to savor your hard earned vacation, find a company with a personal touch. I could add a lot to this review, but I think I've said enough.

Have a great trip!!
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Old 02-25-2010
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wind4me is on a distinguished road
Chartering wows

Wow...sounds horrible. That's the one thing that bugs me about chartering. It's not an inexpensive vacation but yet the service is the hotel equivelant of a Red Roof Inn versus the Westin. And one more thing before I get into this,,,,,it's about time the BVI's invested in some damn pumping stations!! I'm tired of the "harbour pumpers" dumping in my swimming pool and having to dinghy my kids ashore at 6 am for their morning potty break !

That said, I think the problem is the business model. On the surface it looks to me like charter companies are begging for owners and promise them the world (including maintenance, dock fee's, positive revenue stream and more) to get the business. I think they work off a 20% commission so if you look at the supply chain and all the services they have to provide for an average gross commission of roughly $35K annually (12 weeks a year are allocated to the owners which means no revenue ), after franchise fee's (?), salaries, dock fee's, maintenance to a charter boat (yikes) and G&A you can easily see how this business is tight and why you're better off going with a larger company who can extract economies of scale and spread the costs over a larger fleet. We rent houses every summer in the Outer Banks and I've been under contract on a couple of homes and talked to various rental companies. Bottom line, if you have a nice house that's well maintained you can do well with Twiddy (Moorings of the Outer Banks). If you don't mind a run down house with old carpet and mattresses full of stains, then you know which companies to go to to rent them. In most cases, you do get what you pay for .
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