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  #1  
Old 12-07-2004
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thorJ30 is on a distinguished road
BVI Conch Charter

just booked my second trip with Conch Charter in the BVI''s

Second time around it was even easier then the first time.... Super fast and good responses as usual and a Killer Deal so to speak...

Everybody who is thinking to vist the BVI''s owes it to himself to check the folks out.

I have nothing to do with them business wise, but I like to give positive feedback, as well as I can be a bear flamming people who tried to take advantage of me...

Good people, great boats and super fair prices...

Thorsten
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2005
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gabrij is on a distinguished road
BVI Conch Charter

I wholeheartedly agree. I''ve been sailing with Conch since 1990 and have never been disappointed. We''re up to somewhere around 15-20 charters now, some of them with multiple boats. They''re the best!

We''re heading down in two months and I can''t wait.

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Old 01-26-2005
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Mclion71 is on a distinguished road
BVI Conch Charter

How about sharing the contact info for them?
Website, perhaps?
Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2005
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BVI Conch Charter

http://conchcharters.com/

here we go ... :-)
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2010
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Do not Recommend Conch

Glad you all had such a great experience but We didn't- 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. (In fact I'm concerned about company representatives posting these positive reviews)

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 old stinky bed sheets that also stunk to the point that I dreamed of bugs all night every night. Housekeeping on acceptance of the boat was generally very poor-dirty cutlery and utensils, etc. Had to give the place a good scrub down, but unfortunately had to live with the bedding the whole trip. Many, many items that would typically be supplied in the kitchen not available. When I gave a list to the guy who (very rudely) checked us in, he grunted and carried on.Two heads would not stop stinking. Fridge and freezer did not charge at all and we ended up going through a ton of ice and losing a lot of food. Etc. etc.

We could overlook all of this with the right concern from the operators however Customer service was dismal. Phone calls not returned in general. Radio not at all. (Jules-very rude indeed) 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 and fully fessed up all though it would have been quite easy to hide as the line was cut right at the end. Line was cleanly severed however they called it prop wrap and quickly put through our $1500 Damage deposit !! No further communication-took our money and ignored our emails inquiring. Yes, I am not kidding.

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 they left us with no water and no assistance with where to put garbage, etc. whatsoever.

Anyway, there are lots and lots of options out there (my husband has had plenty of previous good experiences 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 and with staff/owners that appreciate your business. I could add a lot to this review, but I think I've said enough.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2010
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I'd point out that in FIVE YEARS a lot can change with any company.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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Old 03-06-2010
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Thumbs down Tread Carefully!

We just returned from a bareboat charter trip in BVI and although we had read some bad reviews of this company we decided to take a chance to save some money. All I can say is that was a mistake! All this banter on review sites (which seems suspiciously biased - perhaps owners/friends) about this company providing personalized, great service is, I'm sorry to say, just not the case.

We felt like another annoying set of 'tourists' to them. The boat was lacking in so many ways, I don't even know where to start, and perhaps I won't start, but lets just say that they absolutely can not be doing a thorough check of the boats between customers. Something as important as a First Aid kit, however, I must report on... We had a member of our group obtain a large bleeding gash on the leg. The first aid kit consisted of three band aids, a mess of rusted out tweezers, and a few packettes of some expired gel. Absolutely no large bandaging, tape, or other bare necessities of a basic first aid kit. We resorted to using a towel while we had to take a day to go in to get some proper supplies.

The fridge and freezer did not charge up at all and were basically useless. If we'd known how much food we'd have to throw out, we would have chosen to eat in restaurants. The boat also had this smell about it that is hard to describe but a bit like a really old motel. I don't think it had ever been given a really thorough cleaning. There was garbage left all around garbage bins on ground that was some unrecognizable food that had grown to be part of the floor in the cupboard. (maybe this was the smell)

The 'caring' staff could give a rats whisker when we mention any of this. The attitude of the staff on return of the boat was 'get out and let us find the damage we can ding you with' - not the caring friendly attitude that some posters have stated.

I guess if you've used this company year after year, you wouldn't know any better or otherwise as far as service, and perhaps you also (I hope) do get special treatment.

All in all, Our family does NOT recommend this charter company.
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Old 03-06-2010
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did you pay for your charter using a credit card. If so, then you may have some recourse for the lousy conditions, wasted food and such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OntheWaterBlue View Post
We just returned from a bareboat charter trip in BVI and although we had read some bad reviews of this company we decided to take a chance to save some money. All I can say is that was a mistake! All this banter on review sites (which seems suspiciously biased - perhaps owners/friends) about this company providing personalized, great service is, I'm sorry to say, just not the case.

We felt like another annoying set of 'tourists' to them. The boat was lacking in so many ways, I don't even know where to start, and perhaps I won't start, but lets just say that they absolutely can not be doing a thorough check of the boats between customers. Something as important as a First Aid kit, however, I must report on... We had a member of our group obtain a large bleeding gash on the leg. The first aid kit consisted of three band aids, a mess of rusted out tweezers, and a few packettes of some expired gel. Absolutely no large bandaging, tape, or other bare necessities of a basic first aid kit. We resorted to using a towel while we had to take a day to go in to get some proper supplies.

The fridge and freezer did not charge up at all and were basically useless. If we'd known how much food we'd have to throw out, we would have chosen to eat in restaurants. The boat also had this smell about it that is hard to describe but a bit like a really old motel. I don't think it had ever been given a really thorough cleaning. There was garbage left all around garbage bins on ground that was some unrecognizable food that had grown to be part of the floor in the cupboard. (maybe this was the smell)

The 'caring' staff could give a rats whisker when we mention any of this. The attitude of the staff on return of the boat was 'get out and let us find the damage we can ding you with' - not the caring friendly attitude that some posters have stated.

I guess if you've used this company year after year, you wouldn't know any better or otherwise as far as service, and perhaps you also (I hope) do get special treatment.

All in all, Our family does NOT recommend this charter company.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
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Old 03-06-2010
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wow, I am surprised at the bad experiences some have had with Conch Charters! I quickly make some assumptions: Everyone needs to get on Island Time- quick.
Americans are not very easy customers to deal with categorically, and they are extremely demanding.( I am American) Many of the charters we have seen over the years are tourists with no real idea what a charter involves. some are not aware that they have to take care of their boat and its operation, deal with their own trash, that the head empties overboard, that its a "SAIL" boat, or even that there is six feet or more of it underneath.
Conch charters has older boats, that are exactly that. They are fairly well maintained, and do what is expected for their age. Things break on new boats too. A fridge will work until it stops working. actually I wonder if the one fellow with the nonfunctioning fridge remembered to turn on the TWO switches involved?
When we were done with our charter this January, we checked out four other boats at Conch's dock as possible charters for next year. Each one was ready for the next charter.. The cruising guide was open on the table, nicely, a bottle of rum was there too. Each boat had fresh linens, and was immaculately cleaned. (it was obvious we needed to take our shoes off) In contrast the returning boats one of which we checked out, had trash on board, sand on the deck, and beer cans still in the cup holders.
bottom line: If you expect familiar treatment and having to pay for it, go to the US charters in St Thomas. If you want a deal, go to the BVI, and if you want a deal there, go to Conch Charters. By the way, know why its cheaper in the BVI?
no lawyers there, you are responsible for yourself, your boat, and what you do with it.
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Old 03-07-2010
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I just chartered with Conch in December.

1) The boat was in marginal shape (though I expected worse due to what locals told me). Batteries would not take or hold a charge (so can't use refrigeration, but as somewhat experienced cruisers we provision to not need refrigerator). Transmission was slipping/not engaging. Lines were somewhat old and sails - tired. We got a big dinghy, though - although it had no handholds left.

2) The treatment we got from staff ranged from overly-familiar (I am glad to talk to anyone but there is no need to use profanity in your so called briefing) to annoyed. They do treat their customers as potential liars and thieves unless proven otherwise. Reminded us a 100 times that they *will* check the boat bottom for grounding if we don't tell them (but "forgot" to tell us there was keel damage, then when I called them about it first day said "they know". Well - what if I didn't check - would they have blamed it on me?). Also counted every single thing on board vs. the "shopping list" as they call it, when we came back - I think the guy was upset we didn't lose anything.

3) They expect you to be "dumb american" that goes to a local bar for the length of a charter. During "chart briefing" that's all we got - where to go drinking. The staff and "captain" that was taking our boat out of the slip (they don't trust you, which is good - they are in a *very* cramped marina) all advised against going anywhere but to Norman island (the Bight) because "there are big seas and high winds out there". Suffice it to say, there was nothing "big" out there (a bit of a swell and 15kts may be) and we had an excellent sail. BTW, if you plan to go to Anegada - you CAN NOT with Conch, no exceptions. I've never seen this before with other charters and find this to be ridiculous.

4) More importantly, all that saved us no money at all. The quoted charter price was on par with most other charter companies (except the "big two"), I picked Conch somewhat at random (Footloose had similar price but no boat we wanted on a short notice). Then they nickel and dime you with lots of "little" fees, which totaled so much that any potential price difference became almost negligible.

I chartered with Moorings and Footloose before, and neither are perfect - we had some negative moments with both. However, my next charter is in 3 weeks and we are going with Footloose again. I can't say for sure I will never charter with Conch (may be they have the last boat on short notice again) but certainly given any choice I will not select them. They were not terrible, but they were bad enough and expensive enough not to be worth a hassle. YMMV

And btw - it's a load of crap about "no lawyers on BVI". They have just as much insurance hassle, if not more, and (at least in case of Conch) they were just as weaselish about their contract and all those "little details" that lawyers can take care of so that in case of any trouble it is you and not them who is responsible.

Last edited by brak; 03-07-2010 at 07:22 AM.
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