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TopKnott 08-13-2001 01:03 PM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
Has anyone used VIP? Their boats look great, they seem as pricey as the Moorings, however the boats seem very nice. The information they sent to me looked good, although thiner than other big companies....looking for both good and bad experiences.

kimberlite 08-13-2001 08:28 PM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
i had my boat maintained last winter by them.
their fleet looks good and well maintained.
the problem with the usvi is that the sailing is in the bvi''s and you lose a day clearing in and out with u.s. an british customs. if i was chartering i would go with
a company out of tortola.
eric

bobneidhardt 11-08-2001 11:10 AM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
Topknott,

I have used VIP. They run a nice business. We had some relatively minor boat problems, complained when we got back, and got a couple hundred dollar credit toward another charter. That''s the right thing to do. Guess what ... we''re going back in Jan and using them again. I like St. Thomas and don''t agree with Kimberlite entirely. Yes, most of the destinations are in the BVI, but there mostly reachable from St. Thomas in a single day. Second, depending where you fly from, you can go nonstop to St. Thomas and be sailing that afternoon. No plane change in Puerto Rico which adds a couple of hours to the trip. No hotel needed. Anchor in St. John, Jost van Dyke or Soper''s Hole, Totola if time permits. We originally chose them because they had a 3 cabin / 3 head boat and we were 3 couples.
Good Luck and enjoy!
Bob

VIEXILE 11-13-2001 03:30 AM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
It''s too bad that all the charter business has migrated to the BVI. CSY, VIP and other "reputable" charter companies have a tough enough time competing. Up at Sib''s Bar on Crown Mountain there''s a 1970''s picture of Charlotte Amalie Harbor. The number of boats is amazing. Looking out my office window, I''d say there''s about 70% of the boats here right now than there was last year at this time (end of H-season). Doing business in the heavily economically and immigrationally protected BVI is difficult for non-belongers. Further, belongers arent'' required to have any form of captain''s license, aren''t generally held to strict liability standards, etc., etc. The disadvantages can be insurmountable without appreciable cash. SO, chartering out of St. Thomas doesn''t work bad. Get in, get checked out, sail across Pillsbury Sound, anchor in the lee off Cinnamon Bay or one of the other beaches in that series beginning with Caneel (easily rivaling anything in the BVI), get your clearance goodies in order, get a good night''s sleep and head for West End Tortola or Jost Van Dyke the next morning. West End (Soper''s Hole area) Tortola is generally (I say generally b/c...) open from early morning until evening because it''s a heavily used ferry terminal, harbor left as you enter. Sometimes they disappear at lunch time if no ferrys for awhile. Jost immigre'' is to the left of Foxy Callwood''s place toward the right hand end of the island as you sail towards it. Get your clearance paperwork done with the charter company before you leave the dock. Collect all documents, passports, etc. in one place. If you sail to Jost and immigration is closed and you later get "pulled over" the completed docs can save you some headaches and a small fine. I''ve often done the docs and never actually cleared in because the office was closed on Virgin Gorda by 3:00 P.M. and we were headed either to SXM or off to the seamount fishing. Fairly common, albeit likely not a good idea, occurrence. Never been checked. Patronize the U.S. if you can. More later on why the charter industry has gone to hell (and to the BVI) since hurricane Hugo....

bobneidhardt 12-11-2001 04:50 AM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
Viexile,

I''ve been waiting for more on "why the charter industry has gone to hell". I will be down the beginning of Jan. I am interested to hear what you have to say and just interested in this fabulous cruising area in general. We are chartering with VIP again. Can''t wait. Do you live in the area? Sounds like you know it very well.

Valdare 12-11-2001 08:10 AM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
Top Knott,

I own a boat with VIP what would you like to know? They are not as pricy as Moorings the web page is being redone so it may be some what out of date They are great people to deal with, if you like a small company that really gives you personal attention this is the place. My boat is better than popcorn a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40. I just got back today from 10 days in the islands.

S/V Better than Popcorn _/)_/)_/)USVI

Valdare 12-19-2001 01:14 PM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
Well I have gotten caught up a little since we returned from the VI so I thought I''d answer your question in a little more detail.

VIP has Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37s,40,45s. As well as Hylas 46, 49, 54s. Don''t know if you are familiar with them but my JSO40 has three cabins, two heads with showers very large interior. Could sleep eight if necessary. The cockpit has dual steering and is very large.
Great for a family. There is a fresh water shower off the swim platform, cockpit light for evening dinning, a VHF in the cockpit so you may communicate with out going below.
All boats have electric windless with chain and rope.
In my 40 there are seven fans and VIP includes two wind scoops.
The boats come with inverters so the blender can be used as well as my wife''s hair dryer (which after three trips she no longer brings). A mobile telephone is also standard which you can register for BVI service is you need to or for emergencies. VIP supplies snorkel gear at no charge. We bring our own masks and snorkel but use their fins. Saves space in the luggage. The stereo/CD player has speakers in the cockpit so we can be entertained while having cocktails and dinner.
We find St. Thomas very convenient. Compass Point is only about 20 mins. from the airport and there is a new store for grocery shopping down the street. We spend the first night
out at St. Johns many anchorage and pop over to Sopers hole to check into the BVI. We always leave a day or so at the end of the trip for Cruz Bay (my wife loves to shop)and the south side of St. Johns were no one hardly ever goes. Great place to relax swim and snorkel with no crowds before we head back home.
Glenn Milar keeps the boats in excellent condition and my dingy captain (my wife) loves the fact that the motor starts first time every time, and that the boat and dingy are as clean as she would do herself. She especially likes the clean sent the linens have and the abundance of bath towels, beach towel, hand towels. The cooking utensils are first rate and the freezer keeps our food for the entire trip usually 10 days.


We are very pleased with the condition of our boat when we visit as are all the other owners. The people are great and friendly (not just to us) and enjoy sharing knowledge with you.

Just to show you how conscious VIP is my boat has three water tanks, over 140 gallons of water but what is interesting is that VIP has installed an extra water pump just in case the first one has a problem. Two propane tanks, extra anchor chain and rode, Dutchman main, cockpit jiffy reefing and of course roller furling Jib.

Hope this helps give you an idea of who and what VIP is.
Give them a try I am sure your will enjoy.

John_/)_/)_/)
S/V Better than Popcorn USVI

TopKnott 01-25-2002 01:09 PM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
Thanks for all your comments, we are booked on the Hylas 49cc for a week this March. :)

Valdare 02-04-2002 08:12 AM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
TopKnott,

Glad you booked with VIP, They will treat you well. I am sorry you did not charter my boat(smile) but you picked a beauty.I looked at the boat you will be chartering on my last visit in Dec. When will you be in St. Thomas? We are considering a return trip in March if things work out here at home.
Enjoy yourself, tell Glenn/Dennis (get your chart briefing with Dennis) and the rest of the crew we said hello. Need any info on itinerary or anything else let me know.

John_/)_/)_/)
S/V Better than Popcorn
US Virgin Islands

TopKnott 02-05-2002 01:28 PM

VIP Charters in St. Thomas
 
Thanks John, we get in on the 21st of march and sail through the 28th. I''ll look for your boat. I''ll give your regards to the gang there.


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