First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 56 Old 01-11-2016 Thread Starter
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First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

I am so green at this, that I don't know what all I don't know.

But our local sail club decided that we (as a group) should try to charter a couple boats in the BVIs. They were scrambling to get crews together, so I went and filled a boat with myself, my wife, my brother, his wife, and my one crew member and his wife. We got a Cat (39 foot Leopard) because a couple of the wives are not big on heeling much (just want everyone to have a good time).

Anyway, I took it as an opportunity to learn something new, and do so following the rest of our local sail club who have "been there," before. They originally thought they'd have two monohulls at about 38 feet, but looks like now they'll just have 1.

I welcome comments and hints, and yes we'll be there over the Full moon, which will be Monday, we'll arrive Saturday Afternoon, in Feb, so we'll basically have 1 day out before we come back for the full moon party.

I've sailed on monos up to 42 feet... skippered up to 32 feet, so this is a pretty huge step for me. Fortunately both my brother and my crew have both been on Monos to 45 feet. I know not the same... but I'd hate to do this with a totally green crew. Frankly I'm OK with a skipper if they put one with us... but with 6 people on a 39 footer it'd be tight I'm sure.

We just finished split provisioning the boat, so we'll have food, and a boat, and that's as much as we've done so far.

Anything I should know or look out for?

1983 WD Schock Wavelength 24. Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.

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post #2 of 56 Old 01-11-2016
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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

Trellis Bay ( I actually think its beef isl.)at the top of Tortola has one hell of a party they burn a man and other kind of sacrifices, very uninhibited, get there early plenty of balls to grab. Go to the little market good price on ice and they have a good selection of Cubans. Seeing you have Sunday go over to Coppers another place sorta on the way to Trellis, with a lot of balls to grab both ends of the mooring field are great for your first snorkeling adventure. There's a great bar there also and they have big bags of ice also but little bit pricey. BVI all is so close if your ify on sailing you can motor most do anyway and it has so many moorings it looks like Jericho bay in Maine at the height of lobster season.
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post #3 of 56 Old 01-11-2016
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Each be skipper for a day. If the non-heeling wives don't want to be skipper don't push them
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post #4 of 56 Old 01-12-2016
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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

is it an owners version 39.. who gets the owners hull? The head in the owners hull is much bigger on the 3900 than any of the larger boats that have ensuite heads. I think i have seen a couple 4 cabin 3900's but most of them are 3 cabin. The 4 cabin - 2 head boat ain't bad either.
Check out the big yellow sticker at the helm (or in the cabin) that shows when to reef.. it's very conservative, but you don't want the mast to come down. It just has single side shrouds. They're good and heavy, but still... Give the shrouds a shake and be sure they're tight. If a squall is coming, if you can't change course to miss it, take my advice.. drop the sails.. even if you have 2 reefs in.

Someone mentioned Trellis, it's one of the worst places to come into late if the wind is really blowing.. the moorings are tight and I've seen some crazy captained boat come in and drop anchor in the midst of it all, maybe they get lucky.

The 3900 is a great boat. A bit tricky to keep the chain off the hull while dropping anchor in some conditions. It'll be a bit front heavy at the beginning of the charter with it's 200 gallons of water and the generator up front, but that improves as the vacation goes on. If you have a poorly padded ass, a side back cushion from the salon fits perfectly at the helm but strap it down so you don't lose it in one those squalls if you forget to bring it in.

I know the boat really well.. it's good good.. electric davit (breakers for the davit and the anchor windlass are behind the trash box), solar, gen, dual air con, mostly led lights.. why not in the heads I don't know. electric heads, etc. etc. only bad thing about the layout is .. ok.. maybe 2 bad things.. it would be nice to take a saw to that huge saloon table.. and also would be great to have just a bit bigger sink in the galley.

have a great trip, I'm sure you will.
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post #5 of 56 Old 01-12-2016
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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

There are countless BVI threads on SailNet. Here's a link.

bvi - SailNet Community - Threads Tagged with bvi

Many of us have been there multiple times. If you have a specific question, don't hesitate to ask.

Who are you renting from? They should have asked for some form of a sailing resume and noted your lack of multi-hull experience. If that was going to cause them to require a Captain, they should tell you prior to sending your deposit. They may still check out whether you actually know what you're doing, during your briefing (the resumes can look better on paper than real life). You may even just end up with a Captain for a day to check you out, rather than the whole trip.

If you must take a Captain overnight, they are going to require their own sleeping cabin, I'll bet.

BVIs are great and everyone should sail there at least once. Very easy to navigate. Beautiful weather, good sailing conditions mostly. Pricey, but just like most vacation towns.


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post #6 of 56 Old 01-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

Its the owners model 3 stateroom... which looked real nice for the smaller cat.
We opted for the Moorings.

Yes, I filled out their resume, but I also have an ace in the hole if you will, our local sailing instructor (who I thought might not be going on the trip) will be going with us on the other boat. He offered to ride with us, until we get comfortable with the boat. Again I've been sailing since I was born, but a cats a whole new adventure for me.

I actually DID dig through some of the BVI threads already, including a couple recent ones on sailing a cat for the first time, for chartering as well.

Subaqua, gave me some good tips on the boat itself, and you guys with ideas of things to see.

I created the thread to basically say "me too."

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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

You'll have a great time. The Moorings is probably among the least restrictive, if you actually know what you're doing.

Happy to answer any specific questions, if you come upon any. The Moorings has that fairly new hotel right on top of the docks. That's a great place to stay the night you turn the boat back in, rather than try to rush for the ferry/airplane.
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post #8 of 56 Old 01-13-2016
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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

You are worrying far too much about sailing a cat. Charter boats are designed to be easy for novices to sail. Do not get talked into hiring a captain; you do not need one. I've chartered several catamarans; they are very easy, very fun. If you find yourself too challenged, which you probably won't, simply lower the sails and fire up the engines. The charter company will get the boat in and out of the marina. In between, you won't have to dock, or tie it to anything but a mooring buoy.

Taking turns being skipper-for-the-day is a great idea. The worst part about a multi-couple charter trip is getting the group to make decisions. With skipper-for-the-day, one person makes the decisions, freeing the rest of the crew to enjoy the day. The flip side is that the skipper does not have to cook, fetch drinks, clean, hook buoys; if the skipper is hungry, the skipper simply mentions what he/she wants on his/her sandwich, and what flavor of beer gets put in his/her hand. So, the "non-heeling wives" may decide that they want to be skipper for a day, too.

My other bits of advice are:

- Pack about half as many clothes as you think you'll want. Then, take half of those clothes out of your bag and leave them home. If it doesn't fit in a carry-on, you don't want it.

- If you don't bring your own snorkel gear, make sure that your boat has gear that fits well and is in good condition.

- Don't try to see it all in one trip. Relax, go slow, and have at least one layover day that you don't move the boat.
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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

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Originally Posted by jwing View Post
...

Taking turns being skipper-for-the-day is a great idea. The worst part about a multi-couple charter trip is getting the group to make decisions. With skipper-for-the-day, one person makes the decisions, freeing the rest of the crew to enjoy the day. The flip side is that the skipper does not have to cook, fetch drinks, clean, hook buoys; if the skipper is hungry, the skipper simply mentions what he/she wants on his/her sandwich, and what flavor of beer gets put in his/her hand. So, the "non-heeling wives" may decide that they want to be skipper for a day, too.
..
I like this idea, next time we have guests aboard I'll think about it.. but, being the captain, it might be tough. Plus, the girls may want to be skippers all the time, not just a day.

Here's some more advice.. avoid being dinghy captain at all costs. 'Course it sounds like the OP has been around sailing enough to already know this. The position has the most responsibility of any involved. I tell everyone that visits us that the dinghy is the most dangerous part of the whole trip.. and I mean it.
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Re: First Charter- BVI, First time sailing a Cat, can't wait.

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Plus, the girls may want to be skippers all the time, not just a day.
I grew up in the old tradition: Dad went to work. Mom stayed home and did all the housework. I know some people still live like that, so here's a recommendation for them:

Every year, we went on a family-and-friends ski vacation for a week. We stayed a great, old house with a large fireplace. We had an immutable rule during those trips: Females were not allowed in the kitchen. This ensured that the vacation was a vacation for the Moms, too. The boys had fun in the kitchen and the girls hung out by the fireplace. No reason that kitchen and fireplace can't be swapped with galley and cockpit.
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