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  #11  
Old 02-05-2001
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nikkis is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

Stay away from FanFare Charters in St. Thomas!!! We had a horrible experience chartering from them last month. The boat was in terrible condition and we constantly had problems. The owner of the company was impossible to deal with. They have even been reported to the Coast Guard on several safety violations. The prices may look appealing but it isn''t worth all trouble. Stay away!!!!!!
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2001
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gwilli is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

Hi, I just got back from BVI. Said I''d let you know how trip went. The weather was fabulous with daytime temps in the 80''s and a steady cooling breeze of 15 to 25 knots from the North East. The only time we were a bit warm was when docked in port at Road Town and Spanish Town where wind was restricted somewhat and because of dockage vs. mooring ball/anchoring the boat was not aligned for wind flow through the hatches. Water temp. was 79 - 80. June will be a bit warmer according to our cruise briefer but still very nice. The electric fans on the boats should help but we never used them except in port and then only for the first part of the evening. At times at anchor it actually became fairly cool and had to close some vents.
The most beautiful area I''ve ever seen (rivals Hawaii) is Virgin Gorda North Sound/Gorda Sound and especially area ashore around Bitter End Yacht Club Resort and Biras Creek Resort. If you have the bucks it''s only $750 to $1200 US currency PER DAY but if you have a boat it''s $20. for a mooring ball and access to most of the facilities. I''d plan to spend at least 2 days here. There are many exclusive coves you can find to have to yourself (try anchor in Key Bay on south shore of Peter Is. as opposed to Little or Great Harbor which are more crowded. To grab a mooring ball in most harbors you need to be there before 1300 hours. Standard cost for mooring ball is $20. but in National Parks you need a $10. mooring permit which is good for whole week for day mooring only (can''t moor overnight in any N. Park). Anchoring can some times be dicey re bottom in a lot of areas so recommend ball. Best dive (80'')was on wreck of Rhone at Salt Is. SW point but can snorkel shallower part of wreck (20'' - 30''). Best snorkeling at Baths, Indians, Caves. For a super lunch try the Biras Creek Fat Virgin Restaurant a short walk from Biras Creek resort(or dingy ride in bay) as the actual resort will only serve dinner (very expensive menu) and not lunch to other than house guests. We had the chicken butterfly pasta - excellent. At Spanish Town in V.G. recommend Fischer''s Cove for dinner a short walk from marina - great view, sunset, food. Need reservation to dock overnight in marina but we got lucky without one. Marina Key near Beef Is. is good overnight too. Snorkeling poor on south west side of M.K. reef but North and East pretty good. Sailing is real easy - steady winds, low waves, line of sight navigation, short distances so great choice for first charter. For a 7 day itinerary suggest Day 1: Caves and Indians nearby for snorkeling with overnight in The Bight on Norman Is. with Billy Bones restaurant/bar(entertainment) ashore (or anchor in Key Bay or Little Harbor on Peter Is.overnight), then Day 2: Salt Is. for the Rhone and overnight at Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Is. Day 3: Head up to V. Gorda and do snorkeling at Baths and then dock/anchor at Spanish Town. Day 4: Sail up to North Sound (go around N.W. side of Mosquito Is. unless you have a shallow draft catamaran in which case you can cut through between Mosquito Is. and V. Gorda) for night at m. ball at Vixen Point, Bitter End, or Biras and spend Day 5 (and night) there too (great walking/hiking trails between B. End and Biras). Day 6: Sail to Marina Key off Beef Is. for last night and then Day 7: to Road Town, Tortola in A.M. for noon return of boat or consider calling in sick and staying longer (or forever)! P.S. Footloose did a super job!
Good Luck!
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2001
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cjoesail is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

We have been down there twice and have found the fans great. Open the hatch and turn on your fan and a sheet is all you need at night. We really did not think the weather was all that hot and humid.
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  #14  
Old 03-24-2001
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cjoesail is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

Try Barecat Charters in Fat Hoggs Bay Tortolla. They have some Catamarans that are great for 2-4 people. They will supply a skipper if needed and cats handle very well.
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2001
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Mad_Dog is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

I take groups down to the bVIs every year. iusually takea 45 foot catamarun out of the Moorings. i aman american saling association instructor. If you would like to get on my mailing list let me know. i could give you instructions in sailing while we tour paradie.

Mad Dog...
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2002
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skipgundlach is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

This is a reply to nikkis post about FanFare Charters:

I can provide a bit more info on them, though not totally current (trip was April 2002 - so it''s more current than this post):

The owner is, in my opinion, clueless about cruising boats, having a lifetime of racing (still - he tried to recruit me for the 2002 Rolex regatta which was basically becalmed, but was in the middle of our cruise) behind him.

He (well, his very well-off new-ish wife) bought up all these *old* boats, and puts them out on mostly day charters. As a result (my opinion - I could be wrong) there''s not much attention paid to stuff which is critical for long-term sailing, as one can''t get *too* far from a chase boat in one day. He''s been selling a boat at a time in order to reduce his nightmare, but still has about a dozen (or, at least, did when we were there), down from over 30 initially. He just can''t keep up with the maintenance...

*I* think he''s a victim of his own ineptitude, hiring the cheapest available help to do his maintenance, and on our 2 boats (more on how in a minute), there was some indication of potential sabatoge (likewise more in a minute).

We intentionally were looking for an older boat (my fiancée and I intend to buy an older boat and go down island the rest of our lives), so the condition didn''t put us off. However, the boat we chartered had oil in the bilge. Noted, and cleaned out, the source was never identified, and, *I* think, someone didn''t tighten the oil filter when it was replaced (Sabatoge? Stupidity? Inattention to detail?). The upshot was to pour more oil in the bilge, again noted, and dismissed (ignorant, I assume as it was much more expensive to ignore it), which soon caused a failure of the engine.

Up until that point, we were most happy; though not the cheapest, it fit our time frame better than going to Martinique.

Shortening the story, he provided us a replacement boat, which also had problems which delayed our departure; he offered to replace the *charter* as make-up (no way he was giving any money back!!). That boat, also, had indications of potential sabotage, including an intentional mis-sized wing nut on the house batteries (or none - we found the bigger one in the cabinet, and the connection, which was bare, twisted vs a connector, wire off the battery) and the pivot bolt on the alternator was without a nut, and had *almost* backed out when I found it. The reason *that* boat wasn''t ready for us was that it had had a top-end rebuild, and the parts were still on the cabin sole. So, that bolt was put in without having the requisite nut on it...

Unfortunately, I didn''t stop, right then, on the dock, and get him to draw up the replacement charter papers; it''s been over 6 months since we''re ashore, and the broker, who wants to keep me out of it, has yet to get him to cough it up. I''m not giving up, because I think I can shame him into it, when I get directly involved, but the bottom line is:

Be prepared to be Mr. Fixit on your own, and check out the boat *very* thoroughly before you leave the dock, and accept that you are renting a 10-20 year old boat. If you do *that*, you''ll probably do all right.

However, a caveat. Contact me off-web for more detail, but he''s got a rep in the islands which is worth knowing about. That said, if I can get him to cough up the replacement charter I''d go there (only cost being airfare) and would even race with him, though I hear he has trouble getting crew...

L8R

Skip
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2002
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parrothead1957 is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

Well I really enjoyed reading your account of your BVI trip. I completely agree that North Sound is one of the best (if not the best) places to go in the BVIs. In my opinion the only thing you missed was Jost Van Dyke. I chartered in May 2002 and picked up a mooring in Little Harbour in Jost and it was fabulous. Dingy''ed over to Foxy''s, did some swimming and reading (this late in the cruise) and had dinner. Try to stay away from Abe''s ... expensive!

For those interested our itinery was:
Day 1: Sail from Beef Island to Marina Cay
Day 2: Marina Cay
Day 3: Sail to North Sound, BEYC
Day 4: Rented a car and drove to Spanish Town and the Baths
Day 5: Sailed to Soper''s Hole (yes that was a long sail but great)
Day 6: Soper''s Hole
Day 7: Motored to Little Harbour, Jost Van Dyke
Day 8: Sailed to Norman Island
Day 9: Norman Island
Last Day: Return to Beef Island

The reason we went east first was because it wasn''t too far to North Sound (easternmost point of the cruise) and then we were reaching/running for the rest of the cruise.

I HIGHLY recommend at least 9 days for your charter, 7 just isn''t enough (of course 365 days would be better but taht will have to wait).

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  #18  
Old 10-29-2002
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kenhaas is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

I would like to add one stop to Parrothead1957''s itinerary. If you have the time (I completely agree that 7 days is not enough time for the BVI. My family has gone for 10 day and 14 day trips and still not seen everything) you must make the trip to Anegada. Anegada may be hard to get to but it is worth the trip. The anchorage is not attractive by BVI standards but the beaches around the island are second to none. You can rent a small van from the Anegada Reef Hotel and explore the island. Look for the pink flamingos that are said to populate the inland lake. Although I have been there three times and have not yet seen any. Visit the bar/restuarant at Cow Wreck Beach and walk for miles in either direction on the beach, or have lobster at the Big Bamboo. You will find the island to be completely different than the other islands in the BVI because it is nothing more than a big sand bar rather than volcanic. The highest point of land is around 20 feet above sea level. Most charter companies have special requirements for those who want to go to the island because the reef is tricky to navigate. On our first trip over we followed a crewed charter with a local captain. Once you know the way it is easy to navigate through the reef. I would recommend spending the night on a mooring at the Bitter End Yacht Club prior to your crossing. If you put out the word that you are interested in going to Anegada you will usually find someone to follow over.

Have a great time and have a painkiller for me.
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2003
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dviciedo is on a distinguished road
Charter in BVI

which boat did you charter? was it the freedom 32?
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