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Ladyhawke2 11-07-2007 07:15 AM

Bareboat Chartering BVI
My wife and I are looking to do some bareboating in the BVIs this winter and I was looking for some advice from anyone who has chartered what company they used...what the experience was...any boogymen...any recommendations? It will be just the two of us and we would probably be looking for something around the 34 foot range

camaraderie 11-07-2007 10:12 AM

It is hard to go wrong in the BVI's but I think you will be better off in a bit larger boat...steady trade winds and seas outside of the drake channel feel a bit more comfortable with more displacement...but of course that is your choice. Nothing wrong with a 34' boat but these are light coastal cruisers. Bring plenty of money for mooring balls at $25-30 bucks a night. You can't anchor in most places any more due to the mooring balls.
The two big companies are Sunsail and Moorings (same ownership) are supplemented by Footloose charters which uses their older boats at a lower price. Good reports have been made on Conch charters as well. nothing to worry about with any of them...just book what you want and go have fun!
Here's an older thread on the same issue:

jorgenl 11-07-2007 10:36 AM

I agree with Cam, get a bigger boat 39-40'.
It will of course cost a bit more but you will be more comfortable.

We had >6ft waves last March and a 40' will handle that better.

ReverendMike 11-07-2007 10:44 AM

My 2 cents: The boat we chartered from the Moorings last Jan was great! It was 39' and was great for four people. It was not very well set up for short handed sailing, which didn't matter that time, but my wife and I are planning to get a smaller boat next time if it's just us 2. The overall experience was also great, have fun!

jzeke16 11-07-2007 06:01 PM

BVI Bareboating
I've chartered with Conch Charters twice ( 35' Benneteau and 40' Leopard Cat). Staff was very professional, friendly and helpful. Would recommend them to anyone who wants a carefree charter at a reasonable price. The 35' handled the Drake Channel and ocean legs with ease.

dongreerps 11-09-2007 05:54 AM

Chartering in the BVI
The previous posts mention the "big boys" who do an efficient job of turning lots and lots of charters over. For consistant high quality with more personalized attention you might try Tortola Marine Management at Two otehr suggestions for your trip. Start now looking at airfares. I have paid as little as $250 and over 700 for the same trip. Bargins are available. Secondly there is a Best Western Motel in the airport terminal in San Juan. Breaking up the trip down with an overnight stop in San Juan allows a morning arrival, and things just seem to go better.

Zanshin 11-09-2007 06:23 AM

I just spent a while searching for a good itinerary and arranging airfares and was surprised that all the flights to Saint Thomas from hubs like Miami were significantly cheaper than SJU/EIS; at least this time of year.

Ladyhawke2 11-17-2007 08:27 AM

Bareboating BVI
Still looking and doing some homework as we figure out our options. In doing research, I ran across a site "Ed Hamilton & Co." who are apparently brokers and will arrange the charter. I've never considered a broker before...has anyone used this company ? ...or any broker for that matter ? there an advantage.

Chuteman 11-17-2007 12:11 PM

Yes, they are a broker & have an excellent reputation. The advantages are they know the marketplace/charter companies, become your advocate, answer all your questions objectively (have heard most before), will do the leg work when it comes to the boat choices & costs (tell them your budget) and it does not cost You any $$$.......they get a fee from charter co (like a travel agency). Maybe able to help with airfare choices too. They will also advise You on "best" choice based on your criteria.

sailvi767 12-22-2007 08:15 AM

A broker can be a huge amount of help and is a good tool to use. They are however not free and do cost you money. The normal brokerage fee is 20 percent of the price of the charter. If you deal directly with a charter company you can negotiate a bigger discount since they are not giving up 20 percent upfront. If you are a first time charterer use a broker. Just be aware nothing is free.

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