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  #1  
Old 11-07-2007
bbennett
 
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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 there...ie: 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
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Old 11-07-2007
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
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:
Bareboat charter companies in the BVI
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Old 11-07-2007
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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.
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Old 11-07-2007
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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!
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"... the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my alloted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze." - Richard Bode, First you have to row a little boat (pg. 94)
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Old 11-07-2007
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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.
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Old 11-09-2007
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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 www.sailtmm.com. 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.
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Old 11-09-2007
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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.
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Old 11-17-2007
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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 ? ...is there an advantage.
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Old 11-17-2007
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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.

Last edited by Chuteman; 11-17-2007 at 01:13 PM. Reason: added to comments
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Old 12-22-2007
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Broker

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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