Second-tier charters in the BVI? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-07-2008 Thread Starter
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Second-tier charters in the BVI?

I've been gathering info for a bareboat charter next year in the BVI. Cost is very important, but so is having a good time. I don't mind if a boat isn't showroom pristine, but it needs to be seaworthy, reliable and clean, not all ragged and abused.

With second-tier charter companies charging half the price for boats 6 to 12 years old, what should I expect the boats to be like? It's really hard to tell from grainy and small website photos.

The people I have talked with at ProValor Charters seem really friendly and the rates are good -- anyone have recent experience with them? How about Conch Charters?

Thanks,
Chris
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-07-2008
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Never have run across ProValor... Conch is good, so is BVI Yacht Charters. I've used BVI and had good luck. I also looked at several of their boats in charter during the time I was looking for my own and actually ended up purchasing one from the owner.

All in all, it is hard to assure what a specific boat is like unless you or someone you know has sailed it recently. Best you can do is look over their web sites and get any on-site info you can find.

Sorry I'm not in the area at this time. Left in June and will not be back until December. If you have not made your mind up by then, I possibly could check on something for you. I'm normally in the area for 3 to 5 months from winter to Summer season when I bail for Hurricane season and put my boat on the hard.

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-22-2008
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Pro Valor's Great

I've chartered from Pro-Valor 3 times over the past 4 years, once from previous owners Jeff and Mindy and twice since Gene and Jim and their wives bought the business. Each charter has been fantastic. Gene and Jim have winnowed out some of the older, less well-kept boats, so all of the boats now are in great shape. And as somebody once told me before my very first charter, unless you're planning on spending your entire charter on the boat you don't need a brand new boat with all the latest bells and whistles. Granted, you'll be sleeping on the boat, but most of your time will probably be spent snorkeling, diving, wandering the islands and going out to dinner, all away from the boat. My wife and I just got back from a week in Belize aboard a 2 year old Beneteau from Moorings, and other than having GPS...which is virtually useless in the BVI's unless you're going to Anegada...I saw no appreciable difference between that boat and the older 2nd tier boats at Pro Valor...other than the much higher price tag. They've got a relatively small fleet, so the personal attention has been great. And the prices beat the crap out of the first tier companies. Mindy met us at the airport on our arrival and Jeff even spent the first afternoon of my first charter out sailing with me as I got comfortable with the cruising grounds...that was my first bareboat and I was understandably nervous. You won't get that kind of attention from Moorings or Sunsail. I had to cancel my 2nd charter at the last minute due to a severe case of the flu and Mindy gave me full credit for the price I paid toward a future charter with them. Gene and Jim honored that credit after they took over, even beyond the one year Mindy initially said it would be good for. Try getting your money back like that from one of the big companies. Since Gene and Jim have taken over, it's been just as good. They're friendly, extremely responsive to e-mail and are always very flexible about return times on that ever too short last day...no hard deadline of 12 noon or you pay a late fee. Gene even convinced my wife that buying a boat for charter was a worthwhile investment. And their location near Beef Island is a nice bonus too, since you'll save a few bucks on those ridiculously inflated island cab fares going to and from the airport. Whenever I have a friend or co-worker who's interested in chartering, I always refer them to Pro-Valor. We're planning on going back for another charter with them next spring and I probably wouldn't go with another company in the BVI's at all. I have nothing bad to say about them and I'm sure you'll be quite happy if you decide to charter from them. Oh, by the way, I'm not getting a commission from them for saying all this and I don't have a vested interest in the business, I've just had some really good experiences with them.
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-28-2008
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Around here a 12 year old boat can easily be considered "newer" with many craft from the late 70's or 80's to be seen. Why is it that BVI charter companies focus on newer boats? Do they get "used up" relatively quickly?
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-28-2008
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Older boats

Our boat is a 93, most of our guest and brokers think it is 2-4 years old...it is not the age but the condition the boat is kept in. I have seen 6 month old Mooring that have been abused and look much older...

Remember the song "Age ain't nothing but a number"


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post #6 of 13 Old 08-28-2008
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Last December we chartered with BVI Yacht Charters. Found them to be very helpful. It was our second charter in the BVIs. Boat was a 45' cat and was in good shape and clean. I have not heard anything good or bad about Pro Valor or Conch.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-04-2008
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We chartered with Conch in Tortola this past April and they were great to deal with. One of the boats we had was a 38 catamaran, which ran into an engine problem...and they were there within a couple of hours to fix it.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-04-2008
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Conch has a very good reputation, I would also look at the "other" Pro Valor, right here:

Welcome to www.provalorsailing.com

I know the 2 cats very well, in fact racing with the owner on Sanctuary in the BVI's next month.
Aristocat II is also an excellent cat, a tad bigger and in very good shape I also know her owners.

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post #9 of 13 Old 09-05-2008
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I see to see much more discussion of chartering in the British Virgin Islands than in the US Virgin Islands. Is the sailing better there? For US citizens staying in US territory would see to be less complex. Am I missing something?
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-05-2008
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There are many more options for chartering vessels in the BVI than the USVI and vastly more destinations in reasonably close proximity to each other. As to complexity...not that difficult at all to transit between the countries, a little paperwork and a few minutes of time. I live in the USVI and prefer to spend my vacations sailing in the BVI.

Last edited by FarCry; 09-08-2008 at 10:59 AM.
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