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  #11  
Old 11-06-2002
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r-thom is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

We have chartered twice in BVI. First from Conch in 2000 and then Trade Winds last year. Although the monohull at Conch had been around the block a few times,it was clean, wanted nothing and ready to go when we got there. The staff was terific and catered to our every need. Third day out the throttle cable broke while docking at Virgin Gorda (5:30 p.m.) One phone call to the base in Tortola and it was fixed by 10:30 next morning (Sunday). We would have gone back to Conch but were unable to get the catamaran we wanted to try, so we went to Trade Winds in Fat Hogs Bay. We had arranged to stay onboard the first night and arrived at 5 pm. They were installing a new genset on the boat and worked on it till 8:30 that night. We had to sit around the marina and wait till they finished to ''move'' onboard. A bit of an inconvenience but not to hard to take considering the surroundings. The job was finished by 10 am next morning. On our 9 day cruise, I had a machanic out to the boat twice and had to take it back to Fat Hogs bay once becasue their service boat was ''out of commision''. Engine, genset, battery problems were the most common. At anchor in Great Harbour, I came back to the boat to find the starboard engine had come completly off its'' mount (outboard engine located in an inclosed well). It was just hanging there by the control cables. Easy to fix but should never have happened in my view, there was no security chain between the hull clamps to prevent them from backing off. At the end of our trip, the base manager said he wanted to ''make it right'' and we arrived at a mutually agreed upon settlement of 3 days lost. I had the option of taking the money in hand or a voucher good for 2 years at any Trade Winds location. What can I say, I took the voucher.
Ron
Victoria BC Can
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2002
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shanbill is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

This is a follow-up message regarding my original post regarding our Sunsail experience. Sunsail has, in fact, compensated us for FOUR FULL DAYS of our charter. This is in line with their written guarantee. Sunsail has also agreed to allow us transfer the four day credit to another individual. I would like to personally thank Karen in Sunsail mgmt. for working with us in this matter.
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2003
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jjernigan is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

We had a similar negative experience with Sunsail in the BVI, late August of 2000. Our first bareboat experience. It started with no provisions on board as we had ordered/requested well in advance of the date they needed. Then we were told to keep a close monitor on the radio as hurricane Debbie might require coming in to a hurricane hole. We were anchored at Jost Van Dyke & luckily a fellow bareboater alerted us to the need to head for cover - Sunsail never hailed us on radio or phone. We made it to the hole with a torn headsail. They did get us to a hotel & handled that to our satisfaction. However, seems there were no spare headsails; they had to send ours for repair; didn''t offer us another boat; cost us a day of sailing. Then, as we thought we were finally getting under way, the steering cable broke ! Instead of cleaning up another boat & let us start our vacation, we had to wait while they literally jury-rigged the cable; again, no spare parts !! The manager & his assitants were rude & very condescending to us. Evidently the Brits define customer service differently than we Americans do. We tell everyone we know to not charter with Sunsail. Friends have chartered with Moorings & have had a great experience. We will be chartering a catamaran thru TMM for a week in Belize this May. Any one have any tips from their experience either with TMM or in Belize?
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2003
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tsenator is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

I did a Catamaran with TMM in the BVI''s and though it was one of their older boats (we got a good deal though), everything "important" basically worked, so I was satisfied.

We didn''t have any problems and are pretty resourceful when there was some nuisances. There were little things, make no mistake, but not enough to ruin our vacation or stick in my mind.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2003
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Eva is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Just got back from a bareboat cat charter with TMM in Belize (Ambergris Caye, the week of 2/8 - 2/15). We were very pleased with TMM''s customer service, the condition of the boat (though it was older and showed it, everything functioned other than a sticky propane solenoid, which we fixed), and the cruising grounds. Belize was amazing. I''ve posted my full (detailed) trip report on both www.traveltalkonline.com (the General Caribbean Forum). I''ll also be happy to answer questions by e-mail.

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  #16  
Old 03-05-2003
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dmurcott is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

I just returned from a charter through Sunsail BVI and couldn''t be happier. We started with a Ben 40CC but received a free upgrade to a NEW Jeanneau 43DS for no reason at all. When we got to the marina it turns out that the generator didn''t work on the boat. I didn''t really care, because we weren''t going to use the a/c and we didn''t pay for the generator anyway. But they wouldn''t here of it. While we were at the chart breifing, they cleaned up another of the same boat, transfered all our gear and gave us 4 bottles of red wine, and we maybe lost 1 hour. The whole rest of the trip went perfectly.
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  #17  
Old 04-04-2003
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Hansdg53 is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Chartered many times with Sunsail, including BVI, St. Martin and French Polynesia. Older boats (> 2yrs) in the fleet seem to have a number of problems, possibly due to lack of systematic maintenance. Most of these problems are minor, such as malfunctioning water gauges, speed log, etc. Whatever the problems have been, if you document them, Sunsail has always been very good in giving compensation, like discount coupons for the next charter.
To minimize such problems, make sure you charter a yacht that is new or that has been 1-2 years in the fleet at the most.
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2003
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sreale is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Try TMM! My wife and I took out a Pajot 38. It was an older boat but everything worked perfectly.
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  #19  
Old 07-14-2003
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pma_foyl is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Just thought I''d jump into the mix here. My advice would be AVOID TMM at all costs. They are cheaper and the boat I was on (50'' Beneteau) was quite nice, despite being a little older. But the level of service as APPALLING and the the complete lack of concern enfuriated me.

We were told (on three separate occasions; way in advance) that we could do a boat checkout/chart briefing at 8am and that we''d be underway on our departure day by noon. When I stopped by to see the boat on the night before, it was in shambles and the TMM people had mostly gone home. I asked how the boat would be ready by 8am, they said "it wouldn''t be." TMM doesn''t even open til 9am, and by Caribbean standards, that means 11am. We didnt'' even get our pickup at the hotel til 11:30. Chart briefing didn''t start for another hour. the boat had a non-working head, garbage was left for several days in the forward cabin, the autopilot didn''t work (TMM told me, that''s non-essential, so they don''t care). I asked for compensation, they said "no." We didnt'' get underway til nearly 3pm (the time you should be dropping the hook).

It was basically a wonderful trip, but NOT as a result of TMM. I''ve charted with Moorings before and had a FANTASTIC experience. I thought I was saving money for the same thing. NOT TRUE. I''ll go with Moorings when I go back. I''ll pay the extra bucks to get the superior equipment and PREMIUM service.
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2003
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magnusmurphy is on a distinguished road
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Since this thread starts off as: "Failed Sunsail charter" I''d just like to add this:

Include Sunsail in the future options. Like Moorings it is a major company with resources. I''ve returned yesterday from a month long charter in the BVI with
Sunsail. We only had a few minor problems and each time found Sunsail to be immediately responsive and very friendly and professional. I even got to know the dockmaster on a more personal basis and traded stories about our families.

There was one very serious incident one night of criminally boarded boats (even a scuffle with a charterer and allegations of touching of sleeping women). I witnessed some of this incident) by a local person, which soured the end of the vacation for a few people but this could have happened anywhere and really had nothing to do with Sunsail except showing the need for better security in the future. I''m sure Sunsail and the other companies will take note of this and will act appropriately. The police did become involved and hopefully the responsible party will be taken out of circulation.

I''ll make a more detailed report of our trip under a seperate heading later.

Magnus Murphy
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