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  #1  
Old 08-24-2009
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BVIs over USVIs?

Hi all, this is my second post in this category and I want to hear your opinions. Are the BVIs superior to the USVIs for bareboating? There certainly seems to be more activity associated with the BVIs. Can somebody out there tell me why one might be better than the other?

BTW, I am leaning towards the BVIs over Belize and the Abacos. If I go in late June 2010, do I run a good chance of rough weather? (hurricanes, depressions, etc.?), or is it all random?

Thanks, Bill
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2009
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Hi Bill,

We have lived in the Abacos and the Virgins, and run a charter company...not an ad. The Abacos are great, better snorkeling and beaches. The Virgins have better sailing, cheaper flights and cheaper supplies. It is a toss up to us, if this is your first time bareboating I would do the virgins, as there is a lot more water to cover. The Abacos are very laided back but you will have a good time in either. Once you decide, post and we can let you know some of the better places to stop. I would not worry about weather in June of July but buy the trip insurance.

Rich

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Originally Posted by montenido View Post
Hi all, this is my second post in this category and I want to hear your opinions. Are the BVIs superior to the USVIs for bareboating? There certainly seems to be more activity associated with the BVIs. Can somebody out there tell me why one might be better than the other?

BTW, I am leaning towards the BVIs over Belize and the Abacos. If I go in late June 2010, do I run a good chance of rough weather? (hurricanes, depressions, etc.?), or is it all random?

Thanks, Bill
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2009
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You will be fine in June. No matter which destination you choose. You will have a great time......i2f
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2009
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June 1 is the start of Hurricane Season for the Caribbean/ Gulf. You never know what each year will bring but historically, June is one of the "safer" hurricane months, if any such thing exist!

You will find far more to do, more anchorages and moorings, more accommodations of all types in the BVI than in USVI.

I personally like St. John in the USVI for the hiking and snorkeling and less dense sailing. St. John is about 70% National Park and lesser expensive moorings are available and most have really nice hiking trails of varying difficulty and distance. The one from Waterlemon Cay to Coral Bay is not easy but well worth the effort in my view as it the one from Lampshier Bay to the Petroglyphs. These are about a good day's trip round-trip if you stop to take advantage of the views and Danish ruins. If you don't hike then Waterlemon's snorkeling where you are almost guaranteed a great encounter with large sea turtles and a nice reef. St. James Island and it's Christmas Cove also has a nice anchorage and reef for snorkeling.

Overall, hands down most people will prefer BVI for ease of sailing, good conditions, generally less expense and a very wide range of amenities from none in a remote anchorage to large marina slips. Everything is just a short sail away if you want to hop around. About the longest hop would be from Virgin Gorda or Jost Van Dyke to Anagada which is the only non volcanic island in the BVI.

In past years when I went down I stayed several month each time and hopped back and forth from BVI to USVI but by far most of my time was in BVI. BVI is the worlds top cruising grounds for a reason.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2009
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Ditto Reality Check's response.
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Old 08-30-2009
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Why not sail both the USVI and the BVI? We really liked St. Johns for its quiet bays. The BVI's are the perfect spot to pick up a charter boat.
Clearing customs was a little difficult (we are Dutch) but we discovered that if you take the ferry from BVI to USVI (rent a car and look arond the island) and keep the card they give you, you can clear customs with your BVI charter boat the next day.
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Old 02-01-2010
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Having sailed several times over many decades in both the USVI and BVI, I'll tell you that although the BVI are now the "preferred" option, the anchorages are much more crowded than they used to be. Back in the 80s, it was the opposite, Gorda Sound was virtually deserted. I cringe when I see the pictures of the Bitter End now, with dozens of mooring balls and just the huge numbers of bareboats. You can enjoy many uncrowded anchorages on St. John with great beaches and snorkeling. If your vacation is only 7-10 days, you can sail around St. John, make a quick trip to Tortola or JVD (check in at Soper's Hole) and have experienced both areas... I really enjoyed the peaceful and quiet anchorages on St. John. Now, if I could find more charter company options in the USVI, I'd be happy. We chartered with VIP and the boat was in rough shape, but overall it was an OK experience. Does anyone have any other positive experiences with USVI-based charter companies?

June is "technically" hurricane season, but historically, there have been very, very few hurricanes during that month. That's when we usually go... early - mid June.

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2010
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From what I could see...St John was the only USVI, I would have wanted to explore. ..I stop over for a day and a night in st thomas..on my way out of the BVI....I don't think you can go wrong in the BVI....
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2010
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Run,
Feel free to send me a PM for further information/suggestions. If you want to rent an Island Packet there is Island Yachts out of Redhook Island Yachts U.S. Virgin Islands - Charter Vacations. If you want a FP Cat, a Beneteau or a Hunter Mono, you can go with CYOA out of Frenchtown CYOA Yacht Charters Bareboat Charters in the Virgin Islands.

June-October is my favorite time to sail too, the water is very warm and the anchorages are nearly deserted.

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Originally Posted by rundugrun View Post
Having sailed several times over many decades in both the USVI and BVI, I'll tell you that although the BVI are now the "preferred" option, the anchorages are much more crowded than they used to be. Back in the 80s, it was the opposite, Gorda Sound was virtually deserted. I cringe when I see the pictures of the Bitter End now, with dozens of mooring balls and just the huge numbers of bareboats. You can enjoy many uncrowded anchorages on St. John with great beaches and snorkeling. If your vacation is only 7-10 days, you can sail around St. John, make a quick trip to Tortola or JVD (check in at Soper's Hole) and have experienced both areas... I really enjoyed the peaceful and quiet anchorages on St. John. Now, if I could find more charter company options in the USVI, I'd be happy. We chartered with VIP and the boat was in rough shape, but overall it was an OK experience. Does anyone have any other positive experiences with USVI-based charter companies?

June is "technically" hurricane season, but historically, there have been very, very few hurricanes during that month. That's when we usually go... early - mid June.

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2010
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FarCry,

Thanks for the info on Island Yachts and CYOA. They seem to be good options to VIP, although a bit more expensive. Do they both have a good reputation of maintaining and servicing their fleet?

I cannot send you a PM yet, because I don't have 5 posts...

Thanks!
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