What's up at the Moorings? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 46 Old 10-27-2011
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Originally Posted by dinghycapn View Post
I'm under the impression that Moorings, Sunsail and Footloose in the BVI are all under the same management.
They are all owned by TUI Marine. Not sure how high up in the individual organizations you have to go before they are all just one company, but at some point they are.
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post #12 of 46 Old 11-05-2011
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We've had two mostly good charters from The Moorings in Tortola (2007 and 2008). We did notice that, in spite of all the high dollar capital improvements they were making at the Tortola base, they still seemed to have a case of absent or inattentive management. For example, those brand-new beautiful spa shower rooms were almost always dirty and unsupplied.

But in 2009 we chartered a 2 year old Bene 40 from their Marsh Harbor (Bahamas) base, and found the maintenance very poor. (Autopilot broken, depth gauge read about a foot deeper than reality [in the Bahamas, for goodness sake], electrical panel [including the Bene style integrated gauges] broken, lots of stinky waste water plumbing issues, Reef lines messed up in some gordian knot fashion [I don't think the mainsail actually fit], leaky fuel line for the dinghy outboard.)

I suspect their "guaranteed owner income" model gives them a real incentive to cut costs with "deferred maintenance", and that's been compounded by the poor economy.

OTOH, we chartered a Leopard 38 from TMM in the Grenadines last summer, and found that boat to be very well maintained. TMM, like most of the smaller companies, acts more as an owner's agent, and the owner pays for maintenance. That puts you more at the mercy of how much the owner cares--but I figure if _anyone_ is going to care about the boat, it's the owner.

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post #13 of 46 Old 11-06-2011
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Just Returned from St. Martin

We had a 14 day charter on Sunsail out of a joint Moorings base. Our boat had a number of serious problems including fleas and an anchor windlass that gave up part way through. The Moorings boats all looked new. Our 39 footer was from 2007 and the interior was falling apart. The maintenance was done by a large group of Tui employees. There were also some new Sunsail cats around.

Can't quite figure out the multi-company branding, but I would not recommend Sunsail again. Not sure what that says about Moorings or Tui.

The French airline, Corsair seems to share the Tui logo.
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post #14 of 46 Old 01-07-2012
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We did a 10 day charter with moorings in 2008 and are going down again in 2 weeks for a 2 week go. I see the boat we had in 2008 has since moved to the Sunsail fleet and it is for sale. It was in great shape in 08 but now with 4000 hrs plus on the engine has been used quite a bit. My understanding is this is the standard rotation. New into the moorings fleet 3-5 years first as an exclusive line then a club boat later into sunsail and then 3-5 years later up for sale. One would expect quality to degrade over time as does the cost. You often get what you pay for.

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post #15 of 46 Old 01-12-2012
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We've just booked our 3rd charter with Sunsail for the end of May. We've chartered a 39 with no problems, a 42 that had a mainsheet block snap off the base of the mast which was replaced in a timely fashion, and next charter we'll be on a 32, just me and the 1st mate this trip. It's prudent for any skipper to properly check out all systems before leaving the dock and noting any deficiencies. If you do the same on your own boat then doing so on a charter would also minimize any surprises.

I do agree with the OP that bad experiences get shared more than the good ones.

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post #16 of 46 Old 01-12-2012
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We use to charter out of Sunsail in tortolla, but gave up with them after we started to have too many problems primarily due to low maintenance. Batteries that were towards the end of their life, and an engine that would blow out the ignition system every day due to a short in the panel and fuse held in with electric tape, plus boats that looked well worn.

We now use Voyage charters out of the west end - their cats are faster than what sunsail/moorings have, plus they are well maintained and they do a thorough checkout. Chartered from them about 8 times over the last few years with boats dated - NO problems. For a monohull I would go with island yachts out of redhook USVI - we have used them a couple of times - Island packets are OK in the trades apart from the 380 with a furling main. Island yachts is an outfit that looks after their boats and seems to care about who charters them, not just the color of their credit card.
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post #17 of 46 Old 01-14-2012
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We've chartered twice in the BVI, 2008 and 2009, with Sunsail, and had very good service both times. Boats were in good shape, and well-maintained, Beneteau 373 and Jeanneau 37i. Footloose is definitely older boats. We got the impression that Moorings was more high-end, huge catamarans and mostly American groups. Sunsail, at least when we were there, was more monohull and Americans/Brits/other Europeans. (there were Irish, British and Swedes setting out when we were).. I guess we liked the "international" flavor.
Since then, we have done the Grenadines with Barefoot (another story) and had a great charter last year with Horizon in Antigua... awesome in every way.
This year will be Horizon again, in Sint Maarten.
You may want to check out Horizon or TMM, who also seem to get good reviews.
Hope you have a great trip!
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post #18 of 46 Old 01-14-2012
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Bobnpaula what is the story about the grenadines we will be shore based there for a month and are looking at a charter there next year.

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post #19 of 46 Old 01-21-2012
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We chartered out of St Vincient for a couple of weeks a few years ago. The diving on all the Grenadines is amazing. Tabago Cay is about as remote as you can get. There is nothing between you and Africa and you can swim w/ the sea turtles every evening. The poverty on some of the smaller islands is depressing but most of the islands are beautiful and haven't been spoiled by tourism.
We used Barefoot and we would not use them again. The sailing between the islands is open ocean and can be rough. We charted a mono hull and would get a cat in the future.
We found a woman on Bequi that runs a yacht provisioning service. She had freezers full of anything you could want.
Sunsail had opperations on St Vincient and Canawan(sp)

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post #20 of 46 Old 08-05-2014
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Re: What's up at the Moorings?

Just completed an 8 day sail from the Moorings. I agree with the comment about absent or uncaring management. Had to repeatedly ask for a manager. First he was in a meeting. Then he was "on the docks". Then hours later it was "oh, he came looking for you but you weren't here", etc, etc. The issue was that on the last day of the trip storm Bertha hit. We had made it safely back to the marina but now our flight was cancelled, no ferry, etc. We were allowed to remain on the boat an additional night. We were delayed for 3 additional days. The front desk staff was unconcerned as to where we were going to spend the additional two nights and made zero efforts to help us. 80 other people were in the same situation. Front desk was singularly uncaring. The next morning we were told to get off the boat by 10 AM because the next charterers had arrived. Stupid me, how could they possibly arrive with the airports closed and no ferries running? So we got off and on our own arranged to stay at the Mariner Inn. A word of advice for anyone considering a charter out of that marina. Pay the extra money and stay on the boat for the night before. Stay away from this Mariner Inn. For $250 per night it was a dump! Pool had papers and plastic bottles floating among other debris. Our room had two 40 watt bulbs for lights and it was dark all the time including daytime. Anyway, we watched for the next 3 days our boat just sitting in the dock. There was nobody on it. We had offered to charter it for the additional days that we were stuck simply to get away from that horror show of a hotel but were refused as the boat was due to leave. The boat never left. Finally after me losing my temper and demanding to speak with the manager he showed up, unhurriedly, without a care in the world. He was a polite gentleman who had nothing to add to the situation other than "I will look into it". We never heard from him again. Boat had no problems, we found it clean and in good shape. Dinghy was another story. Missing most of the handles, fuel line had to be held in by hand (only discovered this after we had put out to sea), outboard refused to fold forward and marooned us on Deadman's Cay beach when it simply broke off and floated away (we recovered it). I have to say that The Moorings came within 30 minutes by boat, towed us back to our boat, replaced the engine without any questions. We also got several calls throughout the day from the base to make sure we were okay and to see if the dinghy was working well. Bottom line: Front desk staff clueless and not helpful. Every other employee was beyond great, going out of their way to help and guide you and make sure you have a good charter. Management: I have no words.
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