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Old 10-27-2011
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What's up at the Moorings?

been sailing in the BVI's since way back in the days of CSY (early 80's). last 20 years with the Moorings. Generally speaking I've had good results there. Some problems but generally reliable with good equipment. I haven't been down in a couple years and am headed down in January. I stumbled across a negative review and did some searching. I'm seeing a lot of negative reviews, mostly in the last two to three years, and mostly about equipment failure and little to no preventative maintenance any more. Does anyone know what is going on? I don't want to fight with a poorly maintained boat while on vacation; been there done that. Realizing that unsatisified customers complain when satisfied customers stay quiet, before shelling out $15k, I'm curious to know if this degredation of equipment there is something recent and what others who have bareboated there have experienced in the past two years or so.
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Old 10-27-2011
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I have not been on a Moorings boat in five years. They are now owned by the same company that owns Sunsail.
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Old 10-27-2011
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I understood that Moorings bought Sunsail, but not sure it matters. I chartered a 43ft Benneteau out of the Moorings in Tortola in Feb '10. It was so new, it didn't even have a name on it yet. I think we were about the third or fourth charter.

You would have thought it was in the fleet for a long time.

Cockpit table was broken off, like someone sat on the edge and glued back together.
Fixed salon stool was broken off the floor.
Stove would not light.
One water tank vent was plugged and we couldn't draw water from it.

I have a couple of theories.

First, both Benneteau and Jeanneau have substantially downgraded the quality of their ships since about '08 or '09. When they switched to the manufactured teak, they also switched to less expensive fittings all around and lowered their prices accordingly: more plastic fittings, undersized winches, etc. They are good value and sail nicely, but I don't think the new quality holds up as well to charter use.

Second, we were on a discount package and I always wonder if the the full fare customers get the better ships.

In the end, we didn't have any troubles that actually slowed down our trip, we just thought the ship was a piece of junk. For that matter, anyone going to the islands with the expectation that all will be as perfect as a Four Seasons, will be very disappointed. It is extraordinarily laid back and by the end of the week, even Type As usually grasp some of its advantage. Therefore, despite the boat's shortcomings we had an absolutely great time and would go again without reservation.

What are you chartering that is running your bill to $15k? I assume that is a lot of air fare too.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.

Last edited by Minnewaska; 10-27-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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We were down there in May and chartered out of Sunsail. We were upgraded from our first boat because of a few minor inadequacies that would have taken more time to troubleshoot and would have resulted in at least one day lost. Our second boat had no issues. The staff were very accomodating and quick to action and I have no complaints.

I'm under the impression that Moorings, Sunsail and Footloose in the BVI are all under the same management. Moorings gets the new boats, sunsail gets them after a few years and footloose gets the ones near the end of their charter lives. The charter prices reflect this.

While we were out we came upon a boat who had been switched at sea twice (They were on their third boat in 1 week). I don't know the exact reasons why and obviously it could be that they weren't running their engine to recharge batteries...but twice???

Regardless it seems that even if they don't stay on top of repairs they are quick to reesolve any issues...and have plenty of boats sitting around in just such an instance.
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I chartered a Beneteau 50 From the Moorings about 5 years ago. The boat was in very good shape and clean. I actually chartered owner's time directly from the owner and he told me there was a faulty mic switch on the vhf and some problems with the switch for the anchor windlass, both of which Moorings was supposed to have fixed. He was warning me they might not have. Guess what, they didn't.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
What are you chartering that is running your bill to $15k? I assume that is a lot of air fare too.

8 people 8 days 4600 last week of January. with provisioning and before captains reward discount it's about $14.5k without airlines.
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Old 10-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markchioda View Post
8 people 8 days 4600 last week of January. with provisioning and before captains reward discount it's about $14.5k without airlines.
Got it. A big boy cat for a ton of people. Makes sense now.

Have a great time and enjoy a painkiller for me. Some chance we will do a last min trip in Feb this winter. Options open right now.
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Jeanneau 54DS

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranki View Post
I chartered a Beneteau 50 From the Moorings about 5 years ago. The boat was in very good shape and clean. I actually chartered owner's time directly from the owner and he told me there was a faulty mic switch on the vhf and some problems with the switch for the anchor windlass, both of which Moorings was supposed to have fixed. He was warning me they might not have. Guess what, they didn't.
I'm actually used to that kind of stuff; that comes with bareboating in the BVI's And I chartered with Moorings (4600) back in 2007 with little to no material problems, which has been by experience for 20 years there. My concern is that the reports I was reading the other night were mostly signifciant equipment problems, and in particular there was one (with video) about a Genset exhaust tube leak which was venting directly into the aft cabin (AFTER Moorings had been made aware of it and "fixed it" with electrical tape on the exhaust hose!!!) caught my attention. The economy certainly has affected all the bareboat operators and I'm sure ultimately that finds it's way to the boats themselves. But rather than fight with a boat in poor shape, I would likely try another supplier.
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I would hope what looked like electrical tape on the exhaust was actually rescue tape, which can easily withstand the temps. Nevertheless, one would expect a proper repair.

Again, I think these are reflections of cheapened build quality of the boats from years past.
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Jeanneau 54DS

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here's a link to the review The Moorings - Tortola - Sailing Charter Reviews & Contact Details - SailDirector (Scroll half way down to submission date 4/6/09 rating 1.)

Here is a link to the video of the situation. Moorings 4700 Kilkenny Kats-Carbon Monixide Blues - YouTube

The Moorings - Tortola - Sailing Charter Reviews & Contact Details - SailDirector

carbon monoxide (like propane) is nothing to screw with on a boat...
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