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  #1  
Old 11-20-2011
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First timer with chartering questions

Hello everyone! Happy to have found this forum -- been great reading so far.

My girlfriend and I and another couple (4 people total) are looking to charter this winter, ideally in the Caribbean (been looking at the BVI).

I have a lot of experience sailing and racing dinghies (JY15s, 420s, Lasers, Sunfish, lakes, coastal, over 15 years, since I was a child), but I don't have any experience with larger boats. None of the other in our crew have sailing experience.

As this is our first charter, I've got a few questions hopefully the experts here can answer.

1. I'm assuming I'm going to need to hire a skipper, right? Is it possible to hire one for only part of our week-long trip, to teach me the ropes, so to speak?

2. What company should I charter through? We don't need ultra-luxury and we'd like to keep costs down where we can. I was looking into Horizon charters, but then took a look at the more expensive options (Moorings, SunSail). Not sure what the real difference is there.

3. What boat should I charter? At Horizon, I was looking at the Bavaria 31 -- sleeps 4, which is what we need. Doesn't need to be spacious, but should be comfortable. Is there a recommended hull length or something?

4. Relatives who've done chartering in the BVI have said they had trouble finding supermarkets, so they recommended provisioning through the company. That's more expensive, of course, but maybe it's worth it? Or some kind of split provisioning so we can get some time ashore, too? Also, some of us have dietary restrictions (vegetarian, for example) so maybe provisioning through the company but choosing our own shopping list (Horizon allows this, at least) is the way to go?

5. What other expenses should I know about? I know there's some insurance, and I'm sure some taxes, water taxi, and the like. What about fuel? Water? Other stuff?

Thanks for any advice you can provide. We're all very excited to do this!

--Jason
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Old 11-21-2011
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I've chartered IN the BVI's a couple of times. Check out these forums:
Traveltalkonline: Viewing list of forums

The BVI forum has tons of info on provisioning ..there is another forum with reviews of charter boats..not sure how applicable that one is. Last time I chartered it was through an owner that I found there and we saved a lot of money while getting full services from Moorings.

I would think that you would be able to work an arrangement like you mention whereby a skipper goes with you for a day or so and shows you the ropes.

Regarding fees, ours were all taken care of through the Moorings and from what I understand that is not the case with all charter companies. I would look into this. I think there are fees for grabbing a mooring ball and I think they are around $20.
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Old 11-21-2011
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Thanks for the tips and the link -- already found it very helpful!
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Old 11-22-2011
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I would suggest that 31 feet is a bit small. I usually subtract one or two berths depending on the layout. If you have to hire a skipper, you will need an additional berth.

You can order online from Bobby's (Bobby's Market Place, British Virgin Islands - Supermarket, Villa and Yacht Provisioning Specialists) and they will deliver to your boat.
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Old 11-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I would suggest that 31 feet is a bit small. I usually subtract one or two berths depending on the layout. If you have to hire a skipper, you will need an additional berth.

You can order online from Bobby's (Bobby's Market Place, British Virgin Islands - Supermarket, Villa and Yacht Provisioning Specialists) and they will deliver to your boat.
Horizon is a good company but look at the fine print. By the time you add on all the extras like snorkel gear and other items the cost is the same as Moorings or Sunsail. There are plent of super markets on torola. These two are very popular and are geared for provisioning yachts.

Bobby's Market Place, British Virgin Islands - Supermarket, Villa and Yacht Provisioning Specialists

http://www.rtwbvi.com/

If there are four of you I would Charter a 36-37 footer. Trust me you will want the room, especially with a Captain for a couple of days.

Enjoy
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Old 11-22-2011
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If you want to hire a captain for a few days here is someone I would highly recommend.
Way Out Sailing Home Patrick is a great Captain and Louise is an ex Offshore Sailing instructor now raising their child. You couldnt go wrong at all with them.

enjoy
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Old 11-22-2011
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Thanks everyone! Definitely seems like provisioning through Bobby's or the like is the way to go. I'm a good cook, so seems like it should work great. And thanks for the tips on the length of the boat!
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