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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Chartering
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  #1  
Old 01-30-2012
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Newbie Question - AC?

Hey, first time chartering a boat in BVI this may. 3 Grandparents (70ish) and 2 kids (4/7) and myself... seems like AC would be a luxury worth having, but it's narrowing my choices down quite a lot.

For those of you who have been there, how much did you/would you have liked AC?

Thx
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Old 01-30-2012
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There's a reason AC is not widely available in BVI charter boats. We haven't been to the BVI in May, but we were in the USVI (next door) last April and have been to the BVI probably 8 times in the past dozen years. Occasionally there would be a warm night, but never did we think we'd need AC. All of the boats down there should have fans to keep the air moving and that has been enough for us on the warmest nights.

Another issue is that you would have to run an engine to power the AC. That's not what you or your neighbors in a mooring field need. There isn't much in the way of slips to tie up for shore power once you leave Tortola, so you can expect to spend your nights on moorings for the most part, with the possibility of anchoring in some places (like Benures Bay (Norman Island).
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Old 02-01-2012
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It all depends on the comfort level that your crew requires.

I've interacted many times with people from Europe and delightful Candadians who feel like they can't even breath the humid island air. If it doesn't rain, AC is rarely needed in May. If it rains all night, a boat can get mighty stuffy and AC feels very nice.

Not all generators are installed or created equally. Many are much quieter than, most wind generators, loud music from shoreside bars and the drunks next to you that think you really do want to hear their crappy music!!!!!

All things being equal, I would go for a boat that has a generator and AC. That doesn not mean you have to use it but you do at least have the option to do so. I see nearly zero value in shoreside AC. Most people do not want to be tethered to a dock every night to run it.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 02-01-2012
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I too would opt for a boat with AC. If ventilation is not good or winds die, it's there. Sounds like you're cramming a lot of people into one boat, so keep in mind that you need a boat that not only SLEEPS six, eight of whatever but ACCOMMODATES that number. Usually that means not filling every bunk.
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Old 02-01-2012
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I would not have AC in the VIs. Except for a few anchorages/mooring areas where the breeze is really blocked, there's always a nice breeze, nights are not that hot, and bugs generally aren't a problem. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-01-2012
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It will take a day or two to get acclimated to the heat. Rely on the cold drinks, gentle breezes and the fans. You will have a much better experience if you do not rely on ALL the modern conveniences.

Midnight skinny dipping is also very helpful.
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Old 02-01-2012
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Personally I wouldn't bother with a/c but make sure the charter company supplies wind scoops for the deck hatches. They are like little tents to catch the wind and direct it below - makes a world of difference and helps to keep the rain out too. BVI is pretty safe so, as long as I'm not in a slip (which, for me, is a last resort) I leave the companionway open overnight as well, to let the air circulate.
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Old 02-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff54 View Post
Personally I wouldn't bother with a/c but make sure the charter company supplies wind scoops for the deck hatches. They are like little tents to catch the wind and direct it below - makes a world of difference and helps to keep the rain out too. BVI is pretty safe so, as long as I'm not in a slip (which, for me, is a last resort) I leave the companionway open overnight as well, to let the air circulate.
Geoff makes an important point. As a liveaboard boater I could control comforts but as a boating writer who sailed on many other boats I often found myself in hot, stuffy cabins. It's important to know what the charter boat provides.
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Old 03-01-2012
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you really don't need AC in the BVI. There are nice breezes, quite comfortable at night with the hatches open, windscoop even better. Most boats will have small fans in the berth which you can use if you feel the need. We don't usually even use those... nice and breezy at night! Have fun.
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Old 03-02-2012
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If you're chartering in May, A/C is a luxury you won't need. Where it comes in handy is a rainy night when you cannot leave the hatches open. It can get pretty warm and stuffy without the breeze. That being said, I've never chartered a boat with A/C and I've taken over a dozen vacations in the USVI / BVI. This year I'm going in late June on a boat without A/C. Will it be hot? Yes. But the breeze makes it manageable. Our charter company doesn't provide wind scoops, so I'm bringing my own BreezeBooster.

When I'm in a mooring field and the boat next to me is running their engine all night, it can get obnoxious.

Have Fun!

Doug

Last edited by rundugrun; 03-02-2012 at 09:33 AM.
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