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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-30-2013 01:30 PM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Really excellent post, thank you for all the tips. I think the two items that stand out for me the most are 1) ensure you know how to reef the particular boat you're on and 2) ensure you know what your depth meter reading is.

On my just-ended first charter, my biggest mistake was not having enough time on the first day to really familiarize myself with all the systems. I felt really handicapped.

I had an "exclusive" boat from the Moorings, exactly 9 months old, and even with such a fresh boat, there were several minor issues to contend with. Still, can really recommend Moorings for standing behind us and resolving all issues quickly.
07-17-2013 12:15 PM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Originally Posted by SteveInMD View Post
Is Moorings really a first class operation?
Yes, Moorings really is a first class operation. So is Sunsail, which is actually run by the same parent company, at the same dock. And the dock-side amenities they have at their location are as good as they get, also. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Of course, they are not the lowest price charters that you can find.
07-17-2013 08:37 AM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Moorings and TMM would be a good choice.
07-17-2013 08:15 AM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Between Moorings, Dream Yacht Charters, TMM, and Conch which is most likely to have a properly working boat ready for me and get us out on time? I'm thinking Moorings is probably the most likely to have their act together and everything ready, but perhaps I'm just thinking that because they cost more. Is Moorings really a first class operation?
06-01-2013 08:05 AM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
Asking which charter companies would I recommend is like asking which hamburger places makes the best burgers; Wendy's have it your way! or McDonald's for example.
Wendy's of course!
06-01-2013 07:15 AM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Excellent post! I'd only add a few tings -based on happenings on my bareboats in the BVI since '99.

1. Validate your initial water fill by going to each tank with a hose before you leave the dock. The time to find out that you are completely out of water is not when you are spending the night on Jost or Anegada!
2. Not only should you check out your reefing gear before leaving port, you might want to consider leaving port under a single or even double-reef if you have any doubts about the wind and sea state out of the harbor. It is always much easier to shake one out than put one in on a strange boat.
3. Be very flexible about your ininerary. Don't make your trip the the BVI something like that old move: "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium" Move into Island Time when yuu land in St. Thomas and don't let the inevitable disruptions to your plans bother you. When you are vacationing in De Ilons, your only schedule that matters is being on the hook before the sun goes down.
4. If you have glitches on the boat that you can't readily fix yourself, make sure that whatever is involved is absolutely necessary before you call for service assistance. If you can get by without it, you might consider having the charter company come near the end of the day when you are at a new harbor - hopefully closer to their base.

I've only used Sunsail and ProValor in my past 8 trips and while they were not event free, would give a good reference to either.


S/V Amalia
1965 Cal 30
South Haven/Douglas/Muskegon, MI
05-31-2013 10:15 PM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

We used Rite-Way online this past time as well. We were there when they arrived and all was proper, except they sent more of something than we ordered. I think it was mayo. We gave it back to the delivery guy, but I have a feeling it didn't go to the store.

The only thing we didn't like were the tomatoes, otherwise all other fresh fruit and veg was good.

Still, we ordered too much and left a nice supply for the cleaners.
05-31-2013 06:44 PM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Part Two
Provisions - For the first time I order all my provisions online. I used Rite-Way. They delivered all that we ordered at the time I specified. I was not there when they showed up due to the ferry leaving very late in St Thomas. When I arrived all the food was properly stored on the boat. Wow Wow Wow. Even had a 6 pack of beer on ice. Wow Wow Wow ( I quickly put another 6 pack on ice before the crew arrived). All the fresh fruit and vegetables were top notch ( I was a little worried about this to be honest). I have to give Rite-Way 5 stars out of 5. Outstanding service. Many thanks..
We provisions once more in Virgin Gorda for bread and fresh vegetables. Pricey but worth it. We cooked every meal on-board the boat except one lunch I think. We had two chefs (me and another crew member) who love to cook on the boat. So not a problem.
Meats for dinner and lunch, I ordered from Omaha Steaks online. With the discounts, I feed 4 crew members, 10 meals for under $120. I love the individual packaging. Makes it real easy to pack into a large flexible Igloo with ice packs. They were still frozen when I arrived on the boat. BVI customs did not say anything when I told them about it.
Spirits - We ordered 3 cases of beer from Rite Way. Price was good. We got all the liquor from Duty Free or brought from home. If you go through San Juan or St Thomas stop by the Duty Free there to get the Good Stuff (sipping Rum, Scotch, and Whiskey 15 years or older). Mixing rum I would order either through Rite Way, Bobby's Marketplace or Tico. Find the best price.
To Generator or Not to Generator that is the question
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The countless engine hours to charge the batteries and double fuel bill of outrageous prices, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, if a generator is not working.
We had a big cat with big energy needs. With no way to monitor the batteries except voltage (French built-in amp meter not working properly) and no generator we had to run the both engines minimum 3 hours a day or more to keep up the refrigerator and freezer needs. I won't mention the batteries were on their last legs. With most charters discharging the batteries less than 50% daily they take a beating. I looked at the battery charger and I don't think it was a smart multi-charge battery charger to de-sulfate the batteries. I mention this in my debrief. Not sure they understood what I meant.
That is all for now.
05-31-2013 05:51 PM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
Did you mean to type CYOA and TMM?
Yes,, I hate spell checker on my Mac.
05-31-2013 04:46 PM
Re: BVI Charter Lessons Learned

Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
Asking which charter companies would I recommend is like asking which hamburger places makes the best burgers; Wendy's have it your way! or McDonald's for example. If you are new to sailing and chartering I would stay with the the big boys, Moorings, Horizon, CYA or TMN. It you have experience, know sailing inside and out the smaller/newer companies might work for you. Remember it is your precious time to spend sailing in paradise not fixing the boat at the dock, getting a boat/chart brief sometime that day, or finding required safety equipment.
Did you mean to type CYOA and TMM?
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