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10-06-2003 03:33 AM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Ben, I have a report of our sail in Belize with TMM on my website. The address is Our experience with TMM in Belize was excellent, and an excellent value. Customer service started with great relations with their U.S.-based reservations staff, and went right down to their Belize office and dock staff. I have no complaints whatsoever and would not hesitate to sail with them again (we''ve also sailed with Moorings, Footloose and Sail Abaco, so we''re not charter neophytes).

Belize is one of the last great secrets of Caribbean sailing. If you have any questions that my website doesn''t answer, you can e-mail me from there. (Also, if you are near Annapolis, pick up October''s Spinsheet -- I have an article there about Belize sailing).
10-05-2003 08:10 PM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!


I am thinking about chartering a bareboat in Belize next year and wanted to know your opinion on the trip. I did the BVI''s last year, and want to make this an annual thing at different places. There''s a group of 6 of us who are all college friends, and we''re always looking for a good time and adventure.

After all I''ve heard about Sunsail, I don''t think I want to try them... but I''ve also heard bad things about TMM. We aren''t particular with the boat... older boats are OK as long as they are in good condition. We just want to save a little money.

Thanks! Ben
07-30-2003 08:28 AM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Since this thread starts off as: "Failed Sunsail charter" I''d just like to add this:

Include Sunsail in the future options. Like Moorings it is a major company with resources. I''ve returned yesterday from a month long charter in the BVI with
Sunsail. We only had a few minor problems and each time found Sunsail to be immediately responsive and very friendly and professional. I even got to know the dockmaster on a more personal basis and traded stories about our families.

There was one very serious incident one night of criminally boarded boats (even a scuffle with a charterer and allegations of touching of sleeping women). I witnessed some of this incident) by a local person, which soured the end of the vacation for a few people but this could have happened anywhere and really had nothing to do with Sunsail except showing the need for better security in the future. I''m sure Sunsail and the other companies will take note of this and will act appropriately. The police did become involved and hopefully the responsible party will be taken out of circulation.

I''ll make a more detailed report of our trip under a seperate heading later.

Magnus Murphy
07-14-2003 02:33 PM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Just thought I''d jump into the mix here. My advice would be AVOID TMM at all costs. They are cheaper and the boat I was on (50'' Beneteau) was quite nice, despite being a little older. But the level of service as APPALLING and the the complete lack of concern enfuriated me.

We were told (on three separate occasions; way in advance) that we could do a boat checkout/chart briefing at 8am and that we''d be underway on our departure day by noon. When I stopped by to see the boat on the night before, it was in shambles and the TMM people had mostly gone home. I asked how the boat would be ready by 8am, they said "it wouldn''t be." TMM doesn''t even open til 9am, and by Caribbean standards, that means 11am. We didnt'' even get our pickup at the hotel til 11:30. Chart briefing didn''t start for another hour. the boat had a non-working head, garbage was left for several days in the forward cabin, the autopilot didn''t work (TMM told me, that''s non-essential, so they don''t care). I asked for compensation, they said "no." We didnt'' get underway til nearly 3pm (the time you should be dropping the hook).

It was basically a wonderful trip, but NOT as a result of TMM. I''ve charted with Moorings before and had a FANTASTIC experience. I thought I was saving money for the same thing. NOT TRUE. I''ll go with Moorings when I go back. I''ll pay the extra bucks to get the superior equipment and PREMIUM service.
04-09-2003 10:52 PM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Try TMM! My wife and I took out a Pajot 38. It was an older boat but everything worked perfectly.
04-04-2003 06:37 AM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Chartered many times with Sunsail, including BVI, St. Martin and French Polynesia. Older boats (> 2yrs) in the fleet seem to have a number of problems, possibly due to lack of systematic maintenance. Most of these problems are minor, such as malfunctioning water gauges, speed log, etc. Whatever the problems have been, if you document them, Sunsail has always been very good in giving compensation, like discount coupons for the next charter.
To minimize such problems, make sure you charter a yacht that is new or that has been 1-2 years in the fleet at the most.
03-05-2003 11:40 AM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

I just returned from a charter through Sunsail BVI and couldn''t be happier. We started with a Ben 40CC but received a free upgrade to a NEW Jeanneau 43DS for no reason at all. When we got to the marina it turns out that the generator didn''t work on the boat. I didn''t really care, because we weren''t going to use the a/c and we didn''t pay for the generator anyway. But they wouldn''t here of it. While we were at the chart breifing, they cleaned up another of the same boat, transfered all our gear and gave us 4 bottles of red wine, and we maybe lost 1 hour. The whole rest of the trip went perfectly.
02-28-2003 08:30 AM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

Just got back from a bareboat cat charter with TMM in Belize (Ambergris Caye, the week of 2/8 - 2/15). We were very pleased with TMM''s customer service, the condition of the boat (though it was older and showed it, everything functioned other than a sticky propane solenoid, which we fixed), and the cruising grounds. Belize was amazing. I''ve posted my full (detailed) trip report on both (the General Caribbean Forum). I''ll also be happy to answer questions by e-mail.

02-25-2003 08:23 AM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

I did a Catamaran with TMM in the BVI''s and though it was one of their older boats (we got a good deal though), everything "important" basically worked, so I was satisfied.

We didn''t have any problems and are pretty resourceful when there was some nuisances. There were little things, make no mistake, but not enough to ruin our vacation or stick in my mind.
02-25-2003 07:26 AM
Failed SUNSAIL Charter in BVI''''s - Strike Two!

We had a similar negative experience with Sunsail in the BVI, late August of 2000. Our first bareboat experience. It started with no provisions on board as we had ordered/requested well in advance of the date they needed. Then we were told to keep a close monitor on the radio as hurricane Debbie might require coming in to a hurricane hole. We were anchored at Jost Van Dyke & luckily a fellow bareboater alerted us to the need to head for cover - Sunsail never hailed us on radio or phone. We made it to the hole with a torn headsail. They did get us to a hotel & handled that to our satisfaction. However, seems there were no spare headsails; they had to send ours for repair; didn''t offer us another boat; cost us a day of sailing. Then, as we thought we were finally getting under way, the steering cable broke ! Instead of cleaning up another boat & let us start our vacation, we had to wait while they literally jury-rigged the cable; again, no spare parts !! The manager & his assitants were rude & very condescending to us. Evidently the Brits define customer service differently than we Americans do. We tell everyone we know to not charter with Sunsail. Friends have chartered with Moorings & have had a great experience. We will be chartering a catamaran thru TMM for a week in Belize this May. Any one have any tips from their experience either with TMM or in Belize?
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