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There's This Place... Articles on Destinations for Cruising, by Cruisers, for Cruisers...


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Old 10-03-2013
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Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

I'd like to hear from the live aboards at St Thomas VI (US).

Looking for Cost, Likes & Dislikes of the ___________ different marinas or docking/ mooring locations.

I would like to stay at St Thomas for 3/4 of the year and back in the US for three months. My Islander 37 MS would stay there year around.

Chime in with anything that's helpful about St Thomas. I read their regulations about buying a permit for 6 months or more, etc. .
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Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

I assume you reviewed this thread you started last year? How Expensive is the Virgin Islands to Live on Board ?

I'm not a live aboard but I do always try to provide information pertaining to St Thomas. I'm friends with dozens of live aboards. With that in mind-

The least expensive marinas that I can think of for your Islander 36 would be about $16/ft/month plus electricity, plus water. Most of the folks I know that live on the dock use some form of air conditioning which swings the electric bill up another $100+/month. I would think an average dockage of $700/month would be possible. Most of the people that I know that life in the less expensive marinas have cars so they can get to work. That would need to be added into your budget.

The other option is to drop the hook in the harbor downtown, Red Hook out east or Hassel Island west of the harbor. That is FREE.

I understand you've read about the regulations.... Perhaps if you thought of them more like suggestions rather than regulations, it would be to your benefit. I think of regulations that have not been enforced in the 8 years that I've lived here more as suggestions. When the head of enforcement plead guilty a couple of days ago to using enforcement vessels to move cocaine and money, that sort of explained where the priorities of the department were! People on the hook either have a water maker, jerry jug water via dinghy or just motor into the nearest marina to top off tanks.

If I were intending to work while here, I would probably aim for the ease of living in Compass Pt or Independent marinas. If I had no intention of working, I would anchor wherever I liked and then make arrangements to pull the boat out of the water and store it on the hard someplace. I would NOT leave a boat unattended during hurricane season on a mooring or anchored. The two marinas I listed are the most secure for hurricane protection but do have long waiting lists because they are so safe. The two marinas I suggested are towards the east end and are kind of away from stuff. There is a very good grocery store across the road and a couple of small bar/restaurants within a short walk. Anything else will require a safari ride (dollar taxi) or bumming a ride.

If you tell me what your intentions are, I could try and provide more specific info.
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Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

FarCry

I appreciate your detailed explanation about St Thomas... really helped.

My intention's are to live at St Thomas (based there) and come back to US once or twice a year. I'd stay in the US for 45 days or so and airline back to there. I'm fully retired and if my heath declines, I'd sell my I-37 and return to the US. The only med. I need is 30/70 insulin, sells for $ 24.00 a vial at Wal-Mart. I'd want a power hook up (full service) at the marina. I like AC and creature comfort, I hate being toasted and not being able to sleep, etc. .

I have one child, he's in college and it's unlikely he'd have an interest in the boat while in school and then starting a job after graduation. I don't think I'd remain at St Thomas or anywhere after a few years. Starting off, I'd explore the Caribbean chain and base out St Thomas and be moored there. Later, I'd want live at the East end (your suggestion) with the best hurricane protection at east end marina's. I don't know what the wait time would be in months but would be worth it to protect your boat & peace of mind.

I forgot to ask about theft. I'm solo and would be away from my boat for 45 days at a time. My boat is a 1970 year model and not likely to be stolen like a newer boat. I'd want to lock up my expensive (carry off) electronics & like items at the marina or wherever I could rent a secure lock box ?

What type of medical facilities are there. I'm not doctoring at this time, just wondering. I see a VA doctor once a year for a check up, one of my reasons for coming home to the US. The airline travel is about $ 1,400.00 a shot from Bonifay, FL for round trip, X's 2 = $2.8 K.

I assume that a Boat Watch Service for -- leaks, mooring security or pull out for a hurricane could be arranged while I'm in the US from the marina. My 1st selection for choosing a marina would be based on being trustworthy and boat security while I was away. I realize that I could/ would strike up a boat owner relationship with the folks around me and that may work out.


Thanks again,

Avery

Last edited by HighFly_27; 10-03-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

The best way to see what's available for hurricane haulout or for slips is to contact the marinas I suggested directly. I can't keep track of their policies, another subject all together!

If you are in the marina I think the odds of theft are very small. Most people know who belongs and who doesn't. There are very good yacht management services that could check your bilges, batteries, lines, etc. on a schedule for a fee. If you wanted to have your boat hauled for a named storm, I'm sure that could be arranged too from the states before you head down. The vast majority of people with boats in the slips do not haul their boats for storms. Being away from your boat for 45 days at a time shouldn't be an issue except when a storm is coming.

There is a hospital on Island that can handle most things. Major spinal injuries, major burns etc. get jetted off to Miami for treatment. You can Google Schneider Hospital and see what is written. There are numerous drugstores, a Walgreens just opened a week ago, so getting prescriptions filled isn't a big deal. There is a VA Hospital on Puerto Rico. I don't know much about the VA stuff.

I also just checked flights. It looks like Tallahassee is the nearest airport to you. Looking out just 2 weeks I'm seeing round trip prices on Kayak for around $700 round trip. Are you flying first class or taking a limo service to Miami?
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Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

FarCry,

The airline travel was checked thru several companies (Expedia, Cheap Tickets, etc.). The lowest I found was $ 989.00 (3 stops) and 2 seats left. The general price was in the
$ 1,39X.00 range for a 2 stopper; I don't like a lot of stops to save a few bucks. I was flying out of Panama City Intl. to Atlanta... St Thomas. I did not price thru Kayak but will.

I have been checking the marinas web sites at St Thomas and reviewed the listed services.

I did not see Wi-Fi type connections, is Wi-Fi available at the marinas ?


Thank You,

Avery
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

I can't help much with the local particulars, but have a few suggestions. First, if you're retired and sail, you have time on your hands. That's great. Drive to the nearest hub airport and direct flights to St. Thomas are going to be much cheaper. It seems its less than 4 hr drive to Atlanta from Bonifay. Rent a car one-way from Enterprise. Cheap.

While you may prefer the same slip year round, another consideration to alternate between a slip and at anchorage. That also allows one to move around between islands, even to the BVI, rather than be sedentary. However, you may be higher on a haul out list, if you're year round somewhere. That said, you might also be able to haul in a pinch in the BVI. Not sure. Easy ferry back and forth, anyway.
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

Checkout Spirit airlines out of Fort Lauderdale they have some amazing deals. I flew
return for under $100.

I believe you have to register and pay for an anchorage/mooring permit. I met a fairly unpleasant 'jobsworth' who refused to believe that I was a new owner and that the baot was now UK registered. As far as he was concerned I was registered to Chocolate Hole and should be anchored there and not Charlotte Amalie. He gave me 10 minutes to leave.

On anchorage and mooring sites, mooring permits, registration and other like information and regulations contact the Department of Planning and Natural Resources: (340) 774-3320 or (340) 775-6762 for St. Thomas/St. John and (340) 772-1955 for St. Croix.
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Checkout Spirit airlines out of Fort Lauderdale they have some amazing deals. I flew
return for under $100.

I believe you have to register and pay for an anchorage/mooring permit. I met a fairly unpleasant 'jobsworth' who refused to believe that I was a new owner and that the baot was now UK registered. As far as he was concerned I was registered to Chocolate Hole and should be anchored there and not Charlotte Amalie. He gave me 10 minutes to leave.

On anchorage and mooring sites, mooring permits, registration and other like information and regulations contact the Department of Planning and Natural Resources: (340) 774-3320 or (340) 775-6762 for St. Thomas/St. John and (340) 772-1955 for St. Croix.
Spirit and American Airlines all have cheaper flights available if one is will to drive a bit as stated above.

I do not doubt your interaction with the DPNR. Did you ever get your mooring permit? If not, what was the outcome? Did you meet anybody that had one that had been on St Thomas less than a few years? Did you meet anybody that was anchored that had been bothered because they didn't have a permit?

Great choice in boats by the way! (From past ownership of a Bombay Clipper)
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

Thanks to You All,

I've learned a lot from everyone's input. I found out that $ 1,3XX.00 is way too much to pay for a round trip to St Thomas. Learned that the $ 300.00 permit for mooring/ anchoring fee may not be enforced, I'd be the guy to get fined.. just my luck. Mentioned to bounce around from mooring to a marina while I explored the Caribbean, saving some bucks. Smart bet to get on a list at one of the marinas at the east end during hurricane season.

Again.. Thanks Much,


Avery
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Re: Long Term Live Aboard at St Tomas VI (US)

i am looking at flights now for around 330.00
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