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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks in advance.

I will be chartering again in BVI this spring, and I wonder if anyone is using BoatyBall (sp)? They are offering an app, and recommend "logging in" before 7:00 AM for the day's reservations, because they go fast. Anyone have experience with this approach?
 

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Never heard of them. Where are they based in the BVI and how big is their fleet?

edit: sorry, didn't realize this was a mooring reservation system. News to me in the BVI and I was most recently there in Feb. The map on the main page doesn't seem like they have too many locations.

In most places, if you arrive before 2pm, you'll get a mooring ball. Some, like outside Foxy's on Jost, your odds would be better, if you arrived by noon. Not sure this app is all that necessary, but it may be the future. We'll see.
 
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I thought a Boaty Ball was where you put on a mask and went over to the “big” boat in the anchorage and drank their alcohol and danced around on deck
 

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I was also there in Feb., and the only place we saw mooring reservations was Manchineel. I just wonder if it's a bona fide system, or if interlopers are taking reservd balls...I always feel pressure to get underway early so as not to end up ball-less.
 

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I was in the BVI last April and used boatyball several times (at Anegada, Leverick and Cooper). They seem to have expanded a bit since then (to Cane Garden Bay?) and also maybe developed the system, but when I was there the reservation system opened at 7:00 and a few minutes later all the balls say at Cooper were reserved. We found the system reduced stress (except at 7:00am!) and gave us more time since we could arrive late at a destination and know we had a ball. But it does cost more.

There has been extensive discussion (positive and negative) on the "Travel Talk Online" website.
 

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Nothing is very far away in the BVI. Since I'm up by 6am anyway, it's pretty uncommon not to be underway by 9am, after a relaxing morning. That typically gives us a nice morning sail and tie up by early afternoon, which rarely shuts us out of a first come mooring ball. We've anchored numerous times in the BVI too, which we'd do without hesitation. Admittedly, the most protected and close to shore areas of the more popular anchorages are filled with mooring balls now. Still, you can almost always find a place for the hook.

I could see the whole place going to an app based reservation system. I think boaters would pay more for the convenience and arrival flexibility. However, seeing how much is abused by some drunk and/or inexperienced crews in the BVI, I'd think they'd need to be able to police the mooring field for squatters or folks that sat in the wrong seat. There's essentially no such thing as a harbormaster down there tho.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Z, I have just been made aware of those! I didn't know it was such a touchy subject.
 

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Yes, in the BVI forum it ranks up there on the international conflict-scale with topics like "mono- or multihull?", "sailing solo is dangerous", "anchor wars" and "guns on board" :D
 

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We used Boaty ball last year when we were there. You do have to be very fast at exactly 7 am to get one, they go very fast. The advantage of using them is they seem to have the up close mooring balls in all the anchorages. We did not have a problem finding a ball that was not part of their program in any anchorage except Anegada. I understand starting soon they are implementing an advance reservation system that will allow reserving them weeks in advance. That’s going to make it even harder to get one the day of. If you are like me we don’t plan our stops that far in advance while in the BVI.
 

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I understand starting soon they are implementing an advance reservation system that will allow reserving them weeks in advance. QUOTE]
Sounds like another reason to give the BVI's a pass. There are so many other places in the Caribbean where one can enjoy a sailing vacation w/o all the expense and hoops the BVI are putting on those vacationing there. Greed does not a pleasant host country make.
 

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I don't follow how Boaty-Ball, which is the distinct minority of moorings and, ironically, selling out so quickly is tagged as some sort of sinister BVI greed. It's somewhat obviously in high demand. People are paying to insure a mooring and take their time getting there.

New England has both reserved and FCFS moorings all over. I know how much more relaxed it is to know for certain one is waiting for you, whenever you arrive. It simply has value.
 

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I don't follow how Boaty-Ball, which is the distinct minority of moorings and, ironically, selling out so quickly is tagged as some sort of sinister BVI greed. It's somewhat obviously in high demand. People are paying to insure a mooring and take their time getting there.

New England has both reserved and FCFS moorings all over. I know how much more relaxed it is to know for certain one is waiting for you, whenever you arrive. It simply has value.
I guess if you'd sailed the BVIs in the late '70s or early '80s perhaps you would understand.
With the cruise ship revenue in the 6 figure range (for dockage/officials/pilotage) per ship per day, only greed can account for the exorbitant charges on yachts these days.
 

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I wasn't there in the 70s, but my wife was. Still not follow how Boaty-Ball makes your point. Yes, the BVI is very developed. I understand you don't like it. However, the vast majority do, or it wouldn't be the most popular sailing grounds on the planet.
 
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