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Exploring options and just off the phone with Sunsail. The agent told me charters start at 6pm with a mandatory sleep-aboard. Is this new? With other companies, I was planning to arrive in the morning and launch in the later afternoon.
 

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That doesn't leave you a lot of time to get provisions loaded, checked, forgotten items retrieved, attend the captain's talk (set times at Sunsail), the boat safety check (I made them replace some rigging bits) and other mandatory stuff they have you do before you leave.

I think you'll have a more relaxing time if you stay the night before.
 

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Michigan Marine Dealer
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Yep, Sunsail seems to have a kind of different format BUT you really want to do a sleep aboard. You will take a lot of stress out of your first day by coming to terms with the lady that will take care of you that week. When I do deliveries I’m always more comfortable spending multiple days checking her out. You don’t want to get behind the curve trying to figure out whats/where when it hits the fan.
 

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We had dinner at the restaurant at Sunsail Tortola. John loved his meal so much that he found and thanked the chef.
 

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Owl
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Mandatory seems odd, but I agree that it's a good idea. Gives you time to check over everything thoroughly and make sure that all the bits function without feeling pressed for time. (and figure out where everything is so you can ace your check-ride in the morning and convince that mandatory two-day skipper that he isn't going to be needed).
 

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I've done it both ways, sleep aboard the night before and arrive the day of departure. I would never, ever arrive the day of departure ever again. What a different experience. Just sleeping aboard gets you acclimated to the ship and groceries arrive while you're having coffee, rather than worrying whether you are going to get there before they do. It's vacation.
 

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Have always done first night sleep aboard(never mandatory even with Sunsail in 2009). You arrive and get on the boat, have some drinks, go to a local place for some yummy BBQ and start planning where to go the first day. Arriving day of is stress filled trying to get all forms signed, groceries, charter briefing, fins that fit, etc. Then you feel obligated to get out and to your first anchorage and you are exhausted.

Remember, you will be living by island time that week. First and most important thing to do is make sure you do not rush through the arrival airport. Take your time and sample all the free rum drinks you can:D
 

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From my experience the last two years with Sunsail in the BVI...the sleepaboard the night before was mandatory...and you couldn't pick up the boat until 6 PM....they do have a place for you to store your luggage in the meantime. The briefings all occur the next morning, and you can generally get out of there shortly afterwards. That sleepaboard will count as the first night of your charter, so you may want to plan accordingly (i.e. add an extra day, as one night will be spent at their dock)...

While a sleepaboard the night before is great...much less stress really...it's been my experience that it is usually a reduced rate the night before your charter begins...and does not normally count as a charter night - as occurs with Sunsail.
 
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