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Discussion Starter #1
I''m ecstatic to be planning my first bareboat charter (to the BVIs in Jun 02), and am considering SunSail, Tradewind Yachts, and Caribbean Sailing Charters.

I do not want to take a big chance on a company with a questionable reputation, but I don''t want to pay the high premium some of the charter companies charge. Would anyone please offer comments on the above 3 (or anyone else)?

Also, some companies offer older boats at a discounted price. I realize you get what you pay for, but is it worth the extra $600 (or more) for a boat that''s 4 years newer?

TIA
 

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Hi Duane,

I have used Sunsail a number of times. Always happy with their fleet - helpfulness and attitude. Recommend them highly, but I don''t have any experience with the others.

I''m a bit surprised that Sunsail is on the list with the others as they are usually considered "premium" not unlike Moorings.

Wayne
 

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Agree that Sunsail is equivalent to The Moorings as a "premium" charter outfit.
I might lump CYC in there, too. Anyone with full-page color ads in the back of "Sail" or "Cruising World" probably qualifies for that label.

As a first time bareboater, I suggest you head straight for the Moorings and Sunsails of the world. They''ll provide a little better service which will ease your experience.

I remember my first bareboat charter. When I got back home, I was exhausted! Dealing with the logistics, the new sailing venue, and my non-sailing companions turned my vacation into a week of hard work.

Your experiences from this first trip will help you choose more shrewdly next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Wayne and EscapeArtist. You''re sharp; Sunsail IS a premium price outfit (like Moorings), but they were one of the personally-recommended companies.

I suppose that with all the other "first-time" concerns I will have, I don''t need to wonder if my charter company will have the resources to handle any significant boat problems [they can happen, I hear ;)]

Duane

p.s. I''m glad I found this BB. Kudos to Sailnet for hosting it, and to all you sailors out there willing to help others.
 

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I have chartered twice now with TMM and it has been a great experience each time (BVI 2000 renadines 2001). Susan in the States and the various base people are absolutley outstanding and very helpful. The price is cheaper than Moorings and the boat are in great conditions.
The base in Tortola is owned by Barney and they will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know for a successful 1st BVI cruise.

Hope you enjoy it, we will be in the BVI ourselves in June 02 see you around.

Herve
 

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Have used Tradewind Yachts many times with less problems than some of the "prmium" charter companies I have dealt with. I have particularly noticed this in more remote areas such as the Grenadines where it is helpful to have highly skilled charter managers to fall back on if problems arise. They generaly use reconditioned Mooring yachts that have been very well reconditioned and can be chartered at a very good value. On the same basis would not use Stardust Charters as they were poorly maintained with little support from charter base (this was several years ago so perhaps Stardust has improved as they are still in business).
 

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I have used Tradewind on two occasions. I''ve found them to be friendly and helpful and a great bargain. I''ve chartered a 94 Beneteau 38 which was in very good condition and a group recently chartered a 52'' cat that had a few problems with the generator flipping the circuit breaker. I don''t know anything about their "Premier" fleet, but I''m sure they maintain them as beautifully as their older fleet. Overall you get alot for your dollar. I''m chartering a Ben 40.5 with them in the Grenadines in Sept. and I''ll report back my experience at that base.

Dr. Jon
 

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Recommend SUNSAIL.
Have chartered with them five times. Beneteau 50'', 35'', 35''CC, 40'' twice over the last seven years and am doing so again in 02.
Have found their boats to be in excellent condition. All have been no older then two years. Have found their service to be excellent although we really had no serious issues. Staff well informed and organized. All arraignments made by telephone and whenever questions or concerns arose prior to charter time their staff when contacted addressed concerns to our satisfaction.
Have also chareted with TRADEWINDS and NORTH/SOUTH. Older boats, some minor problems, less exspensive. We say, "you get what you pay for". Would charter with TRADEWINDS again.
 

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I talked to a few charter companies at the Annapolis boat show yesterday. One that I am considering is Horizon Yacht Charters. Does anyone know anything about them?
 

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Horizon has 2 charter bases. One in Nanny Cay Tortola, BVI and one in Grenada. I know both Sylia and her partner and they run a very professional business. I have a boat that I keep in Nanny Cay and see them quite often.

Their boats are relatively new Bavarias and they keep them exceptionally well maintained. Horizon is a reliable charter company and very honest people to do business with. Ther sample itineraries are well thought out and I would let them do the provisioning for you. Ample Hamper is a good place to get qulity food and provisions and Horizon can handle that for you.

If there is something specific you would like to know about Horizon, please contact me here on the message board or at [email protected]

Hope this helps you.

Captain Ron
 

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Our one and only experience in the BVI was with TMM. Clean well maintained equipment, wonderful people. We are going back in 02 and the thought of changing has never come to mind.
Regards,
Richard
 

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About Horizon, chartered with them last June and loved them. Still prefer Beneteaus to Bavarias though in June since the Bavarias don''t ventilate as well in the cabin. (Though the bavarias sail like a dream). Also, don''t go overboard with ample hamper provisioning!! It''s pretty easy to get stuff wherever you go and the food doesn''t keep very well in battery fridges.
 

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My favorite is TMM in Roadtown, Tortola. They manage boats in a more independent realtionship with boat owners, so I feel like they tend to take better care of their boats. I own a Lagoon 380 (in charter) there and get constant, positive feedback about TMM''s service and friendliness from my chaterers.

Older boats can be a bargain, but problems are more likely, especially with management outfits that are not extremely vigilant and proactive in their maintenance.

Frank Burkle
www.angelinacat.com
 

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I have a 38 Admiral cat with Horizon in Grenada. I have been very pleased with all the dealing I have had with them.e-mail for more info.
 

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We went with the Moorings for our first bareboat charter in the BVI last May. The club line isn''t too bad price-wise and our boat was in pretty decent shape. Most of the charter sailboats we saw in the area looked to be in pretty good condition but a number of the power boats looked in pretty rough shape. The Moorings is a volume operation and although the service is good, its not excessively personal

John Calhoon
American Pie
 

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I chartered with the Moorings and am planning on booking yet another charter with them. From some postings on other boards (and I suggest you check www.traveltalkonline.com and the BVI section) it appears that Sunsail for some bizarre reason was becoming even more costly than the Moorings.

You can read my trip report at www.geocities.com/derba where I also have several links to BVI related sites that might be helpful

Whomever you go with you should have a blast!

Happy Sailing!

Astarte
 
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