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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

I'd like to know useful info on renting a sailing boats in San Juan de Puerto Rico. I'm planning to go sailing to St Thomas, Tortola Virgin Gorda.
(sailing boats available, their cost and any comment you may think it's usefull).

Thanks.

Garrucho
 

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Garrucho:

If you're pretty sure you're gonna start out of Puerto Rico, why not Fajardo or Ceiba vs. San Juan?

My wife and I bareboated out of Puerto del Rey this past month and had a blast. The Spanish Virgin Islands are so different from the BVI's. Just depends upon your cup of tea.

For the SVI's, I'd recommend you pick up either the Pavlides or Street Crusing guides.

For the BVI's, I'd start with the discussion forum Travel Talk Online here.
 

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Hi Garrucho, Fajardo is the start point in the east of the island - not sure of the yacht companies there but don't forget to stop by Vieques and Culebra on the way to the Virgin Islands, lovely and anyway have an established if quiet sailing industry.

It's long haul against the wind up to Virgin Islands, so if you didn't sail from Puerto Rico you could fly from Puerto Rico to Tortola and charter the boat from a company called Horizon Yacht Charters. It is not far. Fly BVI or American Eagle still fly into Tortola from SJU, I think. Other than that, maybe HYC has a charter contact in Puerto Rico they could recommend.

Hope that's useful. I have url's for HYC but not sure of the etiquette on this forum for posting websites...

Cheers - Alexander
 

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Hi Arisatx and Alexander!

First of all, Thanks a lot for your answers!!

I'll be flying to the international airport of Puerto Rico, so I´ll be just a few kms far from Fajarado, where I want to rent a sailing boat and start my journey.

I've never sailed in the Caribbean (not in sailing boats). But I don´t consider a long distance from Farjado to Culebra and then St. Thomas. What do you think? What should I consider? Does the wind blows always from the east? How many days do I have to take for this kind of trip.
When is the best time to do this kind of trips?


Aristatx I couldn´t find your forum!

Thanks both and take care!

Garrucho
 

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Sr. Garrucho,
I looked in a book by Jimmy Cornell called "World Cruising Routes" for the prevailing wind diagrams. This area is in the 'Trade Winds' which just means that it is usually windy from one direction almost continuously.
So, from Jan.-Mar. the prevailing winds are from the northeast, the rest of the year the winds are normally nearly due east and begin to head northeast from Oct. - December. You may very well consider not doing this trip in hurricane season.
You might be able to sail all the way to St. Thomas in one very long day but why would you when you could spend a night (or two) at Culebra or Vieques and break up the trip.
 

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If you can rent something that sails well close hauled you might be able to sail from Vieques to St Thomas but from Culebra you will most likely be going dead into the wind and a 1-2 kt current. Most folks motor or motor sail. The sea can be pretty sloppy in that area as well. In November and December sometimes you can get some north winds which would be perfect for sailing. That time of year you can also encounter the Christmas winds which can blow 20-40kts for days or weeks and build 10+ seas on your beam. Not my idea of fun.

June through November is hurricane season. Unless there is a tropical wave the seas can be pretty flat with light winds frequently coming from the south or southeast during that time period. Sailing back to PR can be a nice downwind run most of the time.

Have fun on your trip.
 

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Hi Arisatx and Alexander!

First of all, Thanks a lot for your answers!!

I'll be flying to the international airport of Puerto Rico, so I´ll be just a few kms far from Fajarado, where I want to rent a sailing boat and start my journey.

I've never sailed in the Caribbean (not in sailing boats). But I don´t consider a long distance from Farjado to Culebra and then St. Thomas. What do you think? What should I consider? Does the wind blows always from the east? How many days do I have to take for this kind of trip.
When is the best time to do this kind of trips?


Aristatx I couldn´t find your forum!

Thanks both and take care!

Garrucho
Garrucho:
I just double checked my post. The underlined words are "links" you can click on to get information on the 2 Cruising Guides I would recommend for your trip, as well as the online forum "Travel Talk Online" that has a wealth of information on the BVI's. The prevailing trade winds are from the East or ENE and in the winter time can be quite strong. I was there in early Feb, sailing out of Fajardo towards Vieques and it was always 20-25kts and one day gusting to 35kts overnite.

If for some reason, you can't click on my links, try to google the cruising guides by Donald Street and Stephen Pavlidis. And the URL for TTOL is:
Traveltalkonline: Viewing forum: British Virgin Islands

Fair Winds!
 

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Just back from a week charter from Sail Caribe in Fajardo. Very nice, helpful people, great briefing. They have a limited number of Hunters in charter and, I think, Lagoon Cats. We had the H38 - not the boat of my dreams by any means but well equipped and fine for a short charter. There's so many nice places in Culebra and Vieques that I don't know why you would slog upwind to be with thousands of others in the VI. Let me know if you'd like more info.
 

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Depending on your sail schedule and how long you plan on spending will determine what your best point of entry will be.

In general entering from PR is a marginal choice if your plan is to sail the USVI and BVI almost any time of the year. It is not typically a wonderful trip from SVI's to BVI's being against both the wind and seas, often on the nose.

If your spending a few months, that would change the story and allow you to select your sail dates depending on conditions. If you are considering a typical Charter of under 2 weeks, you may find the first half of your trip more difficult than most anticipate.

It is far easier to sail the BVI about any time. Pops over to St. John are rather simple and generally no problem at all and take just a few hours at most. To St. Thomas is only another short distance to the Red Hook area but the main harbor is several hours more distant but your going down wind and generally with the seas. Tons of really great places to visit in BVI and many interesting places on St. John and a nice anchorage on St. James is also fun. Most places on St. Thomas are .... well not so much fun for one reason or another. SVI is different and well worth the time IF you have lots of time or do not mind missing out on many of the "Must See" locations the other locations have.

You also have far more companies to choose from in USVI and even a much larger number and generally cheaper in the BVI.

I typically hang in the BVI / St John area but often have to make the run to the Airport on St Thomas and it is always a days WORK sailing or motor/sailing back to real cruising grounds that are enjoyable. When ever possible I have my guest come into West End Tortola or to Trellis Bay on Beef Island next to the Airport that services Tortola.

If your hard over on doing the PR/ SVI's I would not recommend attempting to do must past St. Thomas unless you have more than two weeks cruising, but you would be missing most of the prime locations that make up this wonderful cruising area.
 
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