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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone used VIP? Their boats look great, they seem as pricey as the Moorings, however the boats seem very nice. The information they sent to me looked good, although thiner than other big companies....looking for both good and bad experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
i had my boat maintained last winter by them.
their fleet looks good and well maintained.
the problem with the usvi is that the sailing is in the bvi''s and you lose a day clearing in and out with u.s. an british customs. if i was chartering i would go with
a company out of tortola.
eric
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Topknott,

I have used VIP. They run a nice business. We had some relatively minor boat problems, complained when we got back, and got a couple hundred dollar credit toward another charter. That''s the right thing to do. Guess what ... we''re going back in Jan and using them again. I like St. Thomas and don''t agree with Kimberlite entirely. Yes, most of the destinations are in the BVI, but there mostly reachable from St. Thomas in a single day. Second, depending where you fly from, you can go nonstop to St. Thomas and be sailing that afternoon. No plane change in Puerto Rico which adds a couple of hours to the trip. No hotel needed. Anchor in St. John, Jost van Dyke or Soper''s Hole, Totola if time permits. We originally chose them because they had a 3 cabin / 3 head boat and we were 3 couples.
Good Luck and enjoy!
Bob
 

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It''s too bad that all the charter business has migrated to the BVI. CSY, VIP and other "reputable" charter companies have a tough enough time competing. Up at Sib''s Bar on Crown Mountain there''s a 1970''s picture of Charlotte Amalie Harbor. The number of boats is amazing. Looking out my office window, I''d say there''s about 70% of the boats here right now than there was last year at this time (end of H-season). Doing business in the heavily economically and immigrationally protected BVI is difficult for non-belongers. Further, belongers arent'' required to have any form of captain''s license, aren''t generally held to strict liability standards, etc., etc. The disadvantages can be insurmountable without appreciable cash. SO, chartering out of St. Thomas doesn''t work bad. Get in, get checked out, sail across Pillsbury Sound, anchor in the lee off Cinnamon Bay or one of the other beaches in that series beginning with Caneel (easily rivaling anything in the BVI), get your clearance goodies in order, get a good night''s sleep and head for West End Tortola or Jost Van Dyke the next morning. West End (Soper''s Hole area) Tortola is generally (I say generally b/c...) open from early morning until evening because it''s a heavily used ferry terminal, harbor left as you enter. Sometimes they disappear at lunch time if no ferrys for awhile. Jost immigre'' is to the left of Foxy Callwood''s place toward the right hand end of the island as you sail towards it. Get your clearance paperwork done with the charter company before you leave the dock. Collect all documents, passports, etc. in one place. If you sail to Jost and immigration is closed and you later get "pulled over" the completed docs can save you some headaches and a small fine. I''ve often done the docs and never actually cleared in because the office was closed on Virgin Gorda by 3:00 P.M. and we were headed either to SXM or off to the seamount fishing. Fairly common, albeit likely not a good idea, occurrence. Never been checked. Patronize the U.S. if you can. More later on why the charter industry has gone to hell (and to the BVI) since hurricane Hugo....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Viexile,

I''ve been waiting for more on "why the charter industry has gone to hell". I will be down the beginning of Jan. I am interested to hear what you have to say and just interested in this fabulous cruising area in general. We are chartering with VIP again. Can''t wait. Do you live in the area? Sounds like you know it very well.
 

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Top Knott,

I own a boat with VIP what would you like to know? They are not as pricy as Moorings the web page is being redone so it may be some what out of date They are great people to deal with, if you like a small company that really gives you personal attention this is the place. My boat is better than popcorn a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40. I just got back today from 10 days in the islands.

S/V Better than Popcorn _/)_/)_/)USVI
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I have gotten caught up a little since we returned from the VI so I thought I''d answer your question in a little more detail.

VIP has Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37s,40,45s. As well as Hylas 46, 49, 54s. Don''t know if you are familiar with them but my JSO40 has three cabins, two heads with showers very large interior. Could sleep eight if necessary. The cockpit has dual steering and is very large.
Great for a family. There is a fresh water shower off the swim platform, cockpit light for evening dinning, a VHF in the cockpit so you may communicate with out going below.
All boats have electric windless with chain and rope.
In my 40 there are seven fans and VIP includes two wind scoops.
The boats come with inverters so the blender can be used as well as my wife''s hair dryer (which after three trips she no longer brings). A mobile telephone is also standard which you can register for BVI service is you need to or for emergencies. VIP supplies snorkel gear at no charge. We bring our own masks and snorkel but use their fins. Saves space in the luggage. The stereo/CD player has speakers in the cockpit so we can be entertained while having cocktails and dinner.
We find St. Thomas very convenient. Compass Point is only about 20 mins. from the airport and there is a new store for grocery shopping down the street. We spend the first night
out at St. Johns many anchorage and pop over to Sopers hole to check into the BVI. We always leave a day or so at the end of the trip for Cruz Bay (my wife loves to shop)and the south side of St. Johns were no one hardly ever goes. Great place to relax swim and snorkel with no crowds before we head back home.
Glenn Milar keeps the boats in excellent condition and my dingy captain (my wife) loves the fact that the motor starts first time every time, and that the boat and dingy are as clean as she would do herself. She especially likes the clean sent the linens have and the abundance of bath towels, beach towel, hand towels. The cooking utensils are first rate and the freezer keeps our food for the entire trip usually 10 days.


We are very pleased with the condition of our boat when we visit as are all the other owners. The people are great and friendly (not just to us) and enjoy sharing knowledge with you.

Just to show you how conscious VIP is my boat has three water tanks, over 140 gallons of water but what is interesting is that VIP has installed an extra water pump just in case the first one has a problem. Two propane tanks, extra anchor chain and rode, Dutchman main, cockpit jiffy reefing and of course roller furling Jib.

Hope this helps give you an idea of who and what VIP is.
Give them a try I am sure your will enjoy.

John_/)_/)_/)
S/V Better than Popcorn USVI
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TopKnott,

Glad you booked with VIP, They will treat you well. I am sorry you did not charter my boat(smile) but you picked a beauty.I looked at the boat you will be chartering on my last visit in Dec. When will you be in St. Thomas? We are considering a return trip in March if things work out here at home.
Enjoy yourself, tell Glenn/Dennis (get your chart briefing with Dennis) and the rest of the crew we said hello. Need any info on itinerary or anything else let me know.

John_/)_/)_/)
S/V Better than Popcorn
US Virgin Islands
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks John, we get in on the 21st of march and sail through the 28th. I''ll look for your boat. I''ll give your regards to the gang there.
 

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I chartered two times in the old days when VIP used to be CSY. I found that starting from St. Thomas was much better than from Tortola. First it allows you to go to St John which has the best beaches in the islands and second Compass Point is a very nice marina and closer to the airport. For some reason, people chartering from Tortola stay only in the BVI and miss the beauty of anchoring on St. John.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for your comments, which anchorages in St. John do recommend for nice beaches that our kids can romp around?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Send me a personel e-mail at [email protected] and I can fill you in on Manny, Many St. John high lites. Many places to go, great anchorages, great snorkeling especially for the kids. Even some great shopping for your wife.

John_/)_/)_/)
 

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Well we just got back from our VIP charter on the Hylas 49. Dennis is tops. He really took care of us there. John I saw s/v Better than Popcorn getting ready for Charter. She went out a day after us. We hung our anchor up on a cable at Marina Cay and within the hour VIP had a diver out there and we were on our way. I thought they did a great job.
 

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TopKnott,

I am glad you had a good experience. One of the advantages of a company the size of VIP is that they can take care of you. They really know what they are doing and even more so they care. You''ll have to tell us about your trip when you dig out from all that work I am sure you were greeted with when you returned.
Dennis has some great spots doesn''t he?

John_/)_/__/)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I''am actually shopping for a chartering broker, I have visited moorings and Tradewinds which both have their good sides but since hear good reviews for vip,Can anyone tell me the url of vip.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
zchill,

Send me an e-mail off line and I will try and answer any question you may have about VIP. I own a boat with them. They have a
web sight but it is under construction or you get the old one. Also by by-passing a broker you could probably save some bucks.
[email protected]

John
CV/ "Better than Popcorn" USVI
SV/Valdaree Morgan 384
 

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VIP Yacht charters
This. Is hopefully an objective review of VIP Yacht Charters. I say hopefully as we had a very one way experience so I do not want it to seem subjective. To mitigate that, this is basically a photo essay. Pictures speak a thousand words. We chartered the. 54ft Hylas thinking we were happy to pay the extra cost for a killer hylas and were sadly disappointed. I will say it sailed beautifully. Shame is was a junker otherwise. VIP offered us a measly $600 refund. Terrible company. Terrible service. Beware.

Here’s a list of the problems:

Broken electric winch
Broken fridge
Front cabin hatch screen ripped and covered in duct tape
Starboard galley window shattered and held together with tape
All wood finish falling off
Aft toilet broken - delayed leaving while being fixed
Fore toilet hand came off - had to create a makeshift cotter pin
Freezer stopped working temporarily
Sink pump macerator seized - had to drain trap and hand turn shaft with screwdriver to free up
Speed, wind speed and wind direction instruments broken
Depth gauge 2ft TOO SHALLOW
One person said draft was 5.5-6ft other said 7ft
Hatch Handles broken on a number of hatches
Anchor light broken
Only one side of toaster works and was full of cockroaches
Boat is very dirty and grungy - we washed part the second day
Water tank and fuel tank gauges don't work
Hull heavily fouled
Genoa rigged incorrectly (sheet inside of stays) had to rerig off shore
Mail rigged incorrectly - engineer noticed day we were leaving
When complaining about the broken fridge (didn't know about the problems with the freezer yet) was told "don't let it ruin your vacation"
No tool kit - if I didn't push to get some put onboard we would still have no sink pump
Broken zippers
Head replaced
Broken hand water pump
Rod to hold fridge lid open doesn't work
Bimini leaks like a j cloth - hasn't been treated
Boat is filthy
Main sheet improperly rigged
Sheets and lines mislabeled
Continually had to go into bilge and fix sink macerator
Mentioned a snub line for the anchor and was told don't worry
As for their powerboats, I can't say. However we were at the dock at the bitter end and one of them was there being repaired. We pulled up in our dinghy and asked what they thought of VIP as this was just after our genoa shredded. They said "we like them - a couple of repairs and we can move on"

Hundreds of COCKROACHES

www dot icloud dot com slash photostream slash #A4G4Tcsm9b2Ul
 

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Other than that, how did it go? :D
Is that boat called Laughing Pelican? Did you have any problems getting in and out of the marina at Compass Point?
 
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