SportFishing and Charters Forum - Bareboat chartering in the BVI's

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View Full Version : Bareboat chartering in the BVI's


706jim
04-17-2011, 10:29 AM
I have been looking into chartering a sail or powerboat in the British Virgin islands for a trip a year from now for two couples. I've found a number of charter boat sites, so have a rough idea of the costs involved.
Has anyone here any recommendations or experiences there to relate?
I'm a powerboater with lots of experience on Lake Superior, but none in the ocean.
The BVI's look to be a good choice because of the relatively short distances and presence of several islands.
Consequently, I don't think it would be a big deal to rent a sailboat and just leave the sails down and motor between anchorages.


FASTFJR
04-17-2011, 11:00 AM
The Mooring's. My buddy and I used them about 8 years ago. Everything was clean and ready when we got to the dock..........http://www.moorings.com/

beepbeep
04-17-2011, 02:40 PM
Mooring does have some newer powercats, but I do believe they are on the expensive side. But some of the sailboats are supposed to be considerably cheaper. BVI is perfect as all the islands are close. I am powerboater also and would have no problem with a sailboat since speed is not an issue down there. I rarely do much more than 8 knots partially due to $5/gal gas.


Fish-on-21
04-18-2011, 07:12 AM
We used Sunsail last year and it was a blast. We had the 38' cat and it slept 8 of us perfectly. In the BVI's it is imperical that you stop at the baths in Virgin Gorda, unbelievable. Some other points of interest are Willy T's - an old pirate boat turned into a bar in the middle of a bay, Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke, Bitter End Yacht Club in Tortola, Anegada, Norman and Peter Island and the list goes on.

Motivator
04-18-2011, 07:28 AM
One of the best trips ever...went with the Moorings. But with a crewed sailboat, 55' monohull. Did not lift a finger all week. From fresh bread to Pain Killers in the evening, EVERYTHING was done. Captain and wife met us at the airport and within 30 minutes we were on the boat relaxing with apps and drinks. I agree with FO21, there are many great places to go...Willy T's was a trip. We ended our trip at The Last Resort, another memorable evening. Don't forget the Bubbly Pool.
The most difficult thing you will experience bareboating the BVI's is picking up a mooring, otherwise you will have a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy!!

Gators2000
04-18-2011, 02:08 PM
This is on our short list too. We have a group of us trying to plan this kind of trip for next year. I'll keep an eye on this thread for sure!

ytmorris
04-18-2011, 02:48 PM
We used Virgin traders and it is by far the favorite family vacation. I have been 3-4 times and my folks have gone down with couples probably another 4-5 times. We have chartered power boats from 44'-56' and they are all great. You might have to have a captain for a few days of your trip unless you have a captains license. We has one on our 1st trip and after the second day he said we were good to go and never needed another one.

Dragline
04-18-2011, 06:47 PM
+ another 1 for the Moorings.
We had a Cap for a half day and he said we were good.
Boats were new and ready to go. I'm a powerboater but the BVI is the perfect place to do some sailing. I mostly just powered around the island except for the trip across the straits to the Baths. I think i got to 12kts under sail in a squall. It was great.

Sounds like you'll have some fun no matter which way you go.

Dillard88
04-18-2011, 07:09 PM
I just got back from there.. Moorings boats were everywhere. Seems to be the ticket. You don't need speed while you're there and gas was $5/ gal which I thought was reasonable. I would rent a sail cat. It's probably the cheapest and has the most room.

mr buck
04-19-2011, 07:32 AM
I did a trip with sunsail and it was great. Sailing between the main group of islands in the BVI is pretty simple and most of the time its line of sight. Its rather calm and most people seem to end up just motoring instead of sailing too. They pretty much let anyone rent one of these things. The biggest issue is how comfortable you are handling a big (30-45ft) boat, especially when coming into the dock or attaching to a mooring. I would recommend the sail or power cat hulls as you get twin screws for maneuverability and the cats don't heel over so its a more comfortable ride for people not used to boats. I like to troll a line or two while underway and you can pick up various fish including mackeral, small tunas (bonito/albies), and mahi. Definitely a must do trip!

706jim
04-19-2011, 01:57 PM
I just got back from there.. Moorings boats were everywhere. Seems to be the ticket. You don't need speed while you're there and gas was $5/ gal which I thought was reasonable. I would rent a sail cat. It's probably the cheapest and has the most room.

Lots of great comments and ideas everyone.

Thanks and keep them coming!

rickmacc
04-19-2011, 06:54 PM
There are lots of good charter companies in the BVI's. You'll most likely leave from Tortola which has several grocery stores that have provisioning menus and will deliver to your boat. Moorings will take care of everything but they're expensive. You can save some money by going with a smaller charter company and provisioning through a local grocery store.

Many of them will want some kind of resume showing your boating experience. If you've never sailed before, they may want to send a captain out with you for the first day or two.

All of the navigation is line of sight. The only tricky passage is over to Anegada. Getting there isn't hard but the approach to the anchorage is pretty treacherous and should be handled carefully.

To get started, the first thing you should do is order the BVI cruising guide; from there you can get more ideas.

http://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Guide-Virgin-Islands-Watersports/dp/0944428711

Dillard88
04-19-2011, 08:06 PM
I rented a house on Great Camanoe. Came with a 15' Caribie with 60hp yamaha. Just 2 of us, but could have been 4. We had a blast exploring in that little boat. PM me if you want the owners contact info.

706jim
10-19-2012, 08:47 PM
Well, it's been over a year, but we ended up chartering a Moorings 474 Powercat for our vacation (in May) in the British Virgin Islands. This boat was HUGE for a party of four but was given to us as an upgrade by Moorings when our originally chartered Leopard 372 cat needed repairs. This boat was amazingly manoeverable for its size (47' x 25' WIDE!). We burnt about 60 gallons of fuel in the 10 days we were there and quite enjoyed the bars and restaurants that are everywhere in the BVI's.
This is not a cheap holiday, but certainly one to try if you love boating and would like to drive something larger than you normally drive. Note that a power cat means you don't need to know ANYTHING about sailing so long as you can drive a powerboat. See our trip review below.

http://www.viyachts.com/bareboat-trip-reviews/moorings-power-474-catamaran-zeleny.php

wmalloy382
10-19-2012, 08:54 PM
I did a trip with sunsail and it was great. Sailing between the main group of islands in the BVI is pretty simple and most of the time its line of sight. Its rather calm and most people seem to end up just motoring instead of sailing too. They pretty much let anyone rent one of these things. The biggest issue is how comfortable you are handling a big (30-45ft) boat, especially when coming into the dock or attaching to a mooring. I would recommend the sail or power cat hulls as you get twin screws for maneuverability and the cats don't heel over so its a more comfortable ride for people not used to boats. I like to troll a line or two while underway and you can pick up various fish including mackeral, small tunas (bonito/albies), and mahi. Definitely a must do trip!


X2. I did 10 days with sunsail and would recommend them to anyone. :thumbsup:

Propiedad Paradise Panama
10-20-2012, 05:21 AM
What a beautiful place. Ex girlfriend used to work in St. Thomas at the Ritz and went there a few times. St. John is a don't miss as well. Oh...Be sure to hit Tortola for the full moon party!

cross21114
10-20-2012, 05:53 AM
Third trip coming up this February. Four couples - used Moorings in the past but going with MarineMax this time. They have a new Powercat that is really wierd looking but seems to have more room. With 4 couples you need as much room as you can get by the end of the week.

It's just a wonderful trip. We joke the biggest decisions you need to make each day are which mooring ball to pick up and do we eat on the boat or on shore.

275860

ThreeLittleFish
10-21-2012, 11:50 PM
If your going to motor between spots your missing the point. Fly the sails!

rickgrimes
11-28-2013, 05:39 PM
If you are planning to go fishing while on charter, you should secure your fishing permits (http://www.bviwatertoys.com/fishing-tortola-bvi/) as they really are strict on these matters. Another option is to hire a private boat that offers fishing tours.

scottbrennan
11-28-2013, 05:57 PM
Great trip! You can practically navigate with one of those placemat charts. I've done the trip 4 times and would do it again in a heartbeat. Moorings is huge and has it down to a science. If you charter a cat make sure BOTH engines work in forward AND reverse before you leave the dock. They do have a few large cats that you can charter without sails.

Marco_boater
11-28-2013, 06:10 PM
We used VIPCharters out of St Thomas for a 3 couple Bare Boat Charter. Can't say enough good about them. They have both sail and power but we chartered a 48' MY.



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