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Old 14-08-2013, 06:37   #1
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A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

Hi Everyone,
A bunch of my college buddies have planned a trip for the BVI. I own a 39 ft oyster and have taken the us sailing programs that all thr bareboat cruising companies want however....
I am pretty green in terms of sailing a cat..as in never...and probably greener than Id like to be skippering the whole show but I am committed and want to close the gap as much as possible before the planned trip this December. I am ultra conservative bordering on paranoid so I am confident hubris wont get the best of me. However the bulk of my sailing has been as a crew member racing on a 40.7 bennateau. As sadly I've had engine problems on my own boat. I am in the process of getting that all rectified and should have about 3 months to build continous skipper skills. I should also add that the itinerary that has been chosen limits thr longest passage to 15 nm.As none of the others are interested in actual sailing..just in gerting from place to place and "booze cruising". I am aware of the risks if booze on board and am going to be a bit harsh on anyone who gets out of hand. No peeing over the side and life jackets at the first sign of significant intoxication. I should note that this is a trip with 30 somethings not college bingers doing keg stands or the like. With all that out of the way, can those with knowledge of bvi and in chartering etc kindly offer any gotchas about cats, bvi, charter planning etc?
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Old 14-08-2013, 10:21   #2
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

There are very few "gotchas" when it comes to chartering in the BVI. The navigation is all line of sight, there are moorings almost everywhere, and lots of good anchorages if you don't want to moor. Given what you've said about your companions you will want to be sure to stop at the Willie-T and Jost Van Dyke.

If you don't have much experience with cats then the charter company might want to send a captain with you (which you will have to pay for) for the first day, or maybe half day.

Relax. You're going to be fine. The chartering in the BVI is about as easy as it gets.
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Old 14-08-2013, 10:27   #3
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

BVI charter companies usually have only one requirement...a CC.

It is that easy to sail there. Not saying you cannot get in to trouble but anyone with any sailing experience should have no problems.
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Old 14-08-2013, 10:29   #4
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

what's a CC?
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Old 14-08-2013, 10:42   #5
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Old 14-08-2013, 10:49   #6
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

Not from experience, but from what I've heard, practice grabbing a mooring in high winds in a crowded mooring field.
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Old 14-08-2013, 11:55   #7
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:21   #8
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Originally Posted by Deep6 View Post
Hi Everyone, A bunch of my college buddies have planned a trip for the BVI. I own a 39 ft oyster and have taken the us sailing programs that all thr bareboat cruising companies want however.... I am pretty green in terms of sailing a cat..as in never...and probably greener than Id like to be skippering the whole show but I am committed and want to close the gap as much as possible before the planned trip this December. I am ultra conservative bordering on paranoid so I am confident hubris wont get the best of me. However the bulk of my sailing has been as a crew member racing on a 40.7 bennateau. As sadly I've had engine problems on my own boat. I am in the process of getting that all rectified and should have about 3 months to build continous skipper skills. I should also add that the itinerary that has been chosen limits thr longest passage to 15 nm.As none of the others are interested in actual sailing..just in gerting from place to place and "booze cruising". I am aware of the risks if booze on board and am going to be a bit harsh on anyone who gets out of hand. No peeing over the side and life jackets at the first sign of significant intoxication. I should note that this is a trip with 30 somethings not college bingers doing keg stands or the like. With all that out of the way, can those with knowledge of bvi and in chartering etc kindly offer any gotchas about cats, bvi, charter planning etc?
there are a few things about cats to know: no heeling to provide feedback about loads. Watch the numbers & follow manufacturer reeding guidelines. Twin screws provide great control - turning in their own radius - but you'll want to know how to use 2 throttles/screws. Anchoring is the same and picking up mooring balls is straight forward too - you'll be using bridles, a lot.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:19   #9
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

Most of then navigation is very straight forward. Aside from coming in and out of harbors, there are very few hazards.

Most of the big companies, will send someone out to deal with any engine problems, or other similar problems you may have. If they don't mention that in your briefing, then ask.

If you are not real comfortable with picking up moorings, and plan to pick up moorings, get to your first mooring field early, so you have more choices. You might find a more isolated one and practice your first day out. Personally, I anchor 9/10 nights out.

Personally, I don't drink until safely at anchor, but have no problem peeing off the boat - that's just me.

Where to go really depends on what your crowd prefers. The more time you spend reviewing charts and the guidebook, the more comfortable you'll be once there.

I personally have always preferred doing my own provisioning, both to save money, but also to have meals better suit our own desires. It's easy enough to get a taxi to and from the grocery stores. (Assuming you are chartering out of Road Harbour)
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:55   #10
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

is the willy T still there by the way or did I hear she sank or something. Miss those naked ladies .......

dave
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Old 03-10-2013, 13:06   #11
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

I was nervous my first BVI trip. I had some experience lake sailing on my Catalina 27, but very little overall to rent a 40 boat. I was afraid they would make me pay for a captain when I got there. After the skippers meeting, watching people leave the marina, and hearing the radio chatter for the first few hours, I realized I was easily in the top 25% for skill level. Quite a few of these people clearly had never sailed, but that did not seem to phase the charter companies at all. I saw one guy who did not know how to raise a main sail. They just showed him and sent him in his way.

I would not worry. Sounds like you are approaching it responsibly. Only thing I might add is to make sure you practice anchoring several times before you go. Many people never get that practice if just racing or day sailing.
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Old 03-10-2013, 13:12   #12
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is the willy T still there by the way or did I hear she sank or something. Miss those naked ladies ....... dave
Willy T is there.
Pirates, formerly Billy Bones, burned to the ground yesterday.
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Old 03-10-2013, 17:28   #13
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

As captain you should be the one to set the rules. You may want to limit drinking to after you have stopped the boat at a mooring for the day. Getting in and out of the mooring fields safely might require a few sober souls. The rest of the sailing is super easy. Do get to wherever you plan to spend the night by two or three at the latest in the afternoon....otherwise the mooring field will be full and you might be up all night hoping you don't drift at anchor.

If you are concerned about possible party madness....make sure everyone signs up for equal liability for damages to the boat and get the best insurance they offer....otherwise as captain you could end up holding the bag!

Have fun!
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Old 03-10-2013, 18:21   #14
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Re: A newbie planning a charter in BVI...recommendations and words of wisdom

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Willy T is there.
Pirates, formerly Billy Bones, burned to the ground yesterday.
oh wow the place in the corner of the bay, nice bar keeps at times

dave
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Old 03-10-2013, 21:56   #15
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oh wow the place in the corner of the bay, nice bar keeps at times dave
Yes that's the place. Lots of photos at the end of this article. http://www.bvibeacon.com/2/index.php...ews-oct-3-2013
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