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Old 19-10-2009, 12:30   #1
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GPS and Charts Advice for the SVI's

I have a couple of questions and opinions sought, both dealing with the same need using different technologies. This August we will be dodging storms mainly in the BVIís for 17 days on a charter cat. We have chartered from them before and found that the one thing that is lacking on their older boats is a reliable GPS. Now in the BVIís this is not a real issue as it is mostly line of sight and we know it pretty well, but we have gotten permission to sail down to the Spanish VIís and need to provide our own navigation tools. To me I see this as an opportunity to buy something for a boat I donít own yet (GPS) as well as some more charts, and that is what I need recommendations on. First a handheld/portable GPS unit and what chart card would be the most helpful for the VIís and what charts and guide books would you all recommend for a passage from the BVIís. Thanks in advance-
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Old 19-10-2009, 13:32   #2
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Old 19-10-2009, 14:13   #3
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Originally Posted by fbchristo View Post
...First a handheld/portable GPS unit and what chart card would be the most helpful for the VI’s and what charts and guide books would you all recommend for a passage from the BVI’s. Thanks in advance-
Any GPS that uses NOAA charts will be fine. You don't really need much guidance for the passage between the BVI and the SVI. It's the close in work that you need to pay attention to--entering certain anchorages, approaches to some of the little islets, and some of the channels between islands. There are some reefs there that you need to pay attention to.

I used NOAA paper charts when we were there, and Don Street's somewhat outdated guidebook. He does a good job of describing the anchorages you'll want to visit.
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Old 19-10-2009, 17:11   #4
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Thanks for the advice
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Old 19-10-2009, 17:46   #5
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One note... You will not be sailing down to the Spanish Virgin Islands from the BVI... it is UP and to the West. Usually going under St. Thomas.

The "this August" is confusing... It is already October... did you mean November or December? If so the trip from BVI to SVI should be reasonable fast but the return could be a pounding into the Christmas Winds and sometime crossing Swells from the North if they make an early appearance.

As for a very portable GPS the Garmin 486 works great in the BVI with the proper Carib Chip and can be moved around very well even to your car when in the land mode. I've use one for the past 4 years and it is dead on everyplace I've been. You still need to keep an eye out. Lots of unchartered stuff around.
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