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Old 26-11-2010, 13:16   #46
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Originally Posted by MoonlightSailor View Post
Hands down....Voyage Charters out of BVI and many other locations. They are the most professional I would expect any outfit to be. If they were any more professional I would feel guilty for the price I paid for the charter. Their catamarans are tip-top and set up for chartering. All of the catamarans are built in South Africa (last I knew). I would charter with them again in a heartbeat. I'm done with 2nd and 3rd tier charter companies.

Our first charter with with Barecat out of BVI's and we had refrigeration and engine problem (broken belts).

Our third charter in the Grenadines (cant remember the charter name), we had engine/fuel/and refrigeration problems.

Breakdowns are frustrating and equals lost "vacation time".

But, still some of the best I've every had....vacations that is!
Sorry to hear of your misfortunes with charters!

Breakdowns are frustrating and can cost you very PRECIOUS vacation time!

I agree! and I think that some things...breakdowns are just gonna happen!
no way to avoid some things in life...its just life...life is not perfect...its how you choose to deal with life that counts...

Attitude is everything....and while anything can be said in "hindsite", which BTW is not always 20/20...

Call the chase boat....dont call...whatever...we made the right choice for us...for that time...under those circumstances....

The part that is absolutely inexcusable is that they sent us out on a boat, after we brought suspected issues to their attention...and violated our trust...

I learned so much actually from the experience...I dont have near the experience that my partner does, just a couple of certs...and of course Sailing Lake Dillon....and a couple of other Colorado Lakes

which, BTW, if you are not familiar, Lake Dillon is listed as one of the top 50 places to sail before you die....and it is said that if you can sail Dillon, you can sail anywhere! Truly it is a challenging place to sail...and unlike the BVI... you have about 15 minutes tops...if you fall into this beautiful icy cold mountain reservoir!!

and it is easy for others to suddenly become "expert sailors" and make quick judgments on the given situation....

We have so many options we are looking at for future visits to the BVI...chartering again...outright purchase of a boat to keep in the BVI, and perhaps fractional ownership...which is quite appealing...

Its hard, when you love a boat and take such great care of her, making sure that all the fine details of maintenance are attended to, to see a boat like Moonshine with so many maintenance issues...sad really
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Old 26-11-2010, 13:23   #47
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Having followed both threads on both forums,I have a couple things to add.

I think for starters, it would have been helpful if you both posted that you were the two on the boat. Just picture a larger group and all the members posting without saying they were together - It would give the impression that a lot of charterers had issues, when in fact it was one charter group.

How much did you press Horizon to fix the issues while there? Did you ever ask them what the options were if you were unwilling to accept the boat you were given?

I do think a big mistake was not calling them to see what could be done about the issues while underway. It's possible they could have met you at your conveinence and fixed it.
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Old 26-11-2010, 13:28   #48
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What charter company unties the jib sheet? Yes, yes, please don't bother telling me that I should have checked it before I left port. (actually it was wrapped in the furled jib) I should also have checked that the anchor was attached to the rode and that the lifelines were attached and that the rudder...go figure..we trusted horizon..."We ensure that every charter yacht in our extensive fleet is meticulously prepared and double-checked prior to your arrival..."

"We want you to have the vacation of a lifetime, and with our many years of experience in the hospitality and marine industries we know what that takes meticulous attention to detail and a superior level of personalized customer service."

"When it comes to Yacht Charters, we give a new meaning to the word 'service'..."

"At Horizon Yacht Charters, we are totally committed to ensuring that your Yacht Charter sailing holiday with us will be the most memorable Caribbean sailing vacation you ever have."

"From the moment you pick up the phone to us or fill out our online form to make your reservation until its time for us to wave you goodbye you'll notice the difference with Horizon Yacht Charters."

Yes we noticed the difference all right!
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Old 26-11-2010, 13:32   #49
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So anyway... I think the St Martin/Anguila/St Barts/Saba circuit beats the BVI"s hands down for sailing, diving, general fun and variety any day...
BVI's for 'Piss Heads...'
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Old 26-11-2010, 13:32   #50
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In fairness we only have one side of the story here. And from your posts I don't think we're getting all the information. I put it down to first time charterers. The bit about the sails is very telling. Checking the sails before setting out would have brought your "problems" to light. You obviously did not do this. Same thing with the bilge pump.

If you have a dispute with HYC take it up with them. From your posts in Traveltalk you had a great time. If the boat had a few flaws, get over it. It happens with all the charter outfits. Having chartered with about ten different companies over the years I can state that few of the boats were perfect but I had a great time on every charter.
We indeed have taken it up with Horizon Yacht Charters, their management and the owner's are quite aware of the situation.

We had a fabulous time...having nothing to do with the boat....the BVI is an amazing place...

It is a matter of integrity....and expectations....

If this is the "norm" as you and a couple of other people have indicated...why is that?

is it because that possible you don't expect the company to live up to what their own mission statement?

It is only the norm....because apparently, a number of people have accepted it as such...

And once again....we understand that things can happen...life is not perfect...we just dont like being lied to and deceived. that is really the bottom line....being sent out on a boat...that they knew had issues....and they did not respond appropriately, or with integrity, in my opinion

if...we got a call perhaps from Horizon, while out there sailing." hey, I have been thinking about what you said about the Steering, Could you bring the boat back to Nanny Cay, we have another boat ready to go for you...I gave it some thought and would like to check it out...

NOPE>>>THAT DID NOT HAPPEN!

At this point, we just want to make people aware of Moonshine's issues...


BTW...I dont recall your sharing your vast realm of qualifications?
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Old 26-11-2010, 13:46   #51
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So anyway... I think the St Martin/Anguila/St Barts/Saba circuit beats the BVI"s hands down for sailing, diving, general fun and variety any day...
BVI's for 'Piss Heads...'
I personally have only been to the BVI...and the totality of my experience there...the sailing...(even on a boat that had issues ) the people...who actually "get it" when it comes to the most precious things in life...the physical beauty of this place...captured my heart...

I do want to see other places as well...and then I will be able to compare...

Paradise in my opinion is a state of mind... Sailing on Lake Dillon is a paradise all its own...Regal, rugged mountains...gorgeous aspen in the fall...the wildlife, the snow...we actually were out there on Dillon in the boat in the snow, just 2 weeks prior to the BVI....each a beautiful experience...

love your message by the way....it speaks the truth....
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Old 26-11-2010, 14:32   #52
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What I would suggest as I've done on another site is that you give us more details.

If you've been in contact with management and the owners, what did they say?

What was the result of conversations prior to your leaving the dock? Why did you take the boat if you felt there was an issue they weren't addressing? How much did you pursue this with them?

I personally have no issues with believing you had issues, I am more interested with how you handled them which would better explain how Horizon dealt with it. You really haven't given much in the way of details on interaction with the staff and what steps you might have taken.

To a degree though it seems your description could be summed up as "We got to Horizon, were switch to a different boat, got on the boat, noticed a few problems, reported the problems and didn't get a response. Left with the boat, had more problems, didn't report them, managed to enjoy our time regardless and returned the boat, came home and reported that Horizon is not a good company to do business with."

The details and steps you took to try to get acceptable answers are really the key and what I'd like to hear about. All I can infer from the various posts is that your itinerary was too important for you to try to spend time to get things taken care of properly.
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Old 26-11-2010, 14:37   #53
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Quote:
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A qualification = capable/experienced.... I do not think so... I've seen/known quite a few Offshore/Ocean Yachtmasters who are total idiots.... its one thing in the class room/boat... but in the real world away from their psych back-up they're dangerous....

Qualified means qualified for the task not just some book learning ... I fully agree that some certifications are rather worthless in the real world. I do think certifications are important but should never be the basis of determining if a person is actually Qualified for a task.

Unfortunately for charter companies, it is about the only way they have to determine if a charter candidate is capable. Check rides are often not performed based on claims of the person chartering.... so we get lots of under qualified skippers in the VI's.

It is an economic problem for the companies, an hour or so check ride is more than they are willing to perform. It would probably catch many of the lesser qualified operators but then that could be lost business.

A couple of my friends are Check skippers and the stories they tell are both funny and frighting..... as would be expected in the charter business.

Last week I helped a bare-boat charter skipper start his dink engine. He had attempted to get it started for about half an hour. Problem was he had removed the kill switch cord and then flooded the engine. Have no idea how many times I've "helped" in the exact circumstances. Not much you can do when a guy is off sailing with Christmas type winds with full sails up and rounding out with every gust with no idea why it is occurring or the same type skipper coming out of Road Town calling on Ch 16 to a full size cruise ship to ask intentions and then saying he would pass Starboard to Starboard....... only to pass Port to Port a few minutes later it is a never ending story......

The good thing is that here in the VI's..... it is not often someone make a mistake that is too critical due to the easy sailing conditions we normally have but that is what attracts some of the skippers that are unqualified in the real world. Sailing is typically easy here and the locals know to Dodge the charter boats when ever possible.



The bit about the sailboat not steering is what I would consider a dead give away......
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Old 27-11-2010, 09:58   #54
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Still waiting for those qualifications of yours.....

with all do respect.... LOL!

what qualifies you to be such an expert for our experience?

Still dont remember anyone else being on our boat....

Vested Interest Sir??? hmmmm....interesting!

no vested interest here.....gonna go on telling the truth about our experience...so that perhaps...even one person is spared....

your intent sir? seems to me your intent is to belittle, and blame the charterer...citing "inexperience" when there are very real issues to be addressed, in an attempt to silence people who have a negative experience with a charter company....

In all seriousness...from what I have gleaned from these forums is that people have been getting both great service/boats and terrible service and bad boats...

and if you have to report negative findings...be ready to be nit picked, hounded, harassed, and belittled, sorry, life is not perfect...and the truth is the truth...

I see that many people "expect" for there to be issues with the boat and are willing to do a very uncomfortable...in a slip...hot, no moving air unless there is AC...sleep aboard...so that they can do the job of the charter company....and meticulously check and double check everything....

Idealistic?...maybe.... to actually expect a professional charter company to do what they tell you they will do....

words...just words...Horizon's claims to me will just be words... We invested precious time, money and trust into those words.... and they failed to even come close to their claims.

I have read a number of posts that show that so many people expect things not to be in order and "ship shape".... pathetic..

we as consumers need to hold companies accountable....

Bavaria 33, Moonshine, in my opinion, has some serious safety issues...

and people are listening...and they are concerned...as well they should be...

I am no self appointed expert....except in that I was there....I know what happened...and I dont want it to happen to someone else....

My partner is highly qualified....certs, experience, wisdom & common sense...

and that may not be the case for the next people who charter "Moonshine"

----would be very interesting to get Moonshine's maintenence and repair records....

hmmmm....
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Old 27-11-2010, 10:11   #55
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I see that many people "expect" for there to be issues with the boat and are willing to do a very uncomfortable...in a slip...hot, no moving air unless there is AC...sleep aboard...so that they can do the job of the charter company....and meticulously check and double check everything....
I think you are misunderstanding what some may be saying. I wouldn't expect every charter to have issues, but I would expect that there could be issues.

If you think about how many boats many companies have (even smaller companies) and how often those boats go out, I think they all do a very good job. Clearly in some cases (yours for example) stuff gets missed.

Sleeping aboard is not only a good idea so you can double check things, but it gives you a chance to check out the boat, get familiar with it and get an earlier start the next day.

While we all hope the charter company does double check everything so there is nothing out of place, its people that do the checks and things can get missed. So since you are taking the boat for a week or more, it is just plain common sense to check everything as well to ensure you will have a great uninterupted week.

Taking an hour or two to check a boat that you'll be on for 240 hours (given 10 days) really isn't a big deal. That's less than 1% of your vacation.

I'd still like to know how you addressed things with Horizon before leaving the dock and how much you pressed them to fix things. It still seems to me that you were in a rush to leave so you just accepted things as is.
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Old 27-11-2010, 10:18   #56
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My partner is highly qualified....certs, experience, wisdom & common sense...


:
Just one question. If the above is correct why did he continue to sail a boat he claims is unsafe and not even call Horizon.
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Old 27-11-2010, 11:09   #57
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Somehow, this thread has become very personal, resulting in the lambasting of one particular charter company (or, at least, one particular vessel in the fleet at that company) and an equally regrettable lambasting of the charterers by a few of our members. The charterers were highly disappointed in the vessel they were given for their charter and the response of the charter company to their disappointment - that is abundantly clear.

Some of our members have questioned the experience and capabilities of the charterers, and the charterers have vigorously defended themselves, understandably. At this point, it is unlikely that further discussion will convince any of the interested parties of the opposite point-of-view.

Before this gets any more personal and something is posted that goes over the line, may I suggest that the combatants disengage. All of the pertinent points have been made - more than once for many of them - and simply repeating them serves no purpose.

The OP asked for experiences with Horizon Yacht Charters in the BVI, and one charter has been discussed in great detail. If that discussion really needs to continue, please start another thread for it and let this thread get back on its original track.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Old 27-11-2010, 12:00   #58
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I do so agree with the moderator. How elegantly written. All we are trying to do (and perhaps this is what this forum is all about?) is to hopefully prevent other charterers from having the same dissapointing *sailing* experience we had. Period. We have no "ulterior" motives whatsoever! Questioning sailing experience etc. has absolultely no bearing on the performance and defective steering issues with this particular boat. Hopefully Horizon has fixed the issue and we can move on, safe in the knowledge that no one else will suffer as we did.

Bottom line..we chose to continue our charter - the BVI is not just about *sailing* - after all said and done it's 20% sailing, 20% experiencing the magnificent beauty of the islands, 20% enjoying the amazing people, 20% the food/restaurants/beach bars and 20% the ocean/snorkel/swim and amazing sunsets!

We had a great time and will return as we do every year.

'nuff said.
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Old 27-11-2010, 12:53   #59
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that is true...we weighed the situation as it unfolded and chose not to call....This was a very special trip for us...as I am sure it is for most folks. we could have called...waited around for them to show up and lose 1/2 day or even a day or 2...this was not acceptable to us....we had an itinerary that was based on certain events....losing a day or 1/2 day would have thrown everything off...

My partner has many years of sailing experience and many ASA certs...but most importantly....wisdom and common sense....he took fine care of us...and we made it through AND got to experience a wonderful vacation in the BVI...and I am very grateful to him for that...

I am not going to take responsibility for Horizon's negligence....I can take responsibility for our choices.....and we chose the right thing in my opinion.

I really do understand getting a bad boat. It has happened to me. The part that makes no sense is that you keep talking about how unsafe the boat was yet you did not call anyone. Your schedule was more important then safety? In another forum you stated you lost steering for up to 10 minutes before the helm would suddenly respond. You continued with this boat all week with not even a phone call to the base? They will meet you in the afternoon at a stop. You rarely lose any time. If however the boat was unsafe then time is not relevant. You get the boat under control and parked until the situation is resolved. I understand the boat had no work done on the steering and has several charters since with no problems reported.

George
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Old 27-11-2010, 12:58   #60
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Thumbs up Cheers!

Well put!!!

Cheers!
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