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Old 19-10-2011, 05:46   #1
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Looking for a Boat in the US Virgin Islands Area

Dear guys,

this might not be the correct place to post this question since this forum seems to be more into sailing, but I give it a try anyway.

I am looking to buy either an used or new inflatable boat such as a Zodiac or equivalent for marine research in the US Virgin Island area. The boat should not be smaller than 12 feet but speed is not an issue. Space for equipment and durability is more of an issue to me.

Since most of the vendors in US do not ship to this area (most limit it to continental US) and cost for transport and insurance come on top, I was looking for an opportunity to buy one down there. After many many hours of looking into the internet I was not able to find any company or private person selling or offering inflatables.

Therefore maybe someone in this forum is able to provide a contact or can simply point me into the right direction.

Harry
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Old 19-10-2011, 06:21   #2
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Off the top of my head, the following places sell RIBs on St Thomas. There may be others.

Budget Marine
Island Marine
Offshore Marine
Caribbean Inflatables

If you can't find contact info via Google,
send me a PM and I'll get it for you.

Typically there are used ones in the paper, VI Daily News or in the Island Trader, both of which should have online access.
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Old 19-10-2011, 06:26   #3
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Re: Looking for a boat in US Virgin Island area

If you are looking to buy one you can also pop over to St Martin where you will find the best deals on new RIBs at Island Water World and/or Budget Marine. Also there are some boatyards on both the French and Dutch sides of the island that will most probably have some used RIBs at attractive prices.
- - Another big cost is going to be in the engine for the RIB, for something that large you are looking as a significant amount of money. For a new RIB in your stated size range you are looking at $10K for the boat and $6K to $10K for a motor. Plus add a couple thousand for outfitting with required safety equipment, radios, and navigation equipment.
- - For a used RIB in that size range you are most probably looking at half to three-quarters of those prices and a lot more to get the boat refurbished for safe use.
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Old 19-10-2011, 06:30   #4
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That is true, much cheaper in St Martin. It'd be a long ride on a 12' RIB to the USVI though!!!
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Old 19-10-2011, 06:42   #5
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Re: Looking for a boat in US Virgin Island area

There are plenty of ferries and freighters making the run between and as with anything, price matters. So you would have to compare the final cost of the boat & motor in St Martin with what you can get in the Virgins or Puerto Rico plus the cost of shipping.
- - It sounds like the OP is into marine research which usually involves diving so most probably he would be looking for something in the 15 foot or more range in order to have the load carrying capacity for his equipment.
- - If he is working from a "mother ship" then that is a different matter, but that was not specified.

- - Budget which has a store in St Thomas has a 15 foot for $11.7K and a motor for $6.3K (only a 30 hp which is a little small). Generally their "buy it in St Martin" prices are more then $1000 less than their buy it elsewhere prices. That would pay for the shipping. Then there are the sales taxes - none in St Martin.

- - It the boat is one of the larger - 15ft or more - with a decent sized motor, then it is possible to run the 75 nm to the British Virgins in calm seas at 20+ kts in less than 4 hours. I have friends who have done exactly that in a 15 ft boat.
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Old 19-10-2011, 06:44   #6
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pirate Re: Looking for a boat in US Virgin Island area

Lille Marine, St Martin (French Side).... and they'll likely ship it to you...
Alternatively contact Moorings or Sunsail in Tortola and ask them to + 1 on their next order... they sometimes have standby's they may sell you.. like when I was last there..
Lot closer... never costs anything to ask
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Old 19-10-2011, 06:57   #7
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Re: Looking for a Boat in the US Virgin Islands Area

The charter outfits like Sunsail and Moorings, etc. would be an excellent place to ask about not only adding to their next "new" order, but also to get a "used" boat from their charter fleet. Their large catamarans use dinghies in this size range.
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Old 19-10-2011, 08:54   #8
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Re: Looking for a boat in US Virgin Island area

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
There are plenty of ferries and freighters making the run between and as with anything, price matters. So you would have to compare the final cost of the boat & motor in St Martin with what you can get in the Virgins or Puerto Rico plus the cost of shipping.
- - It sounds like the OP is into marine research which usually involves diving so most probably he would be looking for something in the 15 foot or more range in order to have the load carrying capacity for his equipment.
- - If he is working from a "mother ship" then that is a different matter, but that was not specified.

- - Budget which has a store in St Thomas has a 15 foot for $11.7K and a motor for $6.3K (only a 30 hp which is a little small). Generally their "buy it in St Martin" prices are more then $1000 less than their buy it elsewhere prices. That would pay for the shipping. Then there are the sales taxes - none in St Martin.

- - It the boat is one of the larger - 15ft or more - with a decent sized motor, then it is possible to run the 75 nm to the British Virgins in calm seas at 20+ kts in less than 4 hours. I have friends who have done exactly that in a 15 ft boat.
Chill buddy, I was joking about the long dinghy ride. People have crossed the Atlantic in tiny rowboats, that doesn't mean it's fun or that it can't be done. I'm sure a 15' RIB would make for a luxurious ride, as opposed to the rodeo ride on a 12' as I had envisioned. See, joking again!!!!

I didn't try and read between the lines much as to what the OP requested, just the facts. OP states they would like to purchase a stable, new or used, RIB greater than 12' and speed is not a concern for research to be done in the USVI area (I guess St Martin is only 100 NM from the USVI ). OPs screen name is Sea Shepherd, for all I know they are going to go out and harass the whaling ships off the coast of Water Island and need a stable platform to hurl stink bombs from.

In reading your reply I was confused as to what sales taxes you were referring to. I'm not aware of any sales taxes in the USVI, yet. With the huge govt budget deficit, I fear it's just a matter of time though. Do you have insider info?
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Old 19-10-2011, 09:02   #9
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Re: Looking for a Boat in the US Virgin Islands Area

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Originally Posted by sea-shepherd View Post
Dear guys,

this might not be the correct place to post this question since this forum seems to be more into sailing, but I give it a try anyway.

I am looking to buy either an used or new inflatable boat such as a Zodiac or equivalent for marine research in the US Virgin Island area. The boat should not be smaller than 12 feet but speed is not an issue. Space for equipment and durability is more of an issue to me.

Since most of the vendors in US do not ship to this area (most limit it to continental US) and cost for transport and insurance come on top, I was looking for an opportunity to buy one down there. After many many hours of looking into the internet I was not able to find any company or private person selling or offering inflatables.

Therefore maybe someone in this forum is able to provide a contact or can simply point me into the right direction.

Harry
Harry,

Just thought of another potential option for you that is outside of your original request. The University of the Virgin Islands has a marine science department and a small fleet of research vessels. I believe that the smallest are 15'ish power cats with twin outboards up to about a 40'ish modified sportfisher with twin diesel. Depending on what your research entails, you may wish to contact them and see if you could rent one of their vessels or partner with them, and possibly students assistants, to do your research. Most of their vessels are St Thomas based I believe.

Good luck.

PS Welcome to the forum!!!!
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Old 19-10-2011, 09:24   #10
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Re: Looking for a Boat in the US Virgin Islands Area

Dear all,

thx for all the hints - I did not expect to receive back that much information within such a short amount of time. Great!

Maybe I should provide some more color on my issue to avoid misunderstandings. My user name should not be confused with the organization but I also have a big heart for the sea since many decades.

In terms of the vessel we are looking for, it should have a flat floor where I can work on and space for equipment. Scuba is not an issue - we mainly work with some kind of fishing equipment to take samples and record data. The idea to buy came from the problem we encountered during the last 12 months to reliably charter a sufficient boat. Most of them came with crew only which implicated personal agenda and extra cost - some was promised but never provided.

Since we are certified for operating such a vessel we feel like we could reduce frictions significantly by buying a sufficient boat. Most of our work takes place in calm areas such as bays or lagoons. Longer distances we don't need to drive - the boat will be launched in or close to the area under investigation.

The hint with the University is a good one - I will give it a try. A contact name would be helpful if someone knows anybody there; but I'm sure I can figure that out myself.

Puerto Rico should hold some potential sellers as well? Fajardo is a busy area for marine issues - but same here; nothing on the internet.

harry
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Old 19-10-2011, 09:48   #11
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Re: Looking for a Boat in the US Virgin Islands Area

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Originally Posted by sea-shepherd View Post
Dear all,


Maybe I should provide some more color on my issue to avoid misunderstandings. My user name should not be confused with the organization but I also have a big heart for the sea since many decades.


The hint with the University is a good one - I will give it a try. A contact name would be helpful if someone knows anybody there; but I'm sure I can figure that out myself.


harry
I bet that's what all the Sea Shepherd guys say.

PM sent regarding UVI contact info.
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