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View Poll Results: I have bareboat chartered and OVERALL felt it was
A great experience, I have (or would) do it again! 15 93.75%
A pretty good experience, but would not repeat it. 1 6.25%
A bad experience, would never recomend ANYONE do it. 0 0%
Mixed bag. I have had good charters and bad both. 0 0%
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Old 03-11-2007, 14:55   #1
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St Vincent - Barefoot Yacht Charters

Greetings from the Great Northwest,
We're looking at bareboating in the Grenadines and wondering if anyone has experience with Barefoot Yacht on St Vincent?

thanks,
craig
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Old 03-11-2007, 18:47   #2
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Originally Posted by NW Craig View Post
. . . wondering if anyone has experience with Barefoot Yacht on St Vincent?
I don't have personal experience through chartering with Barefoot Yacht Charters, but through reading The Usual Suspects - Caribbean Sailing Adventures I came to appreciate all of the homework the site's creator did before selecting them as the charter company he placed his vessel with. I subsequently spoke with them a few times when I was considering putting a vessel in charter in the Windwards, and found them very professional.

TaoJones
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Old 03-11-2007, 21:41   #3
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Send a message via Skype™ to quartersplash
barefoot

I had a very bad experience there. Write to me personally and I will explain......
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Old 20-12-2007, 13:05   #4
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Barefoot Charters in St. Vincent - Poor Vessels, Poor Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Craig View Post
Greetings from the Great Northwest,
We're looking at bareboating in the Grenadines and wondering if anyone has experience with Barefoot Yacht on St Vincent?

thanks,
craig

Dear Craig,

St. Vincent is beautiful, and the people there are wonderful. However our experience with Barefoot Charters and its manager Seth was so poor that I feel obliged to offer the email thread between Seth and I post-charter.

You might want to start at the bottom with Seth's email first.

Best,
Hans
La Jolla, CA


From: Hans
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 2:44 PM
To: 'Barefoot Yacht Charters'
Subject: RE: Recent charter



Dear Seth,

I beg to differ with your assessment.

Steven of Barefoot charters replaced the impeller on the port engine the night that we boarded GALAXY. I suspect that remnants of the old impeller may not have been cleaned out properly which is why the BRAND NEW impeller failed only 4 hours of engine operation after we took charge of GALAXY. In addition, we checked with Steven the night that we left. The starboard discharge hole was flowing, but when we asked Steven about the port hole not flowing, he said it was because it had been disconnected. In addition, the Port engine gave no indications of overheating, as the temperature indicator had failed or been disconnected. We had a port sail-drive warning light that came on and we were told to ignore it by Barefoot when we phoned. Please take the time to open the hatch on GALAXY'S port engine - the pealing engine paint, oil, fuel, sail-drive fluid and cooling fluid spewed liberally throughout that compartment tells the tale of multiple failures of that engine over her lifetime.
If fact, I have skippered chartered catamarans and monohulls in the Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean with four different charter companies, and GALAXY is by far the poorest maintained that I have captained.

1.) The Port Engine failed after only 4 hours of operation, and only 20 minutes of operation under load since we left port
2.) Even the Starboard Engine was blowing more than acceptable levels of smoke and soot
3.) Our windlass failed after our second anchorage, and it required four hours from your man from Clifton to rewire the entire windlass harness due to broken, cracked and rusted wiring throughout.
4.) The decks were lacking any form anti-slip coating and three of my crew were injured, one seriously, requiring anti-biotics
5.) One lifeline broke because of rust
6.) Standing rigging on our replacement vessel BLUE BELL was sloppy and had not been adjusted in years which caused a very noisy hull and sleepless nights for most of us.
7.) Hatches were broken
8.) Fan blades spun off
9.) The Deep Freeze never froze on GALAXY.
10.) The dock lines that we were provided were worn and substandard

I can go on and on, but if anyone owes anyone any money, it is Barefoot owing us for a days lost travel in Tobago Cays as well as hassle moving our luggage from one vessel to another, and my time working around the multiple failures of this vessel.
Hans

From: Barefoot Yacht Charters [mailto:barebum@caribsurf.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 11:06 AM
To: 'Hans'; 'Dean'
Subject: Recent charter

Dear Hans and Dean

We’re writing concerning your recent charter of GALAXY which resulted in your being transferred to the yacht BETTY BLUE for the remainder of your trip.

When GALAXY returned to St Vincent, our engineers obviously had a good look at her to find out what the problem was with the engine. What we found was that you had run the engine without cooling water coming through the exhaust. This was the result of a worn impeller, which does happen on yachts and cannot be ascribed to poor maintenance. It’s why we put spare impellers on the yachts and why, as indicated in our literature, we expect charter skippers to be able to carry out basic routine tasks such as changing a belt or impeller. I also refer you to sub-paragraph (4) of section B10 (a) of our yellow booklet which specifically states that it is important always to check that cooling water is flowing through the overboard discharge when running engines.

The result of running the engine on GALAXY without through-flow of cooling water, was that you melted the exhaust - and it is just extremely fortunate that the engine was not destroyed through over-heating.

In our view, it is the responsibility of any skipper, when running engines aboard a yacht, to ensure that cooling water flows through the exhaust.

I regret that I was not on the island when you returned because if I had been I would have instructed our front desk staff not to refund your damage deposit, and also to bill you for the cost of delivering BETTY BLUE to you and re-delivering GALAXY to St Vincent. As it is, I understand your deposit was returned to you so we do not intend to re-visit this matter, but I hope you will also understand that, in view of the above, we do not intend to reimburse you for lost provisions or any other items – we are already approximately $ 1,000 out of pocket. Had you checked the cooling water then none of the above would have occurred, you would have been able to run your fridge, and you would not have lost any provisions.

In spite of all of this, I hope that you managed to have a good time and to enjoy the cruising area.
With best wishes
Seth


Barefoot Yacht Charters & Marine Centre
PO Box 39, Blue Lagoon
St Vincent & The Grenadines

Tel. 1-784-456-9526 / 9334
Fax. 1-784-456-9238
Welcome to Barefoot Yacht Charters

Doyle/North Sail Loft & Canvas Shop - PADI Dive Shop - Surf Shop & Water Sports Centre - Boutique - Internet Cafe and Wi-Fi - Raymarine Electronics - On-site Accommodation - Restaurant & Bar
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Old 20-12-2007, 14:07   #5
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Wow, those are some pretty acute accusations on the brokers part. My wife and I were thinking about chartering a yacht. Are most pretty good or are they all questionable??
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Old 26-12-2007, 10:10   #6
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Choose companies with newer vessels

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Wow, those are some pretty acute accusations on the brokers part. My wife and I were thinking about chartering a yacht. Are most pretty good or are they all questionable??
Please don't read me wrong here. Bareboat chartering internationally is fantastic. You will have access to places that most people do not. I once dropped anchor in a small protected cove about 100 yards across in the Cyclades, Greece. We had the beach to ourselves because there were no roads in, only a goat path and a whitewashed monestary.

But, these vessels are working boats. For instance, our saildrive linkage jammed at the most inopportune time in Sifnos - while in reverse during a med-mooring. Fortunately, our anchor was down, so I just asked my anchorman to tighten up. We stopped on a dime three feet from the dock and were applauded by the French and Germans on shore who must have seen the temporary look of panic on my face. In the southernmost deserted islands of Belize, our starboard engine failed on a cat, and off Naples a fuel line broke leaving us with two inches of diesel in the engine compartment of a monohull.

What makes all the difference in dealing with these situations is the response of the charter company. In the Cyclades, a quick phone call straightened out the jammed linkage. In Belize the company sent out their repair crew on two separate days, a four hour trip for them, hassle free, plus brought us extra provisions and water the second day. Off Naples (Ischia and Capri) the service level in each harbor was so high that we were taken care of no matter where we went by uniformed dock hands and mechanics, and were reimbursed for the repair after the trip. Our Abacos, Bahamas charter was mechanically uneventful and wonderfully relaxing.

This was not even close to our experience with Barefoot Charters in St. Vincent or their manager Seth.

One bit of advice: it may cost more, but at the time of payment, require a vessel that is less than three years old and you will reduce your chance of problems. Ask for a copy of their service agreement and guaranteed response times as well as their expectations of you during a mechanical failure.

Best,
Hans
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Old 26-12-2007, 12:22   #7
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Setting aside the issue of charter companies for a moment I would also point out that St. Vincent proper has its' share of crime and problems for cruisers. Within the last couple of weeks one charter couple was boarded, attacked (machetes) and robbed while anchored in one of the western bays.
St. Georges Med School pulled all its' students out of the hospital there about 6 months ago due to a series of violent attacks and rapes.
There IS wonderful and safe cruising to be had in the Grenadines and through Bequia and Cariacou ...but I would personally avoid the island of St. Vincent proper at the present time.
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Old 26-12-2007, 17:37   #8
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Thanks for sharing your other experiences hpetersen!! Glad to hear that it really was almost a one off event. Makes us have a better outlook on it. Cheers!
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Old 26-12-2007, 21:18   #9
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Old 26-12-2007, 21:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpetersen View Post

When GALAXY returned to St Vincent, our engineers obviously had a good look at her to find out what the problem was with the engine. What we found was that you had run the engine without cooling water coming through the exhaust. This was the result of a worn impeller, which does happen on yachts and cannot be ascribed to poor maintenance. It’s why we put spare impellers on the yachts and why, as indicated in our literature, we expect charter skippers to be able to carry out basic routine tasks such as changing a belt or impeller. I also refer you to sub-paragraph (4) of section B10 (a) of our yellow booklet which specifically states that it is important always to check that cooling water is flowing through the overboard discharge when running engines.

The result of running the engine on GALAXY without through-flow of cooling water, was that you melted the exhaust - and it is just extremely fortunate that the engine was not destroyed through over-heating.

In our view, it is the responsibility of any skipper, when running engines aboard a yacht, to ensure that cooling water flows through the exhaust.

I regret that I was not on the island when you returned because if I had been I would have instructed our front desk staff not to refund your damage deposit, and also to bill you for the cost of delivering BETTY BLUE to you and re-delivering GALAXY to St Vincent. As it is, I understand your deposit was returned to you so we do not intend to re-visit this matter, but I hope you will also understand that, in view of the above, we do not intend to reimburse you for lost provisions or any other items – we are already approximately $ 1,000 out of pocket. Had you checked the cooling water then none of the above would have occurred, you would have been able to run your fridge, and you would not have lost any provisions.

In spite of all of this, I hope that you managed to have a good time and to enjoy the cruising area.
With best wishes
Seth


Barefoot Yacht Charters & Marine Centre
PO Box 39, Blue Lagoon
St Vincent & The Grenadines

Tel. 1-784-456-9526 / 9334
Fax. 1-784-456-9238
Welcome to Barefoot Yacht Charters

Doyle/North Sail Loft & Canvas Shop - PADI Dive Shop - Surf Shop & Water Sports Centre - Boutique - Internet Cafe and Wi-Fi - Raymarine Electronics - On-site Accommodation - Restaurant & Bar
You would think Bareboat Charters would have at least ran their engine for a while to make sure that the new impeller that they replaced worked. That is a no brainer to check your work. Things like lifelines that need replacing and lack of non-skid is inexcusable.
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Old 27-12-2007, 04:59   #11
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Hmm, hackings, closing schools, stinkin bareboat companies.
Ok, crossing St Vincent, off the visit list, for this summer.

Thanks all.
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Old 28-03-2010, 08:34   #12
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I had a very 'variable' experience with Barefoot Yacht Charters in St Vincent, I'll be returning to Sunsail for sure next time


Concerns were
-We were charged 35USD for the transfer to the base when arriving, and while it was agreed this should be refunded (on our return) it wasn’t, as the office was closed at the end of our charter (and this seemed very, very high, but the staff at Barefoot were indifferent to this over-charging). Transfer back to the airport was no problem however
-When arriving in Barefoot, the staff left early, and we struggled to organize Snorkelling gear (manager was very unhelpful)
-GPS on boat was below deck (and very basic), there was a position on the cockpit console where one had been present, but it had been blocked out. This was very frustrating. On both our previous sunsail trips a cockpit GPS was installed with Charts, and on visiting the St Vincent Sunsail base I noticed they had the same.
-We were told the water had been checked, but one of the water tanks was empty and we ran out of water on the second last day (I checked for air, etc as per their instructions)
-When returning to base, we were told the office was closing at 15:30-16:00, which we just missed. This seems very early, and we were not advised of this early closing time. We were also not able to settle accounts (and get the 35 USD refund) the next morning, and the organization at the office seemed very inefficient.
-Boat was in ‘fairly’ good condition, drinks holders were bent, lazarette latches/locks missing, ropes were worn, but good enough.
-The Fridge didn’t work at all well. Our friends on yacht ‘tight five’ had the same issue. On our previous trips with Sunsail to BVI’s/Croatia, etc (incl with our friends), the fridges worked far more efficiently
-Windlass stopped working on numerous occasions, in one case almost resulting in a collision. Its wasn’t tripping, and the chain wasn’t getting jammed, it seems to be an over-heating problem, and seemed to just start working again a few minutes later. It was very rusty, some fo it bent, and generally not in a good state of repair.
-The tender had a 5Hp outboard. As per other Caribbean operations (and Sunsails standard 10Hp setup), I believe this is not powerful enough. In the BVI’s we were able to travel further from the yacht to go snorkeling, etc, not being able to get on the plane meant this was unfeasible. We did ask when departing if we could have a larger engine, and waited 30 mins only to be told a flat no, wasting yet more time on the first day (it was a frustrating day getting off, as happened to our friends on tight five)
-Instrumentation wasn’t very good, speed only sometimes worked, there was no wind direction or speed, etc, etc. The autopilot however worked very well, a good set of charts were supplied, binoculars, etc were all fit for purpose.
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Old 28-03-2010, 10:18   #13
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We chartered a 36' Beneteau last Jan and had a great time. The boat was in good condition considering her age. We had some minor problems with the anchor windlass but was able to correct them ourselves. We felt the staff was very responsive to our needs and took good care of us.
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Old 09-06-2010, 14:02   #14
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I have chartered with Barefoot many times as well as other charter companies. Bottom line is charter boats are working boats. It's not like renting a car. Especially in the Grenedines. If you don't have some basic engine repair skills I would stay in the BVI.

I have chartered with Barefoot charters a few times (4). I have also chartered in the BVI many times. Things break. You fix them and realize that this is part of chartering. It happens. Rent a newer vessel next time and avoid problems. Remember, older boats are bound to have more problems.

Bob Jankowski
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Old 09-06-2010, 14:57   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpetersen View Post
Dear Craig,

St. Vincent is beautiful, and the people there are wonderful. However our experience with Barefoot Charters and its manager Seth was so poor that I feel obliged to offer the email thread between Seth and I post-charter.

You might want to start at the bottom with Seth's email first.

Best,
Hans
La Jolla, CA


From: Hans
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 2:44 PM
To: 'Barefoot Yacht Charters'
Subject: RE: Recent charter



Dear Seth,

I beg to differ with your assessment.

Steven of Barefoot charters replaced the impeller on the port engine the night that we boarded GALAXY. I suspect that remnants of the old impeller may not have been cleaned out properly which is why the BRAND NEW impeller failed only 4 hours of engine operation after we took charge of GALAXY. In addition, we checked with Steven the night that we left. The starboard discharge hole was flowing, but when we asked Steven about the port hole not flowing, he said it was because it had been disconnected. In addition, the Port engine gave no indications of overheating, as the temperature indicator had failed or been disconnected. We had a port sail-drive warning light that came on and we were told to ignore it by Barefoot when we phoned. Please take the time to open the hatch on GALAXY'S port engine - the pealing engine paint, oil, fuel, sail-drive fluid and cooling fluid spewed liberally throughout that compartment tells the tale of multiple failures of that engine over her lifetime.
If fact, I have skippered chartered catamarans and monohulls in the Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean with four different charter companies, and GALAXY is by far the poorest maintained that I have captained.

1.) The Port Engine failed after only 4 hours of operation, and only 20 minutes of operation under load since we left port
2.) Even the Starboard Engine was blowing more than acceptable levels of smoke and soot
3.) Our windlass failed after our second anchorage, and it required four hours from your man from Clifton to rewire the entire windlass harness due to broken, cracked and rusted wiring throughout.
4.) The decks were lacking any form anti-slip coating and three of my crew were injured, one seriously, requiring anti-biotics
5.) One lifeline broke because of rust
6.) Standing rigging on our replacement vessel BLUE BELL was sloppy and had not been adjusted in years which caused a very noisy hull and sleepless nights for most of us.
7.) Hatches were broken
8.) Fan blades spun off
9.) The Deep Freeze never froze on GALAXY.
10.) The dock lines that we were provided were worn and substandard

I can go on and on, but if anyone owes anyone any money, it is Barefoot owing us for a days lost travel in Tobago Cays as well as hassle moving our luggage from one vessel to another, and my time working around the multiple failures of this vessel.
Hans

From: Barefoot Yacht Charters [mailto:barebum@caribsurf.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 11:06 AM
To: 'Hans'; 'Dean'
Subject: Recent charter

Dear Hans and Dean

We’re writing concerning your recent charter of GALAXY which resulted in your being transferred to the yacht BETTY BLUE for the remainder of your trip.

When GALAXY returned to St Vincent, our engineers obviously had a good look at her to find out what the problem was with the engine. What we found was that you had run the engine without cooling water coming through the exhaust. This was the result of a worn impeller, which does happen on yachts and cannot be ascribed to poor maintenance. It’s why we put spare impellers on the yachts and why, as indicated in our literature, we expect charter skippers to be able to carry out basic routine tasks such as changing a belt or impeller. I also refer you to sub-paragraph (4) of section B10 (a) of our yellow booklet which specifically states that it is important always to check that cooling water is flowing through the overboard discharge when running engines.

The result of running the engine on GALAXY without through-flow of cooling water, was that you melted the exhaust - and it is just extremely fortunate that the engine was not destroyed through over-heating.

In our view, it is the responsibility of any skipper, when running engines aboard a yacht, to ensure that cooling water flows through the exhaust.

I regret that I was not on the island when you returned because if I had been I would have instructed our front desk staff not to refund your damage deposit, and also to bill you for the cost of delivering BETTY BLUE to you and re-delivering GALAXY to St Vincent. As it is, I understand your deposit was returned to you so we do not intend to re-visit this matter, but I hope you will also understand that, in view of the above, we do not intend to reimburse you for lost provisions or any other items – we are already approximately $ 1,000 out of pocket. Had you checked the cooling water then none of the above would have occurred, you would have been able to run your fridge, and you would not have lost any provisions.

In spite of all of this, I hope that you managed to have a good time and to enjoy the cruising area.
With best wishes
Seth


Barefoot Yacht Charters & Marine Centre
PO Box 39, Blue Lagoon
St Vincent & The Grenadines

Tel. 1-784-456-9526 / 9334
Fax. 1-784-456-9238
Welcome to Barefoot Yacht Charters

Doyle/North Sail Loft & Canvas Shop - PADI Dive Shop - Surf Shop & Water Sports Centre - Boutique - Internet Cafe and Wi-Fi - Raymarine Electronics - On-site Accommodation - Restaurant & Bar

What an AMAZINGLY SMALL WORLD! We chartered the VERY SAME BOAT -- GALAXY -- some years ago, from the same charter company.

Our experience was similar to yours. The people -- Seth, the owner Mary Barnard, and everyone else -- were very nice, and tried really hard to keep us afloat. The cruising ground was magical.

But the boat -- what a DISASTER!! We chartered for two weeks and had an average of one major failure every 2 days. It was unbelievable! We had a prop fall off (!), we had a total failure of the charging system, we had a failure of one Morse engine control system, and it just went on and on. That boat was the most incredible rust-bucket I have ever seen. And that was how many years ago! If she is still in service today I can only shudder to think what she is like.

It was our last charter! We would probably still be chartering today if it wre not for the tender mercies of GALAXY. It put us off of chartering forever; hence our new boat acquired last year.

Again, nothing against the folks -- they were nice and tried hard. But that boat -- GALAXY -- after I guess a couple of decades of total neglect -- should be scuttled.
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