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Old 11-03-2013, 21:44   #16
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We chartered there in March two years ago on a mono and are going back this month on a cat - I'll let you know how the experiences compare! I never felt the need for A/C, didn't spend much time below decks in the day, and there was always a breeze; especially at night, the wind seemed to howl - maybe because I had nothing else to focus on, so I was more aware of the noise in the rigging. In any case, neither the adults nor the kids complained of the heat.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:42   #17
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If you are having this conversation and can afford the boat with AC(and a genset, dockside AC is just a tease), get the boat with AC. You will not regret it if you get it. If you do not get it, and you could have gotten it, that fact has a good chance of ruining your trip!! Further to that point, if you have non-sailors/non-campers aboard, they will have a better time with the AC!

As to how much you will use it, that depends. I can tell you how much I use it. Disclaimer: I charter with Moorings/Sunsail, the fuel is included!!

If there is no wind or if it threatens rain, I run it all night.

If it is windy, I usually run it for a couple of hours in the evening to "undo the damage of the day" and then open it up before bed. I will also run it for an hour or two in the morning while cooking breakfast etc. I cannot tell you how nice it is to put on sunscreen and have it dry completely before I start to sweat!!!!!

Another benefit of having a genset and ac is that you get some benefit while you are charging batteries: you cool off. Further to that point, you don't have to run the engines for charging!!!

On my last BVI charter, we moved every day and averaged less than 1 hour of engine time per day. This was only made possible by the genset which kept the batteries topped up.

Bottom line, I recommend AC
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:26   #18
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

As you can see from the variety of answers, NEED is dependent upon the people on the boat.

So the only true answer you'll get is if you ask yourself. Do you NEED A/C if its a stick 75 and there's little breeze? Or will you be ok with a fan blowing on you? Ok with getting a little wet if it rains?

I always thought I needed it, but we've done 4 trips without having a genset (we did have shore power A/C) and I survived and it wasn't that bad - and I like it cool when I sleep.

What I would recommend is at least having a boat with shore power A/C. That way if you do a sleep aboard, it's comfortable. It's also more comfortable cleaning up at the end of the trip and if you need a break from the heat, you can always spend a night on the dock.
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Old 12-03-2013, 13:30   #19
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

September and October are the dead months in the BVI. Those are the two months with the most hurricanes and a lot of the places close down. Unless there is a storm in the area it can be very humid with very little breeze. We've been there twice between early September and mid October and we don't plan to go back during those times again. We have been there several times in November through August. I recommend against mid September through October.

As for a/c I wouldn't charter without it unless you're coming from a similar climate and you are used to sleeping without it. You won't be there long enough to get acclimated. Four or five days of lying on sweat soaked sheets is not our idea of a vacation. If it ends up being nice with a breeze you just don't use it that night. And as others have said a/c without a generator is pretty much the same as no a/c unless you'll be in marinas every night. And a generator that is not inside a sound isolation box and liquid cooled will make you the most despised boat in the harbor, other than the ones with the barking dog(s), screaming kids, or loud music after about 10pm.

If you're going to enjoy invigorating sailing with a rail in the water charter a mono. If you want to enjoy the locations and you're not used to being rocked to sleep after cleaning up everything that's been knocked over from the heeling and the constant rocking, charter a catamaran.


Lucky Larry
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Old 12-03-2013, 13:58   #20
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

In terms of 'waddling' while under anchor in a cat - having had significant experience in both monos and a cat under anchor, I can safely say that just as cats heel less under sail and roll less under power than monohulls, they are also much more stable in a rolly anchorage.

Brad
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Old 12-03-2013, 19:24   #21
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

Thanks for all the informative answers everyone. Looks like we'll be springing for the A/C Cat. They're more expensive, which will force us to make sure we go with another couple, but in the end, will be worth it I'm sure.
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Old 13-03-2013, 12:47   #22
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

If you can, try to get time through an owner - take a look at discount charter time on sailonline.com

As far as the month to go - We've been October twice and it was great. I wouldn't hesitate to go mid October or later. September is one month I'd probably avoid unless I was booking it last minute and could get an idea for upcoming storms.
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Old 13-03-2013, 18:34   #23
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
If you can, try to get time through an owner - take a look at discount charter time on sailonline.com
Thanks Maytrix. I've looked through sailonline's boat listings and there really isn't much info on the boats they have listed. I guess they just want you to contact them for more info. So I've reached out to a few that I thought would suit us best.

Appreciate passing that along, as well as the info on the October visits you've had. Only potential downside to that time of year (other than hurricane possibility) is I've heard some places are closed down. Has that been your experience? As long as most of the main jaunts are open, that would be fine for us...
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Old 13-03-2013, 18:36   #24
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

Most are in a charter company and there's not much in the way of details that can be provided - best to contact any models that are of interest as you did.

Most places we visted were open - We've always been mid to late October. I think most places start to open back up sometime in early October.
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