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Old 11-03-2013, 13:03   #1
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A/C Needed in the BVIs?

Hi all,

Looking to book a charter trip to the BVIs sometime in Sept-Nov of this year. Wondering how tolerable the heat is at anchor at night. It looks like the daily low temps that time of year are around 75, but is that a humid, sticky, uncomfortable to sleep in 75? Or a dry 75? Trying to determine whether to get a boat with A/C to keep the wife comfy at night.

Also, I'm assuming multi-hulls are the better option for a more comfortable nights sleep at anchor vs. monohulls, but any weigh in on this is appreciated as well.

Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:06   #2
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Sticky and hot.

Get a cat with wind chutes or sleep on the tramp. No AC.
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:17   #3
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

We did a charter there this last November with another couple. We had a 41 foot Jeneau from Sunsails.

At the end of the trip, the only thing any of us would do differently was to get AC for the next trip.

The wind scoops did work but some nights the breeze was less than 5 knots and it would rain almost every night. At least two nights, me and my buddy Chris ended up sleeping on deck and that still wasn't that comfortable. You called it right with the sticky 75.
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:27   #4
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

You don't need A/C. Particularly in those months.

The average temps in the BVI don't vary by more than 5 degs F winter to summer.

Summer's can feel quite hot, especially at dockside in a marina where the wind doesn't blow. Then, sometimes, it would be nice to have A/C.

At anchor, choose a place where the wind blows nicely. Open the hatches. Get acclimated in a few days. Relax and have fun. You certainly don't want the sound of a generator pounding in your ears, or those of boats nearby, in order to run the A/C.

Mono or cat for comfort at anchor? Doesn't matter a whit. I prefer monos but, hey, I've only got 40+ years of sailing experience in the BVIs on monos. Don't think I'd like the "waddling" of a cat at anchor where the wind is blowing wavelets your way, and I wouldn't like an anchorage with no wind.

JMO,

Bill
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:38   #5
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Don't think I'd like the "waddling" of a cat at anchor where the wind is blowing wavelets your way, and I wouldn't like an anchorage with no wind.

JMO,

Bill
Thanks, Bill. By "waddling" on the cat, do you mean more rocky/rolly as compared to a mono? Or something else?

Niall
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:42   #6
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

We also use fans in the cabin, and they help. As long as there is some air movement, we are comfortable.
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:50   #7
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

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Originally Posted by nialltom View Post
Thanks, Bill. By "waddling" on the cat, do you mean more rocky/rolly as compared to a mono? Or something else?

Niall
Niall,

Well, you have to take what I say about cats with a grain of salt, and in good spirit!

My experience with cats in the BVI is very limited (mainly to beating the pants off them going to windward in the BVI and, sometimes, even going downwind).

Cats going to windward or facing windward in a chop often "waddle" a bit, because the incoming waves or wavelets strike each hull at slightly different times. This might not bother you at all. But for me, a confirmed monohull sailor and an old fuddy-duddy, I can't stand it. Just doesn't sound or feel like a real boat to me.

One myth to dispel though: all cats are not fast. Especially not those in charter service in the BVI. My 42' cruising sloop -- not a racer at all -- typically would walk away from charter cats going to windward, sometimes even with their engines running in the very boisterous Drake Channel.

Here we are underway up the Channel.

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Old 11-03-2013, 13:52   #8
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

Living in the tropics gives you time to get acclimated. Just coming down for a week or two is always rough in the heat, no matter where.

It's amazing what you can get used to if you give yourself a chance.
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Old 11-03-2013, 14:07   #9
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The problem with no A/C is two fold. First, its usually not the heat thats the problem at night that time of the year, but my experience has been it rains about twice a night. Depends on whether you like getting watered down while sleeping.

Second, there is a benefit in the white noise of the gen and AC unit if you have partiers next to you.

Finally, an open boat means more bug bites, and degue fever has been pretty bad this year.
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Old 11-03-2013, 14:39   #10
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

I've sailed down there every June for the past 7 years with no air conditioning.

Realize many charter boats that have A/C require shore power to run the A/C.
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Old 11-03-2013, 14:44   #11
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
Living in the tropics gives you time to get acclimated. Just coming down for a week or two is always rough in the heat, no matter where.

It's amazing what you can get used to if you give yourself a chance.
I agree with that. It takes about 4 days to acclimate. When the xmas winds come to the BVI I need to put on sweats it gets so cold!

Mid-August to Mid-November it can be humid but it can be dry as well. When we were down last August it was super uncomfortable but just a month before it was very very dry.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:05   #12
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

How many will you have on the boat? If you like A/C at home you might like it on the boat. No one complained the last two times we had A/C but we had some complaints the first time without! If you're from a heat and humidity area it may not bother you but if you're not and you want to enjoy every day then why not have access to A/C.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:40   #13
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

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Originally Posted by PapaBruce View Post
...If you like A/C at home you might like it on the boat...If you're from a heat and humidity area it may not bother you...
nialltom,

There may be something to what PapaBruce stated. We chartered Fountaine Pajot Tobago 35s in the BVI in July two times.

No A/C on either one and we didn't miss it, though there were cabin fans. We only have A/C in our living room at home, and ceiling fans in all the rooms so that may be why.

Both times it was hotter in NYC than it was in the BVI. We only had to "button up" the boat a couple of times for passing rain showers and it wasn't bad at all.

September-November may be a rainy season--definitely check that out, because if you have to keep the boat closed up for long periods of time you might need the A/C.

One thing to consider though -- I haven't been in a restaurant with A/C in the BVI yet!

Marshall
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Old 11-03-2013, 17:41   #14
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

Good points all. PapaBruce, we'll have 4 on the boat.

It sounds like it'd be a good idea to opt for A/C for our first time just to ensure everyone's comfort. When we get down there, if we realize we didn't need it as much as we thought, then we can try without next time.

We are from Chicago so are used to both the chilly cold winters and hot/humid summers, but all come from air conditioned homes, which is why I think having that down there would be appreciated.
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Old 11-03-2013, 18:52   #15
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Re: A/C Needed in the BVIs?

If ya like to sleep cool, then like us you will love the AC. We live in the humidity, and run it a lot! we go no where without heat and air, but we are old and love our comfort!! just our 2 cents
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