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Old 28-01-2013, 14:58   #1
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Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

Can you recommend an excellent bareboat charter service in the US Virgin islands?
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:59   #2
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CYOA. Then again I'm biased since I work there part time.
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Old 28-01-2013, 16:04   #3
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

First, it is a great area to cruise in. Take a look at BVI based charters too... It is a pretty short trip from one to the other.

The answer might have to do with what you are looking to charter... (How big, type, how new..).
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Old 28-01-2013, 16:29   #4
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

We want US as we don't have to get MORE passports.
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Old 28-01-2013, 16:53   #5
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

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Originally Posted by PDA1 View Post
We want US as we don't have to get MORE passports.
There are a lot of great places to go within a couple of hours sail of the USVI's. Enjoy whatever you do, but it would be a shame to pay to fly here and charter a boat just to miss out on the best the area has to offer.

I hope you have a great trip what ever you decide to do, but you may want to do a little more research before you come.
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Old 28-01-2013, 18:02   #6
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

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We want US as we don't have to get MORE passports.
You might also check out Island Yachts if you are satisfied with one of their Island Packets.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:20   #7
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

We chartered from Island Yachts a few years ago. The IPYs are beautiful and great boats. Very comfortable, and the cutter rigs are really flexible. We loved our boat, and had a wonderful time.

The only downer was a bad experience on returning. During a sudden 30 kt squall, the bolt holding the staysail block to the Hoyt boom sheared off and the staysail flapped wildly until we were able to safely secure it. It was really difficult, since we had to avoid the flapping clew block. The block put some gouges in the deck gelcoat. Somehow, the head half of the sheared bolt stayed in place, so we examined it to figure out why it failed. It should have been a 1/2" SS bolt tightly threaded in place. It actually was a 3/8" galvanized bolt that was too small to fit the threads. Obviously a cheap and dangerous repair. No harm to us, so I could live with that -- it happens. We just furled the sail and traveled as a sloop. When we returned the boat and told Skip what happened, he tried to blame us for the damage and wanted to take the cost of fixing the deck damage out of our deposit! I understand his being anal about wanting us to care for the boat, but we were the ones endangered by their sloppy maintenance. When we showed him the undersized weak bolt head, he backed off and agreed to give us back our deposit.

I don't know if IPY will let you sail from USVI to SPVI (PR), but Culebra and Vieques are really great and no passports required. (You might want to check into getting the cheaper US Passport Card, just in case you decide to go to BVI.)

Have fun.
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Old 11-02-2013, 13:54   #8
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

It's sad to hear many stories of chartering services that are so inclined to take your deposit money. I've read others elsewhere.

A galvanized bolt on an IPY?! Nice try pal. Your yard guys did a lousy repair.

Well, our plans just collapsed. The reality of the flight cost changed everything. We have a crew of 7 so it's pretty expensive.

The flight would've been to St. Thomas (around $575 each) and then to Tortola by ferry for $100 per person.

We had chosen Moorings as they appeared to be the most reputable and offered a great amount of help in creating the proper vacation for our purposes.

Footloose, at the same marina as Moorings, offers a slightly lower price for bareboat chartering.

We figured, in the end, the entire trip would cost around $15,000.

As I told my wife (in essence) "we could put a deposit down on a Amel Super Maramu for that amount of money". I don't think she'll agree to it.

Thank you everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.
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Old 11-02-2013, 14:20   #9
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

When are you trying to go? You can get much better rates in the fall. You should also see if you can get time through an owner - Sailonline.com.

There are a number of companies that offer greater discounts too. As you've discovered, footloose is one of them. But its not an inexpensive trip by any means.
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:13   #10
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

I know, old thread but the season is upon us again. With prices being rather consistent, what separates them is service, clean vessel, and fun factor.

My recommendation is to go with someone that is a former cruiser, who wants to share that lifestyle with their clients.

Top of the list for crewed USVI and BVI charter would be Mike and Rebecca on "One Love", a 46′ Robertson and Caine Leopard 4600 cat. This is the same Mike and Rebecca of "Zero to Cruising" fame.

One Love Catamaran

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Old 25-11-2014, 03:09   #11
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

This thread is about bareboat charter yet you recommend a crewed charter outfit based on their blog? They are prolific self marketers and writers. If I recall, this is entering only their second year of working a charter boat for the owner and you endorse them as "top" of the list. That makes zero sense to me.


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Old 25-11-2014, 10:27   #12
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

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Originally Posted by Rubikoop View Post
This thread is about bareboat charter yet you recommend a crewed charter outfit based on their blog? They are prolific self marketers and writers. If I recall, this is entering only their second year of working a charter boat for the owner and you endorse them as "top" of the list. That makes zero sense to me.


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Your correct on all counts. I did read their entire blog (Zero to Cruising) and IMHO they posses all the traits for successful charter ops. For that 1st year they booked 16 weeks, not bad for a new operation. As of today, 17 weeks booked for this season. Michael, the boat owner is no dummy. He saw in Mike and Rebecca all those qualities for success even though they had zero charter experience and only about 5 years cruising experience. Personality is a rather important aspect in the charter market, don't you agree? Local knowledge for all the interesting spots combined with which anchorages will be the most pleasant on any given day with current wind and swell for that day also important. Being a good cook helps, but I think the way they love this lifestyle and generously want to share it, just works.

Bottom line is I have no qualms recommending them because they can adapt to any group and show them a good time.

Or one could just go to Moorings and roll the dice on boat and crew.
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Old 25-11-2014, 10:58   #13
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

Ummmmm, well, I know Mike and Rebecca and have done so for a few years.
They are a nice, hard working, driven, young, energetic couple... But I have never been sailing with them so dont know what they would be like as charter hosts. Remember, its a very, very different thing than sailing buddies or cruising. Its a hospitality job where the skipper and partner convert to servants when the pick is dropped.

I think they would be good but don't know.

Now, heres an important point brought up by Rubikoop... It takes many years in the charter game to earn a reputation thats going to put money in the bank.
So cruisers who think they can chuck the Charter shingle up whenever the kitty gets low are deluded. It takes years of work to get the reputation up to agents and into the public arena. And one bad stuff up cold wreck it all. Worst for some is their own home is now someone elses. No, you can not tell people how to behave when they are paying $5,000 for a week of charter (which you receive just a minor percentage).

So good luck to Mike and Rebecca. Lets hope the do get up the top of the charter tree and make a good living and lifestyle.
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Old 25-11-2014, 20:11   #14
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Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

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Your correct on all counts. I did read their entire blog (Zero to Cruising) and IMHO they posses all the traits for successful charter ops. For that 1st year they booked 16 weeks, not bad for a new operation. As of today, 17 weeks booked for this season. Michael, the boat owner is no dummy. He saw in Mike and Rebecca all those qualities for success even though they had zero charter experience and only about 5 years cruising experience. Personality is a rather important aspect in the charter market, don't you agree? Local knowledge for all the interesting spots combined with which anchorages will be the most pleasant on any given day with current wind and swell for that day also important. Being a good cook helps, but I think the way they love this lifestyle and generously want to share it, just works.

Bottom line is I have no qualms recommending them because they can adapt to any group and show them a good time.

Or one could just go to Moorings and roll the dice on boat and crew.

Yes, personality is important to being successful in any service industry. Being a successful captain and first mate for hire should be no different. I've never met either of them. They may be the finest humans on the planet. I read their Zero to Cruising blog while it was happening and found it pretty well written but then I lost interest once they were bank rolled by a third party and entered the charter industry. With that said, I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending anybody with so little charter experience as the "top" of the extremely competitive VI crewed charter market. There are far too many other highly successful teams with vastly more experience and an actual track record. Wouldn't you agree? I have no dog in this so I have no reason not to wish them good luck. In 5-10 years they may actually be at the top.

As to your comment about a Moorings crewed charter, it doesn't appear that you actually understand the local crewed charter market. Moorings is not a competitor of your friends nor are any of the other companies that offer bareboat charters as the majority of their business. If one does even an iota of research, there should be zero rolling of the dice in picking the crewed charter that best fits. In fact there are brokers that actually match clients and boats together. Maybe these guys would be the best match for you. If so, please take a trip and then provide a review.



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Old 25-11-2014, 22:01   #15
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Re: Bareboat charter in US Virgin islands?

OK Mark and Rubikoop, I sure stepped in it this time.

I made the comment without carefully reading the heading of the post as bareboat. I'm also guilty of being swept up by the glowing testimonials of their 1st year clients. The business they sold before cruising was successful and required their personal involvement with those clients.

I just get a bit enthusiastic at times and need to tone it down.
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