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Old 11-10-2014, 19:14   #1
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Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

Hi fellow sailing lovers!

My husband and I are thinking of chartering a boat with some friends in the Caribbean for a week in April of 2015 for my 30th birthday. We would be the only sailors in the group. We're looking to sail from a destination that isn't too difficult/expensive to get to from the US, with pretty consistently good weather, snorkeling opportunities, and not ten thousand other charters. Any suggestions? I've heard BVI is really nice but that it can be hard to get to...what are the pros and cons of USVI? How about the Bahamas or Puerto Rico? Any advice or suggestions you have would be much appreciated. I'm sure there are a million threads about this already, but I would appreciate either a link to them or any additional help you have to offer! Thank you in advance!
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Old 11-10-2014, 19:17   #2
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

For a week in April go to BVI. Consistent weather, easy eyeball sailing.
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Old 11-10-2014, 20:01   #3
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

Puerto Rico is the easiest and least expensive to get to as there are direct flights from several US cities. There are several beaches you can sail to where you could be the only boat in sight, and there is great snorkeling at several locations.

Feel free to send me a personal message for more suggestions or details.
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Old 11-10-2014, 21:15   #4
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

There are not a lot of charters available in Puerto Rico. But if you find a good one, it could be cheaper and there are lots of nice gunkholes along the southern coast. But heading east to Culebra and the USVI is uphill! The BVI has probably the biggest charter fleet in the Americas. So it should be possible to find a boat that suits your needs. And, as noted, lots of short jumps. You could even sail back into the USVI. There is a fair advantage to staying in one governmental area if you are only going to sail for a week. I've spent lots of time anchoring, going through customs and immigration, etc. no problem on a longer sail but not the most fun if you are only spending a week.

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Old 11-10-2014, 21:43   #5
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

USVI is a good choice if your priorities involve snorkeling and hiking, as most of St. John is a national park. We've chartered from CYOA, out of St. Thomas, are doing so again in early March, and they've provided a good experience in the past (but Flying Moose, a Beneteau 49, was losing altitude two years ago when we chartered her). If you stay within the USVI, customs is not an issue when cruising, though you have to clear customs, odd as it seems, to return to the mainland. This year, we're taking a slower pace, planning on mooring or anchoring in many bays of St. Johns, and also the north side of St. Thomas. More laid back than the sometimes-frenetic pace of the BVIs.
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Old 11-10-2014, 21:55   #6
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

BVI


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Old 12-10-2014, 12:19   #7
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

I have lived in the Caribbean on my sailboat 1/2 time for many years.
The USVI is expensive and no longer charter friendly. If you charter in the USVI you will have to slog to winward 25 miles anyway to get to St.John and the BVI's. The BVI's are a great way to introduced to Caribbean sailing. Many, many great anchorages and short hops between. The winds are as good as any ANYWHERE! However, because it is so nice everyone goes there and it can be a bit crowded. Most anchorages require you pick up a mooring. They are safe, secure but a bit expensive and you need to get there early.
That said if you are a bit more adventurous, Guadeloupe or Martinque offer very diverse sailing with runs between 15-20 miles. Only a fraction of the crowd in the VI's and much cheaper and diverse. If you want to go futher south, Grenada is stunning, inexpensive and wonderfully hospitable. You will see few charterers but will anchorage with world cruisers. The Grenadian people are gracious, kind and like to share the wonders of their beautiful island. Horizon has abase here.
Wherever you wind up try to go for at least 10 days. You need a day to provision, a day to acclimate and you'll lose most of a day getting out of anywhere. See less and enjoy it more! Good sailing
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:38   #8
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

There's a big week long island hopping race in the BVI the first week of April. Charterers are welcome and participating in that would be a gas...



http://www.bvispringregatta.org/wp-c...R_Brochure.pdf
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:43   #9
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

Every farmer from Iowa charters in the BVI. Close to the most boring location in the Caribbean.
Get your boat pre-provisioned and sail out of St. Vincent. The Grenadines are a favourite of the ARC fleet at Christmas but by April they have cleared out. You have great sailing, many islands close by with a different culture/character, all having wonderful beaches and snorkelling.........Bequia, Mustique, Cancun, Tobago Cays, Union/Sandy Islands, and then return. Book yourself a cat and you are all set.
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Old 12-10-2014, 21:02   #10
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

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Originally Posted by SAIL23692 View Post
I have lived in the Caribbean on my sailboat 1/2 time for many years.

The USVI is expensive and no longer charter friendly. If you charter in the USVI you will have to slog to winward 25 miles anyway to get to St.John and the BVI's. The BVI's are a great way to introduced to Caribbean sailing. Many, many great anchorages and short hops between. The winds are as good as any ANYWHERE! However, because it is so nice everyone goes there and it can be a bit crowded. Most anchorages require you pick up a mooring. They are safe, secure but a bit expensive and you need to get there early.

That said if you are a bit more adventurous, Guadeloupe or Martinque offer very diverse sailing with runs between 15-20 miles. Only a fraction of the crowd in the VI's and much cheaper and diverse. If you want to go futher south, Grenada is stunning, inexpensive and wonderfully hospitable. You will see few charterers but will anchorage with world cruisers. The Grenadian people are gracious, kind and like to share the wonders of their beautiful island. Horizon has abase here.

Wherever you wind up try to go for at least 10 days. You need a day to provision, a day to acclimate and you'll lose most of a day getting out of anywhere. See less and enjoy it more! Good sailing

Bill Reynolds

S/V Baidarka

You might wish to refer to a chart Bill. It's 4 miles from Red Hook (eastern St Thomas) to St John. Not even close to 25 miles. In fact 25 miles from St Thomas gets you more than half way across the BVI. Yesterday I sailed from my marina in the USVI to Jost Van Dyke on one tack covering the 11 miles in under two hours. Had a nice lunch and refreshments before heading back from a relaxing daysail. Over and back I didn't cover 25 miles. Yes, it frequently is to windward...
The more experienced charter guests spend time in the less crowded beaches of St John. Not the crowded beachbar party scene of the BVI and that's exactly what some are looking for.


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Old 12-10-2014, 21:06   #11
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

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Every farmer from Iowa charters in the BVI. Close to the most boring location in the Caribbean.

What's wrong with farmers from Iowa? They are damn good at understanding diesel engines and making temporary repairs! Chartering typically messes up their perfect farmer's tan though. :-)


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Old 12-10-2014, 23:08   #12
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

Sorry about the distance. It's 25 miles from Charlotte Amalie to Roadtown. By the way I lived on Water Island for 17 years and was on the water every day. I now cruise 7 months at a clip from PR to Trinidad. It sounds like you're a day tripper. If you know local knowledge there are at least 15 stops in the BVI that you will rarely see a charterboat.
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Old 16-10-2014, 08:59   #13
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

BVI

We chartered BVI 8 days in 2011 and now are on our 5th week living aboard in the area. Started in BVI Sept 20 and visited St John and briefly St Thomas (Redhook bay). Back at BVI.

Best snorkeling = St John's it is one big national park. But few places to eat or get anything outside Cruz harbor which did have great places to eat/shop. Moorings everywhere and its 15/night to moor or anchor so just moor. Try Maho bay area we enjoyed it.

For longer stays and budget conscious BVI has far more places to anchor. Far more undeveloped on shore. Good wholesale store walking distance from road harbor moorings base. If you refill water jugs its 1.00/gal right off the dinghy dock (market) in Trellis Bay.
Levericks's bay has mooring and anchoring. Friendly staff and kid friendly atmosphere. Tues night DJ and very social.



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Old 19-10-2014, 07:50   #14
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
For a week in April go to BVI. Consistent weather, easy eyeball sailing.
100% agreement.
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:43   #15
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Re: Best places to charter in the Caribbean in April 2015?

Definitely suggest the BVIs or Puerto Rico.

Don't worry about getting to the BVIs its an easy flight and then a $40 ferry ride one way to Tortola-thousands do it every year. The sailing will be easy with good winds and great weather. It is the busiest place in the Caribbean but is still a must at least once in a lifetime.

Puerto Rico if you looking for somewhere much quieter. Easy to get to and again good sailing. Prices will be better as well. Hope this helps feel free to drop me a private message if you have any more questions.
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