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Old 24-12-2012, 11:42   #1
VAS
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BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

Question: what is a fair chartering contract?
I have concerns about a charter contract from Voyage Charters operating out of Sopers Hole, Tortola. While all charter contracts favor the company, this one strikes me as being onerous. This is my understanding from the contract they sent me:
1. - Voyager can delay your start for 48 hours for any reason and you get no refund and no reimbursement for last-minute hotel costs (assuming you can find a place).
2. - On the other hand, if you are even one hour late, they definitely charge you for one full extra day and they can charge you for an entire week under some common circumstances.
3. - For the last sail day you must have the boat back by 0900. It must already be fueled and pumped out. This is particularly onerous because you are not allowed to get underway until 0700 or you are not insured. So you must really be back the night before. So your last full day on the boat is just 5 hours. No final night farewells at a nice anchor.
4. -You must not be underway after 5:30 PM or you are not insured. Other companies in my experience just specify no sailing after sunset.


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Old 24-12-2012, 13:19   #2
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

FInd someone where you like the contract- im sure there are many who will take your money & give you what you want
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Old 24-12-2012, 19:39   #3
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My thoughts-

1) Voyage charges a premium for their boats and people pay it. If they were doing a poor job they'd be out of business.
2) Just because something is written in a contract does not necessarily mean they will enforce it. Stuff isn't randomly thrown into a contract. It is there as preventative, and or, for punitive reasons to help get the charter guests to comply with the "program". For example, suggesting that if you bring the boat back an hour late it will cost you a day is a pretty good incentive to not be late.
3)If you don't like the contract go elsewhere. There must be a dozen or more other companies in the area to choose from. I might even work at one of them. :-)
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Old 25-12-2012, 08:52   #4
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

I agree that contract is much tougher and less flexible than other companies such as The Moorings.

Compare all factors including price.

One thing I like about the larger companies I've used is that instead of delay the start time (significantly) due to a boat problem, they simply give you another boat, even that means an upgrade.
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Old 25-12-2012, 09:10   #5
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

"fair" is in the eyes of the beholder!

Fair play for actually reading the contract before parting with cash - for me 2 to 4 would be acceptable depending on location of the charter base and cruising area (if the Charter base is a sh#thole and / or far away from nice places to be then would be a deal breaker, otherwise coming back to "home port" the night before to get the boat shipshape before a run ashore and an early and speedy departure would be ok)......no past 5.30 sailing? would also depend on area and my plans - if it actually involved a lot of sailing (rather than as a floating condo to chillax in!) probably a deal breaker, if only because boats not so easily planned around fixed times........

........my problem would be with item 1 - no guarantee of a boat for a 2 days! (and with no re-fund let alone compo then no incentive to have a boat in place). In practice probably unlikely to be a problem. but probably (for me) not good enough to part with cash.
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Old 25-12-2012, 09:21   #6
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

Voyage Charters has been around for a long time and there boats are everywhere in the BVI. Talk to your rep. to see if they really enforce that return at 9 am rule.

The Moorings is 12pm and I cruised in at 2pm and they did not say a word to me, all was well.
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Old 26-12-2012, 08:47   #7
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

Insurance for night sailing: tricky one, that. What happens if your mooring breaks or you "somehow" get un-anchored in the middle of the night.....???
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Old 26-12-2012, 08:56   #8
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

Simple solution is if you don't like the contract, find a company who's contract you like. I know some people LOVE the Voyage Cats, but I prefer the Leopard Cats myself.

As far as night sailing - I do know that insurance (in moorings/sunsail anyway) would cover a dragging anchor or broken mooring ball, so I'd think it would cover getting reset or picking up a new ball since that would be better than just waiting until the boat hit a rock or bottom.
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Old 26-12-2012, 14:39   #9
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

Someone suggested talking to the rep to see if contract items are really enforced. One would be naive to accept a verbal statement from a sales rep over a line item in a signed contract.
I'm not saying you WON'T get a break. It's simply that you are taking a big chance. a thousands-of-dollars chance. I have now looked at the Moorings contract. It is MUCH shorter, and more fair all the way around. I know that Voyage Charters is a pretty big outfit and have lots of boats. More power to them if they can get away with such a one-way contract. I suspect a lot of people do not read the fine print. To each his own.
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Old 26-12-2012, 14:41   #10
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

Moorings does give you a 4 hour guarantee too.

Depending on how many people, the Moorings 4600 or Sunsail 444 are both great boats. Moorings 3900 would be my top choice with a smaller group (6 couples max).
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Old 26-12-2012, 15:25   #11
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

I doubt any charter company will allow overnight sailing.

In the Whitsundays (Australia) all vessels are supposed to be anchored or on moorings by 4.00pm. They can't have inexperienced operators finding anchorages amongst coral in low light.

No doubt an experienced person can do that with radar at night.

There, one is also forced to take out travel insurance (additional cost) charter cost/fees are paid up 2 months prior and during the cyclone(hurrican) season as no refund is given for a cyclone cancelling the trip. All rental companies have similar setup in Whitsundays.
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Old 26-12-2012, 15:47   #12
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

LMAO in Croatia they give you the key's and CIAOU BABY!!! Sail anywhere in the Adriatic and just be back in a week, fuel docks are always near or adjacent to the base.

I did 4 or so years in the Whitsundays where they require anchoring by nightfall, radio in etc etc etc, so know what your talking about there.

This season there were three incidences of hitting bridges with the sticky up bit, one was on a Lagoon 450 bringing the stick down on it's way to KRCK National Park. They made there way back by the 3rd day and asked if it could be fixed so they could continue their 10 day charter.

I was with the Lagoon agent Peter, he had some bridge stickers to put by the helm for this coming season.
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Old 27-12-2012, 15:13   #13
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post
I doubt any charter company will allow overnight sailing.
I've sailed Moorings charter cats from St Martin to the BVI overnight on two occasions. No problems with them, indeed they were very willing to help with the route planning, and even suggesting starting harbors and departure times (after dark!). Of course, this may have just been the last check to see if we were up to it!

It's likely inexperienced sailors/charterers may not be allowed to do this.

Not sure if it included addional insurance, but I did pay a "one-way" fee for those charters since I was not returning (upwind!) to St Martin.
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Old 27-12-2012, 16:56   #14
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

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Originally Posted by 1ercru View Post
I've sailed Moorings charter cats from St Martin to the BVI overnight on two occasions. No problems with them, indeed they were very willing to help with the route planning, and even suggesting starting harbors and departure times (after dark!). Of course, this may have just been the last check to see if we were up to it!


Not sure if it included addional insurance, but I did pay a "one-way" fee for those charters since I was not returning (upwind!) to St Martin.
Interesting. Did the vessels have radar onboard ?

"It's likely inexperienced sailors/charterers may not be allowed to do this."

In the Whitsundays I yould like to take a bareboat vessel to the GBR however no way even if you have a masters ticket.
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Old 27-12-2012, 17:08   #15
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Re: BVI charters for sailing - Voyage Charters Contract

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Interesting. Did the vessels have radar onboard ?

"It's likely inexperienced sailors/charterers may not be allowed to do this."

In the Whitsundays I yould like to take a bareboat vessel to the GBR however no way even if you have a masters ticket.
Many years ago Keith Williams got the then Dept of Harbours and Marine to include Hook and Hardy Reefs into the confines of the 'Port of Molle' making it possible for a 'Mud' ticket to be used on the journey out!!!!!

Insurance companies must have drawn their own limits rather than use the Port limits unless those Port limits have changed...

Frank
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