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Old 24-10-2013, 08:02   #1
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Charter in the BVI - October 11th, 2013

Just returned from a week long trip to the BVI, on a Leopard 44 (Sunsail 444).

First impressions (our previous time sailing here was in March):

It was freaking HOT down there! Damn!

And there wasn't a ton of wind either... which made for EXTREMELY gentle nights on the hook, but "patient" sailing. I think we'd have been pretty miserable without the genset and A/C. We tried one night, and it was "sweaty" sleeping... there just wasn't enough wind to move air through the vessel

And of course, there were a lot of places "closed for the summer". but if "night life" isn't really your thing (isn't ours), then it makes very nice open anchorages, where you have the pick of your places

Best sailing was to/from Anegada (Wife and Daughter were entertained by dolphins swimming along side the boat for a while). Winds about 12 knots, with gusts to 16 or so. this was our first time sailing a Cat... I obviously have a lot more to learn about tuning sails, as I was never able to consistenly stay above 8 knots.

Best "event" was the Full Moon Party at Trellis Bay. Moorings was having a Regatta for Airline Employees, and this was one of the "after race" events.

Every mooring ball had multiple boats rafted up (we didn't even know anyone, and ended up with another 444 rafter up with us... it was good fun!)

The party was just a great time: Good food, entertainment, and music.

The boat itself...

We are owners down there, so this "upgrade" cost us $600. That was to move from a 40' mono to a 44' cat with genset and A/C. Was probably the best $600 I've ever spent.

My wife described the size of this boat perfectly: There were times when we had to SEARCH for our 15 year old daughter on that boat. Just a crazy amount of room (there were only 4 of us). And tons of little "nooks" that a person can comfortable squeeze into. Add in Earbuds and an iphone, and you'll understand why there were times we had to "search" for the daughter :-)

The front cockpit was definitly used during sailing... was just great for that.

We brought a hammock with us to stretch between the davit supports for the dingy.. THAT worked out perfectly.

I'm just short of 50 yrs old, and have to say, an air mattress is now a "must" for our future. Not sure why the boat manufactures insist on cabin mattresses that feel like a slab of granite, but "uncomfortable" was an understatement.

We actually ate on the boat almost every meal. TONs of room for multiple of us prepping and cooking. Once again - genset - blender... THAT worked out for both smoothies in the AM, and cocktails in the PM

Just my $.02 worth. Overall, was a great trip (albeit very hot), and what we consider a pretty fantastic boat. I can't personally AFFORD one, but my wife and daughter are being pretty insistent that we'll have to go from a Mono to a Cat... probably something like the 384 (same boat, sans a pair of heads, and the front cockpit).

This is our first year owning through Sunsal. So far, it has been a perfect solution for us - learning what we do/do not like in a boat, and doing it in a manner where it isn't costing us much.

Regards,

Phil Kaiser
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Old 24-10-2013, 11:02   #2
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Re: Charter in the BVI - October 11th, 2013

Sounds like a good trip.

I'm surprised another boat rafter up with you and equally surprised you allowed that. I would never allow another boat to raft up with us, unless it had a TUI employee that was able to waive any damage that could be caused.

We'll be on a 44 in a few weeks ourselves. Been on pretty much all the others (38, 46, 48 and even the 58). Owners as well, so it is a great value to upgrade! I have a feeling the 44 will feel just like the 48 with slightly less space, but otherwise I expect similar handling..etc.
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Old 24-10-2013, 17:49   #3
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Re: Charter in the BVI - October 11th, 2013

We're going to be there the week of December 8. Hope it cools off a bit. Not too much though.
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Old 25-10-2013, 10:56   #4
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Re: Charter in the BVI - October 11th, 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
Sounds like a good trip.

I'm surprised another boat rafter up with you and equally surprised you allowed that. I would never allow another boat to raft up with us, unless it had a TUI employee that was able to waive any damage that could be caused.

We'll be on a 44 in a few weeks ourselves. Been on pretty much all the others (38, 46, 48 and even the 58). Owners as well, so it is a great value to upgrade! I have a feeling the 44 will feel just like the 48 with slightly less space, but otherwise I expect similar handling..etc.

Well, no waves, no wind, both of us bridled to the mooring ball with separate lines, fenders between the boats...

Perhaps I'm too naive, but what are the reasons not to do this? I can't imagine doing it if there was any movement in the anchorage, but as it was, there didn't seem to be a lot of risk.

But perhaps I'm not thinking all the risks through?

Thanks

Phil
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Old 25-10-2013, 11:15   #5
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Re: Charter in the BVI - October 11th, 2013

There's two factors I'd consider.

1) Added stress to the mooring ball - is it designed for the weight that is now on it?

2) Damage that could be caused - conditions may be calm when you tie up, but they can change fast. Most charter companies do not want their boats rafted. It happens when the have flotillas and such, but there are employees of the charter companies involved. If there was damage for some reason, who's responsible now? Will insurance cover it?

3) I wouldn't like having another boat so close regardless of the above - If I wanted to be that close to other boats, I'd go to a slip in a marina and even then you have more separation.
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