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Old 19-10-2017, 06:36   #1
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Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

We (wife and I) are looking for Plans B options if a BVI charter doesn't work out this year. I currently have a reservation for a charter out of Tortola for mid-March, 2018, but have not been able to find out if there will still be a boat. If it works out we will still go to the BVIs.

Could folks give suggestions for other options for second time charterers in Caribbean locations this winter?

Our experience level is somewhat low. Me: ASA 101, 103, and 104 in 2016, plus lots of day sails and low key club regattas at Annapolis. The 104 class was mostly in a gale, so I probably got more than my money's worth. My wife took ASA101 class but not the test and is good crew. We chartered out of Tortola last winter and had a blast and felt more than comfortable on a 34 foot Benne.

I appreciate all thoughts.
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Old 19-10-2017, 06:44   #2
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

Look further south. Martinique is quite nice for example and not a radical change to your travel plans. Navigation in the area is also straight forward.

However, I suspect an issue thats going to crop up soon is alternative destinations are going to book up fast. So, I would move early.
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Old 19-10-2017, 22:10   #3
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

Grenada or Antigua are also good choices. As previously mentioned they will likely book quickly.
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Old 20-10-2017, 06:50   #4
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

Thanks for the suggestions. I feel Ike I should wait a couple of months to see whether the charter company has a boat. Timing is tricky. You mentioned Grenada, which I like a lot. Any thoughts on the Grendines?
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Old 20-10-2017, 08:34   #5
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

+1 on Martinique. From there you can go to St Lucia or just explore. Great locals, inexpensive food. Euros.
We chartered from punch-croisieres.
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Old 20-10-2017, 08:34   #6
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

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Originally Posted by fahtcha View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I feel Ike I should wait a couple of months to see whether the charter company has a boat. Timing is tricky. You mentioned Grenada, which I like a lot. Any thoughts on the Grendines?
Grenadines are gorgeous. But they are definitely a bit of a step up from BVIs in terms of navigation difficulty. The passage from Grenada is long but pretty simple. You will be anchoring every night, so it's will require you to practice your anchoring skills. Passages are not always line of sight, the wind is variable in between islands, and channels not as well marked, so it requires more attention and planning than in the BVIs. Definitely, something you can do if you have already one charter under your belt but it is not like the BVIs, which is call sailing on training wheels :-).
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Old 20-10-2017, 09:40   #7
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

Croatia - we did a week charter there out of Pula and it was fantastic.

Gary
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Old 20-10-2017, 09:56   #8
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

Here is an good overview and update on Charter companies in Caribbean. Surprisingly it sounds like most will be up and running well before the end of the year.

https://www.cruisingworld.com/caribb...E0MjQ1OTU2OAS2

If the link doesn't work search article on Cruising world website
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Old 20-10-2017, 10:35   #9
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

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Originally Posted by Valmika View Post
Here is an good overview and update on Charter companies in Caribbean. Surprisingly it sounds like most will be up and running well before the end of the year.

https://www.cruisingworld.com/caribb...E0MjQ1OTU2OAS2

If the link doesn't work search article on Cruising world website
Yes, I wouldn't give up on the BVI, just yet, in fact it should be used as a case study in how to recover from a disaster. It's been a fine collaboration of government, private sector, non-profits, individuals and outside aid. Environmental considerations are high (after all, our businesses depend upon the environmnent) and are blended with the reality that our jobs depend upon tourism. So, the governmental processes are more about removing bureaucratic road blocks than creating them, managing creatively with the input from the private sector.. The change in the six weeks since Irma is absolutely remarkable. Clearing and rebuilding and repairing are a constant. Food is in the stores. Gas is in the pumps.

The Premier has declared the BVI open for tourism on November 1. The Charter Yacht Society holds its charter boat show from November 7 - 10, although it will be a much smaller version than usual. Moorings/Sunsail are taking bookings starting in early December and will have a minimum of 120 boats by late November. Other charter companies are doing similar. New boats are already arriving and others will move here from other Caribbean bases.

It will be a different type of charter season. There will be restaurants and bars that aren't open, to be sure, but others will be. Best of all, the BVI will be relatively unspoiled and uncrowded, harking back to times, a couple of decades ago, that many will recall as being the best.

So, don't give up on that booking, just yet!
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Old 20-10-2017, 10:44   #10
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

I think, in many ways, you will find the BVI better than ever and they need the biz.
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Old 20-10-2017, 10:57   #11
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

Thanks everyone for lots of helpful insight.
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Old 20-10-2017, 11:45   #12
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

I also second the Sea of Cortez as a possible choice. I think if you can find a boat in the BVI they need that tourist dollar big time.
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Old 20-10-2017, 11:53   #13
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

You might also consider the San Juan Islands but in July or August. Definitely not March.
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Old 20-10-2017, 12:07   #14
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

The latest Moorings advisory says they are booking charters for Dec 9th and beyond. They are bringing in many new boats and, in the case of their R&C cats, they are bringing production workers for Cape Town to do repairs.

My boat is in Nanny Cay and is also supposed to be ready for charter in a month or so.

The BVI needs the money. It's pretty devastated but my intel says many bars and restaurants are open. Maybe the only tourist attraction completely unscathed is The Baths but let's help those people out. They don't have a US Government printing press that spits out $100 bills to jump-start their economy.
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Old 20-10-2017, 12:42   #15
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Re: Ideas for Charter if BVIs don't work out

Puerto Rico, with a genny for shorepower to the local community



(Yes, feeling really sorry for the damage and the outage still going harsh.... Yet this Stupid joke grabbed my mind....)

Please do excuse me, and forgive/forget me.
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