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Old 06-02-2010, 21:07   #1
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Liveaboard in the Virgin Islands

About 2 years from moving down to the USVI and moving onto a boat. any of you doing it now?

From what I can find so far, most people sail south and put the boat on the hard for the storm season. What to the full time liveaboards do?

Insurance is higher if you stay during storm season is there someone everyone goes in june - nov? Wife is not too keen on the Med at all.

any other good hidaways for the summer? And when do most people make the trip back to the USVI? Dec? sounds like the winds are rough then.

Thanks
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Old 06-02-2010, 22:22   #2
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Hi tallyhorob,
I lived in the Caribbean for five years and went down to Trinidad for the hurricane season or put my boat on the hard if I was taking a charter boat down. There are a number of hurricane holes around the Virgin Islands, but a lot of boats still get damaged or sunk there. Take my advice and go south.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:55   #3
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You only have to worry about hurricanes if one is heading your way.

Most have "plans" on what they will do if one is forecast to be in the area and depending on the threat level.

I totally disagree with the statement that in the Virgin Islands "lots of boats still get damaged or sunk". The historical charts show lesser probability for storms than many other areas. In the past few years, only St. Croix has had boat damage and most of that was attributed to poorly moored/ anchored commercial boats drawing down on other boats. St.Croix is Not a big Cruiser destination... for it size it actually has very few good boating locations for the typical cruiser and has not yet developed the infrastructure for the industry.

Going South is always an option.... if you want to go. If not, make alternative plans and keep a weather eye and sail where you like. You do not need to be a turtle if you stay prepared and informed and take the necessary actions when a threat presents itself. These typically do not occur instantly.

I know many full time liveaboards who have lived and worked here many years and have never left their boats. Some may just be the luck of the path of the recent storms but most is they stayed inform of the development and movement and had plans and procedures of what they would do in various threat conditions... one of which is secure the boat as best as possible and move ashore for the duration of the event. You just have to have several plans ready to execute.

Really I do not find it much different from living in Florida for the past 35 or so years. Some people worry too much about minor threats and some know when to start worrying and what to do about it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:26   #4
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Mother Nature does what Mother Nature wants and she does not always follow a set pattern. Anywhere in the Puerto Rico to Grenada region a direct hurricane hit is possible and will most probably wreck an in-water boat. That is the reason there are numerous supposedly "hurricane-proof" boatyards in the area for hurricane haul-out should a storm threaten. However, getting a space in these boatyards is difficult and must be reserved and PAID for in advance. Normally all these types of spaces are booked by February so you must plan ahead. You will be paying for the space whether you use it or not - think of it as a "insurance premium".
- - Insurance coverage while "in the box" is not easy to get and normally an additional rider is needed with a cost attached. Check around - especially with IMIS to find what policy fits your needs. The normal policy has a "box" that runs from Georgia to and including Grenada, but you can get waivers with some carriers. If you do not have comprehensive insurance you will at least need "liability" coverage to get into a boatyard.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:17   #5
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Although I do not live aboard I work and spend time with many who do. The people that go south are a diverse bunch. The financially secure retired people with well found vessels frequently sail done the chain at a leisurely pace to get out of the "box" to save on insurance premiums in May and return in November (or when the work gets done). There are some that sail down Island to find cheaper labor and have things upgraded or repaired. Some stay around and do as Osirisail stated and have "reservations" at boatyards to have their boats hauled in the event of a named storm. Some just wait until a day or two before storm conditions arrive and then take off to a hurricane hole in the local area. Others that do not have a boat in a condition that would safely allow it to travel just throw out every anchor they have and hope for the best!!!! It really depends on your need to work, condition of your vessel, acceptance of risk, insurance stipulations, location of your vessel, storm path and strength predictions etc...

People come back anywhere from the day after a storm has passed to December-February. Once again, it all depends on where you went. Yes historically the winds and swells can be quite high in December, hence the term Christmas winds. This year was pretty mild.

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Originally Posted by tallyhorob View Post
About 2 years from moving down to the USVI and moving onto a boat. any of you doing it now?

From what I can find so far, most people sail south and put the boat on the hard for the storm season. What to the full time liveaboards do?

Insurance is higher if you stay during storm season is there someone everyone goes in june - nov? Wife is not too keen on the Med at all.

any other good hidaways for the summer? And when do most people make the trip back to the USVI? Dec? sounds like the winds are rough then.

Thanks
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Old 15-02-2010, 22:29   #6
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thanks for the answers. I was hoping to move onto the boat and stick around the US and BVI's year around. So , I guess I little planning is in order. I do not want to get off the boat for any length of time. Anyone know how hte liveaboard life is over in Aruba? looks like a place my wife could be happy in for a few months.
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Old 15-02-2010, 23:17   #7
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The answer to all of your questions are difficult without prefacing the reply with
"it depends".
There are hundreds of live aboards who are living year around in the USVI's. As the US Parks Service takes control of more anchorages and converts them into part of their State Parks system, it is becoming more difficult to find live aboard anchorages that have not become over crowded.

If you wait to rush to a "hurricane hole" at the last minute you'll more than likely find that the bareboat charter folks have packed all of their boats into every nook and cranny and there's no room for you.
Always remember : it only takes one hurricane to ruin your cruise.

I singlehandled between Puerto Rico and Trinidad for eight years, flying to the PNW once. Never staying in a marina. I enjoyed it.
Aruba is rather expensive, I'm told, and only visited when continuing on to Panama. Returning east can be difficult.
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Old 16-02-2010, 06:25   #8
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Aruba is not a "cruiser friendly" designation. It is a major fly-in tourist island. Curacao has at the southwest end a harbor known as "Spanish Waters" which is a major place for cruisers to "hole up" for awhile. Look at the maps of the A.B.C. Islands and you will see that only Curacao has the protected harbor while Bonaire and Aruba have only unbroken (virtually) coastlines.
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Old 20-02-2010, 16:49   #9
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sounds good, will be living on about $2000/month from my wife retirement from being a firefighter, she be 50 and I'll be 42 when we head down. So, there is no need to return and from what I see its not too cheap to get a place to stay in the VI's on land for a few months. So the plan at first was just to go down and hang in the US and BVI's year around but that looks like I need to change that a bit.
Whats the route back from the ABC's? Head north and circle around? Anyone know of another good place to hold up for a few months?

Thanks again
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