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Old 30-09-2011, 06:12   #1
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Question Reserving a Mooring in the BVI

For those familiar with mooring in the BVI, is it possible to pick up a mooring, pay for it, and then "flag it" as occupied, returning later in the day to pick it up? I would think that if you informed the mooring field operator, they would inform any boat that happend to ignore your "flag" that this mooring is taken.
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Old 30-09-2011, 06:35   #2
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Re: Reserving a mooring in the BVI

The only way is to leave your dink on it.
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Old 30-09-2011, 06:46   #3
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Re: Reserving a mooring in the BVI

Yes it is but it will lead you to a lot of aggravation.

As Vasco says, the only way that just may be honored by other boaters is leaving your dinghy attached to the ball. Now, on many charter boats in the BVI, your dinghy is also your life raft. Do you really want to sail around, perhaps with your family aboard, without a liferaft?

The other common practice is to tie a fender to a ball. I can absolutely guarantee that if a mooring field gets full, any fender attached to a mooring ball will untie itself and float away!

The mooring field operators aren't interested in any disputes between boaters. In most cases they are just parking fee collectors from a local restaurant.
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Old 30-09-2011, 07:22   #4
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Re: Reserving a mooring in the BVI

The mooring field operator is basically someone who runs around a couple times to be sure everyone is paid. Some days they may not come out at all. Few if any do the kind of monitoring and management you suggest.

One thing I will point out is that moorings are so common that many forget anchoring is often possible. On my last 2-week BVI cruise, I don't think I ever picked up a night mooring.
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Old 30-09-2011, 07:27   #5
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Re: Reserving a mooring in the BVI

Jerry, ask your question on the BVI forum at traveltalk.com. Very active BVI travel forum with mostly charterers and many charter boat owners.
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:04   #6
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Re: Reserving a Mooring in the BVI

Thanks guys. I kind of figured that would be the answer. I will just anchor out if I can't get a mooring.
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Old 30-09-2011, 12:04   #7
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Re: Reserving a Mooring in the BVI

I actually do run a charterboat in the BVI, and will be at the BVI Tourist Board Booth at the Annapolis Boat Show, for those who want to talk about chartering there.

With regard to moorings, generally they cannot be reserved. There is one buoy in Little Bay, Jost Van Dyke, which can be reserved and is free, for those who get dinner at Harris' Place, which serves great lobster. Cynthia does police that one. Sometimes, Bitter End Yacht Club will reserve a dinghy, but don't count on it. It's usually just for large groups.

Leaving a dinghy usually works, but not always, and dinghy theft in the BVI is more common than you might think. Still, people heading off for a daysail or race do leave their dinghies. Kayaks can work too, although we once had ours "float away".

There are lots of good places to anchor, but since you can always have a thundersquall, and the trade winds do blow, please do it correctly and with sufficient scope.

National Parks Buoys have a time limit, and are for daytime use only. The yellow ones are for commercial diveboats, so you will get a good talking to if you use one.

ALWAYS, remember to check the mooring pennant. They do get damaged by propellors, and boats do come loose. Also, the correct procedure is to use a bridal, in which case cleat a line from each side of your bow (or each bow in the case of a cat), pass it through the eye on the mooring pennant, and then lead it back to the side it came from and cleat it off. Passing a line from one side through the eye to the other side defeats the purpose of the bridle.

See you at Annapolis.
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Old 30-09-2011, 13:44   #8
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Re: Reserving a Mooring in the BVI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Schaaf View Post
National Parks Buoys have a time limit, and are for daytime use only. The yellow ones are for commercial diveboats, so you will get a good talking to if you use one.
It amazes me how many people don't realize this.

I've even read two articles recently (one in Cruising world and the other in Sail) and both mentioned going to the Baths and indicated they were there for hours. In one story they even brought up how full it was when they left.

90 minutes if anyone reading this isn't aware! It's not enforced, but its common courtesy. Nearly all the places that fill up can be enjoyed fully in 90 minutes. If you want to just sit on a beach, you can easily go to a spot that will not be full.

Anyway, to the OP - I wouldn't risk it. Most places you can get a mooring ball if you are there by 3 - even later in the slower season. High season there are some places you'd want to be earlier, but the vast majority have plenty to do. Cooper Island for example is one that fills up, but there's plenty of snorkeling there to keep you busy.
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