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Old 14-05-2014, 13:38   #1
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St. Thomas to BVIs

What clearance do we need to sail our own boat from St Thomas to the BVIs? When I asked a US Custom official in PR he said US Customs only deals with arrivals there is no clearance procedure. However, on the BVIs Noonsite page they difinitely reference "clearance" papers.
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Old 14-05-2014, 14:26   #2
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

We've gone from BVI to USVI and back on a charter boat and nothing was needed other than us clearing in.
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Old 14-05-2014, 14:34   #3
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

BVI officials understand that US CBP doesn't routinely issue outbound clearance to US citizens, and they won't raise an eyebrow when you clear in without papers. If you come from another country, say St Maarten or Saba, you'd better have your outbound clearance papers.
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Old 14-05-2014, 14:57   #4
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

Thanks, that's what I thought from "back in the day" but I haven't been there in a very long time.
Great of you both to take the time to answer.
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Old 14-05-2014, 23:02   #5
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

We live in St Thomas and go to bvi often. No need to check out if US just check in to BVI on first point if entry as usual. If you are not staying long you can check in and out of BVI at the same time. You absolutely must check in back to US
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Old 15-05-2014, 06:20   #6
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

Thanks for your replys. Now we're wondering if you could make a suggestion - we arrive in St. Thomas to pick up friends then depart for the BVIs, 10 days later we come back to drop everyone off. Anchorage in Charlotte Amalie Harbor would be convenient but is that really possible? If not is Red Hook still a good alternative? Years ago my brother ran a charter service out of Johnny Harms Marina in Red Hook.
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Old 15-05-2014, 10:45   #7
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

We have dropped guests in Charlotte from BVI on numerous occasions. We usually stop at Yacht Haven Grande Marina. You can clear in right at their docks. Last I read anchoring was fine as well, but I have not.

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Old 15-05-2014, 10:59   #8
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

There was a question similar to this last week about PR to USVI. IIRC, both the USVI and BVIs have websites and all of the cruising guides have pretty good descriptions of all the requirements. Google is your friend instead of relying on our sometimes faulty memories, combined with our pining of wanting to go back!

Have a great trip.
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Old 15-05-2014, 12:35   #9
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolagal View Post
What clearance do we need to sail our own boat from St Thomas to the BVIs? When I asked a US Custom official in PR he said US Customs only deals with arrivals there is no clearance procedure. However, on the BVIs Noonsite page they difinitely reference "clearance" papers.
****If everyone on board is a US citizen***** then there is nothing to do when going out of USVI. Upon arrival in BVI ***every*** boat needs to clear Customs and all crew need to clear Immigration.

C
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Old 15-05-2014, 12:41   #10
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

There is no issue anchoring in Charlotte Amalie Harbor (besides the rolly conditions) and yes you can clear in at customs at Yacht Haven Grand.

It's on the for right side of the marina (looking from the water) next to the marina office.

If you're on the boat and friends are flying in, many people anchor off Water Island and take the dink to Lindburg Bay (maybe 10 minutes. I also know many people that just anchor in Lindburg, but I'd stay on the easy side of the bay because of the conditions) to pick them up. It's an easy 5 minute walk from the airport, even with bags and saves the taxi or safari bus trip to town.

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Old 16-05-2014, 10:52   #11
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

Going to Red Hook saves your friends an hour or two of beating into the rough south side of St Thomas. Lindbergh, that MBLittle suggests, saves the taxi fiasco at the airport. The harbor in Charlotte Amalie is a decent option. I've had good luck taking a dinghy into the Elysian resort in Cowpet to exchange crew. You can anchor in Christmas Cove and cut your upwind time down.

It's gotten pretty hard to pick up and drop people off in Red Hook.
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Old 21-05-2014, 21:35   #12
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Re: St. Thomas to BVIs

If you don't want to bother clearing the boat, take them over on the ferry.
Why can't they fly out of Beef Island on Tortola? Like Lindbergh Bay, there is a nice little anchorage within walking distance of the airport.
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