Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-07-2009, 12:32   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,096
I talked to some other charterers around the Moorings charter base in Belize. Hard to believe ANYONE gets turned down, and certainly not somebody who has raced Hobie cats, since that means you actually know how to sail. They dont have those big insurance policies for nothing. But the suggestion to get a captain for a day or two is a good idea.
__________________

__________________
sck5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2009, 13:18   #17
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,369
The moorings usually offers a couple of free days when you charter over a week,,, check it out.
__________________

__________________
Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2009, 16:25   #18
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
- - Everybody is "spot on" about doing the BVI's or USVI's for a first timer. The islands are 30 minutes to an hours from each other - but - you do not have to go direct to the nearest island - you can sail to a more distant island one day and then back to another distant island if you feel like getting some "sea time" versus swimming/snorkeling time. The beauty of the Virgins is as mentioned you have unlimited choices and a comfortable, safe environment to develop experience.
- - The chartering opportunities further down island are more long distance or all day sails to get from one place to the other with some rough or challenging (read "nasty") water between the islands. You do those when the Virgins are no longer fun and you have a few years of experience under your belt.
- - Sailing Experience - Charter companies really do not care if you can "sail." The do care that you can get the boat in and out of harbor and not hit anything (damage the boat); that you are alert to prevent collisions; and know how to secure the dinghy to the boat and not lose it. Motoring, docking, and close quarter maneuvering is what they want to see - which all boils down to you will bring the boat back in one piece with a minimum of damage.
- - ASA and a few other reputable schools all teach to this and so the charter companies want to see schooling from these schools for first timers. Check with the various charter companies to see which "brand" of schooling they most prefer.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2009, 20:12   #19
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Ive chartered (actually most was trade time) about 9 weeks in the Virgin Islands, about 6 in St. Martin and about 6 in the Abacos and have sailed my previous boat there even more. The Abacos of course in not quite in the Caribbean, but close enough to consider if you are interested in Caribbean locations.

I think each has it's pluses and minuses:

The BVIs offer very beautiful sailing which for the most part usually consists of circumnavigating Tortola while stopping at the many islands that surround it. You can easily pick up a mooring every night if you don't like anchoring, but it's easy to anchor every night if you prefer as well. (mooring costs can add up). The snorkeling is good and most of it is protected. The sailing is easy with few obstructions to worry about. It's hard to find places to yourself. Some anchorages are prone to back winding. English is the spoken language. It's the home base of The Moorings and their new showers are way swanky. Something much appreciated at the end of a charter.

St. Martin along with Anguilla and St. Barths can provide a cultural difference. The french wines are inexpensive. Most beaches are topless and there's even one famous nude beach there. The normal exit from Oyster Pond may provide an exciting start, but they'll give you a captain to help you out if you wish. Visiting St. Barths, normally the home to the rich and famous, by boat may be the only affordable way to see it. Anguilla features a nice national park with good snorkeling. Although their are few hazards to worry about, there are fewer surrounding islands, so you are a bit more exposed than in the BVIs. Although much of the area is french speaking, English is understood and spoken by most. I did feel the chart briefings were not a through as in the BVIs, so agree the BVIs are a bit more beginner friendly. However, St. Martin is where I did my first ever charter and found it quite easy. The Moorings has recently put a few of my favorite locations off limits for over night anchoring/mooring. I find going to St. Martin, is an opportunity to enjoy the french flavor without many of the negatives.

The Abacos: Sailing on the banks and in the Sea of Abaco offers some of he most protected sailing you will find anywhere, but sailing in shallow water can take some getting used to. Mid January to early March is considered off season, so it can provide an economical winter escape. However, the reason it's off season is that the cold fronts can make it a bit windy a cool - possibly too cold for snorkeling. The snorkeling is some of the best I've seen, but much of the really good snorkeling is a bit less protected from weather than in the BVIs. I love that even on a charter, it's fairly easy to have an anchorage completely to yourself. You don't find that in many places anymore. It's easy to anchor out for free, but some of the sounds offer excellent protection with moorings available. One thing I love about the Abacos is the diversity. Almost every night you can choose between a secluded anchorage, a fun town, or a resort/marina. Oh, and the winter is lobster season. yum yum. (Early summer is also lower season and warm, usually with less wind) The shallower water often forces you to anchor farther from shore, but you'll never have to worry about back winding. I have many photos of the Abacos charter area in my website listed below.

I've also heard great things about some of the islands further south in the Caribbean, but can't speak to them from personal experience.


If you choose The Moorings, 2 recommendations:

1. Take advantage of their friendly skipper. Even if you are a competent and comfortable, they know the boats and the area inside out. You can learn a lot from them.

2. Consider provisioning yourself. In the BVIs, you can get a complimentary cab to a local supermarket. It's not only less expensive, but you can choose what you want. The one time I did their provisioning I wasn't too thrilled with it. Grocery stores are also convenient in St. Martin and the Abacos.

A lot of great advice and options in this thread. I certainly agree it's hard to go wrong with the BVIs. You can also keep going back there and find more to do. You can find more out of the way areas as well as increase your cruising area to include the USVIs and/or Spanish VIs.

Have a great charter what ever you choose.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2009, 21:34   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 29
Anyone have suggestions on a company other than moorings?
__________________
Conrad30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2009, 21:53   #21
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad30 View Post
Anyone have suggestions on a company other than moorings?
I'd price against Sunsail, but I've heard from a couple of the skippers, the Moorings boats are generally better maintained. Footloose consists of boats just out of charter from The Moorings and Sunsail. There are also a number of smaller companies. BVI Yacht Charters is one I've read good reports on, but have not used them myself.

Sunsail, The Moorings and Footloose are now all owned by Tui Marine, but at least in theory, Sunsail and the Moorings are independently operated.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2009, 22:08   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: California
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 103
Send a message via Yahoo to anjinsan
Wasn't a bare boat, but a bare foot. The Bahamas, Windjammer, Fantome, 286', 4 masted schooner. Captain Lauri McLeod. I understand he has passed. After that 14 days, we were much better sailors. Not sure this is relevant, but Ok I have had a few beers and am just reminiscing!
__________________
anjinsan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2009, 05:52   #23
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
I used TMM (on Tortola) years ago. I've heard from others that they are still top rate.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2009, 23:38   #24
Registered User
 
qwer5r's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad30 View Post
As far as experience, I cant say there is a lot at this point. Racing a hobie is the limit of my experience. Planned on taking the ASA bareboat class here in a month or so.

The plan for now is next Feb.

But at the same time, I want to be able to do some good sailing, not sit around at 3-4 knots..
Take everyone's advice on BVI. Don't worry about 3-4 knots. The trade winds are a steady 15-20 knots, almost always from the east, and very consistent. You'll have a lot of fun, navigation is line-of-sight and therefore easy, and there are lots of anchorages to explore.
__________________
qwer5r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2009, 23:43   #25
Registered User
 
qwer5r's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad30
Anyone have suggestions on a company other than moorings?
Moorings also owns both Sunsail and Footloose. The Footloose business model is to offer an older boat (4-6 years old, usually), which they get when the boats leave the Moorings fleet, usually after 5 years. They're in the same Tortola base, and their fleet is maintained by the same staff. In exchange for the older boat, the rates are substantially lower.

I contracted for a 7-day charter on a Beneteau 505 from Footloose in late June; they upgraded me to a Moorings 515 anyway. (Best of both worlds.)
__________________
qwer5r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 12:33   #26
Registered User
 
Mustang Sally's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Boat: Lagoon 620
Posts: 122
Images: 11
Send a message via Skype™ to Mustang Sally
After cruising the entire Caribbean over the last 3 years we still think the virgin islands are best, British/US and Spanish. Safe with many anchorages and modern shopping when required.
__________________
Capt Doug
Chef Wendy
Somewhere in the Med??
Mustang Sally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 16:40   #27
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
I would have to agree that the best charter sailing is in the Virgin Islands and since there is soooo much of it they have 2 or 3 levels of bareboat charter companies. The "premier" highest levels charter companies with the brand new boats and tons of support and services who charge the highest (comparatively speaking) rates; then the 2nd level companies that rent you the 3-6 year old boats for half the price and half the services; and finally the bottom or 3rd level which have quite old but serviceable boats at still lower prices and virtually no service/support. You are on your own.
I used to charter the 2nd or 3rd level with my secret weapon - a couple of $1 pancake spatulas. The thin, cheapest ones I could find. They are nice and flexible. Upon leaving the charter base the boats would make about 2-4 kts under power and sail. So I would anchor nearby and the next morning don my mask and flippers and go over the side with the pancake spatula and scrape the 3 inches of bottom sea growth off the boat and clean the propeller. That took a few hours but afterwards I was sailing at 6 kts plus just like the boats from the first tier companies.
But with the 2nd and 3rd tier you need to get very careful to do a complete inventory of the boat before signing for it. Sometimes the items on the company's list and reality did not match and you don't want to have to pay for the missing stuff. So a little extra care and effort saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars with only a little extra effort.
-- Oh forgot to mention - scraping the bottom results in a feast for the local tropical fish. And you end up swimming inside a glorious herd of all the different types and colors of fish who get right up close and personal with you. Excellent fun.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2010, 18:39   #28
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3
bareboat charter in usVI

Sorry have a related but more specific question:

I've been reading lots about how to get from states to BVI's - either thru San Juan or STThomas. For the record, STThomas seems like a good bet with Ferry service, but what I'm really curious about is why no one seems to charter out of ST Thomas, and check out St John's and/or sail to BVI's. Is customs so bad that it is frowned upon? You would save on ferry or hop from San Jaun and start sailing much sooner.

thanks for any input you might have.
__________________
bhmor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 04:55   #29
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Island Yachts in Red Hook is a very reputable charter outfit, specializing in Island Packets. Customs isn't bad, it just takes a couple of hours of your time to clear in and out of the BVI when you base in the USVI. If you do it at West End (Sopers Hole), you can combine it with shopping/lunch there.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 05:59   #30
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
From too many moons ago before I had my own vessel, chartering out of St Thomas was the way to go. There are more bareboat charter outfits in Tortola buy I found them more expensive than St Thomas. Especially for a budget conscious sailor. The cost of checkin-in/out of the BVI is more than offset by not having to pay for a ticket to fly to Tortola and then rent a taxi to get to your chosen Charterer's base.
- - There are quite a few hidden great spots to explore around St Thomas - and - without having to pay for moorings. With only a week charter from St Thomas I would typically anchor at Christmas Cove the first night then leisurely head up to Jost Van Dyke, check-in and do Little Harbor before heading up to the east end of Tortola and all the places there. Up to Virgin Gorda then down the southern little islands and end at Normans Island. Then back to Red Hook to re-enter or direct to Charlotte Amalie to end the circle. You can really only stop are every other or third place during the circuit so next year's tour can do the same circle and hit new places you missed last time.
__________________

__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Caribbean

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice on where to charter in the Caribbean Redbull addict Atlantic & the Caribbean 12 10-06-2014 22:07
Caribbean 1 week charter: looking for a deal SeaKing Classifieds Archive 0 11-09-2008 15:38
Full Season Charter Available In Caribbean??? Lightfin General Sailing Forum 0 27-08-2008 10:43



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.