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Old 11-01-2009, 17:33   #1
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BVI Sailing Lessons and Cheap Flights from the US - Any Reccomendations ?

I'm new to sailing and want to take monohull liveaboard lessons in the BVI for 8-10 days then bring the family down and charter a bareboat for a week.
Sunsail seems to have a good combined offer training and charter around $5400 using one of their older 39-44' classics from Tortola, is this a good price, any ideas.

P.S. airfare to get there from the US is quiet expensive, all the flights from my area (New Mexico) get in late to St Thomas so I would miss the last ferry to Tortola and have to overnight, hotels on St Thomas seem to run $200/night min. I guess there is always San Juan PR but the puddle jumpers from there seem to cost more than the international leg.
Is there a best way to go?

-just call up the internet, they know everything-
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Old 11-01-2009, 19:06   #2
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Hi mjcarey.....on the surface the boat seems like decent deal...but I see your travel challenge.

Is this one trip? You for 10 days with lessons, then you and the family for 7 more?

$5400 for a 17 days... lessons and then bareboat charter...seems reasonable to me.

That's $317 a day....for boat and instructor? Then they let you have it on your own for a week? Perhaps they hope to upsell you on a different boat with the family?

What time of year? How old is the boat..? Classic??
Are you new to boating or just new to sailing ?
That's a big boat and a lot of learning to do in even in 8-10 days

What kind of air rates are you getting $500 ? $1,000? have you searched the sites like orbit etc? I usually fly Continental, I plugged in Albuquerque to St Thomas...came up with NM to Houston to Newark to St Thomas for $548...you'd have to layover in Newark for a night, (hotel ) but you'd get there in time to catch the ferry. The Newark to St Thomas Flight alone usually goes for $460 or more.
If I had to layover a night in St Thomas or Newark, I'd choose St Thomas.

That's all I have for now.

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Old 11-01-2009, 20:24   #3
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Have you thought about flying into Tortola? Might be cheaper than spending the night in Charlotte Amalie and taking the ferry. I assume that Sunsail's "classics" are 5 years old plus, like Moorings second tier division, Footloose. They may not have all the toys of the newest boats but should be well maintained. I have had as many problems with new charter boats as I have with 7 or 8 year old ones. Better question might be who is doing the training? I took a week long course through BlueWater Sailing in Fort Lauderdale before my first charter 8 or nine years ago and it was a great experience. It made the transition from dinghies to cruisers painless and confident. They have lessons in the BVI's as do several other schools. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:52   #4
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If you group is big enough, there are a couple of charter airlines out of San Juan. Vs paying a hotel room in St. Thomas or San Juan, they can be reasonable. Great service too.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:54   #5
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I always find it cheaper to fly out of Miami. Even if you have to spend a night in a hotel in Miami,,,,, there are some cheap hotels 10 min from the airport. Then fly direct from Miami.

Check out sailing charters and lessons in Florida Keys too, I would bet they are less expensive. Just a thought.

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Old 15-01-2009, 09:23   #6
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Thanks for all the responses, i've been rummaaging around the internet and think the best way to go is to avoid san Juan and the puddle jumpers and fly directly to ST-Thomas, so far Bluewater would be my choice, if I can peruade them to let me stay the Friday night on their boat, that would really help.
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Old 15-01-2009, 09:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest245 View Post
Hi mjcarey.....on the surface the boat seems like decent deal...but I see your travel challenge.

Is this one trip? You for 10 days with lessons, then you and the family for 7 more? (yes, one trip)

$5400 for a 17 days... lessons and then bareboat charter...seems reasonable to me.

That's $317 a day....for boat and instructor? Then they let you have it on your own for a week? Perhaps they hope to upsell you on a different boat with the family? (mmm i will have to watch for this.)

What time of year? How old is the boat..? Classic?? (3-5 yrs old.)
Are you new to boating or just new to sailing ?(just new to sailing, done a lot of messin around in boats,)
That's a big boat and a lot of learning to do in even in 8-10 days. (yes I agree, i may end up downsizing once reality kicks in after the lessons)

What kind of air rates are you getting $500 ? $1,000? have you searched the sites like orbit etc? I usually fly Continental, I plugged in Albuquerque to St Thomas...came up with NM to Houston to Newark to St Thomas for $548...you'd have to layover in Newark for a night, (hotel ) but you'd get there in time to catch the ferry. The Newark to St Thomas Flight alone usually goes for $460 or more.
If I had to layover a night in St Thomas or Newark, I'd choose St Thomas.
( i am trying to cut down the flying time so am not looking at anything that takes me from here (New Mexico) via NY or Chicago, I am looking to go SE thru Miami or Atlanta. There are some good web sites i have found that lay out many different travel options at once, can be confusing but rigt now I have the time because I got stuck with Jury duty. Thanks for the suggestions.
M Carey.

That's all I have for now.

Best,

Tempest
( i am trying to cut down the flying time so am not looking at anything that takes me from here (New Mexico) via NY or Chicago, I am looking to go SE thru Miami or Atlanta. There are some good web sites i have found that lay out many different travel options at once, can be confusing but rigt now I have the time because I got stuck with Jury duty. Thanks for the suggestions.
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