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Old 03-11-2011, 14:18   #1
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Where to Refit Near the Virgin Islands ?

My negotiation to buy a Florida sailboat just took a disappointing turn and Im about ready to default to plan B which is to buy ex-charter in Virgin Islands, refit in the area, then begin a meandering return to US. One of the details to work out is where to refit? In another thread, someone said St. Martin was best option. But Im wondering if Puerto Rico is not the better choice for price and selection. It looks like there are at least two West Marine stores there, which has gotta be a good sign. And I understand there are no duties on U.S. imports.
I would appreciate any local knowledge on this.
Thanks, Tom
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Old 03-11-2011, 16:17   #2
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Re: Where to refit near Virgin Islands?

St. Martin has Bobby's and Budget Marine; Puerto del Rey has some pretty skilled craftsmen.
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Old 03-11-2011, 17:29   #3
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Re: Where to refit near Virgin Islands?

I did a fair amount of work in St. Maarten and there wasnt much you couldnt get. Techs for all the major brands too. I imagine Puerto Rico would be pretty well stocked also, but St. Maarten was a good place to do it. One thing I never investigated there was hauling out - Everything I needed I got done in the water but it sure looked like there were plenty of places to do that if it was ever needed. Cheap rental cars too.
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Old 03-11-2011, 19:18   #4
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Re: Where to refit near Virgin Islands?

You can get anything shipped from the US to Puerto Rico inexpensively by US mail.

If the boat is sailable and basically safe, the trip back to the US is easy sailing, mostly downwind. You could just wait until you get back to the US to refit.

Mark
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Old 03-11-2011, 19:37   #5
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Re: Where to refit near Virgin Islands?

This is great info. Thanks to all. My refit will be done in the water, with your's truly performing most of the labor. (adding dodger, wifi, radar, buying dinghy, strong points/jack line, etc.) My primary concern is to have a pleasant, safe place to stay for the 3 to 4 weeks it takes to do the work, and access to new equipment at reasonable prices. I've been to St Maarten and know it is a beautiful location, but Puerto del Rey looks pretty good on their website, and they are on the way back to the bahamas and usa.
Any more guidance would be appreciated.
Tom
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Old 03-11-2011, 19:40   #6
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Re: Where to refit near Virgin Islands?

BVI Yacht Sales Ltd.&
Check this out
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Old 03-11-2011, 20:03   #7
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pirate Re: Where to refit near Virgin Islands?

St Martins must be *****.... it aint got West Marine..... ROTFLMBBO
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:58   #8
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Re: Where to refit near Virgin Islands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
St. Martin has Bobby's and Budget Marine; Puerto del Rey has some pretty skilled craftsmen.
+1 on St Martin (tax free zone) and its Simpson Bay Lagoon. In addition to Bobby's and Budget, there's also Island Water World chandlery.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:06   #9
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There isn't a West Marine on St Thomas either. :-(

For a do it your-selfer, I would think Nanny Cay or Independant Boatyard would have access to the products needed for the projects listed by the OP. Dinghies are substantially cheaper in St Martin than in the USVI or BVI. There are more service providers to choose from there as well.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:39   #10
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Talking Re: Where to Refit Near the Virgin Islands ?

You guy's are making a pretty compelling case for St. Martin, except possibly for boatman. (I'm not sure what he said - St Martins must be *****.... it aint got West Marine..... ROTFLMBBO,- Is this a comment about my using west marine as an indicator of parts availability? Or did his keyboard get stuck. . )
It sounds like most of the posters' first hand experience is for St. Martin, while the thoughts about P.R. are more assumptions. It would be great if someone who spent time in P.R. tinkering with their cruising boat would comment on how they liked the experience.
Thanks again.
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Old 11-11-2011, 13:36   #11
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Re: Where to Refit Near the Virgin Islands ?

Start in St Thomas BUT use Home Despot (Budget Marine in (Independent Boatyard STT is St Maarten Prices + 10/15%) then slip over to St Croix and use their well stocked Hardware store in Gallows bay (i know its going the wrong way) but then cross over to St Maarten to do all your bits and bobs that need bits and pieces that can only be got from a good marine store. IF you go to STT anchor in Elephant Bay opposite Crown Bay marina and seek out Stanley Louden ( live aboard on a beat up Jeanneau Sun Fizz) and he will be able to tell you where to go to get most things you might need (cant find Stan seek out Debs on a Lagoon 380 (Sea 130) and she will be able to find Stan for you.

You can sit in the main harbour in Charlotte Amalie easy peasy and use the $ bus to get round on St Thomas

Have fun

regards

David
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