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Old 24-11-2014, 22:01   #1
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BVI charter newbie

I have a question or two, my friends and I are interested in chartering a small or cat in the BVI's during July. It looks like the smallest boats (Smaller than 40 feet) generally do not have a generator. My crew feels fairly strongly about having air conditioning away from the dock. My question, return how important is air conditioning and the BVI's in July?

Second, what are the advantages and disadvantages of going with Mooring/Sunsail versus one of the smaller bareboat charter firms?
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Old 25-11-2014, 00:21   #2
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Re: BVI charter newbie

Been once, in January, and it looks like July is a couple degrees warmer, but not much (76F vs 81F average). Coming from the cold in winter, AC was nice at the dock, but totally unnecessary elsewhere. Just open the hatches, and the boat stayed comfortable. If I had to do it again, I'd easily nix the A/C, unless you plan to spend lots of time at the dock (and why would you want to do that anyway).

We used Moorings, and they were OK, but pretty rushed. Sent us out with a plugged head and two engines that were iffy.. If i had to do it again, I'd use someone else.

Couple things not to miss:
1. The Baths - Virgin Gorda
2. Bubbling Pools on Jost Van Dyke
3. Lobster dinner on Anegada - unforgettable
4. If you scuba dive, the reck of the Rhone on Salt Island is incredible.
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Old 25-11-2014, 03:28   #3
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Re: BVI charter newbie

A/C and Generator are a very nice item to have in the summer months here. The wind comes out of the south is generally lighter and the humidity rises.


The company that I work for has a FP 36 Mahe named Azzurra that has generator and air conditioning. One of the few on the market in that size range available with that option. Mahe's are a blast to sail as well. It sells out every year. If you want info on it send me a pm.


Jay
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Old 25-11-2014, 04:45   #4
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Re: BVI charter newbie

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Teacherman.
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Old 25-11-2014, 05:37   #5
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Re: BVI charter newbie

If you want air conditioning, stay home or rent a hotel room or get on one of those large cruise ships. I can't imagine wanting A/C while out on a sailboat in the Caribbean; it would kill the whole experience. I spent a Bahamian summer on a boat with A/C and the owner liked to run it. Never again for me.
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Old 25-11-2014, 06:10   #6
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Re: BVI charter newbie

I've done several Caribbean charters in the summer; never had A/C and none of us wished we had it. We love being out in the natural Caribbean environment, which is why we go there.
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Old 25-11-2014, 17:49   #7
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Re: BVI charter newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwing View Post
If you want air conditioning, stay home or rent a hotel room or get on one of those large cruise ships. I can't imagine wanting A/C while out on a sailboat in the Caribbean; it would kill the whole experience. I spent a Bahamian summer on a boat with A/C and the owner liked to run it. Never again for me.
Actually staying home or getting on a cruise ship isn't necessary, despite your strong feelings about air conditioning, you simply don't get it. People have free will, and income to choose what they want. The market is driving equipment levels and options on charter boats. An increasing number of them have generators, air conditioning, water makers, solar and ice makers.

The fact that the OP's group wants air conditioning doesn't make them any less worthy to go sailing. It doesn't mean they should get on a cruise ship and your idea that it would "kill the whole experience" is ludicrous.

What you want for an "experience" and what the OP and his friends want aren't the same thing. Here is an experience for you, a week on board, abundant ice for drinks and cold beer, a comfortable state room with air conditioning. Great sailing, solar to keep the ice machine, refrigerator, freezer and ipod running. A generator to keep it all together when the sun goes down. How about a 12 foot dinghy with motorized davits and a 15 hp engine to get you to dinner on shore or to a great dive site.

One doesn't make the other right or wrong just different. They likely want to be comfortable, do the wild ting, and not sweat their arse off. Fortunately in a free society if you make enough money to do these things you still can.
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Old 25-11-2014, 18:17   #8
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Re: BVI charter newbie

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Originally Posted by Teacherman70 View Post
My crew feels fairly strongly about having air conditioning away from the dock. My question, return how important is air conditioning and the BVI's in July?
I've been there three times, twice in March and once in mid-June. The weather was perfect both times in March, which is typical for that season.

The week before we arrived in mid-June, the weather reports had great weather. But the week we visited, it was hot, humid, and packed full of rain squalls. You take your chances in the summer, but it is half the price of going in March.

-SEC
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Old 25-11-2014, 19:21   #9
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Re: BVI charter newbie

Most of the nice charter boats will have A/C. It's a feature rarely needed but when you do want it, it sure is appreciated by the crew and makes their overall experience much more enjoyable.

Though I'm sure there are some, we haven't had a bad charter company, and we've dealt with many. We've also had great luck dealing with a broker. It doesn't cost you any more money, and they'll fit your desires to the best boat and charter company available. They'll also find you the best prices. Melody Delgado is good.
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:04   #10
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Re: BVI charter newbie

My opinion was given to a person who wants to charter a boat that does not have A/C - presumably to save some money.

You are trying to sell him something:

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainjay View Post
Here is an experience for you, a week on board, abundant ice for drinks and cold beer, a comfortable state room with air conditioning. Great sailing, solar to keep the ice machine, refrigerator, freezer and ipod running. A generator to keep it all together when the sun goes down. How about a 12 foot dinghy with motorized davits and a 15 hp engine to get you to dinner on shore or to a great dive site.
Is A/C important for Caribbean cruises? Only if you are trying to sell time on boats with A/C.
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:23   #11
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Re: BVI charter newbie

Welcome to CF,

My wife and I have chartered in the BVI about 10 times at various times of the year from four different companies. Hopefully you can gain some insight from our experiences.

Which company? We have used Sunsail more often than any other including our most recent trip on a 38 foot cat. For us, they represent the best compromise of cost and quality. Not the cheapest (but certainly not the most expensive) and overall good quality service and condition of boats (but also not the absolute highest end). They have been responsive in dealing with mechanical problems when needed. The smaller companies have been a mixed bag, and while their small size makes for a more personalized experience, they are less equipped to respond to a mechanical problem.

Air Conditioning? Nice to have at the dock in a stuffy marina, but completely unnecessary while anchored out. One year we did have a boat with a genset for the AC, but we only used it the night at the dock. Our most recent cat had dockside AC, and it we used it to cool down the boat while we settled in the first evening, but we opened the hatches and turned it off to sleep.

I hope you have a great trip!
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:30   #12
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Re: BVI charter newbie

Whether A/C is needed or not is 100% opinion. Only the OP and his group know if they'll really need it.

We've been in the BVI over a dozen times and have had it most trips, but have also not had it other trips. When we have it, we use it at night. It's nice to cool down the boat and have a comfortable night sleep without the hatch dance when the showers come in. Many 4 cabin cats don't get as much air in the aft cabin, so while it might be fine in the forward cabins (if there's no rain) it may be hotter aft.

40' Cats are limited as far as A/C. Moorings does have some 39's that have it though. At a minimum, I'd at least get a boat that has shore power and that gives you access a few nights during the trip.

I'd also suggest checking www.sailonline.com and looking at their discount charters - great way to save some money and you can get a larger boat for the price of a smaller boat in many cases.

So is A/C necessary? Of course not. You can survive without it. Will you be more comfortable with it? Most certainly. We were just in the BVI last week and I was woken up a number of nights to heavy downpours. It wouldn't have been fun had the hatches been open.
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:49   #13
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Re: BVI charter newbie

I usually charter in the summer and there have been times when a/c would have made things more comfortable. My wife is definitely in the a/c want column.

We are chartering in the BVI this coming summer and will not have a/c. She said okay to a week without a/c, but set the limit at a week.

Do what makes people happy, it will make the trip better for everyone.
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