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Old 22-06-2015, 12:06   #16
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdreamin View Post
Wow. Thank you all sooo much for the insight. I am going to have to discuss this with our friends and figure out what to do.
The no crowds sounds very appealing but no wind kind of a fun killer, and with things being closed may actually be a deal breaker.

So if we decide to wait till the end of October or the first week in November, when does it start to get crowded to the point of rushing to get a mooring? When do the business start to reopen?

BTW 3 of us are divers so any recommendations for a dive operator would also help. We just like do dive once per trip (2 tank) as we are not the hard core diver type. No offense intended to those who are.
Mid November to Mid December are pretty good. Somewhere in that time it usually starts to get VERY windy, so bear that in mind, and once Christmas Week arrives, things get very busy.

There are many excellent dive operators and you will probably want to make your decision once you have a better idea of where you want to make your dive. That gets back to the cruising guides.
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Old 22-06-2015, 12:24   #17
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

I remember one time about 10 years ago in November where it rained heavily for a week. Several people died. Roads flooded. Remember eating dinner at the Tamarind Club with six inches of water running over my feet. Granted it was very unusual. Felt sorry for all the charters sitting at the harbor in Road Town for a week in the rain. Go during the season if you can.
Second the idea of a captain only charter. Also look at crewed charters. By the time you add everything up and consider the hassle of provisioning and checkout it can be well worth it. We used to run "captain who cooks" charters which is nice. Although a fanatic monohull sailor cats are best in the BVI.
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Old 22-06-2015, 14:35   #18
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

I use "The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands" by Nancy and Simon Scott. The 17th Edition for 2015 and 2016
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Old 22-06-2015, 15:43   #19
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

I've had a Jeanneau DS 41 in charter with SunSail for the past two years, and the boat has had charters in Sept. and Oct., but never in November; I believe they prep the boats for the up coming high season. I lived and ran charter boats in the Virgins and recall an occasional week in the fall with 3 days of clouds and rain, but that was not the norm.

Diving may not be your main interest, but more sites will be available when the wind is down. I would plan to dive in the eastern most areas - Marina Cay, Scrub Island, Virgin Gorda - for more remote sites with more and bigger fish.

You will be taking a chance on the weather, but that is why the prices are near half compared to high season.
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Old 22-06-2015, 16:07   #20
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec H View Post
I've had a Jeanneau DS 41 in charter with SunSail for the past two years, and the boat has had charters in Sept. and Oct., but never in November; I believe they prep the boats for the up coming high season. I lived and ran charter boats in the Virgins and recall an occasional week in the fall with 3 days of clouds and rain, but that was not the norm.

Diving may not be your main interest, but more sites will be available when the wind is down. I would plan to dive in the eastern most areas - Marina Cay, Scrub Island, Virgin Gorda - for more remote sites with more and bigger fish.

You will be taking a chance on the weather, but that is why the prices are near half compared to high season.
There are positives and negatives for every time of the year. High Season is HIgh Season as much because that's when it's horrible up in the States and that's when folks get out of town, as anything. No hurricanes (well, almost never) in High Season, but the re-inforced trades of the winter (the so-called Christmas Winds) can be a handful and can dominate every itinerary decision you make. For my money, the best time is the summer and fall. Buy trip insurance and accept the fact that occasionally you will get shut down, but that otherwise the sailing, swimming and diving are great, and that there are no crowds, at all.

The bareboats are much cheaper then, as said - and every fleet is operational in November - but the crewed or captain only yachts will have only small discounts, if any.
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Old 23-06-2015, 06:48   #21
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Thanks again everyone. We haven't come to a decision yet but we will be going.

A little about my wife and I . I have lived on a small lake my entire life and have sailed small craft since probably around age 5 or so. Growing up my dad loved to go fast. Sometimes when a storm was making the wind come up that was when dad and I went out, with mom screaming at us ( didn't work as we went out anyway). YEE HAW.

Sailed lake Michigan a couple of times with Aunt and uncle on their Columbia 39. When they retired they sold the house and moved aboard, sailed down to St. Thomas and lived on the boat for 3 years. At the end of their stay my Dad and I went down and sailed the BVIs for a week. At that time ( I think late 1980's but not sure) the Willy T was anchored at the Bight and there was NO deveopment on shore there. Uncle Dale said Norman Island was for sale for a whopping $3 million us dollars. Dang it. Then we set of to the Turks and Caicos. After 3 day passage we ended up staying off south Caicos for 3 days. The winds stayed around 30 knots so Uncle Dale stayed put. Our destination was Provo and we were to fly home from there. At that time I was really disappointed but now respect his decision. That was my only experience in the Virgins.

2013 Wife and I and our youngest daughter completed a live aboard Cat course in the Abacos. Wife and daughter fell in love with the idea of living the life. 2014 chartered (bare boat) 33' Jenn out of Bayfield Wisconsin on lake Superior. The Apostle island there are a beautiful area to cruise if you get the chance. This was the wife's first sail on a larger mono. She says she will never sail on one again. My bad. Shouldn't have taken her on a cat first.

Anyway our ultimate goal is to buy and live aboard for at least a couple of years so we need bare boat experience. I appreciate the suggestions of a captain and crew but frankly it ain't gonna happen. Also as above it will only be on a cat.

On another note admittedly I have been a hang about on CF for a couple of years now and have looked for a crew wanted position almost daily, but haven't had any trips work out. I'll keep trying.

Thanks again everyone, Greg
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Old 23-06-2015, 07:17   #22
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

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Originally Posted by Cdreamin View Post
I am trying to plan a charter in the BVIs and due to group schedules we are thinking this September or October. My first concern is this is in the peak of Hurricane season.
We do plan to purchase trip insurance.:
Be very careful with the trip insurance. Do not accept someone's assurance over the phone that you will be covered. Download the policies and read the language. We went in August last year. I went through 2 or 3 insurers before I found one that I was confident would really provide coverage for the charter. I don't remember the details well now but I recall some policies requiring the cancellation of your flight, or cancellation by a common carrier. Don't think, "Oh, I'm sure they mean . . ." Insurance policies mean EXACTLY what they say, nothing more.

Our charter was "no refund due to weather."
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Old 23-06-2015, 09:14   #23
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Many charters, in fact, almost all crewed charters, offer no refunds for named or numbered storms or warnings for same. That's why insurance is crucial in the hurricane season. By the way, this is an issue that has been worked through thoroughly by the industry players, from owners to crews to brokers, and there are many reasons why it works the way it does. The boats are somewhat at risk for not being laid up in hurricane season, and the crews are cutting into their time off. A few bookings can make this worthwhile, but no one would bother if there was no assurance of getting paid, regardless of weather. So, getting insured is the client's part of what makes this possible.
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Old 24-06-2015, 12:13   #24
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

I've sailed the BVI every month of the year over the past many decades. Sept-Oct are the wettest, least wind and most buggy. Why sail in paradise with greatest chance for the above. Unless you like motoring in a sailboat or want the fewest restaurants open and the emptiest anchorages, why not opt for Jan-April?
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