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Old 31-08-2006, 21:54   #1
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pirate marinas in the usvi

Currently my boyfriend and I live on a 36ft catalina in florida and am looking into getting outta here and heading down to the us virgin islands....possibly St. Croix and eventually Aruba. Anyone know of some great liveaboard marinas down there and possibly their rates?? We just want to get out of this condo-crazed country and liveaboard hating society. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Nikki
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Old 31-08-2006, 22:06   #2
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Green Cay Marina in St. Croix is good for hurricane safety.

Also a clean and well run marina, but they used to have a waiting list..I was on it, but then 9/11 happened and my plans changed. Wish I could keep the boat there and sail on days off.

I lived aboard in Salt River at the marina (1987/1988) and enjoyed it. (Forgot the name, but it has probably changed anyway)

Also stayed in St. Thomas at some marinas, but that island is not my cup of tea.

Good luck.
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Old 31-08-2006, 22:11   #3
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Nikki,

I hear you! Madness is all 'round us these days.

There are very few marinas in St. Thomas. Most liveaboards anchor out (along the north shore of Water Island), in the Lagoon or Red Hook on the east end of St. Thomas. A couple of years back the authorities established rules which prevent long-term anchoring in Charlotte Amalie Harbour; other anchorages are regulated, I believe. You will find current liveaboards on the SSCA Board (www.ssca.org) who can provide up-to-date info on this.

To my knowledge there are a few liveaboards also in Cruz Bay and in Coral Bay on St. John.

I don't know the current situation in St. Croix. Been there a few times over the years...have no interest in returning.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI), adjacent to the USVI, has a variety of marinas and liveaboards on Tortola and Virgin Gorda. In many ways it is much preferable to the USVI, being less developed, more laid back, much less crime, more lovely places to visit, etc.

Costs in the islands are generally a bit more than in the mainland U.S. because EVERYTHING is imported. The one exception -- and an important one -- is booze: very cheap.

Bill
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Old 31-08-2006, 22:45   #4
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Thanks so much Bill for the web site. It is such great site. VERY helpful!
Nikki
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Old 01-09-2006, 14:20   #5
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Btrayfors,

I'm interested in learning the reasons for your lack of interest in returning to St. Croix. Are there too many problems/difficulties, etc. ?????

I've been wondering if St Croix might be a retirement/investment opportunity for the future. Since the warm winter mainland US places are getting so crowded and expensive, as is St Thomas, and St John is so expensive -- I was thinking St Croix might be a "sleeper" since US citizens wouldn't have to worry with paperwork, etc. like you would have to do at other Caribbean islands .........??????

Thanks in advance for the info.

Bob
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Old 01-09-2006, 15:54   #6
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Bob,

I don't know how exactly to answer your question. Perhaps it's just a personal preference thing, since you can name virtually anyplace in the world that you think is just terrible (think Iraq or Afghanistan or Somalia at present), and you will be able to find someone who thinks it's just fine.

To provide some perspective...
I've been to St. Croix several times for as much as a week, and have sailed there twice. I've been to the other USVI many, many times over the past 35 years, and had my boat based in the BVI for 11 years. Have sailed the Eastern Caribbean from Puerto Rico to Grenada, and all the islands of the Antilles, the Windwards and the Leewards. Also served in the Foreign Service for 23 years, living in SE Asia, South Asia, North Africa, and covering all of Sub-Saharan Africa for 8 years. So, I've seen a bit of the world and have formed in my mind a mental picture of places I'd like to visit again, those I wouldn't mind visiting, and those I just don't care to visit.

St. Croix is just one of those places I don't care to visit again. Guess I don't like the ambience there, the history of violence, etc. St. Thomas is just tolerable, for a short time. Would never think of retiring to either one. St. John is beautiful and much more hospitable, but expensive as you noted.

RE: a "sleeper" for real estate? Maybe. I'm no expert, but I don't think so. Vieques might be better.

One problem with St. Croix is its isolation from the other Virgin Islands....40 miles across sometimes very rough water, or a plane flight. The other islands are grouped so you can easily travel between them on ferries or small boats.

Just my opinion. I'm sure others will have a different perspective.

Bill
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Old 02-09-2006, 09:03   #7
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Liveaboard Marinas in the USVI?

Nikki,

My wife and Aye arrive in St Thomas, broke, after meandering around for two years across three oceans from Guam.

We've now been living in a marina here almost five years and now we have a three year old son and a bigger boat.

This has been a good port for us.

We live in the lagoon at Benner Bay on the south-east end. There are three proper marinas sheltered within the mangroves and islands protecting the area. All marinas allow liveaboards. Prices currently range from $11 ~ $16 per ft per month. Water & power are extra. There are several areas where one may anchor / moor within the lagoon. We also have Sapphire Bay Marina, American Yacht Harbor, Latitude 18 nearby and there are marinas in Frenchtown, Crown Bay and the new Yachthaven is on the virge of opening. There are countless anchorages where one can live around St Thomas so long as you do your civic duty and apply for a mooring permit. They're not expensive. Our boat registration cost is $150 per year, which IMHO is a fair deal considering the pristine cruising grounds we have to enjoy here.

There are few, if any, real marinas in St John but rumor has it there are plans to develop Coral Bay sometime within our lifetime. In the meantime, Coral Bay, Johnson Bay, Cruz Bay and Great Cruz Bay are popular long term anchorages.

Not real sure about proper facilities around St Croix but Christianstead seems to be the most popular anchorage.

Obviously, St Thomas is the most developed and "busiest" of the three U.S. Virgin Islands.

It's easy to to find a good job here as the local Talent Pool is a shallow pond and anyone who is honest and willing to show-up on time will do well. The local economy is driven by the cruise ship industry and hand-outs from our federal government in the form of incentitives and tax breaks to help spur local development in hopes of creating jobs. The re-opening of Yachthaven Grande should also provide a boost when the super-mega yacht crowd arrives.

All-in-all... I absolutely LOVE living here.

Come on down!

Kirk
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Old 03-09-2006, 13:00   #8
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Kirk,
Thank you so much for ALL the wonderful info. I have a few questions for ya. For one, how has the hurricane season treated ya figuring you have been there for 5 yrs? Second, if you have encountered some hurricane invasions how bad was the damage? We are definitely keeping St. Thomas on our list to look into. The main thing we look for is airports. We have to be able to commute to ATL to get to work. Thanks a bunch again!
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Old 04-09-2006, 08:00   #9
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Nikki,

We've only had a few skirmishes with huricanes during the five years we've been here. No direct eye hits. Knock on wood. Florida has suffered far worse than we have... but I personally believe that's only because you're being punished for electing a govenor who is the brother of our "president".

Our lagoon is well protected from the effects of wind & waves but we can get a 10 ft storm surge, so I am told.

The airport is located near Crown Bay and Water Island. There are direct flights between STT and ATL.

Cheers!

Kirk
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Old 17-10-2006, 13:39   #10
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Jersey Bay is OK

Nikki; Being a nativexpatriated Floridian I can relate. Independent Boat Yard in Friednhoy(sp) on St. Thomas was a pretty good spot, near Compass Point. Decent Hurricane Hole ,stay on the hook or on the dock.
Lots of folks just like ya'll.

I survived the Hurricane Tour of '95

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Old 18-10-2006, 20:58   #11
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Thanks h20nutt! We are really looking into going down in about 2-3 years. The hard part is getting in contact with the people down there to find out rates and such. Glad to hear it is a great hurricane hole. We are definitely sick of hurricanes...thank goodness this season (knock on wood) has been relatively well to us.

Nikki
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Old 19-10-2006, 08:10   #12
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Nikki - the marina / lagoon / bay to which Waternutt refers is exactly where we have lived for the past five years. It is, without a doubt, the safest huricane hole in the region. My wife works in the marina office. The Dock Master's name is Terry. Our berth will be available in about a year (or two, tops).

Make sure the green can is to port before coming in - there are two "False Entrances" which devour the boats of careless skippers on a regular basis. Keep your revs up when coming inside because the silt is always shifting. Tidal range is only 18 inches and you'll run "amud" with anything over a 6 ft draft.

Feel free to contact us directly should you wish more info.

See you soon?

Kirk
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Old 20-10-2006, 04:54   #13
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US Virgin Islands: Marinas & Anchorage Sites:
Goto: http://www.vinow.com/general_usvi/more_info/marinas/
Or: http://www.usvi.net/usvi/marina.php

Including:
Independent Boatyard (at Benner Bay on the east end of St Thomas)
Frydenhoj, 6249 Saint Thomas
Tel : (340) 776. 0466
Fax : (340) 775.6576
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Old 27-10-2006, 09:04   #14
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Kirk,
Thank you for all the info and the contact. We set a date for Jan of 2009. Could you tell us the price Independent charges? Also, do they charge liveaboard fees?
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Old 27-10-2006, 13:37   #15
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