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Old 02-01-2016, 09:42   #1
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Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Hello fellow sailors!

My wife and I have been Bareboating for 3 years in various locations trying to hone in on a location to retire to and a boat to do it on. We plan on retiring in 8 years, so we have time to investigate! We like catamarans for their stability. We chartered a 43' Lagoon and sailed from FL to Bimini. But the boat can be a topic of discussion for another post.

Our thought is to charter in US Virgin Islands, but I keep reading how great BVI Bareboating is. I like St John for the peace, but no marinas is an issue for me. St Thomas has marinas but seems too commercialized with Cruise ships...

I like the idea of a US territory for cell phones and (medical?) But perhaps BVI is better overall.

We plan to maintain a residence in MN for the summers, so we would also need a safe place for the boat over the summer.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:07   #2
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

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Originally Posted by born4sailing View Post
Hello fellow sailors!

My wife and I have been Bareboating for 3 years in various locations trying to hone in on a location to retire to and a boat to do it on. We plan on retiring in 8 years, so we have time to investigate! We like catamarans for their stability. We chartered a 43' Lagoon and sailed from FL to Bimini. But the boat can be a topic of discussion for another post.

Our thought is to charter in US Virgin Islands, but I keep reading how great BVI Bareboating is. I like St John for the peace, but no marinas is an issue for me. St Thomas has marinas but seems too commercialized with Cruise ships...

I like the idea of a US territory for cell phones and (medical?) But perhaps BVI is better overall.

We plan to maintain a residence in MN for the summers, so we would also need a safe place for the boat over the summer.

Thanks for the help!
===

Francis Bay on the north side of St Johns is one of the most beautiful anchorages I've ever seen, and it's fine in settled weather. You'll need to go elsewhere however for supplies or in strong northerly winds. Most of the well protected harbors on St Johns are filled with private moorings. For that reason I tend to prefer the BVI which is right next door so to speak. The BVI offers more variety and better supply opportunities. There's no reason that you can't cruise back and forth however, mindful of the need to check in and clear customs in both directions.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:28   #3
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Thanks Wayne.B,

Is there a marina in BVI that you would recommend for 6 - 8 months per year? I would want to rent initially, but not rule out purchasing a slip.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:47   #4
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

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Thanks Wayne.B,

Is there a marina in BVI that you would recommend for 6 - 8 months per year? I would want to rent initially, but not rule out purchasing a slip.
===

I think my first choice would be Village Cay Marina in Road Town, Tortola. It's well protected and close to the center of everything. You'll have to make some inquiries however about the customs and immigration issues with keeping a boat there long term. It's possible that you might have to take it back to the USVI once in a while to avoid import duties and the like. Another popular marina is Nanny Cay on the south side of Tortola.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:55   #5
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, born4sailing.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:06   #6
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

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Originally Posted by born4sailing View Post
Our thought is to charter in US Virgin Islands, but I keep reading how great BVI Bareboating is. I like St John for the peace, but no marinas is an issue for me. St Thomas has marinas but seems too commercialized with Cruise ships...

I like the idea of a US territory for cell phones and (medical?) But perhaps BVI is better overall.
In your eight years to go I recommend you charter in both USVI and BVI - and perhaps a few other locations - before you get too attracted to someplace you haven't seen.

Hint: go grocery shopping in both Road Town, Tortola AND Cruz Bay, St. John and this may make a big impression on you.

But if you do end up choosing BVI, at least you know of a place very close by where you can get some peace and quiet....

Dave
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:13   #7
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Note to Wayne B. , Drop the "s" off of St. John .
Years ago when I lived on St. John if our mail had an "S' on it it always came late with a stamp that said , " missent to St. Johns , Antigua "
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:14   #8
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Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Did you consider St Croix? Just a day's sail to the south...

EDIT: But not much of a charter base in St Croix if that's what you're looking for...


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Old 03-01-2016, 09:24   #9
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

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Originally Posted by born4sailing View Post
Hello fellow sailors!

My wife and I have been Bareboating for 3 years in various locations trying to hone in on a location to retire to and a boat to do it on. We plan on retiring in 8 years, so we have time to investigate! We like catamarans for their stability. We chartered a 43' Lagoon and sailed from FL to Bimini. But the boat can be a topic of discussion for another post.

Our thought is to charter in US Virgin Islands, but I keep reading how great BVI Bareboating is. I like St John for the peace, but no marinas is an issue for me. St Thomas has marinas but seems too commercialized with Cruise ships...

I like the idea of a US territory for cell phones and (medical?) But perhaps BVI is better overall.

We plan to maintain a residence in MN for the summers, so we would also need a safe place for the boat over the summer.

Thanks for the help!
I have sailed both the US and British Virgin Islands quite a lot over the years. The BVI is a little more expensive but the better of the two by far. The people are the best asset the islands have along with being safer and cleaner. A short sail to the USVI for shopping once a month makes the BVI ideal.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:47   #10
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by born4sailing View Post
Hello fellow sailors!

I like the idea of a US territory for cell phones and (medical?) But perhaps BVI is better overall.

We plan to maintain a residence in MN for the summers, so we would also need a safe place for the boat over the summer.

Thanks for the help!
Don't get hung up on medical and cellphone service. Cellphone data and calling cost much less in other countries, the US is very expensive. The same regarding medical care.

In Italy, I pay $30 US for 20GB of data for my iPad, cellular phone service is $15 for 300 minutes of international calling with 1GB of data included. Next summer, I expect it to cost even less.

Medical care... Basically, the cost is astronomical in the US compared to anywhere else.

The current crony capitalism going on in the US is costing us all a fortune compared to the rest of the world for these types of services. I'm not trying to get political on the issue, but the cost difference is very real... and the cell service in Italy is actually better than here in Massachusetts, the same with Spain, the U.K. etc.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:30   #11
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

If you haven't, you should consider Puerto Rico. We, too, are from MN, and are snowbirds. We keep our 43' sailboat on the hard at Puerto Del Rey(Fajardo) over the summer. San Juan seems easier and cheaper to fly into/out of, and while you do have an easterly, into-the-wind sail initially, its only a few miles to Calebra and then on the St Thomas. We considered laying over in the BVI, but options and costs convinced us PR was a better choice.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:34   #12
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

You need to check on the BVI regulations for keeping a US registered vessel in the BVI for extended periods of time. My boat is on a mooring in Salt River on St Croix and a 1/2 day's reach of St Thomas, St John and the BVIs. It is happy where it is. SO am I
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:41   #13
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

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If you haven't, you should consider Puerto Rico. We, too, are from MN, and are snowbirds. We keep our 43' sailboat on the hard at Puerto Del Rey(Fajardo) over the summer. San Juan seems easier and cheaper to fly into/out of, and while you do have an easterly, into-the-wind sail initially, its only a few miles to Calebra and then on the St Thomas. We considered laying over in the BVI, but options and costs convinced us PR was a better choice.
We know several other cruisers who do exactly this - and they seem very happy with it.

Dave
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:21   #14
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Vote for Bernie Then!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Don't get hung up on medical and cellphone service. Cellphone data and calling cost much less in other countries, the US is very expensive. The same regarding medical care.

In Italy, I pay $30 US for 20GB of data for my iPad, cellular phone service is $15 for 300 minutes of international calling with 1GB of data included. Next summer, I expect it to cost even less.

Medical care... Basically, the cost is astronomical in the US compared to anywhere else.

The current crony capitalism going on in the US is costing us all a fortune compared to the rest of the world for these types of services. I'm not trying to get political on the issue, but the cost difference is very real... and the cell service in Italy is actually better than here in Massachusetts, the same with Spain, the U.K. etc.
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Old 03-01-2016, 13:21   #15
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Re: Wanting to Retire in the US Virgin Islands

Like yourselves we began bare boat chartering many years ago which led to us bringing down our first sailboat here to the BVI.
I'm writing now from my boat at Village Cay Marine. We Have been here in the Caribbean for over twenty five years but retired of 14 of them.
We too started out in the USVI and then "discovered" the British Virgins which have since grown tremendously. They were and still are awesome.

This is a great place to live and BOAT.The people are wonderful and things are easy.

Come down and check it out yourself......I just don't know about yet another catamaran.
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