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Old 17-12-2012, 09:22   #1
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Navigating in the BVI's

Hi there I'm new to this Forum and looking for advice on navigating/boating in the BVI's.
I have a 27' Express Cruiser that I use in the lakes of southern Ontario, Canada. I use a Garmin GPSmap 541S, and paper charts on my Boat for my navigation needs.
I've bareboat chartered a 37' Powercat for 4 days from the Moorings in Tortola, BVI's in mid April, 2013, with my wife and another couple. I'ver been lead to believe these boats have the Raymarine C-Series Chartplotters on board, either C120 or C180 models.
I have loaded the Raytech Navigator ver 6.20 onto my Laptop, to get some experience with Raymarine and hopefully do some advance planning. But then found out the cost of the Navionics charts for the BVI's don't make that practical for a 4 day trip. I also plan to buy paper charts for this trip.
I have a Samsung Android Smartphone and Tablet, and a good Laptop, which I believe can all be loaded with Navigation tools. I could also bring my Garmin Chartplotter with me.
I read some earlier comments on this Forum that the Moorings Raymarine Chartplotters leave a lot to be desired. I have not used Raymarine Chartplotters, so I'm looking for some advice on what electronic navigation tools I should consider buying for a reasonable cost, both for planning and on board, or do I just use the Raymarine Chartplotters that come with the boat?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Dave
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:24   #2
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Eyeballs are all you need in BVI.
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:32   #3
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Depends.
If your're just going to drag race with the crowd from mooring field to mooring field you won't need any charts beyond what the charter companies give out.

If you wander off by yourself, I'd suggest charts.
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:35   #4
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Eyeballs and the little "placemat" charts they give you will be quite adequate.
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:35   #5
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

I wouldn't worry about it too much, the boat will come loaded with everything you need.

I did a Sunsail charter in March out of Tortola and never really used the chart plotter too much, its all line of sight navigation. I found the cruising guide more useful than anything else.
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:40   #6
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

1+ "Eyeballs are all you need in BVI"
Water is very deep almost right to shore.

If you like Garmin and had an iPad, then you could use this for $30
Garmin's BlueChart Mobile for iPhone and iPad
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:45   #7
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

I cannot think of an easier place to navigate than than the BVI. There are a grand total of 2 cardinal marks and 2-3 submerged rocks (that are in the charts) but otherwise everything is line-of-sight or otherwise easily detected and navigated to. Several of the entrances take you through reefs where your depth-sounder and a set of MK-IV eyeballs coupled with a paper chart are sufficient. There are so many boats there that one can just follow another boat in (preferably one with a deeper keel than yours).

The cruise guides and placemat maps as mentioned earlier are sufficient. If you want to go to Anegada you should use BVIPirate's charts as the GPS chartplotter coordinates for that island are off by a good 100 feet but apart from there the charplotter-GPS sychronization is as good as it gets anywhere.
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:36   #8
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Wow, I can't beleive the number of replies already! It looks like I really don't need to be too concerned, just like at home.
Thank you everyone!
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Old 17-12-2012, 11:52   #9
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

We just got back from our first charter there. Cruising guide and anchorage guide are all we really used.
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Old 17-12-2012, 12:18   #10
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

I have a boat in charter with the Moorings. I find their GPS units to be more than adquate. I agree with those above who said that a simple chart and eyball navigation pretty much suffices.

Any GPS is more of an added convenience than necessity in my opinion. Don't forget, chartering there was popular long before GPS was ever popular.
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Old 17-12-2012, 15:21   #11
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Ditto to all the above. No need to worry. The GPS on board or paper charts are all that is needed. You really can eyeball things too.
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Old 17-12-2012, 15:36   #12
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

The pic in my profile is from BVI. Easy to nav by sight, but you can get the navionics on your android pretty cheap. Cheaper than the Ipad. I have navionics us and carrib on my tablet and it works great. I use it back home all the time (even though I can nav at home with eyeballs except at night).
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Old 17-12-2012, 15:45   #13
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Just start your daily sailing by 8:00 AM and complete it no later than 2:00 PM. Have fun!
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Old 18-12-2012, 15:53   #14
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
kind regards,
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Old 18-12-2012, 15:59   #15
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Re: Navigating in the BVI's

Welcome. I always say that the Virgin Islands is like Disney World for sailors it is so perfect. Gorgeous weather, clear water, no fog, plenty of wind, sheltered anchorages, interesting little harbors, fantastic swimming and snorkeling, warm, sunny, eyeball navigate everywhere--remind me again why I keep my boat up north?
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