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maytrix 27-09-2010 19:54

Buying a Boat in the BVI and Keeping it There
So my wife and I want to get a boat and eventually want to spend our time sailing around the world. There are a few options we're considering with the following being highly considered.

Buy an ex-charter boat in the BVI and keep it there allowing us to go down whenever we want to sail. Friends we charter with now could help us cover costs by spending a week with us and saving themselves on the normal charter costs. Win/win for everyone. I have no idea what would be involved with buying a boat in the BVI and keeping it there. Obviously insurance, slip/mooring year round..etc.

This probably wouldn't give us the boat we'd want to cruise on, but would give us more time to spend sailing, gaining more experience and allow us to sail whenever we want. Worst case I figure we could refit the boat we choose minimally to make it more suitable for cruising a wider area.

Any info anyone has on what might be involved, pros/cons..etc are very welcomed. At this point we're just throwing around the idea and considering it. It's possible we might have a friend or two that would be interested in owning it with us which would give us a wider range of boats to choose from as well.

shadow 27-09-2010 22:08

As far as I know, there's no boat tax when purchasing a yacht there.. As for keeping it there and flagged, I would assume that the more experienced and salted gurus of this forum can chime in...

Zanshin 28-09-2010 04:22

The BVI have no tax on boat purchases (I've done two purchases and one sale there). I keep my boat there in the off season.

Keeping a boat, be it BVI flagged or from another country, is no issue. You need to pay a temporary import duty of something around $200 annually. Dockage and yard space for storage depends upon the boat length, but I think that a 43 footer last year at Hodge's Creek (ex-Sunsail base) with water and electricity went for $700 or $800 a month in season. Storage during the hurricane season on the hard is not an issue and relatively safe, category 4 hurricane "Earl" that swept over the BVI did not cause any boat damage at the Nanny Cay yard.
The BVI are great proving grounds for boating and the selection of ex-charter yachts is nonpareil.

nautical62 28-09-2010 07:31

I used to have a boat in Florida, 1,500 miles from where I live. I now have on in the Bahamas and another in charter in the BVIs.

When I kept a boat in Florida, maintenance was much easier and less expensive. Parts were more plentiful, cheaper and having a car, were easier to get to my boat as were tools. Having a boat abroad is more difficult in this regard.

Even though I purchased my Hunter for less than 1/4 of the price of the Beneteau I have in charter, overall it will prove to be a more expensive boat to own. The income generated from the charter boat in addition to the lack of insurance, dockage or maintenance more than covers the price difference and it's a nicer boat and is far less headache. I show up, get on the boat and go sailing. If you enjoy the charter lifestyle, and are happy with 6-8 weeks of sailing per year, I recommend at least pricing and comparing charter management to the cost of buying and maintaining an ex-charter boat.

In terms of sailing an ex-charter boat around the world, there is at least one active member here doing that.

maytrix 28-09-2010 08:04

Thanks for the responses..

Nautical, I have thought of getting a boat in the charter program - the moorings in particular. The only thing holding us up right now is the down payment. We could more easily afford a down payment on an ex-charter right now and I'm pretty sure (still trying to figure out what I've missed) handle the monthly costs.

I do like the fact though that a boat in charter has no monthly costs, but rather has income. And the added bonus that we could still take it at the end of the program and sail off is nice as well and would give us a 5 year plan too.

There is a lot to think about :)

I think we'll keep thinking about all the options we have, run numbers and enjoy our charter in two weeks and see how we feel after that. If you hear a news story of a moorings 4600 not being returned at the end of its charter week, its a safe bet my wife and I have stolen it and are off cruising ;)

nautical62 28-09-2010 10:15


Originally Posted by maytrix (Post 529637)
..I think we'll keep thinking about all the options we have, run numbers and enjoy our charter in two weeks and see how we feel after that...

Excellent plan. I think far too often people make assumptions about charter managmeent or ex charter boats without actually crunching the numbers for that vs. alternatives. Keep an open, objective mind using real numbers and I'm sure you'll make the best choice for your situation.

Tom and Maje 28-09-2010 11:15

You could check with some of the charter companies in the BVI. I don't know how often, but I do know that they have boats for sale that you can leave in charter. I'd check Mooring and Sunsail first as they take very good care of their boats.


maytrix 28-09-2010 16:15


Originally Posted by nautical62 (Post 529707)
Excellent plan. I think far too often people make assumptions about charter managmeent or ex charter boats without actually crunching the numbers for that vs. alternatives. Keep an open, objective mind using real numbers and I'm sure you'll make the best choice for your situation.

Yeah - I figure we should look at every possible option before making any decision. I'd rather do a lot of research and take our time and make the right decision then rush it and be disappointed.

Maje, I will keep that in mind. We have a fair amount of time before our flight on the last day of our charter so we'll probably check in with sales and see if we can look at some of the boats just to get an idea on what we like/dislike and what options there are.

nautical62 29-09-2010 06:42

Tui Marine (Sunsail and Moorings) Ex charter boats for sale here:

maytrix 29-09-2010 07:53

Thanks - I'm already very familiar with that site :) I spend far too much time browsing it. I also keep looking at boats for sail locally but if we did buy a boat, buying it in the area we want to keep it will certainly make things easier.

maytrix 30-09-2010 10:13

If we did get a boat and kept it there is there any reason it couldn't be on a mooring year round rather then in a slip? I would assume its no issue, but figure it's worth asking since it will make a difference in costs.

Any marina's that anyone would recommend?

Zanshin 01-10-2010 00:45

I always put my boats on the hard, either at Nanny Cay or in the Virgin Gorda boatyard instead of keeping either of them in the water. I know of some people who keep their boats in the water on a mooring all year - up in Trellis Bay and Penn's Landing. I don't know if this is feasible, particularly during the summer hurricane season. Paying for a haulout/in and storage isn't so bad and the boat will be relatively safe. I think that the VG yard is still offerring a fixed-price deal which gives you 3 free haulouts or so during a year.
Dock space is at a premium during the season and it can be hard to find affordable space. It is somewhat easier to find dockage without water/electricity for storage. What sort of a boat size and type are you looking at? Monohull or Catamaran?

maytrix 01-10-2010 10:02

Penn's landing is one spot I was considering. I also have thought about VG.

We're thinking of a 47' Monohull. It would be something we'd be happy living on eventually if we were ready to make the move but not ready to get a different boat. It's also large enough that we can bring friends with us which would help offset some of the costs of keeping it there.

Zanshin 03-10-2010 03:49

The Beneteau 473 are solid boats, if that is what you are looking into. The mooring area around Penn's landing looks pretty sheltered and there are a lot of permanent fixtures there that look like they haven't moved in a while. The mooring/anchoring up at Trellis is excellent but there is very little room for more boats and a large part of the navigable (i.e. not too shallow for 7 feet draft) part is almost completely reserved by mooring balls (at daily rates of $20) or long-term live-aboards.
I think that the Virgin Gorda deal is a good one for boats that get cruised for a couple of weeks at a time and then can "rest" ashore for a while.
There might be permanent moorings available in Hodge's creek towards what used to be Fat Hog Bob's and is now a Pusser's restaurant.

maytrix 04-10-2010 12:07

Yeah, the 473 is what were considering. They are in the price range we want and have enough space that bringing friends will not be an issue. Only thing I'm unsure of is how easy it would be to install A/C and a generator - I'm not really sure if there's enough room and this is something we would eventually like - I'd get a unit that can do heat as well.

I'll have to talk to the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor - their pricing online wasn't straight forward and I had some questions on it. Once I get that figured out, we'll be able to better determine where we'd keep it and at least have that cost nailed down..

Next is figuring out insurance costs..etc.

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