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Shusher 22-01-2011 08:44

Big Decision - BVI vs Bahamas
So we just purchased a charter boat from the BVI's and will be picking it up mid April. We plan to spend some time there before it makes it big journey north. Unforunately I can only spend at max 10 days away from home and need to decide where I should best spend it. Any suggestions, we have never sailed in the Carribean before.

skipmac 22-01-2011 08:54

If the boat is in the BVI and you have only 10 days total to spend on the boat you probably need to stay there. Depending on where in the Bahamas you would go it's almost 1000 miles to get there from the BVI.

Based on your post I assume you would then have to find a safe place to leave the boat until you come back later to move it home.

Shusher 22-01-2011 09:04

My husband will be there for a few weeks, with some of our friends meeting him for different legs of the trip, with a captian picking it up from him in Florida to bring it North. So I do have flexibility and looking for the best portion of the trip to do. Does that change your suggestion.

MarkJ 22-01-2011 09:21

The BVI's are as tame as tame gets as a cruising ground. I think its perfect for getting to learn a new boat. Basically its 2 'bays', one each side of the main island Tortola. The 'bays': Drakes Passage and the other is the north west side of Totola bounded by Jost Van Dyke. Its never more than 10 miles for a marina and workshop if something goes wrong. And right next to Sunsail/Moorings for a bit of after sales service if needed.

skipmac 22-01-2011 19:21


Originally Posted by Shusher (Post 602421)
My husband will be there for a few weeks, with some of our friends meeting him for different legs of the trip, with a captian picking it up from him in Florida to bring it North. So I do have flexibility and looking for the best portion of the trip to do. Does that change your suggestion.

Certainly but then brings up a few more questions. What is the route and schedule planned by your husband and the friends? Will they stay and cruise an area for a while then make a passage to another area to stay a while or is the plan to make steady progress back to FL?

Will they leave the BVI and go straight to FL or stop in PR, DR, T&C, etc on the way?

Then what is more to your liking; unspoiled scenery, the passages at sea, island life/dining/shopping?

If the plan is to leave the BVI and make steady progress toward FL I would try to meet them in the Turks & Caicos and make the passage through the Out Islands of the Bahamas to FL. Deserted islands, the most beautiful water in the world and small, friendly towns to visit.

If the plan is to cruise an area for a while and then make the passage to FL then BVI for restaurants, night life, shopping, protected waters, meeting other cruisers. Bahamas for solitude, peace and quiet.

Either way, you can't lose.

pullord 24-01-2011 03:58

just in at bvi
i agree with markj as virgin islands great place to get to know your boat and perhaps y go north,,anyhow your choice but things get cheaper as you go south from there in ec dollars and piracy is really of no concern until you enter trinidad/venuzualan waters.{my opinion},USCG Patroled waters of virgin islands very safe and lovely,,cheers:whistling:

CharterExpert 25-01-2011 03:20

I vote for BVIs. While I love the Bahamas, and you'll never see water more brightly colored anywhere else, the BVIs are a must if you've never done the Caribbean before. As others have said, it also gives you the ability to get familiar with your boat in comfortable cruising grounds. In the Bahamas you may spend more time worrying about the depth and navigation, where you can spend this time in the BVIs getting familiar with the boat. Weather is also guaranteed in the BVIs...

Radonic 28-01-2011 21:08

BVI vs Bahamas from her Husbands friend!
Hi all, I am one of the Husbands friends being referred to in these posts, so I thought I would chime in and shed some more light on the subject.

Sorry Shusher....You thought you could hide from me.....LOL :devil:

The Boat is in the BVI's, her husband and "Friends" and Captain will get the boat up north to it's final resting place, no worries how, and when.

Her husband and crew will get the boat checked out in the BVi's, he is there now doing part of that.

The boat could sail through the Bahamas or skip the Bahamas and go right to the states.


She could spend a week to 10 days in the BVI's and then the boat will make its way without her to the US.



She could let the boat makes way to the states via the Bahamas, (it will still get checked out in the BVI's), then landing in George Town Exumas, where she could join her husband and friends, and spend a 7-10 days in the Exumas, while making it's way to Nassau, where she could get reasonable flights home with the kids.

Then the "Friend" has graciously offered to deliver the boat to the states and cross the gulf stream with her husband. Captain could then deliver the boat from there to the North.

QUESTION: I think the question is, if you could only spend 7-10 days, where would you rather spend it, BVI's in the two lagoons, or Anchoring and sailing the Exumas? Don't worry about logistics, they will be taken care of either way.

By the way, her friend, one of which is me: Check my blog Blogging aboard Black Diamond!. I have crossed the gulf stream a few times, and have spend 3 months cruising the Bahamas with my sailboat which has a draft of 6 1/2 feet, and have only touched a sandy bottom once. I have sailed most of the Bahamas, the Exumas being my favorite. I've completed the trip to Nassau a few times. Sailing from the tip of the Exumas to Nassau can be done in a day cruise. We can easily get the boat from Georgetown, to Nassau in 7-10 days, with beautiful day sails on the inside of the cuts, and spend each evening at a different anchorage.

Check my blog and click on Exumas.... Blogging aboard Black Diamond!

Radonic 01-02-2011 22:24

No one want to weight in?

skipmac 02-02-2011 12:33


Originally Posted by Radonic (Post 610071)
No one want to weight in?

Well, seems like you have a pretty good handle on the options so I would say it would come down to the preference of the wife. What does she like? More civilization ie not much sailing, option to tie up at a marina, restaurants, local night life, shopping then BVI OR deserted islands and beaches, the most beautiful water in the world, more sailing/cruising, anchoring out, fewer towns/marinas/restaurants then the Bahamas?

Of course if you spend all your time in the Bahamas staying the populated spots like Georgetown, Staniel, and Nassau you can get a similar experience to the BVI with a little more distance sailing involved. The potential downside is the Bahamas are further north and this time of year, especially the way the weather has been going, you have a chance of hitting a front in the Bahamas and getting stuck somewhere by the weather. With the time constraints on the wife that could be a concern.

If it was me, I would pick the Bahamas but that's me.

Hillbillylad 02-02-2011 13:10

No I wasn't thinking you were pushing me to the Cheoy Lee LOL, It's a make I have always fancied and never seen so affordable.
Would love to get over and see the Irwin if only to increase her love of the idea. Sadly last night we got a family serious illness type phone call and have to rush down to NC for a while so everything is on hold.
For me at the momenet the Cheoy Lee gets it, but time will tell

Hillbillylad 02-02-2011 13:15

Whoops sorry campers wrong thread.

S/V Antares 02-02-2011 13:24

BVI Vs Bahamas
If this is an x charter boat you should not leave until you have done a thurogh shakedown in the VI/BVI.

If the boat is "Fine" it is still a great place to cruise. If you have never cruised tha VI/BVI then you would be missing one great oportunity.

Heading out to the big blue is a lot like work.

I love the bahamas (There now) but you cannot put a timetable to cruising there due to the weather and places to jump on a plane are not the easiest.

tartansail 02-02-2011 13:55

Both are great places to sail. I agree that the logistics are going to be more of a challenge in the Bahamas with such a short window.

The other question I'd raise is whether this is your husband's boat or your boat, too. The shakedown process and the fitting out and transitioning of the boat from charter to yours is an important learning experience. If you don't get aboard until the Bahamas a lot will have happened that the others will have decided and done. My wife and I just bought a new used boat. She is very clear that, not only are we doing the shakedown together, but no one else is going to be aboard so that we are learning, adopting and adapting together. We're both experienced sailors so it makes sense, but we also put a lot of stock in the early learning. If we had made your purchase, she'd have me shot if I suggested that she wasn't sailing her until we got to the Bahamas.

cfarrar 02-02-2011 14:03

Skipmac pretty much summed it up.

Try to do both? It's a shame to miss the opportunity if your boat will be passing through both places. Even 5 days in the Exumas could be worth it... hop a flight into Georgetown and out of Staniel, or into Staniel and out of Nassau....

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