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Help from the experts #118313
01/22/2017 09:21 PM
01/22/2017 09:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 49
New York, New York
M
MaryC Offline OP
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MaryC  Offline OP
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M
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 49
New York, New York
Hello all,

I am looking for help- we are four or five couples looking to charter a catamaran out of St. Thomas for 4 nights in December. We would like to stop at Norman Island, Jost, Willy T, the Baths and Saba Rock.
Then back to St. Thomas. We definitely want a skipper.
Please send me any and all suggestions for boats, charter companies and skippers.
We are total newbies to chartering, but have been land based in the BVI many times.

Thank you all so much!

BVI Sponsors
Re: Help from the experts [Re: MaryC] #118314
01/22/2017 10:47 PM
01/22/2017 10:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,135
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,135
Ontario, Canada
That is a challenging itinerary for 4 days.


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show).

https://www.cyabrochure.com/ebn/2307/pdyrX/6642/4///
Re: Help from the experts [Re: warren460] #118315
01/22/2017 11:42 PM
01/22/2017 11:42 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 462
Chicago
YachtReprise Offline
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YachtReprise  Offline
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Joined: May 2011
Posts: 462
Chicago
Well it's not much of a challenge if that's ALL you want to see - just a lot of sailing. Or rather motorsailing, since you want a cat and you have a specific itinerary you want to fill.

Day 1 - STT to WE, check in, and Norman/Willy T for the night.

Day 2 - motorsail to the Baths, then to North Sound and Saba

Day 3 - Hang out in North Sound for a day of relaxing

Day 4 - Long but fast downwind sail to JVD

Day 5 - Back to base in STT

I'd really suggest that you contact a broker for this one. (Maybe someone who represents both crewed and bareboats, like Ed Hamilton)It could be a challenge finding a boat who is willing to do only a four night charter in December. Of course, the closer to Christmas, the less likely your chances.

You might be better off ferrying to Tortola, or St John and meeting you're crewed boat there.

Your broker will find a way...

Have fun!

Re: Help from the experts [Re: YachtReprise] #118316
01/23/2017 06:42 AM
01/23/2017 06:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,349
Memphis, BVI, CT
R
RatmansWife Online content
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RatmansWife  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,349
Memphis, BVI, CT
Not as much of a boater as many of you, but see lots of cats struggling when the winds and waves are up. This itinerary sounds like it could be rough if the Christmas winds are blowing.

Seeing a lot of clouds today, and we had rain last night. Nice and cool for sleeping.

Re: Help from the experts [Re: RatmansWife] #118317
01/23/2017 08:35 AM
01/23/2017 08:35 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
S
StormJib Offline
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StormJib  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
The great news is there is plenty to do by boat in the BVI. With just four days to fill with everyone new to boat living and the BVI. A great time could be had with just a "wide" circumnavigation of Jost Van Dyke. Maybe a WIDE circumnavigation of the Sandy Cay could be a better description. Most try to do too much with too little time.

I would use a broker as suggested above and focus on a crew that fits your group's style and personality. Then let the weather and mood of the group determine the schedule each day. The level of budget, dining expectations, and party level can swing very wide. Be sure to share your group's culture with the broker. Do you search for $100 a night motel rooms or $1,000 and up a day small inns?

Re: Help from the experts [Re: StormJib] #118318
01/23/2017 09:56 AM
01/23/2017 09:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
If you go with 5 couples you cut your boat options substantially from 4. Starting and stopping in St Thomas also reduces options. I would suggest you ferry to west end and back for pickup and drop off. You will get more bang for your buck and free up boat time the first and last day. Your charter quote will be lower and you avoid the provisioning issue with a boat coming from the BVI to the USVI.
I think you can find a boat if you will be there prior to 20 Dec. After 20 Dec most boats will be reluctant to do a 4 day charter and probably have a 7 day minimum.
G

Re: Help from the experts [Re: MaryC] #118319
01/23/2017 10:10 AM
01/23/2017 10:10 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 826
Tortola, BVI
L
LianeLeTendre Offline
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LianeLeTendre  Offline
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L
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 826
Tortola, BVI
Hi Mary,

I am a bareboat broker and can tell you that you will find very few options available. Firstly, most bareboat companies require a minimum 5-night charter, on a year-round basis. Over either Christmas or New Years, they require a minimum 7 night booking.

Secondly, if you have 5 couples plus a captain, you will find only a handful of yachts that can accommodate you and they are (for the most part) already booked if planning to sail over the holidays.

If sailing anytime before December 16, 17 or 18, you may still be able to find a captain only charter if you are able to extend your charter to 5 nights.

Best of luck in your search.

Re: Help from the experts [Re: LianeLeTendre] #118320
01/23/2017 11:12 AM
01/23/2017 11:12 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
If they start and end from STT I suspect they will have to pay for 5 if not 6 nights based on normal charter start and finish times. The issue with customs and provisions would also be potentially a giant pain.
G

Re: Help from the experts [Re: GeorgeC1] #118321
01/23/2017 12:40 PM
01/23/2017 12:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,251
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
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CaptainJay  Offline
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Posts: 1,251
Saint Thomas, USVI
Quote
GeorgeC1 said:
If they start and end from STT I suspect they will have to pay for 5 if not 6 nights based on normal charter start and finish times. The issue with customs and provisions would also be potentially a giant pain.
G


Customs and provisions are not a giant pain. Not sure where this one is coming from. Based on what we have seen this season our boats are being treated the same way that they have been historically.

Jay

Re: Help from the experts [Re: CaptainJay] #118322
01/23/2017 01:03 PM
01/23/2017 01:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
Two boats that I am aware of have had all meat, dairy, vegetable products onboard the boat seized by US customs at Cruz Bay. Makes it difficult for a crewed boat to pick up charterers in the USVI. If you look at the regulations what they are doing is correct. It's just never been enforced before. It also makes jumping over to the USVI problematic for a few days. This would have little impact on your boats returning from the BVI as normally they are ending their charter. It's a big deal if a BVI based boat.
G

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 01/23/2017 01:23 PM.
Re: Help from the experts [Re: GeorgeC1] #118323
01/23/2017 02:21 PM
01/23/2017 02:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 244
Charlotte
K
Knotthead Offline
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Knotthead  Offline
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K
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 244
Charlotte
I went to Cruz bay to check in in December and had 0 problems, no questions at all about food on the boat. Also no problems at all checking back in to BVI. Captain only with passports and forms.

Re: Help from the experts [Re: GeorgeC1] #118324
01/23/2017 07:11 PM
01/23/2017 07:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,278
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,278
USVI
Quote
GeorgeC1 said:
Two boats that I am aware of have had all meat, dairy, vegetable products onboard the boat seized by US customs at Cruz Bay. Makes it difficult for a crewed boat to pick up charterers in the USVI. If you look at the regulations what they are doing is correct. It's just never been enforced before. It also makes jumping over to the USVI problematic for a few days. This would have little impact on your boats returning from the BVI as normally they are ending their charter. It's a big deal if a BVI based boat.
G


Wow they must get quite a haul from all those Mega Yachts with giant freezers and fridges!!!!! - have you ever seen the carts they leave with when they provision or when the foodservice trucks come and deliver to them!!

Re: Help from the experts [Re: LocalSailor] #118325
01/23/2017 07:51 PM
01/23/2017 07:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
S
StormJib Offline
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StormJib  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
Quote
LocalSailor said:
Quote
GeorgeC1 said:
Two boats that I am aware of have had all meat, dairy, vegetable products onboard the boat seized by US customs at Cruz Bay. Makes it difficult for a crewed boat to pick up charterers in the USVI. If you look at the regulations what they are doing is correct. It's just never been enforced before. It also makes jumping over to the USVI problematic for a few days. This would have little impact on your boats returning from the BVI as normally they are ending their charter. It's a big deal if a BVI based boat.
G


Wow they must get quite a haul from all those Mega Yachts with giant freezers and fridges!!!!! - have you ever seen the carts they leave with when they provision or when the foodservice trucks come and deliver to them!!


The ones that know what they are doing and that is virtually all of them. Pay a Ships Agent to fill out the forms and sheppard the paperwork. Technically you do not owe the duty on the "ships stores" you end up leaving with. Under BVI Law you are supposed to declare everything coming in and when you clear out you report what you are exporting and get a "drawback" of 90 percent of any duty you paid coming in.

For those that think this is crazy. We are by law required to declare our coolers of foods we are bringing in. Sometimes they take the time and effort to collect some duty other times the staff forgoes the effort or legally required work. If one of us had 1,000 dollars worth of caviar or other fine gourmet consumables concealed in our bag unreported that person would be a smuggler. Boats coming over from the USVI and other places and showing up with forms falsely declaring nothing of value on the boat have been stopped, arrested, and harassed for years.

If you purchase provisions on St. John or ST. Thomas and clear customs in the BVI you are supposed to report what you are importing and pay duty on it. You can ask for 90% of your money back when you leave for anything "unopened".

Those big expensive crewed boats keep an exact record of anything opened or purchased for the charter and bill the charter principle back for every penny of it. When you do a real charter you send a wire 30 days before the charter with your APA "Advance Provisioning Allowance". That is usually 25 percent of the original cost of the charter. So on a $100,000 charter you send another $25,000 for food and booze to stock the boat to your preferences. The exact amounts are settled up +/- at the end of the charter using the exact records that are kept for everything that happens on those boats.

Re: Help from the experts [Re: StormJib] #118326
01/23/2017 08:21 PM
01/23/2017 08:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
I don't think people are understanding what I am saying. You can't import meats, vegetables or fruit into the US. It's not a duty issue. They are supposed to seize and incinerate those items. It as far as I know was not enforced prior to this fall for boats from the BVI. It has been enforced at least twice both a female customs agent in Cruz Bay. Charter companies are aware and were seeking a resolution. Not sure if anything has been forthcoming. Please note the phrase may which I presume is a out however losing 800 dollars in provisions would not be fun. You are also required to bring all trash in for incineration.

Many agriculture products are prohibited entry into the United States from certain countries because they may carry plant pests and foreign animal diseases. All agriculture items must be declared and are subject to inspection by a CBP Agriculture Specialist at ports of entry to ensure they are free of plant pests and foreign animal diseases. Prohibited or restricted items may include meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, seeds, soil and products made from animal or plant materials. For generally allowed food items please visit USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Declared agriculture items, in non-commercial quantities, that are found to be prohibited or restricted by the CBP Agriculture Specialists can be abandoned at the port of entry should the traveler wish to continue into the U.S. However, undeclared prohibited agriculture items will be confiscated and can result in the issuance of a civil penalty to the traveler for failure to declare the prohibited item. All agricultural items that are abandoned or confiscated at ports of entry are destroyed in accordance with USDA approved destruction methods to prevent spread of pests and diseases.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 01/23/2017 08:26 PM.
Re: Help from the experts *DELETED* [Re: GeorgeC1] #118327
01/24/2017 09:14 AM
01/24/2017 09:14 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
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StormJib Offline
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StormJib  Offline
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Post deleted by StormJib

Re: Help from the experts [Re: StormJib] #118328
01/24/2017 11:28 AM
01/24/2017 11:28 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,890
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
Traveler
RickG  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,890
St. John, USVI
Our experience at St. John customs has been quick and easy. "We do not have any food or trash." Otherwise, you get to sent to the USDA person, who will send you to the St. Thomas incinerator for trash, meat and fruit.

FYI, there is no longer a dumpster outside of Cruz Bay C&I. There is a public dumpster near the National Park Service dinghy dock that is down the NPS Visitors Center drive near the apartments.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: Help from the experts [Re: RickG] #118329
01/24/2017 12:31 PM
01/24/2017 12:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 6,524
GA/NC
The problem is I am not comfortable making a false declaration to the customs personnel. It could have a impact on my real job. I realize they rarely inspect the boats however it does happen.

Re: Help from the experts [Re: GeorgeC1] #118330
01/24/2017 01:25 PM
01/24/2017 01:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
S
StormJib Offline
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StormJib  Offline
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Posts: 1,049
The area economy and public good would be far better if all the land from Anegada to at least Savana Island were a single trade and free passage zone. All the Virgin Islands need to somehow work together to be a single hospitality and travel market as they face the outside world. Yes, I know Washington plays a part in all that.

Making false statements to any government is no longer a good idea. We once ignored all kinds of fine print. The most common skirting of the rules was stopping at a St. John anchorage late in the day without continuing to check in with US C&I. Post 911 we no longer do that and do not make false claims on the forms or to government officials. Every so often they make an example of someone on both sides of the line painted on the bottom between St. John and Tortola.

There must be a step we are skipping here. Ships visit US ports everyday with massive food stores in the ship's pantries? The QE2 and Queen Mary do not throw all the food overboard coming into New York Harbor?

It time to put a sticker on all the boats saying you paid a tax and then have the enforcement headcount focus on something meaningful.

Re: Help from the experts [Re: MaryC] #118331
01/25/2017 03:48 PM
01/25/2017 03:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 826
Tortola, BVI
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LianeLeTendre Offline
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LianeLeTendre  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 826
Tortola, BVI
Gee Mary, I hope after all the info about provisioning, and what is or isn't permitted ... you found your answers somewhere along the way about chartering a yacht in St. Thomas.

Threads tend to go way off topic at times.
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