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BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter #135359
07/11/2017 05:59 PM
07/11/2017 05:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
D
daysailor Offline OP
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daysailor  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
I did a wonderful week of sailing in BVI waters last December on a bareboat from Moorings on Tortola.

We flew into STT, Speedy's to Road Town, taxi to the harbor, and of course the reverse at the end of our charter -- the better part of a day.

We skipped the Beef Island endpoint btw cuz of price but paid in time.

So I'm wondering about experiences chartering in St Thomas, minutes from the airport, and then off to BVI for that great sailing, clearing customs and necessary formalities of course.

Seems like almost the best of both worlds, but maybe there are some downsides?

Thanks!

BVI Sponsors
Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: daysailor] #135360
07/11/2017 06:03 PM
07/11/2017 06:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 64
Toronto, ON
B
Bgs Offline
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Bgs  Offline
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Toronto, ON
If I may piggy back, my question has to do with conditions.
We have gone down in December.
It seems like there have been significant seas on our ferry trips, and if fact we went past a de-masted mono on our last trip about 5- 10 minutes out of CA.
Is it a lot rougher coming out of St. Thomas?

Thanks as always,

Brian

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: Bgs] #135361
07/11/2017 06:12 PM
07/11/2017 06:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
D
daysailor Offline OP
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daysailor  Offline OP
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I made a mistake -- not Speedy's zippy little boats.

We were on a large, high speed ferry, the Provincetown III, I think, down from New England for the winter.

I didn't notice any significant roughness in either direction on the ferry, though it was very windy with large swells first half of our sailing week.

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: daysailor] #135362
07/11/2017 06:23 PM
07/11/2017 06:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,678
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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tradewinds  Offline
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An island state of mind
The Provincetown would be the Road Town Fast Ferry. That time of year, the winds can be up and going from St. Thomas is usually straight upwind.

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: tradewinds] #135363
07/11/2017 07:06 PM
07/11/2017 07:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 507
Here and There in Michigan
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HoosierDaddy Offline
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HoosierDaddy  Offline
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Here and There in Michigan
I am about done with C&I via ferry into Tortola. They are always extremely slow. BVI C&I should take a flight into Punta Cana and see how to process tourists.
Note to BVI C&I: After a 12 hour day of driving, flying then ferrying to Tortola, the last thing I want to do is wait 1 or 1-1/2 hours on the dock at Roadtown to clear C&I for entrance to my vacation.
While I love my BVI vacations, BVI C&I is pushing me away to other vacation destinations.

Last edited by HoosierDaddy; 07/11/2017 09:37 PM.
Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: HoosierDaddy] #135364
07/11/2017 07:55 PM
07/11/2017 07:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 152
Encinitas, California
sbrownell Offline
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sbrownell  Offline
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Posts: 152
Encinitas, California
We have done the STT chartering several times. We love CYOA, but this time have decided to try the new VI Yachts near Redhook. Its a bit closer to St Johns. We find spending the first night or two in St Johns is really a great way to unwind. A quick trip over to West end to clear customs into the BVI is easy, and then over to Norman for a night, and off we go with the BVI route. Coming back, clearing into STT at Cruz bay hasn't been a problem, and it will be interesting to see how much time we save by returning to the base near Red hook. PM if you have any specific questions.


Steph
Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: sbrownell] #135365
07/11/2017 08:19 PM
07/11/2017 08:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
"BVI C&I should take a flight into Punta Cana and see how to process tourists."


You really can not compare checking into customs on a boat as opposed to an airport, especially the Dominican Republic. Clearing in the DR by boat can be a shakedown and very uncomfortable. Surely not like trying to process 200+ people in a short period of time.

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: sail2wind] #135366
07/11/2017 08:43 PM
07/11/2017 08:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 259
42.99N 76.46W
jmon Offline
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jmon  Offline
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Posts: 259
42.99N 76.46W
We used to charter out of STT back in the 80's but have switched to flying to EIS from SJU. BVI Tourism gets us through C&I at Letsome Airport hassle free and we start our charter from Road Harbor w/o having to spend the 1st sailing day messing with C&I in West End or Jost.


Jeff

Tug William B
[Linked Image]
Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: HoosierDaddy] #135367
07/12/2017 01:26 AM
07/12/2017 01:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 375
now - or when ?
C
CGB Offline
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CGB  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 375
now - or when ?
Quote
HoosierDaddy said:
I am about done with C&I via ferry into Tortola. They are always extremely slow. BVI C&I should take a flight into Punta Cana and see how to process tourists.
Note to BVI C&I: After a 12 hour day of driving, flying then ferrying to Tortola, the last thing I want to do is wait 1 or 1-1/2 hours on the dock at Roadtown to clear C&I for entrance to my vacation.
While I love my BVI vacations, BVI C&I is pushing me away to other vacation destinations.


((sigh)) Sadly - no one can please everyone...
It does take "effort" to find one's nirvana, here or anywhere.... But - once you find it - no effort will matter

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: HoosierDaddy] #135368
07/12/2017 09:57 AM
07/12/2017 09:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,720
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Massachusetts
Quote
HoosierDaddy said:
I am about done with C&I via ferry into Tortola. They are always extremely slow. BVI C&I should take a flight into Punta Cana and see how to process tourists.
Note to BVI C&I: After a 12 hour day of driving, flying then ferrying to Tortola, the last thing I want to do is wait 1 or 1-1/2 hours on the dock at Roadtown to clear C&I for entrance to my vacation.
While I love my BVI vacations, BVI C&I is pushing me away to other vacation destinations.


12 hours of driving? Where are you driving to and from?

If you want to avoid C&I delays, fly into EIS. Or charter from STT. Or take a water taxi. Only ways to avoid a painful wait on the ferry dock.


Matt
Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: maytrix] #135369
07/12/2017 10:04 AM
07/12/2017 10:04 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
Keep in mind that the costs to clear a boat into the BVI are going up, with a larger crew those costs might cover a water taxi.
G

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: daysailor] #135370
07/12/2017 12:45 PM
07/12/2017 12:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 970
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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cwoody  Offline
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Posts: 970
Middleburg, VA
Lots has been logged on BVI and USVI forum about just this subject.
Do a little search digging to uncover.

Did exactly this in April this year.
Chartered out of CYOA. We added an extra day onto the beginning and end of trip for the added travel time in/out of the USVI waters. No downside to that and St John was great.


Chuck W.

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: daysailor] #135371
07/12/2017 09:24 PM
07/12/2017 09:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 559
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 559
Apex, NC
Yea... several posts here historically on this subject. And it always ends the same way, i.e., it all depends on what you value and what you consider up/down sides.

One of the posts here suggested that the cruising fees for non-BVI boats is going up. This is true but probably meaningless. Run all the numbers and see where you are. If you bring a boat in from USVI you pay some fees. But you don't take a ferry boat each direction. Only you can figure out the total cost for your party but I'm going to guess that any difference - one way or the other - is going to be in the noise. So cost is probably not going to drive the decision. There are a host of other drivers which you will have to weigh such as the time it takes to get to your boat, the boat condition/equipment/age, provisioning, if you value seeing the pretty bays on St. John, (see previous postings on this issue) etc. If you are not sure I would recommend giving it a try. You can then compare it to your Tortola charter experiences and make a real informed decision if you like/dislike the location.

Is it rougher sailing out of CA in the winter? Maybe. There is about an hour+ motoring (we don't bother sail this portion) ride upwind that is exposed to the swells. But these are long period swells mostly on the nose for most of that 1hr+ ride. I have had guests on this ride and while I was concerned about the people that have never been on a boat I have never had an issue.

Good luck and happy sailing!


Life's short - sail more!
Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: maytrix] #135372
07/13/2017 02:33 PM
07/13/2017 02:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 507
Here and There in Michigan
H
HoosierDaddy Offline
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HoosierDaddy  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 507
Here and There in Michigan
Bad wording on my part. Meant 12 hours of total travel time.
Probably going to charter out of St. Thomas next time. BVI C&I while nice and polite once you get to them are too understaffed for us at Roadtown.
I just wanted to communicate this to the community in the hopes somebody from the BVI would pick up another hint that things aren't great with tourism via ferry.

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: HoosierDaddy] #135373
07/14/2017 06:59 PM
07/14/2017 06:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 88
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majoma Offline
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Posts: 88
The best thing of chartering from St. Thomas is avoiding the madness of the ferry and going through custom in Tortola with two hundred people.

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: majoma] #135374
07/14/2017 07:06 PM
07/14/2017 07:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
With the new cruising taxes you can hire a private ferry for the same cost and avoid that. The SVI must be delighted!
G

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: HoosierDaddy] #135375
07/14/2017 07:07 PM
07/14/2017 07:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,530
Ya never know...
HillsideView Offline
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HillsideView  Offline
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Posts: 8,530
Ya never know...
West End is a breeze compared to RoadTown.


My foot fits right into my shoe and my shoe will fit right into your...
Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: GeorgeC1] #135376
07/15/2017 01:09 AM
07/15/2017 01:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
Quote
GeorgeC1 said:
With the new cruising taxes you can hire a private ferry for the same cost and avoid that. The SVI must be delighted!
G


Or, with the new cruising tax, you can be your own ferry! On an 8-day charter starting June 14 with a crew of 11, we paid $66 in BVI cruising fees, but $1,000 in round trip ferry fares. And we had to endure C&I in Road Town. After August 1, the cruising tax for that trip would be $528 for a BVI - based boat, plus the $1,000 in ferry fares, or roughly $1,500. Or, we could avoid the ferry and Road Town C&I by chartering out of St Thomas, and pay a BVI cruising tax of $1,408. While the captain sanely cleared the crew in and out at West End, they could spend the $100 "savings" on painkillers! I wonder if the BVI government realizes that it has just created an incentive for BVI-bound charterers to favor St Thomas bases over BVI bases, and to avoid the dreaded ferries? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: aarpskier] #135377
07/17/2017 04:11 PM
07/17/2017 04:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 397
Colorado
stormster Offline
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stormster  Offline
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Posts: 397
Colorado
We prefer chartering out of St Thomas. Straight from the plane to your boat. It just feels a lot less hectic to either not take a ferry nor another flight nor a night in a hotel.

We rent a car at the airport to run all our errands, buy groceries, etc and then we drop off the car a few minutes walk from CYOA.

Customs getting into the BVI has never taken me more than 30 minutes or so at Sopers Hole. Coming back into the USVI means either an extra stop on St John or a long sail back to Charlotte Amalie but we think it's less hassle than the ferry ride.

Re: BVI sailing with St Thomas bareboat charter [Re: stormster] #135378
07/17/2017 05:21 PM
07/17/2017 05:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 191
Eastern MA
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tothedogs Offline
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Eastern MA
We just returned from a 10 day charter starting from STT with Island Yachts in Red Hook. A little longer cab ride from the airport than to CYOA (good company as well we have used and will return to) but we were there withing 45 minutes of landing. Provisioning market is across the street from the dock and they help you bring it to the boat.

After 3 days in the USVI, it took less than 30 minutes to clear in/out at the same time at Soper's which was combined with a stop at the market there.

Next to last day we went from Norman to Lind Pt. to clear into the US. The dinghy ride to/from Cruz Bay took longer than the customs clearance. Leaving Norman at 9:00, after an easy sail and clearance, we were moored in Hawksnest by 1:00.

Left Hawksnest at 9:30 on our last day, and were re-fueled and tied up in Red Hook by 11:00. We hung around till 12:30 before the taxi to the airport and were there at 1:00 in plenty of time for our 3:30 flight.

Chartering from STT is like Ivan's-Stress Free.


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