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First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed #156214
03/06/2018 02:31 PM
03/06/2018 02:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
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Laxmeiser Offline OP
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Laxmeiser  Offline OP
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Hi everyone, my family and I will be taking our first ever sailing vacation over the July 4th week. We're doing a 5 day crewed charter on a Moorings 5800. We had originally booked it in November but had to reschedule it due to Irma. We've booked Delta flights to San Juan and then have a reservation with Fly BVI into EIS. We were originally planning to stay two nights (Saturday and Sunday) at Scrub Island before starting the charter on Monday, but I wasn't sure when it would going to reopen so we are now booked to stay at Oil Nut Bay. My wife and I have taken one prior (land-based) trip to the BVIs a few years ago and fell in love with it, but this will be our first time ever on a sailing charter. It's always been a bucket list item for me. For everyone else in our group, it will be their first time in the BVIs. I've been following this board the last several months and have learned a LOT of very helpful information but since we are completely new to this, I thought I'd reach out and ask for your advice to first-timers like us. My key questions are:

1. What are the essentials in a packing list for a crewed charter?
2. How much input will we get on the itinerary/destinations?
3. How much should we plan to tip our crew at the end of the charter?
4. A few of us are certified divers but I'm not clear on whether we will be able to rent tanks and dive equipment and store on the boat or if it's too much trouble to mess with.
5. Any other pearls of wisdom for do's and don'ts for the trip?


Thanks all!
-Jay

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Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156227
03/06/2018 04:50 PM
03/06/2018 04:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 591
Houston, Texas
louismcc Offline
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Jay,

We're long time Moorings customers but are bareboat, monohull, non-divers so I'll leave it to others to answer your questions. We're on a Moorings 45.3 charter starting 07/06 and ending 07/16 so perhaps we'll see you down there.


Louis from Houston
Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: louismcc] #156228
03/06/2018 05:01 PM
03/06/2018 05:01 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 52
Montreal, QC, Canada
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Freedom21 Offline
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I'll just do a short reply concerning diving. We chartered last May and contacted one of the dive shops, at the moment I can't remember but if you want I can look it up. Anyway, they delivered the equipment to the charter dock. It was great fun diving off the back of the boat.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156229
03/06/2018 05:04 PM
03/06/2018 05:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,074
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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1. What are the essentials in a packing list for a crewed charter?

Conventional wisdom is to bring half the clothes and twice the money that you think you need.
If you have a favorite sun-screen you might bring it. Limited selection.

2. How much input will we get on the itinerary/destinations?

Have a list of places you'd like to go. Don't make any a "must do." Sailors have intentions, not itineraries. The wind and waves decide.

3. How much should we plan to tip our crew at the end of the charter?

10-20%

4. A few of us are certified divers but I'm not clear on whether we will be able to rent tanks and dive equipment and store on the boat or if it's too much trouble to mess with.

Do a rendezvous dive. Dive company will pick the divers up at your boat and rent them equipment.

5. Any other pearls of wisdom for do's and don'ts for the trip?

No long pants (IMHO). No hair dryers. Plan a stop at a dock about half way through the trip... you'll appreciate it more.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156233
03/06/2018 06:21 PM
03/06/2018 06:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 61
Massachusetts
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Sea&SkiPJ Offline
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Hi Jay,

We'll be on a Sunsail 41 bareboat, beginning July 5th. Our third trip down. Just some random thoughts:

No hard luggage - use soft duffels - small ones!

Agree with Twanger, pack as few clothes as possible. You'll be living in a bathing suit and a t-shirt. You need a pair of shorts and a decent polo shirt for dinner at resorts (Scrub Island, etc), but otherwise, think casual and minimal.

You should have a long sleeve cover up - the sun is strong and hot in July - and a good hat

Ginger gum is helpful for anyone who has any tendency towards being seasick

Bring a small water bottle for each crew member

String backpacks are good for taking stuff with you when you go ashore

Bring a waterproof pouch for cellphones, wallets, etc

Electricity should be fully restored on the islands by July, but bring extra cash, just in case they aren't running credit cards

We don't dive, but we bring our own snorkels & prescription masks - the boat should have fins

PJ

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156235
03/06/2018 07:12 PM
03/06/2018 07:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,517
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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First, great choice on the boat! The 5800 is awesome!

We've never done a crewed charter with Moorings, but I would think you'd be able to choose where you want to go. Things can often change due to weather although we've rarely had to change plans significantly due to weather. As Twanger said, tipping is standard with a crewed charter. 10-20% as he said.

Regarding diving - the 58 is huge. Plenty of room to store tanks - they may even have a tank rack on it. Also keep in mind the 58's have full water sports gear - water skiing, wake boarding and I think tubing..etc. Plus paddle boards and kayak. If you are confident divers then I'd rent gear and have it on the boat and the crew can take you to some dive spots. If you are at all unsure or uneasy about it, then a rendezvous would be a better option. Our first trip we did a rendezvous and dove on our own right from the boat and it worked out well. Rendezvous was for the wreck of the rhone. We got the dive guide for the BVI and it was invaluable.

You'll have a great time! I'd highly recommend you take one of the cabins on the main level - it is cool to wake up and get a full view outside.


Matt
Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156245
03/07/2018 03:05 AM
03/07/2018 03:05 AM
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Posts: 3,479
Worcester, U.K. and Spain
Jeannius Offline
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Plenty of good advice already but I am going to disagree with my friend Twanger on 'no hairdryers'. I know for many people hair dryers are very important. They are very power-hungry but on a big boat like a Moorings 5800 that is less of a problem than smaller boats. I used to run my boat as a crewed charter and the rule was yes, bring a hair dryer, but please let me know when you are going to use it as I'll need to switch on the generator. Also, if there is more than one hair dryer aboard, one at a time only please.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156251
03/07/2018 08:54 AM
03/07/2018 08:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 127
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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I'd like to add in a couple of questions on tipping please. 10-20% is a pretty broad range. I realize that may depend on the level of service. But I would want to believe the service is pretty standard and a great time will be had. So what is the actual norm? Also, is that based off of the standard rate or the discounted rate if I am able to obtain one? I assume the tip should be paid is cash, correct? Do I pay that directly to the captain or leave it in the cabin on the last day or is it paid to the charter company? Thanks y'all!



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Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156259
03/07/2018 09:41 AM
03/07/2018 09:41 AM
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Posts: 190
zhawk Offline
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Cash tip, directly to captain as it's for the crew not the charter company. Same as when you tip for a meal. 15% probably average tip...20% for great crew. If it goes like it generally does, you will regard the captain and cook as friends pretty quickly. So...treat them as such. The horror stories come from the folks who charter treating crew like "hired servants".

As for destinations Twanger is right, your schedule needs to be somewhat flexible due to winds and weather. If it works sail to Anegada and spend a day or two there. That's my best tip.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156277
03/07/2018 02:10 PM
03/07/2018 02:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 29
Baton Rouge
Lazarette Offline
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This is what I just sent out to my crew for a charter in late may. Hope this helps.

What to Bring? The usual response is, half the clothes and twice the money.

Don’t over pack!!! This is very important! This is the
biggest mistake people make. You will be in your bathing
suit and cover-ups almost the entire time, also mostly with bare feet while on the boat.


This is a recommended typical list:
Cruising Essentials:

PASSPORTS, everyone needs a minimum of 6 months on their passports before they expire!!!
Life Jackets for the Boys! You can rent these from Island Surf and Sail if you don’t want to purchase/carry them. I have details if your are interested.
Hat (preferably with tie so we do not have to retrieve it from the Caribbean Sea), Visor?
Sun Glasses, polarized are best. A floating eyewear retainer is a good idea.
Regular & reading glasses if required.
Sun Screen, selections are limited in the Islands.
Personal toiletries and medications.
Aqua-socks or similar "in the water shoe" NOT OPTIONAL this trip!
Mask and snorkel only if you have good ones that fit you and you don’t mind having to pack.
Otherwise masks, snorkels and fins in various sizes will be on the boat for your use.
The Boys should have mask, snorkel and fins. Probably will not have kid sizes on the boat but these can be rented.
Appropriate snorkeling gear, some people like rashguards to protect from sun, dry fit type shirts are also good, you can rinse and hang out to dry for another day.
Beach towel for each person.
Reading material: Books, or digital readers.
$500 cash should be fine along with Visa/Mastercard. Am. Express is not widely accepted.
Camera, maybe disposable waterproof ones.
Favorite music, (iPod/iPhone/MP3 Player).
Movies if you like, the boat will have a DVD player and monitor.
Personal flash light is a good idea for finding things and moving around the boat at night.

Apparel

T-shirts /tanks, dry fit types are best, (3) (you will probably buy more while there)
Casual shirts (i.e. Hawaiian/Golf) (3)
Women may want to have (1) sundress?
Shorts - 2-pair
Bathing suits (2), Cover-ups/wraps.
Underwear and sleeping gear (decide on the appropriate number then cut it in half).
Deck or tennis shoes (1 pair), no black sole shoes, these leave marks on the deck.
Sandals / flip flops - 1 pair
Socks - NONE, mostly bare feet while on boat
Long sleeve wind-breaker, sweatshirt (very light) or similar for the occasional rain squall.


NOTES:

Dress for the plane trip from the above selection.

In your carry-on bag, I suggest packing a change of clothes, a bathing suit and basic toiletries (in case your bags are delayed/misplaced.)

Storage in individual cabins is limited, pack accordingly. No hard luggage, it’s too difficult to stow. A duffel bag that can be folded is ideal.

Most try to pack in ONE carry-on, I can’t because of extra boat gear/toys that I carry along, but it’s a very good goal.

Last edited by Lazarette; 03/07/2018 02:20 PM.
Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156292
03/07/2018 05:11 PM
03/07/2018 05:11 PM
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Laxmeiser Offline OP
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Wow I can’t thank everyone enough for all the great responses. In my experience it’s very rare to find so many genuinely helpful people on public forums like this one. It’s makes me even more excited for our trip. And if the trip goes as well as I expect it to, don’t be surprised if I submit another post asking for advice on a good sailing school. That’s at the very top of my bucket list.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156317
03/08/2018 08:08 AM
03/08/2018 08:08 AM
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Posts: 374
Florida
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rfrimmel Offline
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I would highly recommend Black Rock Sailing School. They are based out of Boston but do VIRGIN ISLAND & EXUMA, BAHAMAS COURSES!!! I did week long course in VI and it was fantastic.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156319
03/08/2018 08:25 AM
03/08/2018 08:25 AM
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Posts: 61
Massachusetts
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Sea&SkiPJ Offline
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@Laxmeiser

Where are you located? In reference to sailing schools

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156549
03/11/2018 09:30 AM
03/11/2018 09:30 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 285
Hilton Head, SC
Steve27 Offline
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If you are wanting to dive you can rent right at the Moorings Base and they put racks on the boat. We don't sail and rent PowerCats but all the same when diving. Plenty of places to refill along the way and looks like almost all the dive shops are open for refills. We have always done an early start on the boat or stayed at the hotel at the Moorings. Moorings also have a sailing course I believe when you charter a crew. We have always bareboated,but I would see about having the Captain of your crewed charter work on teaching you the ropes. Hope you have a great charter and I know you will love it!


Cruising the local waters here in SC and GA. Love the BVIs and miss the Tradewinds!
Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Sea&SkiPJ] #156594
03/11/2018 08:46 PM
03/11/2018 08:46 PM
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Laxmeiser Offline OP
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Sea&SkiPJ - I’m landlocked Atlanta, so would prefer something in Florida or the Caribbean. I hope to be retiring soon and plan to move to the coast.

One other question about tips for the crew: if 10-20% is standard, that would mean several thousand dollar for a crewed charter. Does the tip necessarily have to be in cash? That would be a lot of cash to carry around for the week.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156596
03/11/2018 09:27 PM
03/11/2018 09:27 PM
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ReelTrouble Offline
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Here's something I learned on this awesome forum.

Not sure if you will be stopping on Tortola anywhere, but Last Stop Sports has scuba gear and lots of toys that they rent. I think their rates are great. We are using them for a bunch of gear in April. Many dive shops here and there to refill tanks. If you rent 6 tanks, they will even supply a rack for the boat.

They are at www.laststopsports.com

Not sure if you will be somewhere they will deliver to, but it may be worth dropping them a quick note. They deliver to many marinas on Tortola. I don't know if they will deliver out to Scrub or not. Heden is the guy I dealt with. Very pleasant!

By the way, I am not associated with them in any capacity except that I found them on this forum and they are providing us gear in a few weeks.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156613
03/12/2018 09:41 AM
03/12/2018 09:41 AM
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Sea&SkiPJ Offline
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Originally Posted by Laxmeiser
Sea&SkiPJ - I’m landlocked Atlanta, so would prefer something in Florida or the Caribbean. I hope to be retiring soon and plan to move to the coast.

One other question about tips for the crew: if 10-20% is standard, that would mean several thousand dollar for a crewed charter. Does the tip necessarily have to be in cash? That would be a lot of cash to carry around for the week.


I've taken courses with Black Rock Sailing School and they're pretty good. They have a base in the USVI, but I don't know much about that operation. They have nothing in Florida. I've had positive feedback about Blue Water Sailing School, but never took classes with them. You might hop onto the American Sailing Association website. They list all of their affiliated schools in Florida. You can see if anything meets your needs. If you're ever in New England, on the other hand, go to Narragansett Sailing, they're fantastic.

I'm sorry I can't help with the tipping question; I'm a bareboat sailor.

Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156630
03/12/2018 01:08 PM
03/12/2018 01:08 PM
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Posts: 138
Canyon Lake, Texas
captbob Offline
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tips are best handled in cash.....the crew will appreciate it....but if you are uncomfortable with that, a check will be fine.


Capt. Bob
"If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home." -- James Michener
Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156639
03/12/2018 04:27 PM
03/12/2018 04:27 PM
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Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Last stop sports is good - we used them when they were at the Moorings base. Moorings has a new company onsite now though (unless that changed again?) and I'd just recommend using whoever is there to make it easy and simple and have the staff there if you need anything else.


Matt
Re: First Ever Sailing Vacation (Crewed Charter) - Advice Needed [Re: Laxmeiser] #156650
03/12/2018 07:57 PM
03/12/2018 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Laxmeiser
Sea&SkiPJ
One other question about tips for the crew: if 10-20% is standard, that would mean several thousand dollar for a crewed charter. Does the tip necessarily have to be in cash? That would be a lot of cash to carry around for the week.


Long term discussion on this one. Some say tip on whole charter cost, others say only on up-charge of crew charges. Also depends if crew are couple, all-inclusive, owners, etc.


JPH
I spent my money on booze, broads, and boats...the rest I wasted.

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