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Trip report 07/06 - 07/16 Part final #166683
07/26/2018 07:37 PM
07/26/2018 07:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
louismcc Online content OP
Traveler
louismcc  Online Content OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
All good things must come to an end so we departed Anegada for a reach down to Cane Garden Bay. It was an easy sail except when the occasional over 6 foot wave would sneak up on you and give the boat a good kick. Cane Garden had only a handful of boats there during our stay.

We had a couple of lunches at Rhymers as well as some ice cream from the place next door. Mainly we just took in the beauty and experience the sadness of seeing all the damage done to homes by Irma.

The next day was a short motor over to Little Harbour Jost van Dyke for another lobster dinner at Abe’s. We were the only boat in Little Harbour and the only folks at Abe’s. Dinner was great and the hosts were gracious. They’re rebuilding the restaurant with a concrete structure over the water which should be ready by the fall. Meanwhile they’re cooking and serving in a temporary wood structure built where the gift shop used to be located.

The ferry that, as I believe I read somewhere, was tossed on top of Sydneys is sitting on a ball in Little Harbour with its flattened top. We asked about how everyone survived the storm and about the extent of the damage and were told that everything on Jost van Dyke was damaged or destroyed by the storm. A sobering moment but the people we talked to were focused on how to recover and looking forward to the high season.

Our plan for the final night was to head to the Bight. Coming out of Thatch Cut we were getting 20 - 25 knot winds right on the nose and waves that were at least 6 feet, so we motored to the Bight. Seeing the wreck of the Willy T is another depressing sight, as is the relative emptiness of the anchorage due no doubt it part to the relocation of the Willy T to Peter Island.

We went ashore for over-priced drinks and some land time. I don’t see how Pirates Bight can make it with that pricing structure. It certainly doesn’t fit the typical yachting crowd and I can’t imagine them drawing much traffic via ferry from Tortola. But it still is a nice setting to sit and have some refreshment.

We wanted to get back to The Moorings quickly so just motored over the following morning. When approaching the outer harbor we called in and got the standard “lines and fenders on the port side”. Having had all the fun backing into a slip that I could stand when at Leverick, we called back and asked for assistance. No problem they said, just hang around the inner harbor and someone would come out and bring it in. That worked smoothly though there were some places in the inner harbor that had me a bit worried, such as the mast sticking out of the water which implied a sunken boat nearby. But the dock hand got us into a slip without any issues.

The checkin process was disappointing. In past charters, one sheet in our packet was to list items that needed fixing. In our case there was serious problems, like the depth finder and windlass, and minor problems like a porthole that wouldn’t open. There was no such form in our packet and our checkout person seemed to care little about those items when I tried to tell her about them. As long as the heads were clear and the evaluation form was filled out, she was happy. Her suggestion was to turn it into customer service but by this time I pretty much decided to hell with it. Let the problems be there for the next charterer and maybe they’ll spot them in the boat brief.

I’m sure a lot of my long winded posting sounds like we were unhappy with The Moorings and had a bad charter, but that isn’t the case. Everyone we encountered at The Moorings worked hard to resolve problems brought to them. We had a mechanic working on the boat at 8pm, and another one their at 8am. We had a dock hand drop whatever he was doing to come out in a dinghy, retie our mistied lines, and back us into a slip. The customer service reps not only got folks working on our various problems, but they helped haul or bags out to the boat when we were trying to head out the first day. The wait staff at both restaurants were just so pleasant you wanted to just stay and visit with them.

There just seems to be some sort of organizational disconnect right now that perhaps will disappear when everything is 100% operational. The Moorings could help themselves a lot if extended on-line versions of the chart briefing were available, and detailed instructions about the operations of each yacht could be provided on-line as well. We had this B&G chartplotter system in place that was great but certain settings (like its warning about too slow speed every time I kicked in the autopilot) I could never resolve. Can’t see the chartplot when 50% of the screen is covered by a useless message! I was expecting Raymarine gear which I had reviewed before going but that wasn’t on this boat.

As it is said, we go to come back, and we certainly hope to get back before another 14 years have passed. Somehow when you’re 63 that number of years to wait doesn’t seem feasible.


Louis from Houston
BVI Sponsors
Re: Trip report 07/06 - 07/16 Part final [Re: louismcc] #166686
07/26/2018 11:07 PM
07/26/2018 11:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,914
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,914
Ontario, Canada
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450
Re: Trip report 07/06 - 07/16 Part final [Re: louismcc] #166708
07/27/2018 10:28 AM
07/27/2018 10:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 300
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 300
Rockford, Michigan
Over the last 25 years, we chartered 8 times with The Moorings (Tortola / St Lucia / Canouan / St Maarten) before switching, primarily due to cost and boat availability, to Dream Yacht Charters (Tortola) and Virgin Islands Yacht Charters (St Thomas). Every boat had issues, but none to the extent you described. You are far more tolerant of your Moorings experience than I would be. As you acknowledged in your initial report, there are a lot of alternatives to The Moorings. If I were in your shoes, I would use one of them for your next trip.

Re: Trip report 07/06 - 07/16 Part final [Re: aarpskier] #166721
07/27/2018 12:44 PM
07/27/2018 12:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
louismcc Online content OP
Traveler
louismcc  Online Content OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
Originally Posted by aarpskier
Over the last 25 years, we chartered 8 times with The Moorings (Tortola / St Lucia / Canouan / St Maarten) before switching, primarily due to cost and boat availability, to Dream Yacht Charters (Tortola) and Virgin Islands Yacht Charters (St Thomas). Every boat had issues, but none to the extent you described. You are far more tolerant of your Moorings experience than I would be. As you acknowledged in your initial report, there are a lot of alternatives to The Moorings. If I were in your shoes, I would use one of them for your next trip.


I'm not sure when we'll go back but I always check this board for reviews of the other options.

I probably sounded harsher than intended in some of the problem descriptions. The main impression we left with was that there were problems, but my goodness those folks did bust their butts to resolve them. I figured all mechanics went home by 5, but at 7:30 one was on our boat trying to figure out the diesel fume issue. The windless problems at Anegada were my fault, but I feel the problems could have been avoided with a more thorough boat checkout and solved with better phone support. Over the 13 years with Moorings we've had our share of issues but the effective manner in which they were handled is actually the main thing that keeps me returning to them.


Louis from Houston
Re: Trip report 07/06 - 07/16 Part final [Re: louismcc] #166727
07/27/2018 01:50 PM
07/27/2018 01:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
C
Catmandu Offline
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Catmandu  Offline
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C
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
The Moorings provides a questionnaire at the end of the charter. It basically asks you to rate various aspects of the charter including boat systems, cleanliness, staff etc then there is an area to leave any suggestions you may have. What bothers me is you can rate for example the systems poor but they don't go further to ask specifically what the issue or problem was. This seems like a logical thing to ask to avoid having the next charter have the same issues. I did provide my issues in the suggestions space but I can see others that may not bother to. Anything major of course would be called into Moorings before or during the charter. My issues and I had an Exclusive was minor water leaks in the salon and one of the cabin ceilings and the trash drawer which would not stay closed. I did have a issue with the davit getting stuck but a call to the Moorings base mechanic quickly walked me through repairing. I don't know of any alternate charter co except MarineMax that has powercats and as this is my second charter I am happy so far with Moorings. Looking at next year already as friends and family are in line for the adventure a charter will bring.

Last edited by Catmandu; 07/27/2018 01:54 PM.
Re: Trip report 07/06 - 07/16 Part final [Re: louismcc] #166728
07/27/2018 01:58 PM
07/27/2018 01:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
louismcc Online content OP
Traveler
louismcc  Online Content OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
I checked off the various boxes on the questionnaire but didn't fill in the sections for written comments because I felt they were too limiting. I hope to find an email address of someone that will actually read comments and respond to them. Maybe I'll start with the parent company address given to me by Clearwater and hope it filters down to the base.

Back in the day, Moorings always sent a snail mail while you were out on charter that gave you a chance to do more commenting than the post charter sheet permitted. They also provided far more useful information in the skipper's packet and pre-charter than we got. I understand that with email & Internet, the need for any sort of hardcopy is greatly reduced, but I don't see that Moorings has actually replaced what they used to provide but rather has just eliminated it.


Louis from Houston

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