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First Night? #199823
07/12/2019 12:45 PM
07/12/2019 12:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 71
Philadelphia, PA
Xave Offline OP
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Taking our first charter this October with 10 others (ages 36-40) on a Moorings 5800 (with skipper). We embark on Saturday, October 12, and plan to head to The Baths first thing in the morning on the 13th before settling in at Scrub Island for the night. The following days we are heading to Anegada for a couple nights, then JVD for 2-3 nights at Norman for at least a night.

Question for the experts here: Where would you stay the first night? Cooper will be closed, but we could still grab a mooring. Same with Peter. Do you recommend one over the other? Is it possible or worthwhile to overnight at Salt or Ginger? Thanks!

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Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199826
07/12/2019 01:07 PM
07/12/2019 01:07 PM
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You said you're staying at Scrub the first night? Or do you mean where should you stay the first night after that? ...either way, below are our thoughts on the four options you mentioned.

Cooper - You can eat aboard or get Deliverance to bring you supper over from Tortola (we've done this several times as dont like the 'dude-bro' fraternity at Cooper Beach Club or their food...well, food fine at lunch but dinner was dreadful). Also loads of turtles, southern rays and Eagle Rays in the bay. And some nice snorkeling at Cistern Point.

Peter - Willy T is gone, so not much around, some snorkeling to be had, but not as good as Cooper.

Salt - can be ok overnight, but can be dicey, we've always seen it as a day stop.

Ginger - Its a no from us. Maybe on a 150ft plus it can be a nice secluded anchorage, but otherwise there are better options.

So for us, it would be a no to Salt, a no to Ginger...maybe to Peter, but Cooper would be our pick by a country mile out of those 4.

...But on a 58, why not shoot up to North Sound? Lovely anchorage at Prickly Pear, off the Sand Box and you can RIB to Leverick to eat ashore (the 58's have a decent sized RIB dont they?), or get takeaway, or cook aboard. Then a nice wind angle for a fast sail over to Anegada the next morning, probably not much more than an hour or so on a 58.

Or do you mean the first night being the day you embark? In which case, what time does charter start? Usually you dont leave the dock until the next day...but if you do, then Norman Island - The Bight would be our choice. Great snorkeling at The Indians on the way, then at The Caves when you're in. One of the most sheltered mooring fields in the BVI and (if you like that kinda thing) the Willy T is back.

Last edited by Christo; 07/12/2019 01:09 PM.
Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199828
07/12/2019 01:36 PM
07/12/2019 01:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
louismcc Offline
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I would suggest that since you have a skipper, don't do too much planning in advance of having discussions with the skipper. The skipper should ask about your interests and no doubt have many suggestions based upon those interests, what's open, the weather, etc. I would definitely squeeze in a trip to North Sound. Leverick is a great place to spend an extended period of time.


Louis from Houston
Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199839
07/12/2019 04:24 PM
07/12/2019 04:24 PM
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Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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On our last trip we had a sister boat with a Moorings Captain while I had the bareboat. Not only did he not ask preferences of them but tried to steer the other boat to ports where he had girlfriends and/or parties. After about 2 days of this they told the captain to follow our prearranged schedule and mirror us. I believe a good skipper as Louis suggests will ask for your preferences and take you where you want to go but have a prearranged idea....seeing Spanish Town shouldn't be on your list...:)

I was also not happy that he left the other boat and took the dinghy for hours at a time...

He was exception as opposed to rule in my experience but I think knowing what you want to see helps.

I would strongly encourage you to avoid the Interline Regatta agenda

https://www.moorings.com/sites/defa...2019-interline-regatta-itinerary-web.jpg

Re: First Night? [Re: bailau] #199850
07/12/2019 06:37 PM
07/12/2019 06:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,595
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Offline
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Originally Posted by bailau
On our last trip we had a sister boat with a Moorings Captain while I had the bareboat. Not only did he not ask preferences of them but tried to steer the other boat to ports where he had girlfriends and/or parties. After about 2 days of this they told the captain to follow our prearranged schedule and mirror us. I believe a good skipper as Louis suggests will ask for your preferences and take you where you want to go but have a prearranged idea....seeing Spanish Town shouldn't be on your list...:)

I was also not happy that he left the other boat and took the dinghy for hours at a time...

He was exception as opposed to rule in my experience but I think knowing what you want to see helps.

I would strongly encourage you to avoid the Interline Regatta agenda

https://www.moorings.com/sites/defa...2019-interline-regatta-itinerary-web.jpg



That why it’s important to get a resume on the Captain along with photos and make sure he knows how to follow instructions and that the boat And dinghy are yours for your pleasure NOT his.

Re: First Night? [Re: bailau] #199852
07/12/2019 06:41 PM
07/12/2019 06:41 PM
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Christo Offline
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Originally Posted by bailau
On our last trip we had a sister boat with a Moorings Captain while I had the bareboat. Not only did he not ask preferences of them but tried to steer the other boat to ports where he had girlfriends and/or parties. After about 2 days of this they told the captain to follow our prearranged schedule and mirror us. I believe a good skipper as Louis suggests will ask for your preferences and take you where you want to go but have a prearranged idea....seeing Spanish Town shouldn't be on your list...:)

I was also not happy that he left the other boat and took the dinghy for hours at a time...

He was exception as opposed to rule in my experience but I think knowing what you want to see helps.

I would strongly encourage you to avoid the Interline Regatta agenda

https://www.moorings.com/sites/defa...2019-interline-regatta-itinerary-web.jpg



Wow...that sounds awful. If you ever need an extra skipper in future, I'm happily available for the price of my airfare + rum!

Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199869
07/13/2019 07:18 AM
07/13/2019 07:18 AM
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it was more annoying than bad...didnt think Moorings would you let you know who the skipper is in advance let alone see a resume and since it had never happened hadnt thought about making sure their wishes were followed...

thanks for your graciousness, Christo...:)

Re: First Night? [Re: sail445] #199870
07/13/2019 07:18 AM
07/13/2019 07:18 AM
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Posts: 515
Georgia & South Carolina
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Originally Posted by sail445


That why it’s important to get a resume on the Captain along with photos and make sure he knows how to follow instructions and that the boat And dinghy are yours for your pleasure NOT his.


Have you been able to get this information before? Sailing qualifications vs references? And doubt photo will shed light on abilities.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (Lagoon 42)
Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199881
07/13/2019 10:07 AM
07/13/2019 10:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 196
Dana Point
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This is not good to hear.....

As a professional charter capt for many years , I would sit down with the charter party and learn what they want to do, and what the like, and set up an itinerary
that worked for all of them . What to do ashore, where to snorkel, hike, shop, beach it, sight see, etc.

If they wished, getting those who wish, become involved in sailing the boat. Usually, a few want to learn a bit of Navigation, sail trim, and being at the helm a bit.
Others want to kick back, soak up the rays, and party.

This is BVI, are these skippers, U.S.C.G Certified, or have British licenses ?

The best deal is to get some very high quality rum, and give Christo a call. You would be in good hands.

Also, did you , in writing, pass all of your experience with that skipper on to the Charter Company ? He will continue to pull the same disrespectful nonesense on the next charterer as well..

However, if the charter party wanted me to do something that was unsafe for the vessel or crew, in that case the captain's decision would rule, but it would require a thorough
explanation as to the reason .

Also, taking the dink for his own use, for hours at a time. Totally unacceptable.

Another thing, sometimes, when the charter party went ashore, they might ask me to join them, other times, they would want to be on their own. It was all good.

That charter skipper would not last long with the companies that I worked with . Flat gone.

Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199884
07/13/2019 11:00 AM
07/13/2019 11:00 AM
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Ha! Thanks Denny. Yes high-quality rum would be best...but I'm open to negotiation on that point...

Re: First Night? [Re: bailau] #199887
07/13/2019 11:17 AM
07/13/2019 11:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
louismcc Offline
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Originally Posted by bailau
On our last trip we had a sister boat with a Moorings Captain while I had the bareboat. Not only did he not ask preferences of them but tried to steer the other boat to ports where he had girlfriends and/or parties. After about 2 days of this they told the captain to follow our prearranged schedule and mirror us. I believe a good skipper as Louis suggests will ask for your preferences and take you where you want to go but have a prearranged idea....seeing Spanish Town shouldn't be on your list...:)



I hope you let Moorings know about this because I doubt seriously that they (or any other reputable charter company) would tolerate this. I would complain to both the base manager and the parent company.


Louis from Houston
Re: First Night? [Re: Deepcut] #199888
07/13/2019 11:18 AM
07/13/2019 11:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,595
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Offline
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Originally Posted by Deepcut
Originally Posted by sail445


That why it’s important to get a resume on the Captain along with photos and make sure he knows how to follow instructions and that the boat And dinghy are yours for your pleasure NOT his.


Have you been able to get this information before? Sailing qualifications vs references? And doubt photo will shed light on abilities.


Some people want to know about the Capt.
Some don’t,Best of luck to you.

Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199893
07/13/2019 12:07 PM
07/13/2019 12:07 PM
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Only have experience on larger yachts. But we always spoke directly with the skipper in advance, generally a number of emails and a phone-chat where possible. Before committing to the charter.

For us it was as important as the boat itself. Sub 100ft with say 3 crew (Inc skipper) they can make or break the holiday.

We were possibly unusual guests on these boats as we wanted to sail it! Rather than just sit and be served cocktails for a week. In most cases this required permission of the yacht's owner. But having cleared all of these things up in advance we always had superb charters and were not difficult guests.

With smaller boats and just 1 paid crew (skipper), with Moorings etc I'm guessing it's quite difficult to speak with them in advance. But, surely, as soon as you arrive you can sit down (maybe not everyone) with him/her and quietly talk through what you want from them and how you want the charter to go. If there is an immediate clash of personalities / you can tell that this isn't someone who is going to make your charter amazing then I doubt it would be hard to talk to management and make a change...

Our experience with Sunsail/Moorings is that it's far easier to get stuff changed/sorted/fixed whilst on the dock. Than to just crack on and hope things will be ok. Our experience is also that in some cases you need to make your case in a more 'robust' manner...after which, stuff gets done!

You can always ask to speak to base manager. From whom you will get more of the 'customer is always right' attitude than perhaps you do with some of the employees lower down the ladder.

Oh and if you want a rum-loving American skipper full to the brim with salty stories, with a great 'can-do' attitude then ask in advance for Captain Lou! They may have to drag him out of the bar, but he's good value! He did our last couple of check-out briefings and we got on very well with him. Knows his stuff and read us very well and got stuff fixed by calling his 'mates' rather than going through the normal chain and got us off the dock in record time.

Re: First Night? [Re: louismcc] #199900
07/13/2019 05:51 PM
07/13/2019 05:51 PM
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Posts: 324
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Originally Posted by louismcc
Originally Posted by bailau
On our last trip we had a sister boat with a Moorings Captain while I had the bareboat. Not only did he not ask preferences of them but tried to steer the other boat to ports where he had girlfriends and/or parties. After about 2 days of this they told the captain to follow our prearranged schedule and mirror us. I believe a good skipper as Louis suggests will ask for your preferences and take you where you want to go but have a prearranged idea....seeing Spanish Town shouldn't be on your list...:)



I hope you let Moorings know about this because I doubt seriously that they (or any other reputable charter company) would tolerate this. I would complain to both the base manager and the parent company.

I didn't tell Moorings...I left that with the people on his boat and don't know what they did. I am sure base would care more than the PE company that owns Moorings and would most likely not even care. I mentioned this more for awareness that you should know where you want to go and work it out through your captain and dont automatically defer.

Re: First Night? [Re: bailau] #199905
07/13/2019 06:32 PM
07/13/2019 06:32 PM
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Christo Offline
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Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by louismcc
Originally Posted by bailau
On our last trip we had a sister boat with a Moorings Captain while I had the bareboat. Not only did he not ask preferences of them but tried to steer the other boat to ports where he had girlfriends and/or parties. After about 2 days of this they told the captain to follow our prearranged schedule and mirror us. I believe a good skipper as Louis suggests will ask for your preferences and take you where you want to go but have a prearranged idea....seeing Spanish Town shouldn't be on your list...:)



I hope you let Moorings know about this because I doubt seriously that they (or any other reputable charter company) would tolerate this. I would complain to both the base manager and the parent company.

I didn't tell Moorings...I left that with the people on his boat and don't know what they did. I am sure base would care more than the PE company that owns Moorings and would most likely not even care. I mentioned this more for awareness that you should know where you want to go and work it out through your captain and dont automatically defer.



We remain happy and loyal customers of Sunsail/Moorings, mostly because nobody else in the BVI seems to be able to touch them on price when it comes to a 48ft-ish mono with 3 cabin config...and believe me, we've tried! But, I digress...when we have had issues in the past, we have escalated to head-office and had a very swift, professional and pleasing result.

...that said, it really depends on the issue you have. For us, credit toward a future charter was always a good result. But to have a bad skipper...that's something that needs to be fixed at base-level and fast.

Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199915
07/13/2019 10:46 PM
07/13/2019 10:46 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 450
East End, Tortola / Chicago
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If you choose a Moorings crewed yacht, they have permanent crew and you should be able to get all of the information about them in advance. If you choose to bareboat and just get a Moorings captain, not so much. They need to keep their captains' schedules loose.

I'd caution you about 'hiring' any captains off this board. Keep it extremely private, if you do. Amazingly, this board is monitored by the BVI guv. Here's my long story, which I'll try to shorten. I planned a trip to the BVI a few years back, intending to spend a week working on my (private) boat. I was just going to park her in Great Harbor, Peter, one of my favorite spots, and spend a week varnishing her brightwork and doing some maintenance. Since I would be alone, I thought I'd be a nice guy and offer a free berth to someone who might want to join me and use her as a base to do whatever. There would be no cost at all - not even a cheap bottle of rum! I did so on this board. (I later nixed the whole thing, because I specifically stated a male (I'm happily married!) and I was accused of being sexist....it was a whole PIA thing.) Anywho, when I arrived in the BVI, I was visited, at my marina, by two agents from I don't know what departments demanding that I prove that I wasn't running an illegal charter business! No more trying to be a nice guy.

When we ran our crewed charterboat, a hundred years ago, here's what we did (and what virtually every other captain did): On the first night we'd have a crew meeting, explaining some of the 'rules' of the boat (toilets, water, etc), and we'd try to arrive at a loose itinerary, base entirely upon what our guests wanted to do. If they were unfamiliar with the BVI, we'd plan our itinerary based upon their priorities (snorkeling, hiking, bars, etc.). If they were return guests, often they planned the itinerary themselves, and we were happy to follow it. We would NEVER steer them to a place based upon OUR comfort or convenience. That's just wrong.

Also...we would NEVER allow our guests to operate the dinghy by themselves...but would be happy to take them wherever, whenever. (The dinghy is the lifeblood of the charter, and one stupid mishap can ruin the entire week!) We had two handheld VHF radios that they could use to call us when they wanted to be dropped off on a remote beach, or picked up at the Bitter End. No cell phones back then!

We treated our guests as if they were the 'Master' of the vessel, and we were the crew. We made all decisions concerning safety, navigation, operations and left the fun stuff to our guests. That's what you should expect!

Re: First Night? [Re: Xave] #199924
07/14/2019 07:33 AM
07/14/2019 07:33 AM
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To clarify the 2nd boat was a bareboat with a skipper...and I am very loyal to Moorings base and they are to me. I have elevated other issues to base and they responded...

Re: First Night? [Re: bailau] #199970
07/14/2019 05:07 PM
07/14/2019 05:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 613
Houston, Texas
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Originally Posted by bailau

I am sure base would care more than the PE company that owns Moorings and would most likely not even care.


We had problems with last year's bareboat through the Moorings. Things were sort of hectic upon our return to base so we didn't get around to addressing the issues at the base. I got home, stewed on it a bit, and finally called Clearwater to find out the best way to address my complaints. They gave me the email address for the parent company's customer service which I reluctantly contacted, fully expecting like you that they wouldn't care. I was wrong. They responded quickly to my complaint email telling me that it could take up to 30 days to check with the base and investigate our issues. It took pretty much the full 30 days but they got back to me with a satisfactory resolution.

I can't say for certain that anything was done at the base, but to me this was a better route to take than to hunt down the base manager while we're trying to pack up to catch a ferry.

I'm also a very loyal Mooring customer, having done 13 bareboats with them and planning our 14th for 2020!

Last edited by louismcc; 07/14/2019 05:09 PM.

Louis from Houston
Re: First Night? [Re: Christo] #199985
07/14/2019 08:06 PM
07/14/2019 08:06 PM
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Ohio, USA
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Originally Posted by Christo
Oh and if you want a rum-loving American skipper full to the brim with salty stories, with a great 'can-do' attitude then ask in advance for Captain Lou! They may have to drag him out of the bar, but he's good value! He did our last couple of check-out briefings and we got on very well with him. Knows his stuff and read us very well and got stuff fixed by calling his 'mates' rather than going through the normal chain and got us off the dock in record time.
At BVI YC they hadn't heard from or seen Captain Lou in a long time. Is he still around? I have heard positive feedback about him. . .

Re: First Night? [Re: IFlyVFR] #200135
07/16/2019 03:29 PM
07/16/2019 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by IFlyVFR
Originally Posted by Christo
Oh and if you want a rum-loving American skipper full to the brim with salty stories, with a great 'can-do' attitude then ask in advance for Captain Lou! They may have to drag him out of the bar, but he's good value! He did our last couple of check-out briefings and we got on very well with him. Knows his stuff and read us very well and got stuff fixed by calling his 'mates' rather than going through the normal chain and got us off the dock in record time.
At BVI YC they hadn't heard from or seen Captain Lou in a long time. Is he still around? I have heard positive feedback about him. . .


He was down island doing a delivery early May. But was back on Tortola and working ad-hoc for Moorings/Sunsail mid-May through to mid-June this year...no first hand knowledge after that. I know that Irma took his house, car and boat...but it sounded like he was back on his feet now.


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