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Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: d_fish] #218077
02/19/2020 08:45 AM
02/19/2020 08:45 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,163
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Originally Posted by d_fish
Thank you for the update Warren.

I decided to look at the boatyball website to determine where boatyballs are located. Unfortunately I cannot browse their website without providing an email address. I do not wish to sign up or provide an email address. Would someone be able to tell me what anchorages boatyballs are located?

It would also be nice to know how many boatyballs are in each anchorage versus total FCFS balls are available in the same anchorage. That may help sailors determine in advance if they wish to test their luck at finding an available FCFS mooring.

Anegada, Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda, Cooper Island, Soper's Hole on Tortola, Cane Garden Bay on Tortola, Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke, and Diamond Cay between Jost Van Dyke and Little Jost Van Dyke.

BVI Sponsors
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218084
02/19/2020 09:50 AM
02/19/2020 09:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,126
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline OP
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BVI tourism has requested that any concerns/comments re boatyball be forwarded to the following email address :

info@bvitourism.com

Instead of the addresses I posted above.


Last edited by warren460; 02/19/2020 09:51 AM.

Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show) and Lagoon 450, (both part of the Charter Caribe fleet (all inclusive charters) -St Thomas USVI https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218092
02/19/2020 10:19 AM
02/19/2020 10:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
NJ
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madman57 Offline
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Please don't flame back too much (this is such a hot topic), but:

Why does BB induce stress? What happened without BB when arriving somewhere with all the FCFS balls already taken? If anything, that should induce stress -- but of course we should all have backup plans.

And for the situations people describe of boats racing to get the last FCFS ball, didn't that also occur before BB?

I'm not a constant visitor to the BVI, but in 2011, that was my experience, especially trying to spend an evening at Cooper. Lunch, yes, there's an issue to work out.

But overall, I much prefer being able to plan ahead. I contend with that all the time sailing in the northeast. Am I the only one using something like Dockwa to plan ahead?

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218097
02/19/2020 11:15 AM
02/19/2020 11:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 50
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I too am a planner and like to have a good idea of where I will be on a given day. I have had reasonable success with BoatyBall in the past. On three separate trips, I had 2-3 stops where I wanted to arrive in the afternoon and be sure to have a ball (Cooper included). I don't mind getting up early to get those reservations, and I had about a 75% success rate of getting those reservations at 7 AM on the dot. HOWEVER, my trips were not during high season, and I have now noticed how many more balls have gone from FCFS to BoatyBall.

As I am heading down in a week and half, I have been monitoring the availability on BoatyBall in the morning (at 7 AM). I may have misread (and BoatyBall can correct me), but it appears that there are a majority of balls pre-reserved a day ahead. I thought there were supposed to only a limited number. Either way, they are all gone (at places you need them) at 7 AM. I don't mind paying the extra $5-10 per day, but the Tax on the "pre-reserved" balls is too steep, IMO.

I understand all of the arguments made here that the traditional FCFS system is better. But even if this is a tool that someone wants to use, then has little chance of succeeding (i.e. actually successfully reserving a ball at 7 AM), unless you purchase the "pre-reserved" pass, then I don't see it working at all for many people. I will report back my experience after my trip.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: madman57] #218100
02/19/2020 11:19 AM
02/19/2020 11:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,897
VI,GA,AZ
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Each have their degree of comfort.
If you are ok with trying to get to the BB website at 7am and compete for a mooring amongst the masses instead of enjoying your morning stress free and if you get a BB mooring and you arrive in the afternoon and notice someone else is on it and they’re at shore for happy hour and then you can repeat it daily for the remainder of your stay then it’s fine for you.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218102
02/19/2020 11:42 AM
02/19/2020 11:42 AM
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I'm chartering for the first time in BVI in April and am not looking forward to having to use boatyball. I have been looking every morning to see availability and it seems pretty stressful process for a vacation. Understand April probably won't be as bad as now, but will consider other charter destinations in the future to avoid the whole boatyball system.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: Rush] #218104
02/19/2020 11:56 AM
02/19/2020 11:56 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 63
Waco, Texas
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Alec Atteberry Offline
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Originally Posted by Rush

As I am heading down in a week and half, I have been monitoring the availability on BoatyBall in the morning (at 7 AM). I may have misread (and BoatyBall can correct me), but it appears that there are a majority of balls pre-reserved a day ahead. I thought there were supposed to only a limited number. Either way, they are all gone (at places you need them) at 7 AM. I don't mind paying the extra $5-10 per day, but the Tax on the "pre-reserved" balls is too steep, IMO.


Just a slight point of clarification. Less than 7 users per week have the advanced reservation feature enabled and they are still limited to making one reservation per day. That means that over 90% of reservations are through the standard same day system.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218110
02/19/2020 12:10 PM
02/19/2020 12:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,126
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline OP
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Why should anyone be forced to use boaty ball. That's a big problem
We have been down for a week and have not used boatyball at all.


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show) and Lagoon 450, (both part of the Charter Caribe fleet (all inclusive charters) -St Thomas USVI https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218111
02/19/2020 12:15 PM
02/19/2020 12:15 PM
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Posts: 6
Toronto
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Warren I was on a boat yesterday and wanted to see the turtles at cooper but unfortunately could not find any balls to use. There were a few unmanned Boaty balls but did not want to cause problems and tie up even if we were going to be there for a few hours . Really wish someone would do something about going back to letting people go where they want and when they want . Right now Boaty ball actually controls BVI boat parking go figure.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218114
02/19/2020 12:34 PM
02/19/2020 12:34 PM
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Posts: 45
Ohio
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Why don’t they change BB check in time to 3 pm and let anyone use them without reservations if they are vacant during the day? Would need some kind of system in place to remove squatters at 3 pm, of course...

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: Sedona] #218132
02/19/2020 05:23 PM
02/19/2020 05:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,193
VIRGINIA
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We have a charter booked for July and I suspect that BB may not be an issue off season, if what I've read so far is accurate? but as a what if I am just starting to research. I haven't even looked at BB's website yet, but will soon. I've read more cons than pros in regards to how we plan our days. I am most concerned at knowing the layout of the moorings so when approaching a field I'll know what the heck I'm looking at, is the BB website the only accurate mapping of the fields? Are balls mixed here and there throughout the field? or clustered together?

We have had to race other boats into Cooper, one victory was the last available ball. But we've always arrived early enough to have a backup plan if ones not available, but I'm now curious if our nearby backup plans are also competitive in regards to the amount of BB's vs FCFS balls. We always wake up o-dark early, but trying to time the perfect 0700 reservation certainly isn't our style, I'll be cooking bacon!

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: BEERMAN] #218134
02/19/2020 05:42 PM
02/19/2020 05:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
NJ
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It's that racing to Cooper that exists with or without BB, at least in my limited experiences. As for July, I don't know. I've been monitoring BB for the past couple of months, and, yes, in high season, they usually go quickly at 7:00 a.m. sharp. I'm chartering the first week of March, and intend to use BB. I personally like the concept, but I guess I'll soon find out if it works in practice in high season. Maybe I'm just used to high contention in the areas I usually sail in. I do appreciate all the comments everyone makes here.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218135
02/19/2020 05:52 PM
02/19/2020 05:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2019
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CT USA
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So the real issue is Cooper and Great Harbor JVD. Cooper has the fewest moorings of all islands and has the worst holding ground and sea grass that needs protection. Great Harbor is always high demand. If Cooper is really high on your list, then you either get thee real early for FCFS, use BB or skip it and head to Norman or Peter which are still all FCFS. Great Harbor, get there early, use BB or go to Little Harbor and take a cab.

It really is different strokes for different folks. We start our cruise on Sunday and we are skipping Cooper because that field is way too tight and we did that last year. We are skipping Great Harbor too and planning on an extra day in Anegada and a night off Guana instead. Norman, Leverick and Peter will round out our week. And all my plans are subject to change based on weather if I have to. If my crew really wants Great Harbor or Cooper I would use BB without hesitation.

Boaty Ball has not created artificial demand. They are accommodating demand for those that choose it. The moorings are full so the owners are happy and the users are probably happy. If they were FCFS, they would still be full and boaters would need to plan on being there early enough if they really wanted to be at Cooper. Some of the haters sound way too wound up about this.

Last edited by Philggct; 02/19/2020 05:55 PM.
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: BEERMAN] #218136
02/19/2020 05:52 PM
02/19/2020 05:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 109
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Hi Rick. The Boaty Balls are pretty much grouped together and it is obvious (by color) which they are upon entering an anchorage. The BVI Mariner site we maintain has mooring ball counts, but not a layout of the field. Anchorage and Marina pages are currently being updated to ensure accuracy ... see the Oil Nut Bay page here for the new layout which includes a Navionics chart and Windfinder wind & weather forecast. My son is in the aerospace industry (Go Hokies) and hooked me up with a company that does daily satellite imagery ... we were thinking of adding these images to the Anchorage pages as well. Hope this helps.

Thanks! - Mark

https://www.bvimariner.com/explore/anchorages-chart-2/virgin-gorda-deep-bay-2/

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: SailOrion] #218139
02/19/2020 07:08 PM
02/19/2020 07:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 276
Tustin CA
d_fish Online content
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SailOrion: Awesome website - this is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for sharing.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: Alec Atteberry] #218141
02/19/2020 07:20 PM
02/19/2020 07:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,897
VI,GA,AZ
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Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
Originally Posted by Rush

As I am heading down in a week and half, I have been monitoring the availability on BoatyBall in the morning (at 7 AM). I may have misread (and BoatyBall can correct me), but it appears that there are a majority of balls pre-reserved a day ahead. I thought there were supposed to only a limited number. Either way, they are all gone (at places you need them) at 7 AM. I don't mind paying the extra $5-10 per day, but the Tax on the "pre-reserved" balls is too steep, IMO.


Just a slight point of clarification. Less than 7 users per week have the advanced reservation feature enabled and they are still limited to making one reservation per day. That means that over 90% of reservations are through the standard same day system.


Ok less then Seven users per week as you say still have to make daily reservations. So your saying with your $400 program they still have to go through the routine?
Your system is a disaster and does nothing to produce a stress free vacation except for you and your cronies.
I know you’re probably laughing at the BVI Tourism company but you’re pissing off the charterers.
They don’t want your system and it’s a matter of time before you’re out along with some corrupt politicians 😁👍

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218147
02/19/2020 07:54 PM
02/19/2020 07:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 138
Ontario, Canada
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We have been coming to the BVI's three times per season for 15 years. Pre boatyball we had a feel for which bays we needed to get to early and it just seemed more relaxed. The boatyball system has been a very unpleasant addition and we tend to avoid spots where we need to use them.
It is my hope that once Peter Islanid adds their 60+ moorings and the North Sound mooring fields are back in service that the boatyball experiment will end. I also suspect that the shore based businesses will start to complain as no doubt they are losing significant afternoon revenue. Many of the JVD Great Harbor BBs were empty for much of the afternoon when we were there a few days ago resulting in fewer on shore visitors.


Henryv
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218148
02/19/2020 08:08 PM
02/19/2020 08:08 PM
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Philggct, yes people are wound up, change is difficult sometimes. I have been going to the USVI/BVI for 38 years (I'm 56yo, started young) and some serious change has occurred. Sometimes change is good, but quite often I've seen negative change. I can see how many feel negative towards this, it takes a sense of freedom away. Chance was always a part of life moving around on a boat, getting tied to a technology lottery at 0700 puts a new twist on it.

Mark, thanks and GO HOKIES! Looking forward to being on Orion again!!!!

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218155
02/19/2020 11:13 PM
02/19/2020 11:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 31
Virgin Islands
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Warren, thanks for pointing out that it is possible to go to the BVI during high season and not use BoatyBall.

It is obvious that no one forced you to use it.

Last edited by BoatyBall; 02/19/2020 11:15 PM.
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: Philggct] #218156
02/19/2020 11:25 PM
02/19/2020 11:25 PM
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Philggct, the demand is high because we are still waiting on locations like Marina Cay, Peter Island, The Last Resort, YCCS, Bitter End, Saba Rock and their associated 160+ balls and slips to come back online. Not only did these provide additional places for boaters to stay it also spread boaters out. Today boaters are very concentrated.

We cannot wait for these locations to open back up. It will be great for the BVI people and the boaters!

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: BoatyBall] #218157
02/20/2020 03:51 AM
02/20/2020 03:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,126
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline OP
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Correct, we did not use boatyball. However the presence of boatyball meant we did not visit cooper island, although we stopped by to try. Also, we cleared into the bvi at jost. Mid morning and almost no fcfs balls available. We were not going to use a ball that someone had booked. Boaty takes a great deal away from the pleasure of visiting the bvi. Thanks for pointing it out that we did not use boatyball.


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show) and Lagoon 450, (both part of the Charter Caribe fleet (all inclusive charters) -St Thomas USVI https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: BoatyBall] #218158
02/20/2020 03:54 AM
02/20/2020 03:54 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,126
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline OP
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Demand is not the issue. It’s supply of balls that’s the issue. Boatyball made the. Supply of fcfs balls a much larger problem. We were down in November 2018 , before boatyball descended on the beautiful bvi. Life was great in the bvi. If you did not get a ball, move onto plan b.

Boatyball is a disaster for repeat visitors that don’t need to map out a detailed itinerary before they arrive in the bvi.

Last edited by warren460; 02/20/2020 03:57 AM.

Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show) and Lagoon 450, (both part of the Charter Caribe fleet (all inclusive charters) -St Thomas USVI https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218160
02/20/2020 04:41 AM
02/20/2020 04:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 43
London, England
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Warren, I'll chime in with one last post & reply to your previous post to me, we're not all the same my friend, some of us have different demands and lifestyles, -we don't enjoy getting to our destination before or by lunchtime, and re the snorkelling & happy hour we don't miss out on that; BB let's you stay till 12 noon, before then we get up at our leisure, sort ourselves out & then go for a nice long morning swim/ snorkel/ walk; then we have a nice brunch aboard & depart somewhere close to noon; we like to sail so we'll go for a 3-5 hour sail;
'beer o'clock' happens when we're moored/ anchored up & cocktail o'clock is around 6 sometime before dinner; so we do everything you like to do, just in a different order.

in our (the Mrs & I) opinion BB's are a blessing, I do hear what you say and I get it but there's what? 75 BoatyBalls out there in the whole area? & how many boats? 500+? so I really don't think it's worth getting in a big fuss over.

and one last thing, we're Brits & sail a lot in the Med too, we'd kill for mooring balls of any sort there, there's a massive shortage of marina berthing so when it's busy the free swinging on anchor is chaos to say the least, if you're still reading this BB could you pop over to Greece & Croatia & talk to the folks there please?

we're all sailors Warren, we love the sea, I wish you peace and happy sailing.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218165
02/20/2020 06:24 AM
02/20/2020 06:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 679
Washington DC
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Boatyball IMHO does not make things easier in the BVIs. Hard to see a system where you have higher than an 86% failure rate of reserving a ball (15/109 at Cooper per BB), making things easier. I cant speak to any other area outside the US. We do have docking reservation ability in the states that I use but you can log on at any point and reserve (or not if they don't have capacity) in the future. I use parking and driving reservations systems in DC and spend thousands of dollars per year for these. I am totally comfortable after spending money to charter a plane and a boat a few extra dollars for convenience but BB simply doesn't provide it to me personally. The systems I mention above (Dockwa, snagaslip, parkmobile, EZPass) are all simply money collection systems and don't require me to reserve at 1 time each day competing for a 14% chance of success. Further, any business that sets its clients up for an 86% chance of failure is going to have some unhappy people especially when there are credibility issues surrounding the system itself.

The BVI businesses need a money collection system...leaving the balls as FCFS and setting boatyball to collect would have accomplished that.

For now simply avoiding Cooper and Great Harbour in the high season avoids most issues as the ratio of BB to FCFS moorings is too high.

The answer is not necessarily waiting until other moorings open as I am quite sure BB, like any business, wants (and needs) to expand. The main issue is the ratio of BB to FCFS at any particular harbor.

I do commend BB for starting a counter marketing campaign here and with local businesses to counteract and deflect these issues and getting new people involved on their behalf on TTOL but it is another buzz kill to see the grenades (personal attacks & broadbrushing people with the opposing opinion) being tossed by both sides on what is otherwise a great board.

All IMHO






Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: sunman60] #218166
02/20/2020 06:49 AM
02/20/2020 06:49 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,126
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline OP
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The same to you.


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show) and Lagoon 450, (both part of the Charter Caribe fleet (all inclusive charters) -St Thomas USVI https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218178
02/20/2020 09:17 AM
02/20/2020 09:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 31
Virgin Islands
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Warren, November 2018 was one year post Irma and there were a lot less boats going out on charter. The number of boats out on charter is significantly greater today than Nov 2018. This is great for the BVI and for individuals like you that have boats in charter programs in the BVI.

However, as we have mentioned in previous posts the number of maintained and available mooring balls still remain significantly less than pre Irma levels. This creates a supply and demand issue that will not be resolve until more moorings become available.

Re: I hate boaty ball. [Re: warren460] #218181
02/20/2020 09:24 AM
02/20/2020 09:24 AM
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This whole thing has gotten completely out of control. No one is changing anybody's mind or listening to either side.

It is going around and around in constant circles of the same babble over and over and over again and again.

This is done and I am not going to allow future thread to go into the vast black hole that this and similar threads have manage to achieve.


Eric Hill
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