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First Time Charter - Help Me Decide #257678
06/09/2021 10:22 AM
06/09/2021 10:22 AM
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 2
S
scz Offline OP
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scz  Offline OP
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S
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 2
We have been invited on a week long boat charter (on a catamaran) with family this winter. We will be sailing around the USVI, if Covid is still an issue or the BVI, if restrictions have been lifted. Neither my husband nor myself are good swimmers and both have some reservations about the trip in general (though we really would like to go). Are there any fellow grandparents out there that have taken a similar trip and can give some feedback? Are there many places in the BVI/St. Thomas/St. John we would have to swim to (as opposed to taking a dinghy) or can we manage getting to most of the "hot" spots by dinghy? All help would be greatly appreciated as would recommendations for restaurants/places to go/sample itineraries and charter companies.

Thanks so much.

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Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: scz] #257682
06/09/2021 10:30 AM
06/09/2021 10:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,894
St. John, USVI
RickG Online content
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RickG  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,894
St. John, USVI
The one place I can imagine needing to get in the water is Lime Out in Coral Bay St. John, the floating taco bar. Magens Bay, St. Thomas allows dinghy dropoff, but you cannot beach your dinghy. Otherwise, there is dinghy access. You can see the National Park beach dinghy access at https://www.nps.gov/viis/planyourvisit/boating-information.htm

CYOA is who we like for USVI charters - newer boats, well maintained. Best itinerary was compiled by Capt. Jay from CYOA at https://www.facebook.com/groups/usvicruisers/permalink/3824749230911034

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: scz] #257773
06/10/2021 09:53 AM
06/10/2021 09:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 556
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 556
Apex, NC
Originally Posted by scz
We have been invited on a week long boat charter (on a catamaran) with family this winter. We will be sailing around the USVI, if Covid is still an issue or the BVI, if restrictions have been lifted. Neither my husband nor myself are good swimmers and both have some reservations about the trip in general (though we really would like to go). Are there any fellow grandparents out there that have taken a similar trip and can give some feedback? Are there many places in the BVI/St. Thomas/St. John we would have to swim to (as opposed to taking a dinghy) or can we manage getting to most of the "hot" spots by dinghy? All help would be greatly appreciated as would recommendations for restaurants/places to go/sample itineraries and charter companies.


We were out in April with a friend of mine who is delta away from passing away from cancer, i.e., really pretty bad shape. He enjoyed the trip and was glad he made it. He spent more time on the boat than the rest of us - he was fine with being "left behind". He was able to get in the dingy as long as the conditions were calm. And we had him stay in the dingy until we had drug it up a few feet on shore for him to swing his legs over the side and stand up., We only had him come in to shore if the conditions on the beach were pretty calm. He was able to do this and enjoy a few a short walk on the beach and later in week also started swimming/snorkeling off the beach. We did not allow him (nor did he desire) to swim off the boat. We were afraid it would be difficult to get him back in and we might hurt him. If you have the opportunity to go I would recommend you pull the trigger. But let the rest of the crew know that you are fine just hanging on the boat and enjoying yourself in situations you feel uncomfortable going with the them.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: scz] #267811
11/03/2021 04:36 PM
11/03/2021 04:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 4
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J Williams Offline
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J Williams  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 4
Avoid Catamaran Company, at all costs. We booked a charter & paid half, after which they changed the terms of the trip but refused to refund all the payment. An unscrupulous company.

Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: scz] #267994
11/05/2021 04:25 PM
11/05/2021 04:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,533
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 6,533
GA/NC
What was the change in terms?

Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: GeorgeC1] #268040
11/06/2021 02:25 AM
11/06/2021 02:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 2
Frisco
C
Chris Holmes Offline
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Chris Holmes  Offline
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C
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 2
Frisco
CYOA has changed areas allowed to visit after we paid half. BVI is now off limits. Hopefully that will change by April. Rick what decision do you need help with?

Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: scz] #268061
11/06/2021 09:41 AM
11/06/2021 09:41 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 705
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MIDiver Offline
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Posts: 705
Chris - CYOA didn’t change that the BVI did. It has been like that single they opened back up. USVI based charter boats not currently allowed to enter.

Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: J Williams] #268094
11/06/2021 01:52 PM
11/06/2021 01:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 584
Vail, CO
caribbeangirl13 Online content
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caribbeangirl13  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 584
Vail, CO
Originally Posted by J Williams
Avoid Catamaran Company, at all costs. We booked a charter & paid half, after which they changed the terms of the trip but refused to refund all the payment. An unscrupulous company.


I'm sorry that you were disappointed in the change but I don't feel like you should call them an unscrupulous company just because you can't take the boat to the BVI. This is not their fault and there is plenty to do and see in the USVI. We sailed there 3 times last year and had a blast!


Sue
s/v Ripple
Leopard 40

[Linked Image]
Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: caribbeangirl13] #268234
11/07/2021 05:17 PM
11/07/2021 05:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 2
Frisco
C
Chris Holmes Offline
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Chris Holmes  Offline
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C
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 2
Frisco
MIDiver - Since approx. 11/4 BVI is allowing foreign flagged charter vessels. When BVI made the change CYOA also changed to BVI off limits.

Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: Chris Holmes] #268244
11/07/2021 07:04 PM
11/07/2021 07:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 705
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MIDiver Offline
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Chris - I own a boat in the BVI. I hadn’t heard of the regulation change - will check with my base ops. I suppose we will see how many USVI flagged boats are there when we are back later this month. CYOA is the best op in the USVI. Hands down.

Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: scz] #268466
11/09/2021 10:52 AM
11/09/2021 10:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 87
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Rush Offline
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Rush  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 87
Sounds like the USVI will soon (in 30 days) allow Vacination cards for entry for US citizens, and will not require a negative test. I wonder if that would apply if you are coming back in from the BVI as well. I have the same issue with CYOA that Chris mentioned with a late December charter and hope they will change their policy by then.

Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: scz] #268516
11/09/2021 02:22 PM
11/09/2021 02:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 60
St. Thomas, USVI
CYOACHARTERBASE Offline
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CYOACHARTERBASE  Offline
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Posts: 60
St. Thomas, USVI
Hello everyone, CYOA is not the problem, the problem is the BVI government agencies that are not in sync with each other. The tourism department says borders are open and all are welcome. Shipping Registry says foreign based charter boats are not permitted at this time. HM Customs says that they are not set up to admit foreign based bareboats "at this time". In some instances all three agencies have made conflicting public statements on the same day.

CYOA, like all St Thomas based bareboat companies, is working with the various agencies to find a path for our clients to return to the BVI. As soon as we do you will hear about it here on TTOL. When that happens our clients will be subject to the rules then in effect for return to the USVI which will probably include use of the USVI travel portal and submission of a negative test or proof of vaccination.

As of this week the use of ROAM has been discontinued temporarily by the US CPB to require all vessels entering the USVI from ANY non USVI port (this includes SVI) to personally appear at the US Customs dock in Cruz Bay, Charlotte Amalie or Christiansted.

Last edited by CYOACHARTERBASE; 11/09/2021 02:41 PM.
Re: First Time Charter - Help Me Decide [Re: CYOACHARTERBASE] #269344
11/18/2021 10:31 AM
11/18/2021 10:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 87
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Rush Offline
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Rush  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 87
CYOACHARTERBASE, Thank you for this additional detail. Are you starting to make any progress with the BVI government agencies and do they appear interested/motivated to get the USVI based charter boats back in their country in the near future?


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