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spanish virgin islands info? #65792
08/24/2015 01:43 PM
08/24/2015 01:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 60
M
mayjong1 Offline OP
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mayjong1  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 60
love, love, love this site for all the bvi info provided.
we are looking into the SVI for a trip, any recommendations from the pros here on where to start?

thanks!!!!

BVI Sponsors
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: mayjong1] #65793
08/24/2015 02:20 PM
08/24/2015 02:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 124
Georgia
C
cruzdoc Offline
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Georgia
I also am looking forward to an SVI trip at some point. I can not provide any direct knowledge or help except that your best chartering locations are Fajardo, San Juan and CYOA in St. Thomas, unless you have a more than 10 days to charter, in which case you could probably work your way over in a boat from the BVI.

The cruising guide linked below, which someone posted here previously, has a great deal of information for you to look through.

http://freecruisingguides.com/puerto-rico/

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: cruzdoc] #65794
08/24/2015 02:27 PM
08/24/2015 02:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 305
Park City, Utah
ericlut Offline
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ericlut  Offline
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Posts: 305
Park City, Utah
I've done 2 SVI charters and started in Fajardo both times. Sail Caribe has a small but nice fleet there. I'm sure you'll hear from several pros here who like the St. Thomas start using CYOA.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: ericlut] #65795
08/24/2015 02:48 PM
08/24/2015 02:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,254
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
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CaptainJay  Offline
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Posts: 1,254
Saint Thomas, USVI
Twanger is in the process of posted a trip report on the USVI/SVI forum. Stay tuned.
http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/s...e=0#Post1660149


In the mean time if you have any specific questions fire away.

Jay

Last edited by CaptainJay; 08/24/2015 02:51 PM.
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: CaptainJay] #65796
08/24/2015 06:38 PM
08/24/2015 06:38 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 881
Louisville, KY
NoelHall Offline
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NoelHall  Offline
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Posts: 881
Louisville, KY
We had a very good experience with Sail Caribe near Fajardo, chartered a bareboat sailing catamaran.


Noel Hall
"It is humbling indeed, to discover my own opinion is only correct less than 50% of the time."

www.noelhall.com
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: CaptainJay] #65797
08/24/2015 06:43 PM
08/24/2015 06:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
I had a terrible experience with Caribe looking after our boat. I don't want to go into much detail here. Best charter with cyoa as they have a great reputation and are always helpful on TTOL

Last edited by warren460; 08/24/2015 06:43 PM.

Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show).

https://www.cyabrochure.com/ebn/2307/pdyrX/6642/4///
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: warren460] #65798
08/24/2015 08:54 PM
08/24/2015 08:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,100
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Posts: 6,100
Maryland
Just did a wonderful 10-day trip to the SVI on CYOA's Big Papa Lulu.
I have started doing reports, but have limited time and they will be incremental.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Twanger] #65799
08/24/2015 10:29 PM
08/24/2015 10:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
What month are you planning on going?


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show).

https://www.cyabrochure.com/ebn/2307/pdyrX/6642/4///
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: warren460] #65800
08/25/2015 07:09 AM
08/25/2015 07:09 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
We're planning on spending the first half of our four week fall trip in the SVIs and eastern PR. The Frank Virgintino free guide is the most recent writing we've found. The Van Zandt book has a detailed discussion of the west to east routes from Fajardo. The Pavlidas guide gets criticized for inaccurate charts and skinny info. The Street guide was last updated in 1995.

We are bringing the NOAA paper charts and chart books to augment our aging Navionics charts on our chart plotter. Backups are Navionics, Garmin apps on ipad/iphone and a handheld Garmin GPS. We'll plot our routes on paper with compass first.

The best resources have been the trip reports and local knowledge. The CYOA folks have done this exercise many times, Capt. Jay and Kimber on here. I'm looking forward to reading Twangers report.

This is our first trip outside of the Chesapeake and the VIs, so we're taking things pretty conservative with a lot of respect for weather.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Beneteau 423
Coral Bay, St. John USVI
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: RickG] #65801
08/29/2015 05:53 PM
08/29/2015 05:53 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 31
Virginia
JohnV Offline
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JohnV  Offline
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Posts: 31
Virginia
We have gone the last 2 years. Leaving from honeymoon bay (water island ST) head toward sail rock and toward Dewey to check in. It is straight down wind and will take about 4 - 5 hrs. The entrance is well marked as you do a dogleg in. You must anchor in Dewey and can clear customs (US vessel and crew 787-729-6840). Can provision there but no fuel or water. The Dinghy Dock is a good restaurant. After clearing in we like to head north toward Puerto Manglar where typically you will be the only boat. I do not trust the moorings but anchoring is good in about 16 - 20 ft. from there Culebrita is a short sail (motor). Once again I would avoid the mooring and anchor in sand. This is the idyllic caribbean beach. Do not go on a weekend as the PR navy will take over. Donald street has a cruising guide that is helpful. Having said that, while it is wonderful when you are there, the trip back is tough. We found that we liked Honeymoon bay so much that we probably will not go back to Culebra.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: JohnV] #65802
08/30/2015 09:48 AM
08/30/2015 09:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
A couple of friends mentioned that I was going way overkill. Sounds like getting to the SVIs from the VIs is a milk run, with a good bit of upwind working getting back.

Well, I like the navigation and want to keep my skills up. Doing the pre-trip research, I'm pretty surprised at the lack of current info/cruising guides for an area so close to St. Thomas.

As I mentioned, the Frank Virgintino free 2012 guide is the most recent information we've found. it looks good.

http://freecruisingguides.com/guides/Puerto%20Rico%201.3%202012.04.19%20wADS%202014.01.20.pdf

I'll write an SVI trip report after/during our October trip and focus a bit on resources and my favorites. We're pretty excited about this trip. 29 days does not suck,

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Beneteau 423
Coral Bay, St. John USVI
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: JohnV] #65803
08/30/2015 05:01 PM
08/30/2015 05:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 167
J
Jccarr Offline
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Jccarr  Offline
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Posts: 167
[quote][b]JohnV said:[/b You must anchor in Dewey and can clear customs (US vessel and crew 787-729-6840).


Tell me more about a U.S. Vessel and crew clearing in by calling. Can you call to clear if you started from the BVI?

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: RickG] #65804
08/30/2015 05:05 PM
08/30/2015 05:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
Rick
you might want to check out the bio bay on Vieques.

The wild horse on the beach are worth seeing.

I really like Culebra and culebrita.

There are lots of nice restAurants and customs in Culebra was very friendly and helpful.


The sail back east is a pain unless you detour to st croix and the straight north back to bvi.
Warren


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show).

https://www.cyabrochure.com/ebn/2307/pdyrX/6642/4///
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: warren460] #65805
08/31/2015 06:57 AM
08/31/2015 06:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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Posts: 3,001
St Croix is way out of the way,
Culebra to St Thomas is a 3 to 6 hour sail and if the wind is on your nose drop the jib and motor sail with the main.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Jccarr] #65806
08/31/2015 09:58 AM
08/31/2015 09:58 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 31
Virginia
JohnV Offline
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JohnV  Offline
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Posts: 31
Virginia
Coming from the BVI, I believe you must first clear customs in the USVI before going to the SVI.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: RickG] #65807
08/31/2015 10:34 AM
08/31/2015 10:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
B
Buddy Offline
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Buddy  Offline
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Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
Rick,

I have made the trip over to the SVI many times over the years and it is fairly simple and straight forward. I have been sailing for over 40 years but I admit that my first time I was a little nervous. I found that the Imray charts were right on the money. When I go over from the BVI, I usually overnight in Flamingo Bay, Water Island. Get a civilized start in the morning and head directly for Sail Rock keeping it to starboard then direct to the south east end of Culebra. Up along the shore and into a well marked Dakity Bay by two pm. Dakity is very nice spot inside the reef and you can take your dink in to Dewey if you must go to C&I. Incidently, you can get a sticker from Homeland Security over the internet which will avoid having to personally appear. Just a phone call upon arrival. Once you have made the passage you will be amazed at how simple it really is.

As to the way back east, depends on the weather as usual. If it is a bit boisterous, I agree with Warren460. Go down to St. Croix and then due north to STT. Yes it is a bit further but St. Croix is interesting if you have never been there and it is far better than beating your brains in for 6 or 7 hours coming straight back. If I can be of any help, pm me at your convenience.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Buddy] #65808
08/31/2015 10:52 AM
08/31/2015 10:52 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
Thanks for the ideas! This all lines up with what I've been hearing. We'll be leaving from Water Island for Culebra. We plan on hitting Puerto Del Ray in Fajardo and Vieques, but we're skipping STX in order to get back in time for Cat Fight. I haven't seen Fajardo since my last gig at Roosevelt Roads, so I'm looking forward to that as much as the nature and seclusion... all weather dependent.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Beneteau 423
Coral Bay, St. John USVI
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: RickG] #65809
08/31/2015 11:41 AM
08/31/2015 11:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
B
Buddy Offline
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Buddy  Offline
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Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
Sounds like a good plan. Fajardo is good fun. Reminds me of what I believe Havana must look like although I have never been to Havana.

You know Rosey Roads is long since closed. Sad thing.
Viequez is a good stop on the way back as it will give you a ittle better angle on the wind than Culebra. There is a little bay on the east end of Viequez called Bahia Icacos which is very beautiful and makes a good stop for the run back. In late October the weather should be kind. Have a great trip.

Buddy

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Buddy] #65810
08/31/2015 05:15 PM
08/31/2015 05:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 421
NJ, USA
dwolf Offline
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dwolf  Offline
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Posts: 421
NJ, USA
Buddy, How do you get the sticker over the internet? I would love to have that to ease the whole process.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: dwolf] #65811
08/31/2015 05:36 PM
08/31/2015 05:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
You can not, as far as I know. The USCG mails me my renewal form every year. The cost is $26.50 and it took less than a week to arrive. I don't believe this a Homeland Security issue.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: dwolf] #65812
08/31/2015 06:08 PM
08/31/2015 06:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
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Buddy Offline
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Buddy  Offline
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Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
Go to the Homeland Security site and look thru the menu. There is a sticker/registration for vessels and aircraft. You can fill out the form on line and submit with a credit card. It usually takes me maybe two to three weeks to receive the sticker thru USPS. You can expedited for an additional charge. It is good for one year. I have been doing this for many years. and it has never been a problem. I cannot renew for 2016 yet but will be able to do so in another month or so. It really is a no brainer. You can purchase a sticker for 2015 now but they must be renewed again for January 1, 2016. Not a big deal and has served me very well over the years.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: sail2wind] #65813
08/31/2015 06:31 PM
08/31/2015 06:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
Rick, if you get to fajardo, provisioning is excellent. You might try the restaurant La Estación. It was a great place two years ago.

We kept our boat at puerto Del Ray 2012/2013. So we have a little bit of experience. I have gone direct from nanny cay to Culebra in an afternoon. It's an easy trip.

There is Google holding in Ensanada behind pirate island (Cayo pirata)

The anchorages on the south side of vieques can be a bit rolly.


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show).

https://www.cyabrochure.com/ebn/2307/pdyrX/6642/4///
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: sail2wind] #65814
08/31/2015 09:33 PM
08/31/2015 09:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 167
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Jccarr Offline
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Jccarr  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 167
What is the name of the sticker or program? Is it the SVRS, small vessel reporting system?

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Jccarr] #65815
08/31/2015 10:00 PM
08/31/2015 10:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 402
St Thomas, USVI
K
Kimber Offline
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Kimber  Offline
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K
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 402
St Thomas, USVI

Last edited by Kimber; 08/31/2015 10:00 PM.
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Kimber] #65816
09/01/2015 06:45 AM
09/01/2015 06:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 421
NJ, USA
dwolf Offline
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dwolf  Offline
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Posts: 421
NJ, USA
What does the decal do for you? I thought it was the SVRS that allows you to enter a float plan so you don't have to go into customs in US to check in.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: dwolf] #65817
09/01/2015 06:57 AM
09/01/2015 06:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Posts: 2,137
Ontario, Canada
Customs in culebra is straight forward. It's a 10 minute walk from the dock to the airport. Friendly people. They will give permission to come ashore if you arrive late,


Warren S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 50 (winner of best crewed yacht under 55 feet at the St. Thomas crewed yacht boat show).

https://www.cyabrochure.com/ebn/2307/pdyrX/6642/4///
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: warren460] #65818
09/01/2015 07:02 AM
09/01/2015 07:02 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
DTOPS is quick and you need the decal # for your SVRS application. We got our decal # same day and the decal arrived in the mail the same week.

Cheers, Rick


S/V Echoes, 2003 Beneteau 423
Coral Bay, St. John USVI
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: dwolf] #65819
09/01/2015 07:09 AM
09/01/2015 07:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
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Buddy Offline
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Buddy  Offline
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Boston and Tortola, BVI
The DTOPS sticker avoids the "10 minute" trek to the airport for C&I on Culebra. It becomes just a phone call. One must walk at quite a pace to make it in 10 minutes (more like a dead run)and note that the C&I office is not manned all the time. There are days when it is not open at all so your "10 minute walk" may not be fruitful. Much better and safer to just get the sticker.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Buddy] #65820
09/01/2015 07:48 AM
09/01/2015 07:48 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 402
St Thomas, USVI
K
Kimber Offline
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Kimber  Offline
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K
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 402
St Thomas, USVI
There seems to be some confusion here. In short, a vessel over 30' in length is required to have a US Customs Decal sticker to enter Puerto Rico (including the SVI) or you will have to have to pay a fee, equal to the sticker, when you check in by person. With the sticker, and all persons onboard US citizens, you can clear in over the phone with no additional fees. Regardless of whether you have LBOs or SVRS is irrelevant if you don't have the sticker for your vessel. Entering the USVI from the BVI a Decal Sticker is not required and assuming all onboard have LBO numbers or a SVRS is in play, a phone call can clear all persons in without need to stop in person.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Kimber] #65821
09/01/2015 12:16 PM
09/01/2015 12:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
Boston and Tortola, BVI
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Buddy Offline
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Buddy  Offline
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Boston and Tortola, BVI
No confusion. SVRS and DTOPS are two different animals. One is USCG the other is Homeland Security. SVRS is the old Local Boater Option which is still grandfathered if you happen to have been registered prior to the change in the rules at least mine still works. Interestingly, the DTOPS sticker is not effective on going from the BVI to the USVI. But it is as to the SVI. Go figure. Too many initials makes it all hard to understand sometimes.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Kimber] #65822
09/01/2015 01:05 PM
09/01/2015 01:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 244
Charlotte
K
Knotthead Offline
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Knotthead  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 244
Charlotte
When we entered last year without a decal the CBP officer at the Culebra airport would not talk to us until we called the Indiana office and applied for the permit over the phone. Then he agreed to take our money only after it showed up on his computer. We didnt have 50 cents and he wouldnt take $28 for the $27.50 decal and keep the change so we had to go to a local bar and get change for a dollar. He was a very nice guy after we came back with the exact change. What a waste of an hour.

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Knotthead] #65823
09/01/2015 09:06 PM
09/01/2015 09:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 414
Memphis, TN
beerMe Offline
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beerMe  Offline
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Posts: 414
Memphis, TN
Funny how different people have different experiences. For example, July 2015 we went to the SVI from the BVI with a Cyprus and Greek citizen. We cleared into the USVI in Cruz Bay. Since I was unsure about the non-US persons and my ability to buy a sticker for a charter boat I just decided to show up. For whatever reason he charged us $37 for the French registered boat. I said I brought change because I understand you can't make change, he said he could. He also said since we had cleared into the US at Cruz Bay the non-US citizens were not a problem. Does anyone know if you fly into STT from a foreign country do you have to go thru C&I?

The time before that, 2007, we had a boat from Island Yachts (USVI) with the sticker. I called in, everything went well until he asked for the expiration date of the decal. I said 2006, he said you mean 2007, I said 2006, he said are you sure, I said oh, yeah 2007.

Although the stroll to the airport was only about 15 minutes and we did have some fun taking pictures and at a roadside eatery on the way I think I'll go ahead and get the decal next time. Thanks to everyone that added info I had not seen before!


Life involves risks, take some prudent ones (NOT with the BVI ferries)!
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Buddy] #65824
09/02/2015 07:10 AM
09/02/2015 07:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,900
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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St. John, USVI
....and the DTOPS sticker is a prerequisite for registering your vessel on SVRS. I've got the DTOPS sticker for our fall trip and have applied for SVRS.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Beneteau 423
Coral Bay, St. John USVI
Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: RickG] #65825
09/02/2015 07:43 AM
09/02/2015 07:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,254
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
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CaptainJay  Offline
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Saint Thomas, USVI
Just an FYI for anyone thinking of chartering to the SVI's. We keep a current customs decal on all of the CYOA boats. Typically with US Citizens on board you will be able to clear on the phone.

Jay

Re: spanish virgin islands info? [Re: Buddy] #65826
09/02/2015 08:14 AM
09/02/2015 08:14 AM
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Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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Quote
Buddy said:
No confusion. SVRS and DTOPS are two different animals. One is USCG the other is Homeland Security. SVRS is the old Local Boater Option which is still grandfathered if you happen to have been registered prior to the change in the rules at least mine still works. Interestingly, the DTOPS sticker is not effective on going from the BVI to the USVI. But it is as to the SVI. Go figure. Too many initials makes it all hard to understand sometimes.

The reason the custom decal doesn't work from BVI to VI is because the VI is a Tax Free port the SVI ( Puerto Rico) is a regular US port so merchandise over the allotted quantities or cost can be assessed by the U.S. Customs.


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