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boat selection #97147
05/11/2016 02:26 PM
05/11/2016 02:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 29
Frankfort, Michigan
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hotdogman Offline OP
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hotdogman  Offline OP
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Frankfort, Michigan
Greetings all. Long-time lurker, here. I'm looking for advice on which boat to charter for an 8 day trip I'm planning for December. I'm considering a FP Lucia out of STT or a FP Helia or Lagoon 440 out of Tortola. The price of each are roughly the same although there would be additional costs associated with getting to Tortola. We'll have 4 kids in tow so part of me thinks it would be easier to start from STT rather than navigating the ferries to get to and from Tortola. The other part of me would rather have more time in BVI and I feel like a STT base may limit where we can go in BVI. More importantly, since this will be our first bareboat experience, I wonder if we're better off with one boat or the other? As a family, we've been crew for 4 trips to US & BVI ("crew" used very loosely). The wife and I will be down this summer getting ASA 101, 103, 104 & 114 certifications. With our lack of experience, should I be concerned with how each of these boats might handle differently or won't I even notice? Is the size even relevant here? I suppose if it doesn't matter, I would opt for the larger boat out of Tortola.

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Re: boat selection [Re: hotdogman] #97148
05/11/2016 02:57 PM
05/11/2016 02:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
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StormJib Offline
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StormJib  Offline
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In gerneral the newest, largest boat from the best operator you can afford. In almost every case the mono will be simpliar for the less experienced crew or skipper. To your specific question the new skipper not familiar with sailing distances should use a Tortola base. For those that understand the procedures and sailing distances the flight to boat simplicity of St. Thomas is a joy. The bigger and newer the boat the better. The sailing navigation of Tortola is better. The air and land ingress and egress is better with a St. Thomas base. If you are new to any of this keep the parts new to you simple or as limited as possible. One step or bite out of elephant at a time on your group vacation.

Re: boat selection [Re: StormJib] #97149
05/11/2016 03:10 PM
05/11/2016 03:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,441
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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GA/NC
Keep in mind that the BVI intends to increase the costs to sail in the BVI for non BVI based boats. The change based on recent actions might be substantial.

Re: boat selection [Re: hotdogman] #97150
05/11/2016 05:30 PM
05/11/2016 05:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 554
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Posts: 554
Apex, NC
Where to charter from.... You will find as many opinions one way vs. the other so really no right or wrong answer.

I think I would go with the boat that is best for you. The other logistics are essentially a wash.
(a) Yes - you will have roughly one day less in the BVI. But you will pick up a great experience on St. John instead.
(b) Cost of ferry "fun" is about the same cost as the cruising tax++ to bring the boat into the BVI. But as noted this might be changing to a little bit unknown at present.
(c) There is no complexity to check into/out of the BVI. The charter base on STT will walk you through it and it is frankly a non event. So don't let that be a determining factor.
(d) Probably less can go wrong if you start in STT. If you are flying in/out of STT already vs. you have a choice of flying either EIS or STT then way less can go wrong starting in STT. Especially on the way back. Often times if you are returning the boat on Tortola and you need to get the ferry to STT there is a good chance you will need to get to STT the day before in order to be safe catching your plane. So there goes a whole day of your vacation that could have been spent on the boat had you chartered out of STT.

So IMHO, the determining factor is the boat and the price of the boat.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: boat selection [Re: agrimsrud] #97151
05/11/2016 06:39 PM
05/11/2016 06:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,100
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Posts: 6,100
Maryland
We prefer to start in STT.

Re: boat selection [Re: Twanger] #97152
05/11/2016 07:25 PM
05/11/2016 07:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 29
Frankfort, Michigan
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hotdogman Offline OP
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hotdogman  Offline OP
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Frankfort, Michigan
Thanks for the replies! Would most concur with George? As a rookie captain, biggest boat from the best operator?

Re: boat selection [Re: Twanger] #97153
05/11/2016 07:27 PM
05/11/2016 07:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 921
Michigan
rhans Offline
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rhans  Offline
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Posts: 921
Michigan
Quote
Twanger said:
We prefer to start in STT.


Totally agree. After 14 plus trips both ways it's way less stressful and CYOA rocks.

Re: boat selection [Re: hotdogman] #97154
05/11/2016 07:33 PM
05/11/2016 07:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,388
Ill, USA
Will_L Offline
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Will_L  Offline
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No dog in any of these fights these days since has been a couple years since had a boat in charter and now have a private day boat on VG a. My two cents ..could be worth less..I'd go with the BVI boats first time round. Worst seas many experience comes from in Pillsbury Sound between ST and ST John. Not a great start for newbies. In addition most of the better BVI companies are minutes away via a chase boat in the channel..and Jost. If having a problem on a short vacation you want it remedied quickly...for 9 years I saw the statements..and paid them for a BVi based charter co. You don't want to hear.."try this and if doesn't work..call us back" . You want to hear.."the chase boat is on the way..from Roadtown , nanny cay etc.". No customs involved..usually quick resolution.
Anyway that's my take..a while back some talked about charter guests making repairs and dealing with spare parts on board etc. IMO that is not a great idea for guest or boat owner. have a great trip

Re: boat selection [Re: Will_L] #97155
05/11/2016 08:01 PM
05/11/2016 08:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 802
Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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Deepcut  Offline
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Georgia & South Carolina
I would say BVI. Last trip we went from STT and on day 1 going to BVI my wife got very sea sick which is rare for her as she has been on boats often, The weather was not awful but significantly greater wave action that "in the BVI". Regarding St John, great place to visit on future trips. So many places in BVI you need multiple weeks.
I think the 40-45 ft will be great.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2022 Lagoon 46)
www.BareBoatBVI.com

Re: boat selection [Re: Will_L] #97156
05/12/2016 07:43 AM
05/12/2016 07:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 554
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Apex, NC
Quote
Will_L said:
In addition most of the better BVI companies are minutes away via a chase boat in the channel..and Jost. If having a problem on a short vacation you want it remedied quickly...for 9 years I saw the statements..and paid them for a BVi based charter co. You don't want to hear.."try this and if doesn't work..call us back" . You want to hear.."the chase boat is on the way..from Roadtown , nanny cay etc.". No customs involved..usually quick resolution.


To me this sounds like a straw man that you have built up and then knocked down.

First of all I would much rather my boat not have problems. I think we all agree that's a little bit of a fantasy. But making a decision on a charter base based on how fast their chase boat comes out to you seems backwards to me. I prefer to choose my charter company based on hopefully not seeing them again until I return the boat. In my past four years chartering with CYOA I have had ZERO problems. With boat age varying from 1 to 6 years.

Second - I don't know what IPY does but CYOA does have a chase boat network. I don't know how it's set up ('cause I've never used it) but I don't believe they are sending a boat out from STT to come find you. Do you know if this is the case or is this the straw man being knocked back down?

Quote
Will_L said:
Anyway that's my take..a while back some talked about charter guests making repairs and dealing with spare parts on board etc. IMO that is not a great idea for guest or boat owner.


The narrative here is that if there are spare parts on board you (a) are required to know how to fix the boat and (b) you have to be a MacGyver? I am unaware of any charter company that requires you to fix your own boat. I am sure the charter base will ask you some questions to attempt to resolve an issue before dispatching help. How else would the chase boat come properly prepared and why would you not want to do that? But this idea that the spare parts and tool set are on board which obligates you to fix stuff I don't believe is correct and would in fact appreciate if you can tell me what charter companies require this so I can avoid them.

Maybe my caffeine level isn't high enough this morning. Sorry if this sounds surly....


Life's short - sail more!
Re: boat selection [Re: agrimsrud] #97157
05/12/2016 08:50 AM
05/12/2016 08:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 365
NC
leeguice Offline
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leeguice  Offline
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NC
20+ trips from both STT and Tortola.
When our kids were young the Pillsbury Sound was often times not fun for them, I loved it! They now have their sea legs and stomachs so no issue.
1st trip with kids... I would start in Tortola... IMHO you want to maximize the experience so they look forward to a return.

Re: boat selection [Re: leeguice] #97158
05/12/2016 12:03 PM
05/12/2016 12:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
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StormJib Offline
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Not all boats, crews, sailing locations, or operators are created equal. There was a time where all the boats carried a belt and impeller at least in the spares with the tools to change them yourself or find a local to do it for a tip. Much of the BVI is so close to home and the materials so much better that most charters in the BVI never have to deal with it. In most other areas more than 10 miles from Tortola from Anegada to Grenada you should not expect to see a chase boat. You will either be finding someone local to you to do it or doing the fix to get home yourself. Never confuse the marketing brochure with island reality.

Re: boat selection [Re: hotdogman] #97159
05/12/2016 01:59 PM
05/12/2016 01:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 236
Appleton Offline
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Appleton  Offline
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I would fly to Tortola. I would go with the Lagoon.

Re: boat selection [Re: agrimsrud] #97160
05/12/2016 08:51 PM
05/12/2016 08:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 29
Frankfort, Michigan
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hotdogman Offline OP
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hotdogman  Offline OP
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Frankfort, Michigan
Thanks all! Itinerary questions to follow...

Re: boat selection [Re: hotdogman] #97161
05/13/2016 08:07 AM
05/13/2016 08:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,251
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
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CaptainJay  Offline
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Posts: 1,251
Saint Thomas, USVI
Quote
hotdogman said:
Greetings all. Long-time lurker, here. I'm looking for advice on which boat to charter for an 8 day trip I'm planning for December. I'm considering a FP Lucia out of STT or a FP Helia or Lagoon 440 out of Tortola. The price of each are roughly the same although there would be additional costs associated with getting to Tortola. We'll have 4 kids in tow so part of me thinks it would be easier to start from STT rather than navigating the ferries to get to and from Tortola. The other part of me would rather have more time in BVI and I feel like a STT base may limit where we can go in BVI. More importantly, since this will be our first bareboat experience, I wonder if we're better off with one boat or the other? As a family, we've been crew for 4 trips to US & BVI ("crew" used very loosely). The wife and I will be down this summer getting ASA 101, 103, 104 & 114 certifications. With our lack of experience, should I be concerned with how each of these boats might handle differently or won't I even notice? Is the size even relevant here? I suppose if it doesn't matter, I would opt for the larger boat out of Tortola.


Seems we, CYOA have been drug into this so I will put my two cents in. First off welcome to TTOL and congratulations on your escalating sailing dependency. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

As for the boats. Based on your description I have to assume the Lucia 40 is our new boat, Lady Juliet because as far as I know we are the only company bare boating FP's out of St Thomas. This will be a virtually new boat as it will not enter service until November or so of this year. It is like most of our cats a loaded boat, ice maker, water maker, Fridge, freezer, genset air etc. It will be a great platform and the water maker will be great for a large group like yours.

About your original questions. First off size does matter. It is your first trip as skipper the difference in a 40 is and a 45 ish size boat is a serious consideration. The forty will be easier to handle and get used to for a first time skipper. Size and mass are exponential everything is bigger, the loads the stress the windage etc.

St Thomas vs Tortola. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. With a group of six and four children involved you are correct in assuming getting to St Thomas will be both easier and less expensive. With direct or one connection flights available from almost anyplace in America and a base ten minutes from the airport it doesn't get much simpler. On the return this is especially true. Stay someplace close by the night before departure. Roll into the base on departure morning debrief and catch a cab to your flight. No extra night in a hotel, moving the whole family and the luggage twice no scramble when the ferry doesn't run on time and your late to the airport that part is a no brainer. We also have better, less expensive provisioning. I am assuming with four kids you are not looking to party and eat out every night. Just keeping them in drinks and snacks can be like funding the overthrow of a third world countries government.

The sailing part, from St Thomas yes you run the risk of a bumpy ride across Pillsbury sound but that is short and over. Places like Christmas Cove,Buck Isalnd and the national park in St John make the sailing part of the USVI's easier and very accessible. Don't discount the value of this either as a first time captain and repeat visitor. Frankly St John with abundant national park moorings, spectacular beaches and protected sailing would be a great way to spend a couple of days cutting your teeth as a new skipper and getting command of your new role. Taking on your first command and trying to do the "circuit", you know see everyting in a week really isn't a solid plan. Slow down take a breath and enjoy the ride it is more fun than the $12 drinks and $20 glasses of wine at the Bight anyway.

There have also been a few comments in this thread about support and service. We have been in business for almost thirty years. We have a network of support people spanning from Puerto Rico, St Croix, St John, St Thomas and the whole of the BVI's. While we do our best to assure the boats do not break down we have systems in place to handle that eventuality. Spare parts and tools on board are not a negative. I have a personal friend that spent two days in North Sound while in sailing school with a very reputable company waiting on a fan belt. Improper spare on board and none available. The first part of any repair is the part. If it is already on board than you are ahead of the game weather you change it or a support person does.

Last edited by CaptainJay; 05/13/2016 08:14 AM.
Re: boat selection [Re: CaptainJay] #97162
05/13/2016 08:49 AM
05/13/2016 08:49 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,392
Maryland
Kirk Offline
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Kirk  Offline
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Posts: 1,392
Maryland
I used to like flying to STT and taking the ferry to Tortola. It was fun. The last few times the experience at C/I was so unpleasant that I vowed to never do it again. Luckily Southwest now has a non-stop flight to PR for us. One connection and we're at EIS and short time later we're with friends at De Loose Mongoose having a cold one or three. Then they drive us over to the charter base. I've never sailed to the USVI's on a charter, so I've never really considered chartering from there. Just doesn't make sense to me. I've done land-based trips to St Johns. St Thomas just doesn't do it for me.


Kirk in Maryland
Re: boat selection [Re: CaptainJay] #97163
05/13/2016 09:02 AM
05/13/2016 09:02 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 554
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Posts: 554
Apex, NC
Capt Jay as usual has some good input. I especially liked this one.

Quote
CaptainJay said:
First off size does matter. It is your first trip as skipper the difference in a 40 is and a 45 ish size boat is a serious consideration. The forty will be easier to handle and get used to for a first time skipper. Size and mass are exponential everything is bigger, the loads the stress the windage etc.


We have only been sailing for a few years and only sail "big" boats once a year when we try to get down to the ilons. At this point we have only sailed mono hulls. We started on a 40. Then had a 42, 44, and then went to a 50 which we've done for the past three years. The difference in size between the 40 and 44 was huge but a nice upgrade we felt comfortable with after being on the 40 and 42. Could we have started on the 44? Probably... but with a little less confidence and a bit more stress in the initial days. Going up to the 50 was a huge difference in size, weight, forces, and definitely maneuverability. I would have crapped my pants had we started at that size. I like the 50 in terms of space. But in terms of how heavy and difficult things can be with my limited crew - wife and two kids - we're choosing to go back down to a 45 this summer. So to your question if you will even be able to tell the difference between the 40 and 44 on how they handle - YES!

Growing into the boat is not a bad plan. Is it possible for you to delay your decision until after you've been down for your classes this summer so you can make a size decision based on what you might be more comfortable with handling? No doubt big is always better in terms of your space on board when you are at anchor. But you have to get between locations safely. And that trumps space in the end.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: boat selection [Re: agrimsrud] #97164
05/13/2016 11:28 AM
05/13/2016 11:28 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,388
Ill, USA
Will_L Offline
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Will_L  Offline
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Posts: 2,388
Ill, USA
Wow Agrim, perhaps a lil decaf would be in order, <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />...or a little more tolerance with those with different opinions and experience. . While quoting and blasting my take, you didn't quote the most important parts..."I don't have a dog in this fight" ..I am not pushing a charter company. And you didn't quote my "for what it's worth" disclaimer on the new sailor looking to charter's question. I don't care whether they charter in the BVI, the USVI, The Bahamas or Mediterranean and certainly don't care what company they use. I simply gave my thoughts and free advice based on spending months a year for over 15 years on land and sea in the US and BVI. I No longer own a charter boat, don't any longer charter, use a private boat.

Given his situation green skipper, green crew I'd go with a BVI charter.

I always like to hear differing opinions when I ask questions on a travel site. That way I can weigh the responses as pertains to my own situation. Never read reviews on a vendors site, simply because I want to hear what others think.

As to size of vessel, since this person and his crew are new and will be taking Asa courses..if they want a larger platform for their first charter, consider an instructional skipper for a day or two. It will make the transition much less stressful and continue your sailing education. In addition you will learn more about that vessel than any boat briefing. You will learn a lot about the area as well. Our best friend in the islands which we meet up with a few times a year was our instructional skipper many years ago.

Anyway I'll try to get caffeinated so I can get passionate about a differing opinion. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


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