TravelTalkOnline

Boatyball

Posted By: Lcrich

Boatyball - 05/17/2019 04:33 PM

It’s been pretty quiet on here about BB. Coming down in a month and wondering how it’s going? We may not need to use it because of less crowds in June. Except at Cooper. Any feedback?
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:08 PM

I personally avoid stupid boatyball.

Once they get critical mass, up go prices.

We have spent several weeks down here since the introduction of bb. Have not used it even once.
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:24 PM

It depends on who you ask. The issue with squatters has drastically declined as the word has gotten out about BB and the bay managers have gotten better at enforcement. They’re still $40 for a reservable mooring and reservations begin at 7am on the day of. They still sell out pretty quickly but we’re headed down next week to add some more reservable moorings in different locations to help distribute the demand.
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:28 PM

Does "add some more reservable moorings" mean less non-reservable moorings?
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:31 PM

In the meantime, yes.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:36 PM

Absolutely
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:47 PM

I actually got my first boatyball at Cooper today for my 2nd boat who seems to drag behind us wherever we go...

I am on a regular ball and our other boat is coming in now and have regular ball for them

Still not a fan of interface...

IMHO the difference is that we are coming into off season...still have balls at Cooper at almost 200. had plenty at Anegads and Leverick
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:48 PM

So in the mean time it means you’ll be commandeering the non reservable moorings until you wind up with all the non reservable moorings and then you will add new moorings.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 05:54 PM

Doubtful, I expect no more fcfs balls. Just BB at ever higher prices.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 08:31 PM

Alec
Here is the reply you sent to me on my private mail:

I know you guys aren’t the most keen on BoatyBall and I can understand why. I just wanted to let you know that we’re not planning on going the route of demand pricing or radically increasing the cost for reservations. We’re also not planning on getting rid of FCFS moorings. I’ve actually enjoyed reading a lot of your posts about BoatyBall and the BVI in general. So thank you for the feedback and info in general. Cheers.

You already have increased the price of the moorings which a few weeks earlier you had said wouldn’t happen.
You just said that your not planning on getting rid of FCFS moorings which contradicts you saying your taking on more moorings and it turns out the ones you’re taking on are FCFS.
And finally you said Thanks for the feed back and info in general Cheers.

Sounds to me like three strikes and your out..
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 10:18 PM

I think Cooper has now converted 15 fcfs balls to BB. That represent a huge reduction in the number of fcfs balls and therefore reduces my choice of balls even if I get there real early.

As I have said many times, if boaty ball added new balls and did not impact the number of fcfs balls, then I would be in favour of it.

I am not in favor of the current implementation.
Posted By: tradewinds

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 11:11 PM

Boatyball sucks balls.
Posted By: ScurvyD

Re: Boatyball - 05/17/2019 11:26 PM

Originally Posted by tradewinds
Boatyball sucks balls.



Now that's funny. toast
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/18/2019 12:17 AM

Hey Alec,
Do you have a bvi work permit?
If not, you have no business working in the BVI.
Please don’t mess with more fcfs balls.

Boatyball has the right to ban you from the application. When they get enough balls, this will allow them to effectively ban you from the bvi.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/18/2019 12:18 AM

Once again, boatyball is forcing up mooring prices,
How do we keep them away?

Has anyone ever planned on getting to a particular Anchorage only to change your mind after 7am?

Perhaps you want to add another mid day stop and won’t get as far, or maybe you can’t get far enough due to weather or wind?

Does boatyball accommodate a change of plans? Fcfs sure does.

I don’t want to be forced to commit to my evening destination at 7am.i often change my plans as the day evolves.

How about you?
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 04:40 PM

Seems like it would an ok application IF they weren't taking balls off the open market so to speak. Give people the option by choice-not necessity.
Posted By: JasonHelmbrecht

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 06:54 PM

I haven't noticed them from shore, but on the website, there appear to be 10 balls in Cane Garden Bay now. Bay manager seems to be Rhymers.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 06:56 PM

You know I agree with you 100% Warren!

Cooper the other night was dead, but still a bunch on the BB's...so just some wasted $ and an unnecessary 7am log-on for them. FCFS balls available all night.

In North Sound today...chose to anchor off Prickly Pear and avoid the whole mooring/BB nonsense at Leverick. Instead spent the mooring fee on painkillers at the New Oil Nut Bay Marina village...which was a better use of it!
Posted By: NewfD90

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 07:37 PM

We were in Anegada this morning and looked at the app - no CGB moorings. By the time we pulled into CGB, there were several there. They must have just come online today.

Used a BB for out first night in Anegada so we could take our time and fish the drop. As soon as we pulled in and took the last mooring, a representative came out and checked our reservation. Kudos to BB for the enforcement. The next night we noticed a crew come in and clean/maintain the BB balls.

Anchored off of Vixen in NS the previous night and it was sublime. Quite a crowd over at Leverick.

Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 07:37 PM

So BB has now hijacked 10 fcfs balls at Cane Garden Bay. Meaning that the average price of moorings in the BVI is going up. This is not good for anyone. The BB balls are too high and damage the underside of cats. The BB take away our choices. If the balls are associated with Rymers we should let Rymers know how we feel. Boatyball is a bad idea. Please don’t use them unless it’s necessary.
Posted By: JasonHelmbrecht

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 08:00 PM

Originally Posted by warren460
So BB has now hijacked 10 fcfs balls at Cane Garden Bay. Meaning that the average price of moorings in the BVI is going up. This is not good for anyone. The BB balls are too high and damage the underside of cats. The BB take away our choices. If the balls are associated with Rymers we should let Rymers know how we feel. Boatyball is a bad idea. Please don’t use them unless it’s necessary.

CGB has plenty of other moorings and lots of room to anchor. I fail to see how having a choice to sail later in the day is a bad thing. The cost argument is silly. $10 out of a multi thousand dollar charter rental.... Just use your anchor.
Posted By: TomGarvey

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 08:23 PM

I agree, Warren. GeorgeC and others sounded the alarm early on, and it looks like they called it right. It seems like this is one of those ideas that sounds good in theory but is not so good in practice. Simply converting existing balls to more expensive advanced reservation balls without any net new capacity just moves the race for the last ball at Cooper from a physical one mid-afternoon to a cyber one at 6:59am. And, other than Cooper and maybe Great Harbour, JVD, the destinations have good anchoring options for late-comers.

I'm having a hard time understanding who benefits. The price of a ball is $10 higher, BB takes their cut, the holders of the sea bed leases still have to send out staff to check reservations and play enforcer, there's no additional capacity, and I doubt the BB guys are seeing much return. And, the table is set for additional price increases to solve the problem that BB created. I can imagine it now:

"Commit to a minimum of five balls a week at $50 each and get advanced reservation access. No refunds for changed plans."
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 08:43 PM

Why should an American control the mooring ball market. That is where it is headed. It has nothing to do with the $10 increase. It's simply wrong.

Of course we can anchor. We do anchor in certain places.

I asked Alec if had a work permit to be in the bvi this week to install balls. He did not answer, so that question remains outstanding. I also asked if he had a license to carry on business in the BVI.

Jason, today it's CGB, where are more BB being installed tomorrow.

Let's see how long it takes for the prices to increase yet again.

What happens when some charter companies are given a 6:45am opportunity to book balls ahead of others?

Control of the mooring fields needs to remain in local hands.

Once again, if BB added balls and did not disturb the number of fcfs balls, I would have no objection. In spite of promises from Alec to increase the number of balls, and not to raise prices, neither promise has been respected.

Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 08:55 PM

So I see Diamond Cay has them as does in CGB...we were in Diamond 4 days ago and CGB 2 days ago and no sign of them...
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 08:57 PM

Diamond Cay as well now? Oh FFS! Cretins.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 09:14 PM

It starts with a high cost taxi or ferry ride and an Ecology tax.

Dining and receiving an inflated check which almost guarantees to double your tip to a inattentive, rude waitstaff.

Finally it comes to the yacht “Check out” and your on way to a beautiful tranquil Caribbean sailing trip with crystal clear turquoise waters and Turtles, Dolphins and Sea birds along with the folklore of Pirates and the Spanish Main.

Then all of a sudden it’s over and you to have to race for a FCFS mooring ball or have to get up before 7am to reserve a ball that you may not want and then the possibility that you might not have space to anchor in a harbor with so many mooring balls that its impossible.

But there’s always tomorrow and 6 more ha ha!

And then the return Ferry, Taxi and the get out of town tax
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 09:34 PM

At some point, the charter companies will check the bottom of the cats for boatyball damage. Who will pay for that? Presumably the holder of the charter contract is responsible. Using Boatyball will be very expense when the charterer had to pay for predictable damage. Arguably it will not be subject to the daily insurance buy down because the damage was foreseeable and therefore negligence on the part of the captain.
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 09:39 PM

At its core, BoatyBall is really a booking service for moorings; BoatyBall does not own moorings. It’s no different from an Airbnb or a broker that many boaters use to help reserve a boat. The locals still have 100% control over the seafloor and the moorings. The decision to use the BoatyBall program by the mooring ball owners is a way to simplify the payment process and help them differentiate themselves from their competition. All the moorings in the BoatyBall program have been insured and maintained. After Irma this has become especially important. BoatyBall allows mooring owners who have done the right thing and maintained their moorings to offer a competitive feature. In the end the local businesses still control the seafloor and the moorings. They are in charge of installing more moorings and the overall price. BoatyBall just helps them do it more efficiently.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 09:40 PM

From a private message from Alec

"should clarify that we are converting FCFS moorings but we’re not planning on getting rid of them altogether"

Enough said. Not trying to convert all of the balls.

I assume that this means they intend to convert most have them and enjoy a monopoly.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 11:32 PM

We have been following this thread and we appreciate both the positive and negative feedback. We know we will never make everyone happy. Alec is correct that BoatyBall does not own or maintain mooring balls. The mooring balls in the BVI are owned and maintained by locals. I hope that most can agree that having more maintained mooring balls in the BVI is a positive. BoatyBall provides a way for mooring ball owners to promote their maintained and insured moorings. Alec is also correct that maintaining moorings is costly. BoatyBall is simply a booking system that helps local businesses promote there product. It is the local businesses decision to add additional moorings. This is not a BoatyBall decision. However, we hope that by making it easier for mooring ball owners to track occupancy and making payment collection more reliable that the local businesses will invest in additional moorings. Thanks again for your feedback.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/20/2019 11:42 PM

So basically you’re doing what it takes to get a business going and hardly investing a nickel.
I’m sure the locals are happy.
Posted By: tradewinds

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 12:40 AM

I would think a trade license would be required if money is being collected.
Posted By: RatmansWife

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 12:53 AM

Why? Does Expedia need a trade license to sell tickets out of EIS? Does any credit card processor need one to process payments from hotels and restaurants? AirBNB or VRBO to take reservations and payment? The folks who own the moorings should have one and Moorseacure would need one.
Posted By: maytrix

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 12:58 AM

We haven't used BB yet. We actually haven't made a trip down in almost 3 years now. But when I first saw it, I didn't think it was a big deal. Here in New England, it seems many marinas use dockwa. Seems to work well. Major difference is you can book further in advance, but it is also a lot more expensive. I wasn't really sure why a whole new method/app needed to be created for this when others existed, but I also didn't see it should be a big deal. I know if we wanted to take a mooring, I'd much rather know we have one waiting then get there to not find one. Especially in a spot like cooper.
Posted By: Standrea

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 01:18 PM

If you haven't used it, don't knock it. We used it multiple times and really liked the fact that we could sail all day, without having to do the mooring ball hustle and get somewhere early in the afternoon. It was great to roll in late and get on our ball.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 01:26 PM

What time of year did you sail? Two friends have tried it for Cooper multiple times and never were able to secure a ball. That forced them to go to Cooper much earlier to get a FCFS ball. Boatyball does nothing to alleviate the Mooring ball shortage and over population of charter boats in the BVI. It simply moves the burden from one charter boat to another. Now if boatyball would have added new balls and commit to never providing better booking windows to some charter companies I would be a enthusiastic supporter. So far they have done neither.
George
Posted By: islandbouy

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 02:09 PM

We used boatyball at Cooper and like being able to sail with no hurry to get there.
I also witnessed at great harbor on Peter a boat leaving in the morning without paying. The guy collecting fees had to run him down as he was leaving harbor.
I see advantages for the owners of the mooring balls getting paid in advance. I like being able to pay with CC instead of cash.

As for adding more balls, I think many harbors are too full of balls and leaves very little area to anchor anymore.
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 02:40 PM

In all my trips down, I've only had internet on a boat once (which we had to pay a lot for due to a work issue.) Is it pretty standard now that all boats have internet access? We used to check email etc from the wifi at places ashore. Just wondering how everybody is accessing the app at 6:59 in the morning.....

People used to talk about how they went sailing in the BVI's to get away from all that.....
Posted By: islandbouy

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 02:50 PM

With Sprint i have free international data.
I only used for boatyball 1 day. Used it to check wind guru or radar. No emails or social media for me
Posted By: Standrea

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 03:02 PM

We sailed March during high season. We used the WiFi at Nanny Cay the first.night to access Boaty Ball at 7am to reserve a ball at Cooper. Second time we used the WiFi at Cooper to access it to reserve a ball at Leverick. Also agree it's great to be able to pay for it online and not have to worry about having cash for mooring balls.
Posted By: Standrea

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 03:05 PM

If all it takes is being up at 7am to be able to have a leisurely day getting to my destination, I'm all for how the system works. I have to say, the balls disappeared quickly in March, within a minute of 7am.
Posted By: CestLaVie

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 07:16 PM

How many horses do we have to beat to death to end this endless discussion?
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Boatyball - 05/21/2019 07:54 PM

Originally Posted by CestLaVie
How many horses do we have to beat to death to end this endless discussion?


I'm pretty sure participation is optional...be it mooring balls or threads.
Posted By: captmoby

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 12:43 AM

Three times recently I tried to go to Cooper Island with a boat full for lunch. What I found was that there were no fcfs balls but plenty of Boaty Balls open. So needless to say Cooper Island did not get our business those days. In the case of Cooper Island, that does a big lunch business, you would think that they would realize that for every ball that is not occupied during lunch hours means business lost. Those days put a bad spin on Boaty Balls for me.
Posted By: sunshine44

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 01:27 AM

There are now 5 Boaty Balls in Great Harbor, JVD.
Posted By: maytrix

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 01:50 AM

Originally Posted by captmoby
Three times recently I tried to go to Cooper Island with a boat full for lunch. What I found was that there were no fcfs balls but plenty of Boaty Balls open. So needless to say Cooper Island did not get our business those days. In the case of Cooper Island, that does a big lunch business, you would think that they would realize that for every ball that is not occupied during lunch hours means business lost. Those days put a bad spin on Boaty Balls for me.


I thought I saw a past post that stated the BB balls were ok to use during the day for a lunch stop like that? Check out is say 11am, check in 2/3pm? That leaves a window where it is unreserved and usable?
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 10:34 AM

Originally Posted by Kirk
In all my trips down, I've only had internet on a boat once (which we had to pay a lot for due to a work issue.) Is it pretty standard now that all boats have internet access? .\



TMM Charters has Internet on all boats.... No extra charge! Go TMM!
Posted By: captmoby

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 07:59 PM

Originally Posted by maytrix
Originally Posted by captmoby
Three times recently I tried to go to Cooper Island with a boat full for lunch. What I found was that there were no fcfs balls but plenty of Boaty Balls open. So needless to say Cooper Island did not get our business those days. In the case of Cooper Island, that does a big lunch business, you would think that they would realize that for every ball that is not occupied during lunch hours means business lost. Those days put a bad spin on Boaty Balls for me.


I thought I saw a past post that stated the BB balls were ok to use during the day for a lunch stop like that? Check out is say 11am, check in 2/3pm? That leaves a window where it is unreserved and usable?

Can somebody confirm this please. If I come into Cooper or anywhere else that has Boatty Balls that we can use the empty ones until 2:00 PM regardless if the reserving boat shows and wants it?

I always thought that Boatty Balls were a result of to much salt water/moisture and chafing that usually required some medication.

Jim
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 08:05 PM

It is a noon to noon reservation....

https://boatyball.com/howto.html

Coopers, a lunch spot, hasn't figured out that this is probably a bad idea with the timing....
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 09:35 PM

Stopping into Cooper for lunch and to swap out tanks is a regular part of our routine. Might no longer be possible.
G
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 09:36 PM

New balls or converted?
G
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/22/2019 10:07 PM

Converted...as far as I know they haven't added any new ones and now have infected Great Harbour, Cane Garden, & Diamond Cay...
Posted By: Nibj

Re: Boatyball - 05/23/2019 12:12 PM

We stopped in at Cooper for lunch last month using an unused BoatyBall. We were ready to go if an aggrieved renter arrived but had a nice lunch on the way to Norman. We also used bb to make sure we had a ball (for ease of mind) after a longer passage (e.g Jost to North Sound). We always got one, but they went quickly. One thing, some of the balls at Cooper are a little close together ( sorry can’t recall the numbers). Two cats kissed at 3am when we were there - oddly I was up to witness because our ball was slapping against the hull. There was no wind to organize the boats on the moorings so they were all swinging this way and that.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 01:44 AM

Bailau is correct. The reservations are from noon to noon. This was a change that we made based off of feedback from both the mooring ball owners and boaters.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 02:15 AM

Guilty! Local businesses in all three bays have decided to use BoatyBall to help promote and collect payments for some of their maintained and insured moorings. The decision to add more moorings is not a BoatyBall decision but a local business decision. This past year some moorings in Great Harbour were removed because the local business owner was not getting paid for them. If in Great Habour and not using BoatyBall please make sure you pay the correct owner. BoatyBall would like to see more maintained and insured moorings in the islands and not less.
Posted By: aarpskier

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 03:09 AM

Originally Posted by BoatyBall
... The reservations are from noon to noon. This was a change that we made based off of feedback from both the mooring ball owners and boaters.


BB: I am late getting into this thread, so I apologize if these questions have already been asked and answered:

Question 1: How does this impact / solve the "stop for lunch" issue? Many / most boats leave a mooring before 10:00 am. Suppose I show up at Cooper at 11:30 am and want to stop for a couple of hours for lunch. I see empty 6 BB moorings. May I use those for my lunch stop? If I do, how do I know that someone with a reservation won't show up at 12:30 pm and wonder why I am on the ball he or she has reserved?

Question 2: If one of the goals of BB is to help boaters avoid or eliminate the necessity to "rush for a ball", won't those with a reservation most likely show up after 3:00 pm? If so, why does the reservation run from noon to noon?
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 03:27 AM

Let’s see what Alec says.

My understanding is that you cannot use the BB for a lunch stop, a stop to fill dive tanks or a quick visit to the gift shop. The ball might be reserved and such party could show up at any time, or the ball might be unreserved when you arrive and could be booked during your short stop by a party that just showed up.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 04:37 AM

aarpskier - good questions.

When we first launched the app we had an earlier check out time and a later check in time to try and accommodate for the lunch crowd. In theory this was a good idea but in reality it lead to a lot of the problems that we had early on with enforcement. Boats would come in for lunch and have one too many pain killers and then disappear for the day. So we decided to try noon to noon and we ended up having a lot less issues.

The behavior is definitely changing and it is not unusual to see the BB moorings empty at 3pm even though they have been reserved. We hope this means boaters are able to spend more time doing what they love and easing some of the pressure at the National Parks. With boaters staying on the water longer it also means that the restaurants are changing strategies. That being said, all of the bays have first come first serve moorings. Cooper has 15 FCFS that are maintained and another 5-10 on the south side of the bay that boaters can use if they want to go in for lunch.

There are some users of the app that will reserve and still show up around noon. I have spoken with several boaters that have done this and they say they like the convenience of the app and the security of knowing they are tied up to a maintained mooring. Others will reserve and show up early but they did it simply for the location. So we have some boaters using the app to spend more time on the water and others using it out of convenience. We continue to gather feedback and make changes so if you have suggestions we would love to hear them.
Posted By: captmoby

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:04 AM

So whats a person that doesn't have internet service supposed to do?
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:10 AM

Originally Posted by captmoby
So whats a person that doesn't have internet service supposed to do?


Having internet is nice! Can check weather. Can check emails. Don't have to, but CAN. Having WiFi give you Option of reserving BoatyBall! (Warren has WiFi on Scuba Doo, but exercises his option to NOT use BoatyBall. On Sea Tiger I option to reserve BoatyBall sometimes. But we both agree that WiFi is nice to have)

ALL TMM Charter boats come with FREE WiFi. So perhaps you charter a boat in TMM fleet ;-)
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:15 AM

BB, do you have any plans to change the style and type of ball so it won’t damage the underside of cats?
G
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:31 AM

As the number of BB increases, and the number of fcfs balls decreases, I may find that I have no choice but to use boatyball or anchor.
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:34 AM

Since the additional $10 was reportedly to enable "enforcement", I hope BoatyBall will make their FCFS at the $30 rate.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:38 AM

Actually Wes, the rate should be below $30 because the owner of the ball saves the cost of collecting the mooring fees.

The ball owner has to pay cc fees, but that should be their issue. I don’t mind the cash and the cc card company can’t block your use of cash for suspicious activity. Cash does not require a pin or get compromised. The are no foreign currency fees with cash as there are with cc.

I hope that the owner still allow payment to the guys in the dinghy. I enjoy chatting with them. Everything in an app is to impersonal.

Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 12:24 PM

GeorgeC1 - We have had a few people share concerns about the shape of the new moorings and the potential for damage. However, there has been no reports that the new moorings actually damaged a boat. We do not own the moorings but we do pass along any reports we hear to them. One plus of the app is that it is easy for boaters to notify us of any issues so we can help track issues and pass along.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 01:14 PM

Warren - thanks for your post. The mooring ball owners pay for the maintenance and insurance of the moorings. They also pay local taxes on the moorings. These taxes have gone up significantly over the past couple of years. They also pay someone to go out and collect. Unfortunately, in some bays there is an issue with locals going out and saying they are collecting for the owner but they are not. This obviously causes a problem for the local mooring ball owner whose costs continue to go up while collections are going down.

Cash creates another issue for the locals. There are very few banks for them to deposit money into and the owners we have spoken to prefer the credit card transactions verses cash. For obvious reasons they do not feel comfortable sending employees with a large sum of cash over to Tortola to deposit money. The credit card transaction fee is covered by BoatyBall. The goal is to help the local businesses stay profitable so they will invest in more moorings.
Posted By: SonOfTheSea

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 01:21 PM

Originally Posted by captmoby
So whats a person that doesn't have internet service supposed to do?


Cross your fingers and good luck getting a FCFS ball. If more balls are being converted to BB and no new balls are being added, it’s either bite the bullet and pay for WiFi or cellular service (my international plan was $10/day only when I used it), or join the rat race of trying to snag a FCFS. Which means getting there earlier in the day and spending less time on the water.
I felt like several of our stops two weeks ago we were seeing all balls taken by 1pm, mainly Great Harbour JVD, Anegada and Leverick. We basically prioritized every morning being underway early and hoping we could get a ball when we arrived. Certainly took away from being able to spend more time on the water sailing! I think next trip we will try hitting our stops on different days of the week than we have in the past to avoid the hot spots on their typical busy days.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 01:38 PM

SonOfTheSea - We understand your frustration. Your experience is one of the reasons we created the app. We felt that most boaters would prefer to spend an extra $10 to be able to spend 3-4 more hours on the water. We also felt that boaters would spend the extra money to know they are supporting locals who pay to have their moorings maintained and insured so you can get a better nights sleep.

We are also beginning to see boaters who normally would stop at Norman, Peter, or Cooper on day one heading to Leverick or Jost to get ahead of all the other boaters. If being able to reserve a mooring helps spread out the boaters this might help with some of the congestion. Time will tell.

My cell company also charges $10 per day while in the BVI. Several of the charter companies like TMM provide free wifi while others charge for it. Another option is to go grab a cup of coffee at one of the local restaurants that provide free wifi. They would love to have your business!
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 01:58 PM

Are those local restaurants open for the 7:00am BoatyBall reservation race?
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 02:00 PM

Originally Posted by Kirk
Are those local restaurants open for the 7:00am BoatyBall reservation race?


Why would they need to be?
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 02:10 PM

Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
Originally Posted by Kirk
Are those local restaurants open for the 7:00am BoatyBall reservation race?


Why would they need to be?

Um, because it was suggested to go grab a cup of coffee at them to use the wifi thats needed to make a reservation on BoatyBalls. typing
Posted By: mcevog

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 08:03 PM

Seems obvious! You need to be online to book the ball at 0700, otherwise you miss the chance!
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 08:25 PM

Came into Great Harbour Jost this morning. There are now at least 5 boatyballs that I can see from where we are moored.

Hearing a lot of negative vibes on our travels about BB. Even our boat briefer at Sunsail had a mouthful of expletives to share about them, I didn't say a word about my views, but he told us in no uncertain terms that they are bad news and suggested we stay away from them.

On the plus side...BB's meddling has encouraged us to so far anchor two nights at Prickly Pear and two nights at Pomato Point, so thanks for the $120 lads. And sorry to whichever local pocket that cash would have gone into in previous years. Ah who am I kidding, it will end up in the hands of some beach bar along the way!
Posted By: NCSailor

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 08:26 PM

I have said this before. The BB controversy will diminish when the Irma damage is repaired. There was a shortage of moorings this high season which was the first with a “normal” number of boats post Irma. We were down in late February. I have never seen so many boats racing to Anegada at 9am. The lack of Willy T at the Bight. BEYC closed, Saba closed, Marina Cay limping, Trellis limping, Little Harbor limping, WE limping.
In my 29 years of boating in the BVI Cooper was always an after thought. Now because they are open they are the bell of the ball. Everyone wants a piece. Not me, service there has almost always sucked.
Two years from now BB will be a service some use. But many will opt not to pay the premium. Gotta play the long game and not get your panties in a bunch.
Posted By: captmoby

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 08:28 PM

Boatyball , Please name some local restaurants that are open at 7:00am that have free wifi.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 08:32 PM

Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
BB, do you have any plans to change the style and type of ball so it won’t damage the underside of cats?
G


Actually changing the style of the mooring ball isn’t going to make the chafing and banging of the hull any different.

When your moored there’s usually a breeze to keep the pennant taught and if the wind dies out you’ll be at mercy to the currents and regardless of the mooring shape it’s going to bang against the hull.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 08:46 PM

Currently watching a fight between a large sportfisher (who seems to have reserved one of the boatyballs) and a Moorings monohull who was refusing to move.

Has been going on for a while now. Sportfisher just upped the ante by ramming them in reverse (with the Moorings dinghy as a cushion between the two so he didn't damage his Sportfisher).

Now Moorings has moved...but dropped anchor within half a boat length of the boatyball...perhaps as a protest...perhaps they just don't know how to anchor.

And now a third monohull is trying to pick up the boatyball. Two ribs and a centre-console also somehow involved.

I'm confused as to who the good-guys are now!
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 08:49 PM

Originally Posted by NCSailor
I have said this before. The BB controversy will diminish when the Irma damage is repaired. There was a shortage of moorings this high season which was the first with a “normal” number of boats post Irma. We were down in late February. I have never seen so many boats racing to Anegada at 9am. The lack of Willy T at the Bight. BEYC closed, Saba closed, Marina Cay limping, Trellis limping, Little Harbor limping, WE limping.
In my 29 years of boating in the BVI Cooper was always an after thought. Now because they are open they are the bell of the ball. Everyone wants a piece. Not me, service there has almost always sucked.
Two years from now BB will be a service some use. But many will opt not to pay the premium. Gotta play the long game and not get your panties in a bunch.


You’re last paragraph should read:
Two years from now BB will have total control of BB and FCFS mooring balls and will then talk with the BVI National Parks to make it illegal to destroy the Turtle grass in the mooring fields and therefore NO anchoring will be permitted.
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by Christo
Currently watching a fight between a large sportfisher (who seems to have reserved one of the boatyballs) and a Moorings monohull who was refusing to move.

Has been going on for a while now. Sportfisher just upped the ante by ramming them in reverse (with the Moorings dinghy as a cushion between the two so he didn't damage his Sportfisher).

Now Moorings has moved...but dropped anchor within half a boat length of the boatyball...perhaps as a protest...perhaps they just don't know how to anchor.

And now a third monohull is trying to pick up the boatyball. Two ribs and a centre-console also somehow involved.

I'm confused as to who the good-guys are now!


Wow...at Great Harbour? Dont know who they good guy is but we all know who is the bad "guy"

In February I moored at the east end of that mooring field only to have someone come and anchor in 30 feet of water east of me and swing into me that night and then had to deal with drunk winch they left on the boat to go to Foxys.

send video...:)
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 09:20 PM

Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by Christo
Currently watching a fight between a large sportfisher (who seems to have reserved one of the boatyballs) and a Moorings monohull who was refusing to move.

Has been going on for a while now. Sportfisher just upped the ante by ramming them in reverse (with the Moorings dinghy as a cushion between the two so he didn't damage his Sportfisher).

Now Moorings has moved...but dropped anchor within half a boat length of the boatyball...perhaps as a protest...perhaps they just don't know how to anchor.

And now a third monohull is trying to pick up the boatyball. Two ribs and a centre-console also somehow involved.

I'm confused as to who the good-guys are now!


Wow...at Great Harbour? Dont know who they good guy is but we all know who is the bad "guy"

In February I moored at the east end of that mooring field only to have someone come and anchor in 30 feet of water east of me and swing into me that night and then had to deal with drunk winch they left on the boat to go to Foxys.

send video...:)




You will think I am exaggerating but the Moorings boat has now attempted anchoring over 15 times. Has hit 3 boats and been fended off numerous others. They are still at it...

From my end of the binoculars it appears that they understand how much chain to put out but seem to think that the boat will remain exactly where it was when you started to drop the anchor...they have now headed into the shallows toward Foxy's so I suspect they may soon find a different way of fixing the boat to the seabed.

A different fight on another boatyball has just concluded. The evicted monohul is also now circling around trying to find somewhere to anchor. And...have just dropped right in front of another mooring...perhaps they are from the same anchoring-school as the first evicted monohull.

I hope they both stay away from us. Whilst it's not our yacht, so we shouldn't care...we take pride in returning our boats in same or better condition than we got them. Which seems to put us in the minority.

Edit - a third monohul just screamed in at high speed...and is now aground in front of foxy's.

Genuine muppet-show this evening!





Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 09:26 PM

I dont think you are exaggerating, brother...and like to return boats in same shape or better as well.

They are exactly trying to anchor where you really cant with radius and only 150 ft of chain...guy who hit me didnt believe it until he checked anchor watch

Hope you have a great rest of your trip
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 09:31 PM

You’re either the show or you’re watching the show
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 09:35 PM

Originally Posted by bailau
I dont think you are exaggerating, brother...and like to return boats in same shape or better as well.

They are exactly trying to anchor where you really cant with radius and only 150 ft of chain...guy who hit me didnt believe it until he checked anchor watch

Hope you have a great rest of your trip



Thanks!

I'd better stop commentating as I think this may go on late into the night. At present all 3 monohulls continue to cause havoc. Circling like sharks...on the original monohull the crew have retreated inside, leaving the skipper (if you can call him that) just motoring around aimlessly up and down with the anchor dangling just above water, smashing against the hull every now and then.
Posted By: RatmansWife

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 09:54 PM

+1 for entertainment!
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:06 PM

Originally Posted by RatmansWife
+1 for entertainment!



Well original monohull has now steamed out of GH at full speed...could be trying his luck at CGB? Or perhaps back to the Moorings base to demand a new anchor...because that one clearly didn't work properly!

Monohull 2 anchored in front of the boatyballs...too close. More chapters to that story I suspect.

Monohull 3 after going aground, managed to backtrack and picked up a boatyball just as another sportfisher squatter vacated it...they all looked a bit confused by the ball, so doesn't look like they are the rightful owners. Perhaps more chapters on this one also!

...on another tangent (sorry), half the mooring field (on mooring balls) have every possible light on...anchor light, steaming lights, nav lights, deck lights...every possible switch on that panel is in the 'on' position. This stuff worries me...it suggests a much broader lack of knowledge and understanding that is essential if you are going to be legally responsible for your vessel and the safety of those aboard.

Foxy's BBQ sure smells good from here though!
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:11 PM

Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
You’re either the show or you’re watching the show

Or helping to create the show my friend....
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:12 PM

Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
You’re either the show or you’re watching the show

Or helping to create the show my friend....


+1
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:18 PM

Originally Posted by Christo
Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
You’re either the show or you’re watching the show

Or helping to create the show my friend....


+1


Well at least you’re getting something out of BoatyBall haha
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/24/2019 10:33 PM

Lol...well played Alec
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 01:04 AM

Originally Posted by sail445
Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
BB, do you have any plans to change the style and type of ball so it won’t damage the underside of cats?
G


Actually changing the style of the mooring ball isn’t going to make the chafing and banging of the hull any different.

When your moored there’s usually a breeze to keep the pennant taught and if the wind dies out you’ll be at mercy to the currents and regardless of the mooring shape it’s going to bang against the hull.


The boatyballs are taller than a normal ball with a big steel ring on top. When they go under the bridge deck of a cat there is not enough clearance on most boats and you have a steel ring scraping fiberglass. You can avoid that and the balks banging the hulls by trapping the ball between the hulls on a cat.
G
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 01:20 AM

I can see where that would be a problem on a cat.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 11:34 AM

captmoby - many of the restaurants and marinas have wifi. Nanny Cay has wifi at the marina. Omar's cafe, Cool Breezes, Neptunes, Village Cay, and the French Deli all say they are open at 7. If you have not been by the French Deli it is worth the stop. They have excellent sandwiches, desserts and their wifi is very fast. Cooper has wifi outside the coffee shop but it does not open until 8. Rhymers also has free wifi but they do not open until 7:30. Leverick has wifi by the pool. I have used wifi at all three of these to help reserve a mooring.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 12:07 PM

The moorings stand around 2.5 ft out of the water when there is nothing pulling on the pennant. We have had reports of the moorings bumping the hulls but we have had no reports of this causing damage. At Cooper the winds and current can cause havoc. As GeorgeC1 and a couple of other have suggested if you have a cat and want to prevent the moorings from hitting the hulls you can tie off in such a way that traps the mooring between the hulls. This also shortens the swing radius which can be beneficial at Cooper.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 12:59 PM

Anytime I am in a area where the boat can be backwinded or current and wind differ or it’s going to be calm at night I trap the ball. It makes for a quiet and peaceful night and will avoid problems with taller balls. The method I normally use is to take the Mooring pennant to one bow cleat. I then run a dock line through the steel ring on the ball and to the other bow cleat. As long as the lines are adjusted to less than the width between the hulls the ball cant bang on the hulls or get up under the bridge deck. Don’t pull the ball dead tight between the hulls. You can leave plenty of slack and be fine. I like to see about 45 degree angles on the lines to the ball. Strangely as much as I have complained about the height of the boatyballs it’s easier to do this with their balls because they are tall enough to reach down and run the dock line through the ring. Standard type balls require you to either hoist the ball up out of the water or use the dinghy. As mentioned a added benefit at a place like Cooper is reduced swing room. I see people all the time put two dock lines extended as far as possible through the pennant loop at Cooper. This extends the swinging arc substantially. In addition to the bridgedeck problem it can allow the Mooring line to get between the keels and props on a cat. The wind comes up in the morning and Houston we have a problem!
George
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 01:14 PM

George should keep this valuable advice near the top of a page
Posted By: Maria_and_Steve

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 09:01 PM

This whole BB fiasco is another reason why cruising sailors are avoiding the BVI's like the plague. Besides high C/I fees and an unfriendly government, there is the increased cost of $40 for a mooring, something unheard of before BB in the usual BVI bays (excluding Peter Island of course). So the increased mooring fees are to create an APP, as BB keeps saying??? Geeze, any 16 year old wiz kid can knock that APP out in a hour or so.

There is an easy solution to the BB monopoly and increased mooring fees, just sail in the USVI where the cruisers are now!!! Just sayin' wink
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 09:12 PM

Originally Posted by Maria_and_Steve
This whole BB fiasco is another reason why cruising sailors are avoiding the BVI's like the plague. Besides high C/I fees and an unfriendly government, there is the increased cost of $40 for a mooring, something unheard of before BB in the usual BVI bays (excluding Peter Island of course). So the increased mooring fees are to create an APP, as BB keeps saying??? Geeze, any 16 year old wiz kid can knock that APP out in a hour or so.

There is an easy solution to the BB monopoly and increased mooring fees, just sail in the USVI where the cruisers are now!!! Just sayin' wink


...but how long until the BB plague crosses the border?!
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/25/2019 11:43 PM

Originally Posted by Christo
Originally Posted by Maria_and_Steve
This whole BB fiasco is another reason why cruising sailors are avoiding the BVI's like the plague. Besides high C/I fees and an unfriendly government, there is the increased cost of $40 for a mooring, something unheard of before BB in the usual BVI bays (excluding Peter Island of course). So the increased mooring fees are to create an APP, as BB keeps saying??? Geeze, any 16 year old wiz kid can knock that APP out in a hour or so.

There is an easy solution to the BB monopoly and increased mooring fees, just sail in the USVI where the cruisers are now!!! Just sayin' wink


...but how long until the BB plague crosses the border?!


The mooring balls in the USVI are all privately (individually) owned and not for rent unless you’re using a National Park mooring ball which are owned and serviced by the NP.
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 02:39 PM

In addition to the NPS moorings in St John (only $26 or $13 with the Senior Pass), there are many free overnight moorings available in St Thomas - 20 at Christmas Cove, Little St James, and ~12 at Buck/Capella Island.

Head to Culebra in the SVI and you'll find 50+ free moorings throughout its many anchorages.
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 02:56 PM

Originally Posted by Christo
Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by Christo
Currently watching a fight between a large sportfisher (who seems to have reserved one of the boatyballs) and a Moorings monohull who was refusing to move.

Has been going on for a while now. Sportfisher just upped the ante by ramming them in reverse (with the Moorings dinghy as a cushion between the two so he didn't damage his Sportfisher).

Now Moorings has moved...but dropped anchor within half a boat length of the boatyball...perhaps as a protest...perhaps they just don't know how to anchor.

And now a third monohull is trying to pick up the boatyball. Two ribs and a centre-console also somehow involved.

I'm confused as to who the good-guys are now!


Wow...at Great Harbour? Dont know who they good guy is but we all know who is the bad "guy"

In February I moored at the east end of that mooring field only to have someone come and anchor in 30 feet of water east of me and swing into me that night and then had to deal with drunk winch they left on the boat to go to Foxys.

send video...:)




You will think I am exaggerating but the Moorings boat has now attempted anchoring over 15 times. Has hit 3 boats and been fended off numerous others. They are still at it...

From my end of the binoculars it appears that they understand how much chain to put out but seem to think that the boat will remain exactly where it was when you started to drop the anchor...they have now headed into the shallows toward Foxy's so I suspect they may soon find a different way of fixing the boat to the seabed.

A different fight on another boatyball has just concluded. The evicted monohul is also now circling around trying to find somewhere to anchor. And...have just dropped right in front of another mooring...perhaps they are from the same anchoring-school as the first evicted monohull.

I hope they both stay away from us. Whilst it's not our yacht, so we shouldn't care...we take pride in returning our boats in same or better condition than we got them. Which seems to put us in the minority.

Edit - a third monohul just screamed in at high speed...and is now aground in front of foxy's.

Genuine muppet-show this evening!



I was in Great Harbour last Saturday for Foxy's Music Fest / Full Moon Party. It must have been a few days before the 5 FCFS balls were converted to BB. All the FCFS balls were taken by mid-afternoon and several boats were anchored in the bay. Anchorage was packed but there was none of this mayhem. No boats getting kicked off mooring balls at sunset. Amazing how crazy the harbour becomes a week later with the conversion of 5 mooring balls from FCFS to BB.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 03:22 PM

BB has an effect on people
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 04:39 PM

Originally Posted by BaardJ
In addition to the NPS moorings in St John (only $26 or $13 with the Senior Pass), there are many free overnight moorings available in St Thomas - 20 at Christmas Cove, Little St James, and ~12 at Buck/Capella Island.

Head to Culebra in the SVI and you'll find 50+ free moorings throughout its many anchorages.


The free moorings you speak of are put there by the Department of Natural Resources and serviced by them.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 05:04 PM

The Spanish Virgin Islands are not everyones cup of tea.
Posted By: aarpskier

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 05:14 PM

Originally Posted by warren460
The Spanish Virgin Islands are not everyones cup of tea.


Exactly. Which is what makes them so great. 124 watching this forum 11 watching US Virgins forum. Just trying to suggest an alternative for those pining for "the good old days".
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 05:23 PM

Originally Posted by BaardJ
Originally Posted by Christo
Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by Christo
Currently watching a fight between a large sportfisher (who seems to have reserved one of the boatyballs) and a Moorings monohull who was refusing to move.

Has been going on for a while now. Sportfisher just upped the ante by ramming them in reverse (with the Moorings dinghy as a cushion between the two so he didn't damage his Sportfisher).

Now Moorings has moved...but dropped anchor within half a boat length of the boatyball...perhaps as a protest...perhaps they just don't know how to anchor.

And now a third monohull is trying to pick up the boatyball. Two ribs and a centre-console also somehow involved.

I'm confused as to who the good-guys are now!


Wow...at Great Harbour? Dont know who they good guy is but we all know who is the bad "guy"

In February I moored at the east end of that mooring field only to have someone come and anchor in 30 feet of water east of me and swing into me that night and then had to deal with drunk winch they left on the boat to go to Foxys.

send video...:)




You will think I am exaggerating but the Moorings boat has now attempted anchoring over 15 times. Has hit 3 boats and been fended off numerous others. They are still at it...

From my end of the binoculars it appears that they understand how much chain to put out but seem to think that the boat will remain exactly where it was when you started to drop the anchor...they have now headed into the shallows toward Foxy's so I suspect they may soon find a different way of fixing the boat to the seabed.

A different fight on another boatyball has just concluded. The evicted monohul is also now circling around trying to find somewhere to anchor. And...have just dropped right in front of another mooring...perhaps they are from the same anchoring-school as the first evicted monohull.

I hope they both stay away from us. Whilst it's not our yacht, so we shouldn't care...we take pride in returning our boats in same or better condition than we got them. Which seems to put us in the minority.

Edit - a third monohul just screamed in at high speed...and is now aground in front of foxy's.

Genuine muppet-show this evening!



I was in Great Harbour last Saturday for Foxy's Music Fest / Full Moon Party. It must have been a few days before the 5 FCFS balls were converted to BB. All the FCFS balls were taken by mid-afternoon and several boats were anchored in the bay. Anchorage was packed but there was none of this mayhem. No boats getting kicked off mooring balls at sunset. Amazing how crazy the harbour becomes a week later with the conversion of 5 mooring balls from FCFS to BB.


Exactly! BB has solved zero problems and created loads! I don't get why this is even a discussion, it's clearly a half-baked idea that just doesn't work. This isn't uncommon to the BVI (Concorde runway at Anegada, runway expansion, BVI Airways) but usually it just costs some taxpayers money which gets siphoned off into corrupt politicians pockets and the idea dies a rightful death. How did this brainwave get the fast-track?!
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 06:02 PM

I commend boaty ball for trying to make the BVI a better place.

There was never any guarantee of success for them.

I hope that BB is not committed to their vision no matter what harm they might cause.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 06:12 PM

Hey Christo, I hope you’re having a nice afternoon. We’ve been discussing changes to incorporate into the app and I figured I’d reach out to you and see if you had any input. If you were going to use the BoatyBall app what would you like to see featured on it or what do you think they could do better. I look forward to what you have to say. Cheers

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Re: BoatyBall #10705
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Posts: 258
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Christo Online content
Traveler

Hi Alec,

We are having a beautiful day in the BVI, thank you for asking, I hope you are also wherever in the world you are.

My honest response is that i'd pay 50 bucks a night to see them all returned to FCFS. It's worked in the Caribbean for decades, it works well and will continue to do so. The level of aggression and issues we have seen this year in the BVI is something we have never before witnessed. Boatyball is solely responsible for that. Besides all the other shortcomings that I have repeated time and time again on the forum. We found it interesting to hear how anti-boatyball the base-staff at Moorings/Sunsail were.

If you had left all the FCFS alone and added new boatyballs...you would have added value and choice to the mooring situation in the wake of the undersupply caused by Irma. What you have actually done is made things worse.

I'm sure I am getting a name on the forum for being negative about BB, but having been sailing here and throughout the Caribbean for 20 years I have very strong views, routed in experience and am vehemently opposed to the BB system.

It's nothing personal, but BB needs to be removed from the BVI. It has no place here.

I believe also there are a number of outstanding questions from others on the forum about BB that have gone unanswered. One member suggests for example that you do not have the work-permits required for the hands-on approach that has been taken by BB?...but there are numerous other questions outstanding.

I might also suggest that your lighthearted response to my posts about the mayhem going on in GH Jost a few days back that the 'entertainment' created was a positive thing that BB had created...are very ill-advised. Whilst it may be entertaining for those not involved to watch or hear about this mayhem, let's not forget that the bareboat charterers who were kicked off boatyballs late in the day and then found themselves unable to anchor...probably had that day/evening of their charter ruined. And that is on you Alec.

Yes, I am the first to say that if you don't know how to anchor then you have no place being a skipper...but, it's also true that when they tied up to the Boatyball (not knowing what it was) there were other FCFS balls free in Great Harbour. So without question, if BB didn't exist they would have had a good night. As it happens, who knows where they ended up, but it certainly wasn't the chilled day in the BVI they planned on having...or that they would have had if BB didn't exist.

I could, in true Denny-esque fashion continue for a few thousand words, but it's painkiller time and I suspect my words will fall on deaf ears anyhow.
Posted By: TravelHat

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 07:09 PM

👋👋
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 07:35 PM

GeorgeC1 - thank you for your post. This is very helpful.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 08:29 PM

Originally Posted by BoatyBall
captmoby - many of the restaurants and marinas have wifi. Nanny Cay has wifi at the marina. Omar's cafe, Cool Breezes, Neptunes, Village Cay, and the French Deli all say they are open at 7. If you have not been by the French Deli it is worth the stop. They have excellent sandwiches, desserts and their wifi is very fast. Cooper has wifi outside the coffee shop but it does not open until 8. Rhymers also has free wifi but they do not open until 7:30. Leverick has wifi by the pool. I have used wifi at all three of these to help reserve a mooring.


So basically you’re telling those who stayed up late the night before to dedicate a crew member to get up at daybreak and get to a cafe before 7AM and hopefully he’ll get a ball
Posted By: DEL

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 08:39 PM

I have been sailing in the BVI for 50 years. Not surprisingly, I have seen many changes:
1. Many more charter boats and charterers (I can remember many times with less than 6 boats anchored in the Bight)
2. Mooring balls introduced (along with a fee) to reduce coral damage and increase the anchorage capacity
3. Mooring ball fees (I think the first fees were $25) were a significant increase compared to anchoring
4. Need to go through C&I when going between USVI and BVI (I cannot tell a lie, I have sinned in the old days)
5. Irma dramatically reduced the number of attractive anchorages and maintained/available mooring balls while charter boats numbers rebounded more quickly
I chartered for three weeks in 2019 and found using BB a great way to optimize my vacation time. I can't remember how many days in previous years I have suffered from anxiety about if I would be able to be secure in my desired anchorage for the night and could still enjoy snorkel stops along the way. Arriving at my overnight anchorage before noon is not my preferred solution.

As an Econ major 50 years ago, I suggest everyone remember that this is a situation where demand is exceeding supply, If the number of mooring balls were always greater than the number of charterers desiring to use that anchorage, end of discussion. Maybe when BEYC, Saba, etc. come back, things will change.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by DEL
I have been sailing in the BVI for 50 years. Not surprisingly, I have seen many changes:
1. Many more charter boats and charterers (I can remember many times with less than 6 boats anchored in the Bight)
2. Mooring balls introduced (along with a fee) to reduce coral damage and increase the anchorage capacity
3. Mooring ball fees (I think the first fees were $25) were a significant increase compared to anchoring
4. Need to go through C&I when going between USVI and BVI (I cannot tell a lie, I have sinned in the old days)
5. Irma dramatically reduced the number of attractive anchorages and maintained/available mooring balls while charter boats numbers rebounded more quickly
I chartered for three weeks in 2019 and found using BB a great way to optimize my vacation time. I can't remember how many days in previous years I have suffered from anxiety about if I would be able to be secure in my desired anchorage for the night and could still enjoy snorkel stops along the way. Arriving at my overnight anchorage before noon is not my preferred solution.

As an Econ major 50 years ago, I suggest everyone remember that this is a situation where demand is exceeding supply, If the number of mooring balls were always greater than the number of charterers desiring to use that anchorage, end of discussion. Maybe when BEYC, Saba, etc. come back, things will change.


Well it seems BB is good way for you to keep your anxiety down, but for most of us it’s just another restriction getting up early to make a BB reservation that suits the BB owners who don’t have to deal with the hassle.
We can’t just sail into an anchorage and find a nice spot to moor, everything is dependent on a reservation made at day break.
I’ll stick to the old way until it’s been replaced by the Politically Correct crowd.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 09:58 PM

+1 and


I wonder if the BB owners have to join in on the lottery when they are down in the islands?

They do control the app. Right?

Maybe someone from BB will chime in. Its my understanding that they are regulars down in the BVI

Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:03 PM

Originally Posted by sail445
Originally Posted by DEL
I have been sailing in the BVI for 50 years. Not surprisingly, I have seen many changes:
1. Many more charter boats and charterers (I can remember many times with less than 6 boats anchored in the Bight)
2. Mooring balls introduced (along with a fee) to reduce coral damage and increase the anchorage capacity
3. Mooring ball fees (I think the first fees were $25) were a significant increase compared to anchoring
4. Need to go through C&I when going between USVI and BVI (I cannot tell a lie, I have sinned in the old days)
5. Irma dramatically reduced the number of attractive anchorages and maintained/available mooring balls while charter boats numbers rebounded more quickly
I chartered for three weeks in 2019 and found using BB a great way to optimize my vacation time. I can't remember how many days in previous years I have suffered from anxiety about if I would be able to be secure in my desired anchorage for the night and could still enjoy snorkel stops along the way. Arriving at my overnight anchorage before noon is not my preferred solution.

As an Econ major 50 years ago, I suggest everyone remember that this is a situation where demand is exceeding supply, If the number of mooring balls were always greater than the number of charterers desiring to use that anchorage, end of discussion. Maybe when BEYC, Saba, etc. come back, things will change.


Well it seems BB is good way for you to keep your anxiety down, but for most of us it’s just another restriction getting up early to make a BB reservation that suits the BB owners who don’t have to deal with the hassle.
We can’t just sail into an anchorage and find a nice spot to moor, everything is dependent on a reservation made at day break.
I’ll stick to the old way until it’s been replaced by the Politically Correct crowd.


If by most you mean a couple of people on this forum then I’d agree with you
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:12 PM

Alec, I only know 1 or 2 people that like BB. Most of those that I know are not speaking up. Just because they are not vocal means nothing.

I understand that Moorings sunsail does not like it.

I don’t think captain J is in favour.

There are many more.

I know of other charter operators that don’t like BB.
Posted By: TomGarvey

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:14 PM

Alec, it’s a lot more than a couple. You don’t help your credibility by minimizing the number of critics. Doing so is akin to critics questioning your motives. I assume that you created BB with the best intentions, and I’m sure the criticism is unpleasant, but it’s coming from a lot more than two people.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:16 PM

Actually , If it’s only a few people as you say on this forum then you have nothing to worry about.
I’m sure the charter companies are ecstatic over BB and maybe they’ll dedicate it as a public holiday
Posted By: mcevog

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:24 PM

I've been down twice since the introduction of BB, not used it yet, and not had to as the FCFS balls worked just fine. I am heading down again in mid June for a week. The growth of the offering does concern me given that it seems to limit my options not expand them. Frankly the last thing I want to do on vacation is schedule a ball for the night. If I want to schedule an overnight spot I'll take an alongside berth - for the rest of the time I'd rather show up, and if there are no options I'll move on. Given the assumption from Alec, who I assume is in part responsible for BB, that no dissenting voices is a voice of support I thought I should clarify that my silence should not be taken as support. I didn't think that a change was needed, and I don't think that a change that jacks up the cost of overnight mooring uneccessarily is welcome.
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:47 PM

I shouldn’t have made my last statement. Let me clarify. There are way more than a couple of people that don’t like BoatyBall. And I fully understand that most of the people on this forum don’t have the fondest feelings for BoatyBall. I completely understand why and I enjoy the feedback. Believe it or not this site has probably helped us the most in determining what our plans are for the future. I also don’t take a lack of criticism to indicate support either. My statement was based in part on the number of critics present on this forum and the amount of positive feedback we’ve received elsewhere. I greatly appreciate the feedback from this site, but this forum isn’t exactly representative of the majority of the charter market in the BVI. I understand that we have our critics and our supporters among this site and elsewhere; my point was simply to counter the claim that the majority of boaters dislike BoatyBall.
Posted By: agrimsrud

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:52 PM

Originally Posted by warren460
Alec, I only know 1 or 2 people that like BB. Most of those that I know are not speaking up. Just because they are not vocal means nothing.

I understand that Moorings sunsail does not like it.

I don’t think captain J is in favour.

There are many more.

I know of other charter operators that don’t like BB.



I don't really care for BB either. However - since they are sold out by 7:01 I would have to say there is demand for what they are offering. The fact that some people are unhappy about BB and perhaps even very vocal about it has not dampened the demand whatsoever. Each person can choose what he/she want's to do when they captain their boat - BB, FCFS, anchor or get a slip somewhere. I don't see how reserving a BB is fundamentally different than getting a slip reservation. Take for example Leverick. They own the BB moorings and they own the slips. If you want them you make a reservation for them. I'm not sure beating up on the boaty ball setup is where you should be spending your considerable effort. Let Leverick know how you feel instead. And when the North Sound finally bounces back and has more balls to offer - assuming they don't all become BB - take your business elsewhere and each time you do let Leverick (or some other spot - I don't mean to pick on Leverick) know you didn't come to dinner because you can't stand their mooring reservation system. BB has virtually no skin in the this game - if noone used BB they wouldn't feel much pain. But the establishment that owns the balls surely would. You can gripe all you want - BB has more business than they can possibly handle right now.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 10:56 PM

Your sample is biased and I assume based only on users of BB.

It’s not representative of anything. Given the statistically insignificant number of balls and users, you cant extrapolate anything.

The people on this forum likely have far more knowledge and insight than an occasional visitor to the bvi.

Extrapolating your sample is the same as saying there is so much demand for boatyball because it’s getting used.

That’s actually a function of the limited number of balls and nothing more.

The BVI does not need to be tailored to the infrequent users to the detriment of the rest of us.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/26/2019 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by warren460
Your sample is biased and I assume based only on users of BB.

It’s not representative of anything. Given the statistically insignificant number of balls and users, you cant extrapolate anything.

The people on this forum likely have far more knowledge and insight than an occasional visitor to the bvi.

Extrapolating your sample is the same as saying there is so much demand for boatyball because it’s getting used.

That’s actually a function of the limited number of balls and nothing more.

The BVI does not need to be tailored to the infrequent users to the detriment of the rest of us.


+1

...round and round we go. Lack of supply...so everyone uses the new system which is hugely flawed...and the makers claim victory.

About the 6th time we've done this loop on the forum.

Bring back BEYC, Saba mooring fields...and cut loose the BBs to float Anywhere but here...and everything can go back to the pre-irma state that worked so well.
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 12:08 AM

Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
I shouldn’t have made my last statement. Let me clarify. There are way more than a couple of people that don’t like BoatyBall. And I fully understand that most of the people on this forum don’t have the fondest feelings for BoatyBall. I completely understand why and I enjoy the feedback. Believe it or not this site has probably helped us the most in determining what our plans are for the future. I also don’t take a lack of criticism to indicate support either. My statement was based in part on the number of critics present on this forum and the amount of positive feedback we’ve received elsewhere. I greatly appreciate the feedback from this site, but this forum isn’t exactly representative of the majority of the charter market in the BVI. I understand that we have our critics and our supporters among this site and elsewhere; my point was simply to counter the claim that the majority of boaters dislike BoatyBall.



Where might I find this positive feedback?

I would also be curious to find another forum with as much expertise as my colleagues here have as I would like to "follow" them as well. I would be curious to find a more inclusive and extensive sampling of the BVis then here as well so please enlighten me.

I called you on this statement once before as you recall....
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 12:10 AM

So there you have it. Alec finally acknowledged "And I fully understand that most of the people on this forum don’t have the fondest feelings for BoatyBall."

Let's not forget how frequently Alec stressed that only a couple people on the forum did not like boatyball.

The implication, in my personal view, is That boatyball does not care about the views of the people that are in this forum the same people that have a strong passion for the bvi.

We are the frequent visitors to the bvi that share knowledge so that everyone can enjoy. We are the ones that may have boats in BVI charter fleets. We are the ones that promote the bvi with a passion. We are frequent visitors to and supporters of local establishments.

And in the eye of boatyball, we don't count.

Posted By: tradewinds

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 12:17 AM

Alec is a 19-year old kid and if he physically touches any of the Boaty Balls, he needs to have a trade licence.
Posted By: Alec Atteberry

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 12:23 AM

Originally Posted by warren460
So there you have it. Alec finally acknowledged "And I fully understand that most of the people on this forum don’t have the fondest feelings for BoatyBall."

Let's not forget how frequently Alec stressed that only a couple people on the forum did not like boatyball.

The implication, Alec and boatyball don't care about the views of the people that are in this forum the same people that have a strong passion for the bvi.

We are the frequent visitors to the bvi that share knowledge so that everyone can enjoy. We are the ones that may have boats in BVI charter fleets. We are the ones that promote the bvi with a passion. We are frequent visitors to and supporters of local establishments.

And in the eye of boatyball, we don't count.



Again I apologize for the comment I made earlier. But Warren, with all due respect I don’t understand how you could have inferred that from my previous comment; that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 12:26 AM

Originally Posted by tradewinds
Alec is a 19-year old kid and if he physically touches any of the Boaty Balls, he needs to have a trade licence.


I don’t see where a trade license would be necessary if a Belonger hired BB as an internet Service company to handle their collections.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 12:26 AM

I did not infer anything. I quoted you. Unless my copy paste is not working, its verbatim.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 12:28 AM

It might be necessary if he steps in the territory and carries on any bb activity such as he does when balls are installed. See page 10 of the 40 something page thread.
Posted By: Schwendy

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 01:02 AM

I don't know where the tally stands but put me in the category AGAINST BB! Is it now a majority against? People are using it out of panic! That is the only way I'd use BB. Hoping in October there will be no need at any of the anchorages and I think once people start chartering elsewhere like the USVI or Bahamas then the BVI politicians will eventually take notice. Or maybe not.
Posted By: turning54final

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 03:13 AM

Originally Posted by warren460
Your sample is biased and I assume based only on users of BB.

It’s not representative of anything. Given the statistically insignificant number of balls and users, you cant extrapolate anything.

The people on this forum likely have far more knowledge and insight than an occasional visitor to the bvi.

Extrapolating your sample is the same as saying there is so much demand for boatyball because it’s getting used.

That’s actually a function of the limited number of balls and nothing more.

The BVI does not need to be tailored to the infrequent users to the detriment of the rest of us.


My uneducated guess is that the amount of credit card captains and infrequent boaters in the BVI far exceeds those who are passionate and knowledgeable (i.e those who frequent this forum). Sorry to say but we’re in the minority.

BB will likely thrive so rather than beat a dead horse I’d suggest finding a way to exist with BB sticking around long term. It’s not something worth losing sleep over.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 08:13 AM

Alec and BB advise that boatyballs are insured. By who? What is the coverage and exclusions? Moor seacure maintains a large number of balls in the BVI. Are all of those insured or Just boatyball? I would love to get more information on this. He has advised that the insurance is not provided by boatyball but it’s through moor seacure. I wanted to reach out to moor seacure for particulars. I can’t find them on Facebook or the internet.

If you can’t find them, how would anyone ever put in a claim to the insurance company.

Can anyone provide contact information so that we can all understand the nature and extent of their coverage.
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 01:18 PM

Warren – I am going to address this to you because you are one of the top posters on this forum and I know you are passionate about the BVI. I also know Alec has had private conversations with you and has answered several of your questions in private. Some questions and conversations just are not appropriate for a group discussion. I am directing this statement to you in hopes that we can have an honest conversation.

First off, Alec apologized for his comment and generalization that he made the other day. We all make mistakes and I hope you can understand that.

You responded to Alec and said, "Given the statistically insignificant number of balls and users, you can’t extrapolate anything." This goes both ways. The assumption that most boaters only use the app because they are forced to is also a generalization.

You also said in your previous post that "The BVI does not need to be tailored to the infrequent users to the detriment of the rest of us." This seems to be a common sentiment among several on this forum. However, that strikes me as an odd statement from someone who benefits off of those infrequent users. Most boaters are lucky if they can make it down to the BVI once or twice a year.

Several on this forum are fortunate enough to own boats that they charter out. Whether you like it or not, these infrequent visitors are the ones that charter your boats and help keep the economy going. How many of those infrequent boaters truly have the knowledge and skillset needed to captain a boat like Scuba Doo? Do you really want these infrequent captains that charter your boats dropping anchor in the middle of a mooring field like Christo observed the other day or tying up to a mooring that has not been checked in years?

It is pretty clear that the BVI government and businesses welcome these infrequent users and so do the charter companies. We can debate on if this is good or not for the BVI but I do not see this dynamic changing anytime soon which means we either embrace it or we do not. Regardless, I think we can all agree that there needs to be more moorings in the BVI so that people of all skillsets have a safe place to spend the night.

The most common complaint on this forum is that BoatyBall is converting existing moorings. Several have stated on this forum that if we added additional moorings that they would be supportive of the program. As we have stated numerous times, BoatyBall would like to see additional moorings in the BVI as well.

However, the choice to add additional moorings is not a BoatyBall decision. The local businesses are the one who have to apply for new moorings and then spend the money to pay for the taxes, hardware, maintenance, and insurance for the moorings. One of our goals at BoatyBall is to simplify and ensure the payment to the local businesses and make investing in moorings balls attractive for the locals.

The good news is that every mooring ball owner we are working with wants to add additional moorings. Adding additional moorings is an arduous process and takes time. However, after talking with the owners we are confident that boaters will be seeing additional moorings in some of the most popular bays over the next 12 – 18 months. Hopefully that is some good news for those on this forum.

To imply that "Alec and BoatyBall don't care about the views of the people that are in this forum" is not correct. We would not be engaged with this group and forum if we did not care. In fact, just the other day you encouraged BoatyBall to be more vocal on this forum.

You also indicated that you could support BoatyBall if we addressed a few items. One of those items was increased communication with this forum. We are committed to trying to engage this group and to continue to gather feedback from some of the most experienced boaters in the BVI.

You asked us to address our cancellations policy. You have stated that once a boater makes a reservation they might end up doing something not safe in order to try and keep a reservation. BoatyBall has a no cancellation policy; however, we are reasonable people and we have refunded every boater that has contacted us with a legitimate concern. If a boater contacts us with a safety concern we will ALWAYS refund them. Period!

The third item you said you would like for us to address is the need to be able to reserve multiple nights. This is a great suggestion and one that we are working on. We hope that by addressing these concerns that we will some day earn your support.

We do appreciate this forums feedback. Understanding your concerns have helped us make better decisions and changes to the app. We know we will never please everyone but we would like to try.

We do appreciate everyone’s feedback and we are listening.
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 01:42 PM

you lost me at "honest"...my primary issue with you all is the service model as I have discussed with Alec privately but I am continuing to become more negative about the whole BB thing with the constant misleading and deceptive statements from you all. Your are severely undermining your credibility. It may or may not impact your business model but I am quite sure it will cause businesses to think twice about jumping in bed with you.

I actually believe that most boaters use the app because they have to in the main season with still reduced moorings. Evidence of this will only come in the off season with other moorings coming on line when you find the "boatyball hole" like I observed at Cooper a couple of weeks ago where all regular balls were taken and only a few BB balls were taken. Only time will tell if you are right or I am.

Who actually posts under BoatyBall moniker? Is this Alec under a different name?

I did go out and look for "positive reviews" and really only could find the Boaty Ball Facebook page with a few positive reviews (when you back out your family and Facebook friends) and 1 negative.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/BoatyBall/reviews/?ref=page_internal

So I hope you fix your service model and if you all were actually credible with your statements I for one wouldnt be so down on BB.

Posted By: xrayman67

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 02:53 PM

That was quite a long response from Boatyball directed towards Warren, but I saw nothing related to his question about Boatyballs insurance they keep emphasizing.
Posted By: Maria_and_Steve

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 03:07 PM

I think BoatyBall could be liked IF they start charging $20 for a mooring ball. That would be more in line with a start-up trying to get business and attract new users. But instead, it seems charging $40, which is above the going rate for a FCFS mooring ball is akin to typical extortion. Think about it BoatyBall.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 05:42 PM

I am from the UK. My credit card currency is GBP not USD.

To avoid getting buggered by my bank with the outrageous FX rate they apply and the international transaction fee on top...I carefully watch the market during the year and convert all the GBP I will need for my BVI holiday into USD cash well in advance.

My credit card doesn't get used once in the BVI. I use cash for everything. And I save a fortune by doing so.

...if I use a Boatyball, then I will have to use my credit card and pay the outrageous FX rate and international transaction fee every day.

So as a Brit...i have to pay way more than everyone else for the balls?! How is that fair?

With FCFS I get to use cash and its a level playing field...

Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 05:56 PM

Originally Posted by BoatyBall
Warren – I am going to address this to you because you are one of the top posters on this forum and I know you are passionate about the BVI. I also know Alec has had private conversations with you and has answered several of your questions in private. Some questions and conversations just are not appropriate for a group discussion. I am directing this statement to you in hopes that we can have an honest conversation.

First off, Alec apologized for his comment and generalization that he made the other day. We all make mistakes and I hope you can understand that.

You responded to Alec and said, "Given the statistically insignificant number of balls and users, you can’t extrapolate anything." This goes both ways. The assumption that most boaters only use the app because they are forced to is also a generalization.

You also said in your previous post that "The BVI does not need to be tailored to the infrequent users to the detriment of the rest of us." This seems to be a common sentiment among several on this forum. However, that strikes me as an odd statement from someone who benefits off of those infrequent users. Most boaters are lucky if they can make it down to the BVI once or twice a year.

Several on this forum are fortunate enough to own boats that they charter out. Whether you like it or not, these infrequent visitors are the ones that charter your boats and help keep the economy going. How many of those infrequent boaters truly have the knowledge and skillset needed to captain a boat like Scuba Doo? Do you really want these infrequent captains that charter your boats dropping anchor in the middle of a mooring field like Christo observed the other day or tying up to a mooring that has not been checked in years?

It is pretty clear that the BVI government and businesses welcome these infrequent users and so do the charter companies. We can debate on if this is good or not for the BVI but I do not see this dynamic changing anytime soon which means we either embrace it or we do not. Regardless, I think we can all agree that there needs to be more moorings in the BVI so that people of all skillsets have a safe place to spend the night.

The most common complaint on this forum is that BoatyBall is converting existing moorings. Several have stated on this forum that if we added additional moorings that they would be supportive of the program. As we have stated numerous times, BoatyBall would like to see additional moorings in the BVI as well.

However, the choice to add additional moorings is not a BoatyBall decision. The local businesses are the one who have to apply for new moorings and then spend the money to pay for the taxes, hardware, maintenance, and insurance for the moorings. One of our goals at BoatyBall is to simplify and ensure the payment to the local businesses and make investing in moorings balls attractive for the locals.

The good news is that every mooring ball owner we are working with wants to add additional moorings. Adding additional moorings is an arduous process and takes time. However, after talking with the owners we are confident that boaters will be seeing additional moorings in some of the most popular bays over the next 12 – 18 months. Hopefully that is some good news for those on this forum.

To imply that "Alec and BoatyBall don't care about the views of the people that are in this forum" is not correct. We would not be engaged with this group and forum if we did not care. In fact, just the other day you encouraged BoatyBall to be more vocal on this forum.

You also indicated that you could support BoatyBall if we addressed a few items. One of those items was increased communication with this forum. We are committed to trying to engage this group and to continue to gather feedback from some of the most experienced boaters in the BVI.

You asked us to address our cancellations policy. You have stated that once a boater makes a reservation they might end up doing something not safe in order to try and keep a reservation. BoatyBall has a no cancellation policy; however, we are reasonable people and we have refunded every boater that has contacted us with a legitimate concern. If a boater contacts us with a safety concern we will ALWAYS refund them. Period!

The third item you said you would like for us to address is the need to be able to reserve multiple nights. This is a great suggestion and one that we are working on. We hope that by addressing these concerns that we will some day earn your support.

We do appreciate this forums feedback. Understanding your concerns have helped us make better decisions and changes to the app. We know we will never please everyone but we would like to try.

We do appreciate everyone’s feedback and we are listening.


Warren may be one of the top posters and one of the most outspoken critics of Boatyball but his views are shared by a great many on this forum. Warren just chooses to put his head above the parapet and say what everyone else is thinking! And...as others keep pointing out, you are picking and choosing which of his questions to answer.

I think the overriding message we're getting from your/Alec's comments is "I hear what you say...but we're just going to carry on doing things how we think they should be done regardless". Or perhaps even... " yes the FCFS way has worked for decades and had no issues throughout the Caribbean...but as a bunch of out-of-towners who have been to the BVI a handful of times we know better, so let's make the whole of the BVI do it our way"
Posted By: Lexington14

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 06:08 PM

Just missed Boatyball in November ‘18 and don’t plan to use it next month when we return after reading stories of squatters on reserved balls. Reserving a ball at 7 am then spending hours stressing over whether I’m going to get into a verbal altercation with a squatter on my reserved ball is not for me. The fact that there is a bay manager to resolve disputes means that I’ll eventually get the ball but how much of my time will be wasted getting to that point. With my luck I’d be in Anegada circling the mooring field waiting for the squatters to return from Cow Wreck at the end of the day. Might as well just anchor and have a relaxing trip.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 06:15 PM

Originally Posted by Lexington14
Just missed Boatyball in November ‘18 and don’t plan to use it next month when we return after reading stories of squatters on reserved balls. Reserving a ball at 7 am then spending hours stressing over whether I’m going to get into a verbal altercation with a squatter on my reserved ball is not for me. The fact that there is a bay manager to resolve disputes means that I’ll eventually get the ball but how much of my time will be wasted getting to that point. With my luck I’d be in Anegada circling the mooring field waiting for the squatters to return from Cow Wreck at the end of the day. Might as well just anchor and have a relaxing trip.


Not sure if it helps... but our experience was plenty of FCFS balls still available at Anegada. Provided you don't arrive late in the day.

We decided to anchor at Pomato Point. Great holding, beautiful place. Dean Wheatley's brother Sid has the restaurant right on the beach...which was superb. Sorry Potters...but Sid's was our favourite! And if you're hiring a jeep from Dean he will bring it right to you at Pomato Point.

...and spend the mooring fee at Cow Wreck! Or with Monica at Flash of Beauty...which has (I know this will be controversial) the best painkillers in the BVI. Something she does with lime...we tried to replicate it on the boat but couldn't. She is the painkiller-wizard.
Posted By: Lexington14

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 06:46 PM

We started anchoring in Anegada a few years back around the time when Neptune’s Treasure removed their mooring balls. Our experience has been the opposite of yours - most of the FCFS balls have been taken except for the ones closest to shore at a very shallow depth. We have actually seen boats come in the mooring field, look around, not find a ball, then leave rather than anchor. On our last trip when we were anchored we were hit at night by a Moorings cat dragging its anchor in the middle of a thunderstorm. We briefly considered Boatyball to avoid the cc captains that are forced to anchor in Anegada but we don’t think the possible hassle is worth it. I had read your earlier post about Pomato Point and appreciate the tip. We are counting the days......
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 07:14 PM

I am curious about the maintain part of boatyball. When a ball is converted to BB from FCFS is the sandscrew updated or is it the same old. In other words, are the balls merely swapped.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 07:26 PM

I have a suggestion for boatyball. The thing I hate the most is losing the ability to use the balls for lunch stops. Change the reservation cycle to 2pm to 2 pm. If a boatyball is not occupied prior to 2 pm it can be used for a lunch stop or to swap out tanks ect..
G
Posted By: JulieFL

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 08:04 PM

I have chartered in the BVI about a dozen times but grew up boating In the Florida Keys and Bahamas. I personally have not used boatyball yet but plan to on my next BVI charter. Change is hard all around just look at the FL Keys and Bahamas. Sounds like if you don’t like it don’t use it. If you do then great! Instead of focusing negative energy at someone’s livelihood. Maybe focus on the fact that the BVI has banned plastic straws to save the turtles and marine life, but still allows turtle hunting. You’re welcome!

Happy Sailing!!
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 08:16 PM

Originally Posted by JulieFL
I have chartered in the BVI about a dozen times but grew up boating In the Florida Keys and Bahamas. I personally have not used boatyball yet but plan to on my next BVI charter. Change is hard all around just look at the FL Keys and Bahamas. Sounds like if you don’t like it don’t use it. If you do then great! Instead of focusing negative energy at someone’s livelihood. Maybe focus on the fact that the BVI has banned plastic straws to save the turtles and marine life, but still allows turtle hunting. You’re welcome!

Happy Sailing!!


How annoying are the paper straws by the way?!!! After a few sips it's a mouthful of pulp!

...first world problems.
Posted By: tradewinds

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 08:37 PM

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be thanking you for. Please enlighten. hairy thanks
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 08:37 PM

Originally Posted by JulieFL
I have chartered in the BVI about a dozen times but grew up boating In the Florida Keys and Bahamas. I personally have not used boatyball yet but plan to on my next BVI charter. Change is hard all around just look at the FL Keys and Bahamas. Sounds like if you don’t like it don’t use it. If you do then great! Instead of focusing negative energy at someone’s livelihood. Maybe focus on the fact that the BVI has banned plastic straws to save the turtles and marine life, but still allows turtle hunting. You’re welcome!

Happy Sailing!!


I can see your upset about the discussion about BB and that your thoughts are that you must bow down to change like in Florida.
Florida by Caribbean standards is a Police state where people must submit and give up freedoms just because a few bureaucrats decide it’s better for you.
BTW Turtle hunting is done throughout the Caribbean although it’s illegal in some islands but it is definitely illegal in the USVI and BVI
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 09:14 PM

All of the moorings in the app are maintained and insured by Moor Seacure.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 09:17 PM

Originally Posted by BoatyBall
All of the moorings in the app are maintained and insured by Moor Seacure.


So boats moor at their own risk?!

I thought your whole act was that what BB provided was better than Moor Seacure?!

...turns out it's exactly the same but with all the negative aspects you bring to the table!
Posted By: BoatyBall

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 09:39 PM

BoatyBall helps boaters identify which moorings are in a maintenance program and insured. Most bays in the BVI have a mix of maintained moorings and un maintained moorings. The app helps the local businesses that have invested in this maintenance and insurance to differentiate themselves from other mooring ball owners who have not invested in maintenance.
Posted By: warren460

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 10:19 PM

BoatyBall quote from above : "BoatyBall helps boaters identify which moorings are in a maintenance program and insured." How so? Boatyball in its app only identifies Boatyball moorings. Are there not other moorings in maintenance programs that are insured? Perhaps others offer moorings that are more robust and in better maintenance programs. Boatyball has not identified these, yet they likely do exist.

So, ,my suggestion to BB is that the app should include all balls, regardless of ownership that meet a reasonable standard of maintenance and insurance. To go one further, how about boatyball include in the app all balls with disclosure of the owners maintenance program and insurance offering or lack thereof. That would be helpful so that people would know what they are getting. Right?

Since the existence insurance and maintenance aspects are so important to the boatyball offering, I am asking again for transparent disclosure of such particulars.
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 11:16 PM

Originally Posted by BoatyBall
BoatyBall helps boaters identify which moorings are in a maintenance program and insured. Most bays in the BVI have a mix of maintained moorings and un maintained moorings. The app helps the local businesses that have invested in this maintenance and insurance to differentiate themselves from other mooring ball owners who have not invested in maintenance.


So like Moorseacure have been doing for years?! So your business model is to actually reinvent the wheel?!

...it was turning just fine without you clowns.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 11:26 PM

OK, regardless of whether one agrees with their business model or not, let's not call anyone clowns here...
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 11:42 PM

Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
OK, regardless of whether one agrees with their business model or not, let's not call anyone clowns here...


Understood Carol and my apologies. Albeit, that was me being as reserved as I know how. Can you advise some vocab that would be appropriate to convey the full weight of my displeasure with these ####### without offending the more delicate sensibilities on the forum?

Or is sticking to ### the best way?!

Clownfish?

Ne'er-do-wells?

Rapscallions?

Grubs?

Hooligans?
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 11:45 PM

Post deleted by Carol Hill
Posted By: Christo

Re: Boatyball - 05/27/2019 11:47 PM

Post deleted by Carol Hill
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 12:02 AM

I’m sure Alec being young will have a very successful future, he has a very entrepreneurial spirit.
This venture he’s on is most probably going to be a success even though it goes against the ideology of most of us.
The object basically is to make collections secure which can be done with the old time system of FCFS where people pick their mooring and then pay for it online.
Posted By: JulieFL

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 01:15 AM

http://www.bvi.gov.vg/sites/default/files/resources/bvi_marine_turtles.pdf

This is a link to the turtle regulations in the BVI including the dates for open and closed hunting season and what types of turtles you can hunt.
Posted By: tradewinds

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 01:27 AM

So, please explain what your helpful link has to do with Boatyball.
Posted By: turning54final

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 01:28 AM

Originally Posted by Christo
Originally Posted by BoatyBall
BoatyBall helps boaters identify which moorings are in a maintenance program and insured. Most bays in the BVI have a mix of maintained moorings and un maintained moorings. The app helps the local businesses that have invested in this maintenance and insurance to differentiate themselves from other mooring ball owners who have not invested in maintenance.


So like Moorseacure have been doing for years?! So your business model is to actually reinvent the wheel?!

...it was turning just fine without you clowns.



Perhaps your issue should be with the mooring owner rather than Boatyball?

In my opinion, those who own the moorings should be able to do what they want with them, whether thats leaving them as the traditional FCFS moorings or having the option of using Boatyball.

Watching you guys have an aneurysm over this is quite entertaining.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 02:29 AM

Originally Posted by JulieFL
http://www.bvi.gov.vg/sites/default/files/resources/bvi_marine_turtles.pdf

This is a link to the turtle regulations in the BVI including the dates for open and closed hunting season and what types of turtles you can hunt.

I’m surprised that they took them off the endangered list
Posted By: YachtReprise

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 03:11 AM

OY! Another silly discussion! I just don't understand the FURY over Boatyball. There are X number of available moorings, some of which are at highly desirable locations (like Cooper Island - although I wouldn't go there if you put a gun to my head.). When the sun sets all of the mooring balls are taken....just like before BB's evil emergence on the scene. Exactly what is different? Some lucky people have the peace of mind knowing that they have a reserved ball...others are frustrated and angry that they don't.

It was the EXACT same way before BB. The usual a s s clowns were facing off for the last mooring ball, sometimes leading to physical alterations. And now the altercations are regarding reserved or not reserved balls. A distinction without a difference.

Boatyball doesn't determine how many balls are at any particular location. That's up to the mooring permit holder. And BB doesn't install or maintain the balls - that's done by Moor Seacure - and it seems that they do a good job. Just as before. And insurance!???!!! HAHAHAHA! Can you imagine filing such a claim in the BVI? Just as before.

So why the fury over Boatyball? I just don't know! A few extra bucks for the convenience of a guaranteed reservation? Ok. But I really think that the issue is the fact that the bareboat charter industry has had a tremendous recovery this season, and the number of available balls at desirable locations remains the same, or in the case of North Sound, greatly reduced.

The solution? Just chill. Change your itinerary. Don't obsess about going to the stupid rum bar at Cooper. Enjoy a star-filled night at Salt, if weather permits.

I remember the days when we were the only one anchored at the Bight, and bareboaters were a rarity. Yes, I'm that old. Things change. Adjust.
Posted By: RatmansWife

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 01:13 PM

There are many types of insurance, one being liability. Maybe property owners are reluctant to install moorings if their own assets are not protected.
Posted By: casailor53

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 02:27 PM

Personally, I long for the days before there were mooring balls at all. Knowing how to correctly anchor separates the real sailors from the credit card captains.
Posted By: Standrea

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 02:51 PM

Starting going to the BVI in 1986. Yes things have changed drastically since then, but when a good thing gets out, that's what happens...people will come. Look at White Bay after Kenny Chesney started singing about it. Now even look at Cow Wreck now that he's taking.pics up there....the place was a jam packed zoo when we were there in March. Boaty Ball is just another change to get used to. Good on them streamlining payment online for these so that the owners of these balls can be paid in an easy way directly to their bank account. I don't know how many times over the years I've seen people either not pay for their ball, or be chased.down in the morning by someone attempting to collect it as they are leaving the ball. Personally the extra 5 or 10 bucks over an FCFS is worth it during the busy times of the season. Let's face it, none if us are down there to save money, and the extra money is pretty much the cost of a painkiller. My guess is many of the posters against this have not even used it yet. It's a choice, and we had a great experience using them this past March. Leverick had a management boat there when we came in to verify our boat name. Don't understand why people have their grundies in a bundle over it. Boaty Ball is just managing the booking and payments for the actual owners, so they are supporting locals to manage their moorings. The anger over this is perplexing.
Posted By: NoelHall

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 03:22 PM

Make BVI Great Again? Where do I purchase my MBVIGA ball cap? (Just kidding)
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 03:23 PM

It’s turned getting a ball into a lottery. I like the collection method. Just keep all the balls FCFS. The collection method should reduce costs so they could even lower the cost. I have lost the ability to use the balls for lunch stops which is a huge downgrade for me. The good balls at Cooper were in use all day long as boats came and went. Now they sit empty because no one is allowed on them until the overnighting boat arrives. If you like to disconnect from the phone and internet you now are blocked from even trying to book a ball.
The last point that I will bet money is coming at some point is preferential bookings for specific charter companies. I have asked boatyball several times to state this will not happen and they have ignored and not answered the question. When you charter with TMM only to find Moorings boats booked all the balls before your booking window opened will you still think it’s a good system?
George
Posted By: Sunnykm

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 04:22 PM

Standrea, you might be on to something. Boatyball take note.

If the app were used only for payment, not reservations, this would answer a lot of the misgivings many here have about BB. The balls would still be FCFS but the payment options would be cash or pay on the app. This would ensure a bay manager still on site to pick up the cash or confirm the payment was made to the app. Could now stay multiple days on a ball as with FCFS, just the option now to pay by credit card thru the app.
Posted By: Standrea

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 04:35 PM

Hasn't getting an FCFS ball always been a lottery of sorts too? It's always been a race to the balls by 2:00, and then watching the other poor souls who came in late circle and figure out what the heck to do. If it's a temporary lunch stop ball you want, maybe this is something locals need to react to and provide a temporary ball or two designated just for that. In other words, you want to be able to use an FCFS ball free of charge for a few hours and then move on and you feel BB has reduced the number of balls available to squat on for free for a few hours? I personally loved having the luxury of taking a leisurely sail and making 2 or 3 snorkeling stops along the way knowing I had a BB to roll onto at the end of the day. Just my 2 cents.
Posted By: Breeze

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 04:56 PM

Where are these credit card transactions occurring ? We've been told for years that BVI merchants don't like their high credit card processing fees. Boaty Ball is taking the hit for transaction and processing fees, and taking their profit from each transaction, and yet the merchant is still needing an on-site person to manage their moorings.

What am I missing here ? How are mooring owners making more money from their BB moorings than the Moor Seacure FCFS moorings ?
Posted By: sail445

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 05:07 PM

Standrea, It’s not practical to provide a “Temporary ball” or two. Some days ten or so boats will tie up for lunch while you’re casuallly snorkeling.
Posted By: JasonHelmbrecht

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 05:53 PM

Since everyone is informally "voting" I will weigh in as a +1 in favor of boatyball. I don't charter as much as I used to but to me it's just like reserving a slip and that was something I did at least 1 night of most charters. I appreciated knowing that those nights were planned and I didn't need to rush around because my space was guaranteed.

As a BVI business owner, the payment aspect of boatyball is probably the most attractive feature to me. Dealing with cash and banking on Tortola is a major time consumer and I avoid it at all costs. I can't imagine how difficult it is on JVD, VG, or Anegada where there are no branches at all. That requires a full day of ferries, taxis, and line waiting at the bank.

Granted, I've only been chartering in the BVI for 20 years so I don't have as much experience as many people on this forum but this debate reminds me of the many other changes that people disliked and are now embracing; catamarans, mooring balls, cellular service, wifi, etc. Based on how many BBs are booked at 7:01am I'd say the popularity speaks for itself.

My suggestion for those who dislike the service (besides the obvious choice to not use it) is take your opinion to the owner of the ball. The owners make the decisions about whether to keep BB, whether to add more moorings, and what the pricing is. I suspect you won't like the response because they most likely see their mooring utilization is higher the non-BB moorings, their collections are easier, and there is no fear of a boater leaving without paying.

To each their own. Either use BB or don't but remember to have a great visit to our beautiful islands! I'm happy to buy the first drink for anyone in CGB as long we agree to not discuss politics, religion, or BB...

Cheers and respect,
Jason
Posted By: Kirk

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 06:54 PM

Originally Posted by JasonHelmbrecht


Based on how many BBs are booked at 7:01am I'd say the popularity speaks for itself.

.

Cheers and respect,
Jason



...or that people are just plain worried about getting a ball since the availability is now reduced at BB locations. Both seem possible to me.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 07:00 PM

It would also be better if boatyball spread their balls throughout a Mooring field. For the moment it seems they have taken over the choice balls.
Posted By: Standrea

Re: Boatyball - 05/28/2019 09:47 PM

If you look on BB's website they are already planning on launching the FCFS balls later this year with the ability to pay for them online once you're on a ball. The reservation only ones are all orange, and it says the FCFS ones will be white with orange so they are recognizable. Their website explains everything. Cooper Island Beach Club is one of their partners as well as Anegada Reef, Leverick Bay, and Rhymers, so those BB's already in place in the prime spots most likely belong to those establishments.
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Boatyball - 05/29/2019 12:53 AM

I too like "let me sail longer" Boat Ball reservations and I plan on using them for at least 1-2 nights on my trip in 8 days. But I also plan to anchor out several nights.

I have used BB on my last 2 trips and I did not get up earlier than normal. Once I lost in the lottery. Not perfect, but not evil.

Remembering when: Monohulls only, "Why have a generator?", " I don't need air conditioning", "Electric winches are for sissies"....
Posted By: bailau

Re: Boatyball - 05/29/2019 01:09 AM

I have no issues with the general concept (cashless system for ball owners) as it parallels what I face commuting in DC with parking (ParkMobile) and driving (EZPass) apps...the service model needs work and their continuously less than honest discourse on this board and elsewhere is what keeps this issue alive IMHO.
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