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Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip #244353
01/06/2021 10:11 PM
01/06/2021 10:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 61
FrenchLaundry Offline OP
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FrenchLaundry  Offline OP
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Posts: 61
All,

Here are some lessons learned this trip. Overall we had a great trip. We did run into some issues around our charter that I would love people's feedback on. I am hesitant to put the charters name.

We chartered a Lagoon 2019 450F for 10 days 12/19-12-29. I will share the trip & positives first, challenges last, would love your feedback.

We took someone's advice on the forum and left ST Thomas for St Croix our first day. We spent two days in St. Croix, one anchored of Christensted and one at Green Cay Marina. The folks at Green Cay Marina are class act - showers were incredible. Great place. The sail down - we were seasick but recovered quickly. The sail back, we took one dramamine and 8 of us on board were fine on the way back.

We spent one night an Great Lamshur & one night at Salt Pond. Both great days with lots of fun and the hike of ramshead was fantastic (I think it was our 6th time)

The next day we swung in Coral Bay for provisions and LimeOut Taco Bar - just awesome. Highly recommend. Great experience and great tacos. We then headed to Waterlemon Cay for a couple of nights. We love that bay. Had a great time having fun in the sun.

We went to Lavango for an overnight mooring ball and a great meal. We felt the price for the a pool in the afternoon was steep. The evening meal was great. Staff was great to us.

We then spent two nights in Honeymoon. We had brunch at the restaurant Zozos - great food. Incredible service. Ran one of our folks back to Cruz Bay, we tagged a long for ice cream. All for free. Just great people running Zozos.

Checked back in..

So here are my questions / concerns

When we arrived at the boat, the motor cover was off the dinghy. I immediately said - I am very concerned about this and I want a working dinghy. They assured me that it will work before I leave. I think they tested it and it idled fine. Since we left for St Croix the next morning - the first time was at St Croix. The dingly motor was terrible - had to pull it 100 times to get us to the boat and tweak the choke just perfect to stay alive. It also had a physical hole in the bottom of the dinghy - the thing was 1/4 full of water each morning. We didn't get the motor fixed until 6 days into the trip because it was Christmas time when we got back to St John. They knew it was an issue and replaced the carb - then the motor worked great.

Item #2 - which many of you may have been aware of - we were not. We have rented 6 boats in the past. This boat was 220V 50Hz so you could not plug in anything into the boat except your computer. No 115V was on the boat. What was worse is you couldn't hook up to shore power, so we had to run the generator the entire time. This was crazy to us..

Item #3 - No freezer. 3rd freezer was supposed to be a freezer, but was a fridge. We brought down a lot of vacuumed sealed smoked meats and steaks, had to throw half of it.

Item #4 - When it rained, the boat literally had a waterfall coming through the sealing.. We have videos of it. Luckily I had my trusty 5 gallon pale that i purchased at home depot. Crazy..

The folks we rented the boat from were very kind BUT I feel like I was taken advantage of. They had no other dinghy. I got the bad dinghy and they knew they gave me a lemon when I left the dock. I paid ~$17k for 10 day CAT prime time and I feel like they should offer me a discount. They offered me 1 day credit to be used in the future - approx. $1700. I would love your thoughts on if people think this is fair. We don't want to be big complainers and it seems like every boat has some issues, but this was a little over the top.

I want everyone to be aware of 220V 50Hz boats and no shore power, not plugging in 115V appliances, hairdryers, etc.. I looked at our contract and it does say that it was 220V 50Hz, but has inverters for 115V. I am an electrical engineer by training so I get it. The way it was worded was it has 115V through inverters NOT adapters.

I would love to hear peoples thoughts.

I don't think we would do St. Croix trip again - it was fun to do it once. Loved St. John - everywhere. Thanks to all of you for all your advice. You made the trip better by all your wisdom over the years. If we would have had a freezer - it would have been incredible for meals. We vacuumed sealed meals - just heat water, drop in your meat, cut bag and it is done. I also brought my innova sous vide to make things when we were on the dock. Super handy. Spend time having fun and less time cooking.

Thanks everyone!

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Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244354
01/06/2021 10:48 PM
01/06/2021 10:48 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,150
JAX
jphart Offline
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jphart  Offline
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JAX
For a newer boat, a leaking roof is unacceptable. Same with inop freezer and dinghy problems.
Insufficient reply is reason enough to disclose charter company and boat name.
Do tell.

Re power issues, we’ve chartered in the Med three times, and knew in advance of 220v power and points requirements. My wife has 220v hair dryer and straightening devices and power plug adapters accordingly. You can buy on Amazon, too bad that you weren’t aware in advance. Some of the newer boats also have USB ports with built in transformers for iPhones, etc.

Last edited by jphart; 01/06/2021 11:08 PM.
Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244355
01/07/2021 01:07 AM
01/07/2021 01:07 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,225
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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USVI
Never been involved with a vessel that only had 220V here in US and Caribbean waters.
Been on plenty of boats over the years that only had 12V available!!

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244361
01/07/2021 08:35 AM
01/07/2021 08:35 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 578
BaardJ Offline
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BaardJ  Offline
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Very strange configuration for a North American-based charter boat. How do you not put a freezer in a brand new $800K+ boat of that size? Was this Dream Yacht? Sounds like they repositioned one of their European boats to the Caribbean for some reason.

Unless this was the first charter on this boat, a leak of that amount should have been identified and repaired before you arrived. Sounds like a hatch was not properly bedded.

I would much prefer some cash refund than a credit.


I'm a big fan of the sail to St Croix, but I never do this on the first day. Unless it's flat calm, I always wait a couple days and do some short sails to allow the crew to acclimate. Never had anyone get seasick, but have had a few crew that slept (passed out) thru most of the crossing.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244364
01/07/2021 09:06 AM
01/07/2021 09:06 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 25
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finnman Offline
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finnman  Offline
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Thanks for the excellent summary! I agree with the other comments that problems you encountered justify a partial refund rather than a future charter credit. Our group is planning to include St Croix as well (2/26 - 3/8) but hopefully without the seasickness. Can you share what the wind velocity and sea state was for your passage? We are planning to give everyone at least a day or two of shorter sails before sailing to St Croix and only if the conditions are favorable.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244368
01/07/2021 10:53 AM
01/07/2021 10:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 61
FrenchLaundry Offline OP
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FrenchLaundry  Offline OP
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Yes - It was a repositioned European boat. Yes - we learned that it was repositioned afterwards. Thanks for the advice on the refund vs. credit.

I completely concur on your statement - How do you not put a freezer in a brand new $800k CAT? Crazy..

We spent time on the leak, it was coming in under the ceiling as you walk down to the starboard side bedrooms. It may have been the windows but it was strange.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244370
01/07/2021 11:55 AM
01/07/2021 11:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 68
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cyclingdoc Offline
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cyclingdoc  Offline
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Originally Posted by FrenchLaundry
Yes - It was a repositioned European boat. Yes - we learned that it was repositioned afterwards. Thanks for the advice on the refund vs. credit.

I completely concur on your statement - How do you not put a freezer in a brand new $800k CAT? Crazy..

We spent time on the leak, it was coming in under the ceiling as you walk down to the starboard side bedrooms. It may have been the windows but it was strange.




I don’t mean any of this negatively. Just charter with CYOA. Boats are always in superb condition and working order. No euro boats or boats forced into charter. Never see any negative posts about boats from CYOA.

They probably ordered a freezer but the company put in a fridge. They always make mistakes. It would be up the commissioning company to fix it and they might not care.

Glad you had a fun trip otherwise.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244371
01/07/2021 11:59 AM
01/07/2021 11:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 61
FrenchLaundry Offline OP
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FrenchLaundry  Offline OP
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Posts: 61
Great feedback! Thank you!

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: finnman] #244373
01/07/2021 12:09 PM
01/07/2021 12:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 547
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Apex, NC
Originally Posted by finnman
Thanks for the excellent summary! I agree with the other comments that problems you encountered justify a partial refund rather than a future charter credit. Our group is planning to include St Croix as well (2/26 - 3/8) but hopefully without the seasickness. Can you share what the wind velocity and sea state was for your passage? We are planning to give everyone at least a day or two of shorter sails before sailing to St Croix and only if the conditions are favorable.



Not trying to answer for FrenchLaundry on this but just giving you our own experience with the STX crossing.

We've done that trip twice sailing our Beneteau 45 monohull. It's a beautiful sail under the right conditions. Our first attempt it was blowing 20 with seas of 4 to 6. That was too rough for my crew and we turned around and waited for the next day when it was blowing 15 and seas of 3 to 5. And that went well. No shame in turning around if you/crew doesn't like it. The worst part is actually the first few miles where it tends to be choppy. After you cross the south drop it tends to smooth out a bit.

I completely agree with Baard that it's not something you should attempt until the crew is in the groove a bit. In November we went down on the fourth day. I found out from one of the newbies afterwards that he thought there was a good 10% percent chance he was going to die (we hit squall blowing 30+ for a few minutes). So make sure the crew is doing well and make sure they understand that anyone can decide it's not fun and ok to turn around. You're there to have a good time and if you're not pull the plug.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244374
01/07/2021 12:13 PM
01/07/2021 12:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 290
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MIDiver Offline
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MIDiver  Offline
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Posts: 290
Thank you for the update FrenchLaundry.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: agrimsrud] #244378
01/07/2021 12:45 PM
01/07/2021 12:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 25
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finnman Offline
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finnman  Offline
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Much appreciation agrimsrud, French Laundry, BaardJ and others

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244395
01/07/2021 05:22 PM
01/07/2021 05:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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Originally Posted by FrenchLaundry
Great feedback! Thank you!

You should let us know the name of the charter company so someone else doesn’t have to go through the hassles you went through.
The charter company should reimburse you for the spoiled food and at least three days of chartering.
You paid them for a carefree vacation which you didn’t get.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244404
01/07/2021 06:43 PM
01/07/2021 06:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 19
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justwantanisland Offline
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Agree. I'm shopping for a charter for end of March currently so the more information the better. Thank you.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: justwantanisland] #244406
01/07/2021 07:17 PM
01/07/2021 07:17 PM
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Posts: 290
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MIDiver Offline
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I did some sleuthing. From what I found only Dream Yacht appears to have a 2019 450F with 220 (at the USVI base).

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: MIDiver] #244408
01/07/2021 07:45 PM
01/07/2021 07:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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Originally Posted by MIDiver
I did some sleuthing. From what I found only Dream Yacht appears to have a 2019 450F with 220 (at the USVI base).

Most probably but we can’t go by hearsay.
Only French Laundry knows 😁

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244425
01/07/2021 11:20 PM
01/07/2021 11:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,373
New Jersey, USA
DanS Offline
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DanS  Offline
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New Jersey, USA
Originally Posted by FrenchLaundry
I would love to hear peoples thoughts.

I tend to set my expectations based on the price we've paid. We did a couple of charters with the now-defunct North South. The boats were old and not well maintained. But the price was right and none of the problems prevented us from having a blast

I'd be ticked off if we paid a high-end price and got a boat with a lot of problems -- especially if they're the kinds of problems that the charter company must already have known about, and just chose not to fix.

Dan cheers

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: BaardJ] #244542
01/09/2021 05:01 PM
01/09/2021 05:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 727
Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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Georgia & South Carolina
Originally Posted by BaardJ

I'm a big fan of the sail to St Croix, but I never do this on the first day. Unless it's flat calm, I always wait a couple days and do some short sails to allow the crew to acclimate. .


This is important for crew comfort, whether going to St Croix or Anegada.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2021 Lagoon 46)
Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #244626
01/11/2021 02:32 PM
01/11/2021 02:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 632
Ft. Worth, TX
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Lcrich Offline
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We've chartered many DYC boats in the past. All with problems. To their credit they always accommodated us and fixed the boat quickly. Except for the last time. Which by the way, will be the last time with DYC They gave us a brand new boat that had so many problems. And after talking with the deck hands on our return, they were fully aware of the problems before we rented. Infuriating.
We will stick with TMM from now on. Boats always have something go wrong, maybe small, maybe big. But it's the way the charter company responds that will continue to bring us back.

Re: Feedback from 10 Day USVI Trip [Re: FrenchLaundry] #245658
01/24/2021 02:39 AM
01/24/2021 02:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 14
USA
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CaptainVlad Offline
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I just came back from the 12 days charter with DreamYC in Compass marina. Our 40 Bali cat, 2017 or 18... was recently transferred from one of the french islands, judging by labels and incompatible shore power, and the unfamiliarity of the briefing guy with the boat... I think somebody mentioned Martinique. But it had no problems and great full size fridge, just like in my kitchen. And watermaker, that you can't really sail USVI without.


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