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BVI Check-in #317197
04/02/2024 04:05 PM
04/02/2024 04:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
RebeccaTN Offline OP
Traveler
RebeccaTN  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
Hi sailors. I am planning to visit BVI in June on a friend’s catamaran. It is not in charter. It is a personal boat that we are borrowing for a couple weeks. Does anyone know what we can expect when we check into BVI? We were there with the owners a couple months ago and check in at Spanish Town was very smooth, but the captain matched the name on the boat papers. That won’t be the case with us.

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Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317220
04/02/2024 07:41 PM
04/02/2024 07:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 680
Vail, CO/St. Thomas, USVI
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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caribbeangirl13  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 680
Vail, CO/St. Thomas, USVI
First of all I would check in at the closest custom's office to where you enter the waters. You want to make sure that you tell them it is a private boat so they don't charge you the charter prices. It might even be smart to have a notarized letter from the captain stating that you have permission to use his/her boat for pleasure and that is borrowed not chartered. It would probably be a whole lot easier if the captain just left it in the BVI for you to get to.


Sue
s/v Ripple
Leopard 40

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Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317236
04/03/2024 07:45 AM
04/03/2024 07:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 108
Hillsborough, NC
OceanSong Offline
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OceanSong  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 108
Hillsborough, NC
I have cleared in on JVD a couple of times in the last two months and it went smoothly each time. The last clear in was on a Monday and it was very busy, so it took several hours. Nonetheless, all the officials were courteous and helpful. There was nothing they could do about the volume of boats checking in that day.

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317237
04/03/2024 08:35 AM
04/03/2024 08:35 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
Was it mostly day tripper boats from the USVI or yacht traffic?

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: caribbeangirl13] #317238
04/03/2024 08:38 AM
04/03/2024 08:38 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
Originally Posted by caribbeangirl13
First of all I would check in at the closest custom's office to where you enter the waters. You want to make sure that you tell them it is a private boat so they don't charge you the charter prices. It might even be smart to have a notarized letter from the captain stating that you have permission to use his/her boat for pleasure and that is borrowed not chartered. It would probably be a whole lot easier if the captain just left it in the BVI for you to get to.


To second this don’t clear at Spanish Town if coming from the USVI. They might not like it. Also make sure the boat is presented for inspection should they choose. That means don’t anchor in CGB and cab to Sopers to clear. They really don’t like that!
G

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317277
04/03/2024 01:05 PM
04/03/2024 01:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
RebeccaTN Offline OP
Traveler
RebeccaTN  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
Good to know about check in locations... we will check in at Soper's Hole. I like the idea of the certified letter as well.

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317287
04/03/2024 03:09 PM
04/03/2024 03:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 108
Hillsborough, NC
OceanSong Offline
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OceanSong  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 108
Hillsborough, NC
Others’ opinions may differ but everyone I’ve talked to, fellow cruisers, local professional captains, have advised against checking in by private boat at Soper’s. I’ve consistently been advised to go to JVD. Numerous boats coming from the USVI check in at JVD everyday. They don’t care if you bypass Soper’s. The Monday that was so busy at JVD was a combination of cruisers but lots of day boats. It seemed like most captains had 8-10 passports in their hands. Most were coming from the USVI. Still, everyone was courteous. One of the professional charter boat captains who works out of the USVI told me she never checks in at Soper’s. She will clear out there but never clears in there.



Last edited by OceanSong; 04/03/2024 03:15 PM.
Re: BVI Check-in [Re: GeorgeC1] #317288
04/03/2024 03:13 PM
04/03/2024 03:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 108
Hillsborough, NC
OceanSong Offline
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OceanSong  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 108
Hillsborough, NC
Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
Was it mostly day tripper boats from the USVI or yacht traffic?


As mentioned above a combination but mostly day boats. The immigration officer allowed me to leave my passports and return a few hours later to pick them up. I actually spent about 2-1/2 hours in line, but it wasn’t bad because everyone seemed to be in a good mood.

Last edited by OceanSong; 04/03/2024 03:14 PM.
Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317292
04/03/2024 04:54 PM
04/03/2024 04:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
Thanks, I usually end up clearing in after lunch and have rarely had lines. I figured it was the day trippers in the morning.

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317295
04/03/2024 06:04 PM
04/03/2024 06:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
RebeccaTN Offline OP
Traveler
RebeccaTN  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
I was planning to check in at Soper's Hole and head to Norman, but perhaps we should check in at JVD and stay at Great Harbor or Garner Bay. I was trying to avoid JVD altogether because we will have 4 young adults with us and I'd rather not deal with them after a day at SDB smile.

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317296
04/03/2024 06:12 PM
04/03/2024 06:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
Traveler
GeorgeC1  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
The two check in points are 30 minutes apart at 7 knots. If it’s in the morning I might go to Sopers, afternoon I would use JVD.

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317298
04/03/2024 06:21 PM
04/03/2024 06:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
RebeccaTN Offline OP
Traveler
RebeccaTN  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
Thanks, we are pretty much open on timing. We're planning to stay at Maho or Francis the night before we check-in. Then the goal is to get up to Leverick the next day.

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317314
04/03/2024 10:20 PM
04/03/2024 10:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 65
Midwest
S
sunshine44 Offline
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sunshine44  Offline
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S
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 65
Midwest
Be sure to register and submit arrival notification in the BVI with SailClear before going into Customs and Immigration..

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317320
04/04/2024 09:25 AM
04/04/2024 09:25 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 943
Georgia & South Carolina
D
Deepcut Offline
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Deepcut  Offline
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D
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 943
Georgia & South Carolina
RebeccaTN,

I frequently do USVI to BVI in my boat and I would also encourage JVD... I have done them all and it is my preferred.

The boat may be held in the name of LLC . Either way, I would agree that a Notarized letter that states 1) you are authorized to sail boat, entering various islands in the Carribean 2) boat is for your own personal use (specifically "not for hire"). I would prefer the letter state "My friend , RebeccaTN", emphasizing that you are friends and not a business relation. .

Organize your paperwork(registration, insurance, etc) and present what is asked for.


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

Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317423
04/05/2024 02:43 PM
04/05/2024 02:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
RebeccaTN Offline OP
Traveler
RebeccaTN  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Tennessee
Thanks for all the advice. This is very helpful.

Another question... Our kids (19 and 21 yr old) and a couple of their friends will be joining us for about a week while we have the boat. I was planning to pick them up somewhere in USVI and bring them with us when we check in. Would the check-in be easier/smoother if we don't have them on the boat at the time of check-in and have them ferry over later?

Last edited by RebeccaTN; 04/05/2024 03:50 PM.
Re: BVI Check-in [Re: RebeccaTN] #317433
04/05/2024 04:39 PM
04/05/2024 04:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,561
Grenada
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,561
Grenada
If the same people clear out as clear in then there's no big difference. But if guests plan on returning via a ferry then it is a problem, as they have to go to the C&I office with the skipper with their ferry/plane tickets and be taken off the boat papers. If you clear in with x number of persons on board and clear out with x-3 people, C&I will demand proof of where those 3 people are. The captain is responsible for all crew, so if things go really badly then you will be denied permission to leave until you've furnished proof.


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