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Changes in the BVI? #320963
06/10/2024 09:57 PM
06/10/2024 09:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,122
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline OP
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CottageGirl  Offline OP
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Posts: 1,122
Petoskey, MI
I don't mean to start a firestorm by this post, but we're starting to plan our next trip to the BVI for January 2025. This will be our 11th trip down to the islands and it's always been our favorite place. We bring new people every time and we love showing them the islands and introducing them to some of our favorite people.

We were there this past March on a charter trip and noticed that things were busier than we've ever seen so this next trip we're going to try to buck the weekly trend and start charter on a Tuesday.

However, it seems like social media has been full of posts about stolen dinghies, broken mooring balls, rude fellow charterers, and even a few armed robberies.

Is this a case of social media blowing up what's actually happening?

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Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320964
06/10/2024 10:20 PM
06/10/2024 10:20 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,617
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Online content
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RickinAtlanta  Online Content
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Posts: 3,617
Woodstock, GA
With the exception of the armed robberies the other stuff has been going on since our first trip in 2002.

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: RickinAtlanta] #320971
06/11/2024 08:13 AM
06/11/2024 08:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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Originally Posted by RickinAtlanta
With the exception of the armed robberies the other stuff has been going on since our first trip in 2002.


I have noted a change in the degree of civility out on the water that I attribute mostly to the large increase in powercats. That has also led to a reduction in qualifications for charters overall. If you can drive a 18’ Searay you can certainly run a 46’ powercat on the ocean, right?

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320973
06/11/2024 08:38 AM
06/11/2024 08:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 610
Jacksonville, FL, USA
onlymedication Offline
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onlymedication  Offline
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Jacksonville, FL, USA
My advice is to stay off social media.

In all honesty, yes, you nailed it, there is a lack of real knowledge by most who post on those social media groups and the medium tends to focus on and expand/amplify the worst.

Have things “changed”? Certainly. But not nearly as much as the impression you might get from social media.

JMO…

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: GeorgeC1] #320974
06/11/2024 08:39 AM
06/11/2024 08:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 610
Jacksonville, FL, USA
onlymedication Offline
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onlymedication  Offline
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Jacksonville, FL, USA
This is definitely fair.

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320975
06/11/2024 08:41 AM
06/11/2024 08:41 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,122
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline OP
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CottageGirl  Offline OP
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Petoskey, MI
Thanks - my real concern was with stolen dinghies and broken moorings. We've never experienced either. As usual, probably social media blowing up the few bad things that happen.

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320977
06/11/2024 08:53 AM
06/11/2024 08:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 610
Jacksonville, FL, USA
onlymedication Offline
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onlymedication  Offline
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Jacksonville, FL, USA
We were just there a month ago. Never felt the need to lock our dinghy and I don’t recall seeing any dinghies locked anywhere we went. I tended to make a mental note of checking other dinghies just in case as I wouldn’t want to be the only one left unlocked.

No issues with mooring balls, either. I swum on every one and all looked to be well maintained.

We did Norman, Diamond Cay JVD, Anegada (2 nights), NS (2 nights), Cooper. So no Trellis or Great Harbor or CGB. We didn’t necessarily avoid any of those, but if you stopped in any of those places or Sopers, you might think a little harder about locking your dinghy.

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320982
06/11/2024 09:58 AM
06/11/2024 09:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,694
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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Dinghy thefts are always worse when school is out, especially around Festival and Christmas. They also seem to be used in conjunction with illegal immigration, specifically to get to the USVI. My take is that moorings are better since BoatyBall, as those are maintained by Moor Seacure.

I agree with George that the increase in power cats probably has attracted some less seasoned boatsmen, but I would include the huge catamarans. The folks who charter monohulls are generally better sailors and boatsmen. Another culprit, IMO, is the "professional" captains, who seem to be largely motivated by tips.

Now if you really want to hear about change, talk to Ratman, who's been visiting the BVI since 1965!

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320983
06/11/2024 10:11 AM
06/11/2024 10:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 547
Bay Area
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Husker Offline
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I agree with all the posts. I've been vacationing in the BVI for the last 20 years and have never had any issues theft, dinghies or otherwise. Mooring balls are mostly in good shape. Easy enough to skip the damaged ones or find a good spot to anchor. As mentioned, social media tends to give a skewed impression.

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320985
06/11/2024 10:42 AM
06/11/2024 10:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,126
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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I have experienced two broken moorings. Both were over 10 years ago. One failure was a BEYC ball and the other a NPS day ball. Moor secure who handles the majority of overnight balls including boatyball does a good job. The BEYC maintains their own balls. Most damaged balls I have noted were run over by boats. That usually can be detected by a surface inspection. Be aware a ball with no pennant usually means a below water problem has been detected and the ball removed from service.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 06/11/2024 10:44 AM.
Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: GeorgeC1] #320986
06/11/2024 11:15 AM
06/11/2024 11:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 610
Jacksonville, FL, USA
onlymedication Offline
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onlymedication  Offline
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Jacksonville, FL, USA
I meant to mention that as well. Damaged moorings are more likely to be caused by people running them over than by lack of maintenance.

I would also agree to not trust the park's service moorings as you would an overnight ball. They clearly do not get as much attention and to be fair are not intended for the same purpose. I'm sure all are aware of the recent issue at the Baths with a park service ball, but the ball also should not have been used given the weather conditions at the time. Use good judgment and be aware of your surroundings and decision making and you will be fine.

ENJOY!! Change is the only constant and things are not the same as they were 10, 20 or 40 years ago, but the BVI are an incredible place with incredible people. You're going to have a great time!



As an aside, doesn't hurt to check your insurance/damage deposit policy with your charter company and confirm whether it covers the dinghy or not. Depending on that answer, you may wish to adjust your risk tolerance and decision making accordingly.

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #320991
06/11/2024 12:37 PM
06/11/2024 12:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 534
OU Sooner
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ggffrr11 Offline
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What's the MOORINGS insurance policy on stolen dinghy's?

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #321000
06/11/2024 01:48 PM
06/11/2024 01:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,178
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MIDiver Offline
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We always lock our dinghy - and we put it up on the davits every night. Our charter company also provides locks and cables and requests they are used. There was a definite uptake in dinghy thefts around JVD this year.

I agree that the increase in power cats and the trend toward 50’+ cats has also changed dynamics - along with a seemingly lax qualification screening process in several of the charter ops…….

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #321003
06/11/2024 06:48 PM
06/11/2024 06:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2022
Posts: 13
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Pyrat Pistol Offline
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Just got back from my 10th trip since 2002, and definitely seemed like it was busier than any june trip i’ve ever made.

However, it also struck me that while change is a constant anywhere, i think the BVI is more like it was 20 years ago than any other place i could name. Not dying off like some small towns, not exploding with growth like a lot of places. Largely just the same. We moor, eat, visit, and shop at the same places we always have (even if, like BEYC, they’re completely rebuilt) we did 20 years ago.

Boatyball was maybe the biggest operational difference in the whole trip, and even that had its positives (plus we only had to use it twice).

Re: Changes in the BVI? [Re: CottageGirl] #321059
06/12/2024 07:54 PM
06/12/2024 07:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 309
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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tmsxmsails  Offline
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Massachusetts USA
Just got back. Chartered with The Moorings and they advised us to lock the dink to the boat at night (monohull with no davit) and to any docks. I'd say the majority of dinks I saw were locked to the various dinghy docks and I locked most places except for short stays and places like Willy T where people are moving dinghies all the time to get in and out. The Moorings supplied a long cable that looped through the motor and then back to the dock/boat.


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