British Virgin Islands ....by boat???

Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:36 AM
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British Virgin Islands ....by boat???

We are a family of five..kids in their 20's. want to do the BVI for xmas in 2011 or the week before. thought it would be cool to rent a boat complete with captain and cook and let them take us from island to island. any recommendations???
would really like some feedback on this!

thanks in advance
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 01:58 PM
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There are lots of sailboats you can charter. Do a goole search for "Crewed Yacht Charters, British Virgin Islands" and you'll find tons of information.

For starters check out the following - all are highly recommended:

www.sailingbluemoon.com

www.bviyachtcharters.com

www.yachtcatatonic.com

www.cyoacharters.com

www.sailbellavita.com

www.sailmustangsally.com

www.windinmysails.com

www.utopiasailing.com
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 04:22 AM
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Thanks for the recs; I have seen all these online, but was hoping for a reference from someone who has used and really like/disliked a particular company.
The search continues ....thanks again
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 04:57 AM
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If you haven't already done so, visit the BVI forum on www.traveltalkonline.com. Lots of sailing charter experts, including folks who have sailed some of those boats (as well as the owners).

What a great idea for a family trip! I have done many BVI sails, including a crewed trip, and it will forever change the way you look at vacationing. (But be sure that none of your gang is susceptible to seasickness, because that can definitely ruin things. And don't believe that a catamaran is the answer to that. Get the seasickness remedies lined up for those who are susceptible.)
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 06:07 AM
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sbdalton - if you are planning a "true" crewed charter you should know almost all of the boats are privately owed - there is no "company" with a fleet of boats you can choose (there's one exception - Moorings" which I'll discuss later). Crewed Charters are a great way to sail the islands. The boats are well equipped with plenty of "toys", the Captain take care of sailing the boat and the chef prepares all your meals. It's like being on a floating hotel only much smaller.

Rather, more often than not you charter the boat directly from the "owner/operator". In some cases the owner is a couple where one is the Captain and the other is the First Mate/Chef. In other cases the boat is privately owned but the owner has a full time "hired crew" that handles all the charters when the owner is not using the boat. Many boat owners are represented by yacht brokers who manage the charter bookings but that's where to "company" relationship stops. Often you can charter the same boat/crew through several different yacht brokers (think of this as a multiple listing service for boat charters). So it really doesn't matter too much yacht broker one uses as all they do is reserve the boat for the time period you desire. The actual sailing experience aboard a particular boat will be the same no matter which broker you use. Similarly, the yacht broker has no real control over the owner/operators they represent so it's possible a group charter boat A would have a completely different experience than a group chartering boat B through the same broker. Obviously there are some owner/operators who don't use a yacht broker and rely on advertising or the internet to get their bookings. One other thing to remember, is there can be a high turnover in crew, especially if you are chartering a boat with a "hired crew".

So, it's best, to research the "boat" rather than the yacht broker or management company. By the way, all of the "boats" I listed in my earlier response are sponsors on Traveltalkonline and are often recommended by the regular contributors on the BVI forum mentioned by Callaloo.

Lastly, I mentioned Moorings as an exception. They manage a very large fleet of privately owned boats that are usually used for "bareboat" rather than crewed charters. FYI - Bareboating is when a group of experience sailors charter just the boat and do all the sailing/cooking themselves.You can arrange for Moorings to supply you with a captain and/or cook (for an extra fee) but you would not get anywhere near the level of service and amenities you would on a regular "crewed charter". If you have no real sailing experience you'd be much better off doing a "crewed charter" rather than chartering through Moorings and hiring a captain.
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Old Mar 28th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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I have chartered 5 crewed yacht vacations; twice with the Moorings, twice with Voyage Yacht Charters, and once with an owner owned boat. The last two charters have been with Captain Ian Barber and First Mate Jody Boyd, we think they are awesome. They are presently crewing for Yes, Dear, a 58 foot Cat with 5 bedrooms. Love it so much I am planning our next trip right now. You'll love it too, it is a GREAT family vacation.
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