Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

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fireman
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Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:36 am

Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by fireman » Wed May 22, 2019 3:06 pm

I would like to do a short (3 night) catamaran sailing charter in the USVI or the BVI with my family. This would be followed by a week long stay in a villa or condo. We have been to SJVI before and loved it so only looking for comments on the catamaran sailing part of the trip. I know I would love it and would prefer to go longer; however, seems the rest of the household is only willing to commit for a short trip.

Is such a short charter still worthwhile? Any suggestions on charter companies or individual boats? Any itinerary suggestions? All input welcome.
Last edited by fireman on Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by ResearchMed » Wed May 22, 2019 3:54 pm

fireman wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 3:06 pm
I would like to do a short (3 night) catamaran sailing charter in the USVI or the BVI. This would be followed by a week long stay in a villa or condo on St. Johns. The charter would be for my immediate family including spouse and 4 kids (tweens and teens), and we would need a captain. We have been to SJVI before and loved it so only looking for comments on the catamaran sailing part of the trip. I know I would love it and would prefer to go longer; however, seems the rest of the household is only willing to commit for a short trip.

Is such a short charter still worthwhile? Any suggestions on charter companies or individual boats? Any itinerary suggestions? All input welcome.
Check TripAdvisor for group or private tours on catamarans of the size/capacity/number of BR/BA/etc.
Then contact them directly and ask if they will do private overnight/multi-night charters with captain/crew as needed.

There are some in the St. Lucia/Barbados area that will do that in the "off season". In the main season, they apparently can make much more by having two half-day groups or full day groups with a hefty fee per person.

We would LOVE to do that!
Those large, modern catamarans are glorious!

RM
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Woodshark
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by Woodshark » Wed May 22, 2019 4:22 pm

I would recommend contacting Sunsail. (Sunsail.com) They are a large and well trusted charter service in the islands. Tell them what you are looking for and they can make recommendations on boats, itineraries, skippers, etc. Have fun!

bryanm
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by bryanm » Wed May 22, 2019 5:01 pm

Woodshark wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:22 pm
I would recommend contacting Sunsail. (Sunsail.com) They are a large and well trusted charter service in the islands. Tell them what you are looking for and they can make recommendations on boats, itineraries, skippers, etc. Have fun!
I did a 7-day bareboat (no skipper) charter out of the Bahamas with Moorings/Sunsail (basically the same company) on a 47 foot cat. It was amazing! Highly recommended. They do offer skipper services, but from what I see on their website, might not do a 3 day cruise (5 days looks to be the minimum on the site). That said, these companies often do special deals if you just call them.

Barefoot
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by Barefoot » Wed May 22, 2019 9:19 pm

We've rented a house on St John twice, and most recently went on an 8 day crewed sail charter sailing catamaran in the BVIs.

The Cat we had was set up with 4 cabins, each with it's own head. Having a Captain was obviously more expensive, but it was great to have local knowledge to take us to places we'd have never known about. The food was outstanding. We didn't have a particular itinerary, just picked what to do each day depending on weather and what we felt like doing.

I don't know how hard it is to get a 3 day trip, most seem to be set up for full week.

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TimeRunner
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by TimeRunner » Wed May 22, 2019 9:49 pm

Barefoot wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 9:19 pm
We've rented a house on St John twice, and most recently went on an 8 day crewed sail charter sailing catamaran in the BVIs.

The Cat we had was set up with 4 cabins, each with it's own head. Having a Captain was obviously more expensive, but it was great to have local knowledge to take us to places we'd have never known about. The food was outstanding. We didn't have a particular itinerary, just picked what to do each day depending on weather and what we felt like doing.

I don't know how hard it is to get a 3 day trip, most seem to be set up for full week.
What outfit did you use? Sounds like something to add to our list....
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WhyNotUs
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by WhyNotUs » Wed May 22, 2019 10:10 pm

The typical charter trip involves arriving on a day and spending that night on the boat in the marina. Similarly, one spends the last night on the boat at the marina. One might get to leave the day of arrival with short hop. For instance, motoring from St Thomas to St John for the night. A captain would probably be more reluctant to do that on the last night as the boat needs to be back in time to prep for the next charter unless you were willing to pay for an extra day.

If they are not busy you will likely find someone willing to do a shorter trip but if it is during a busy time, 7 days may be minimum.
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FoolStreet
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by FoolStreet » Wed May 22, 2019 10:20 pm

fireman wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 3:06 pm
I would like to do a short (3 night) catamaran sailing charter in the USVI or the BVI. This would be followed by a week long stay in a villa or condo on St. Johns. The charter would be for my immediate family including spouse and 4 kids (tweens and teens), and we would need a captain. We have been to SJVI before and loved it so only looking for comments on the catamaran sailing part of the trip. I know I would love it and would prefer to go longer; however, seems the rest of the household is only willing to commit for a short trip.

Is such a short charter still worthwhile? Any suggestions on charter companies or individual boats? Any itinerary suggestions? All input welcome.
We stayed at the villas on St. John and LOVED it! Elbow in the bush!

I would love love love to do what you propose someday. Please post back.

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aspirit
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by aspirit » Wed May 22, 2019 10:28 pm

I did it yrs back, my info is dated. Be weary of private providers. Documentation is crucial, as is reputation.
GOOD LUCK!
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TravelSeeker
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by TravelSeeker » Wed May 22, 2019 11:47 pm

My family and another couple and all of our kids (pre-teens and teens) chartered a 45 foot cat about 10 years ago for 3 nights in the BVI. The general concensus was that 3 nights was perfect considering the large group (8) and the lack of experience with such a trip. We tied in 4 nights in a villa on St Johns. It was one of the most memorable and enjoyable family trips that we have ever taken and we travel a lot.

I recall that I did have to contact multiple companies to find one that allowed just 3 nights. I think I used bviyachtcharers.com. (Tortola). We went the budget route and hired a captain (which I recommend), but no crew. We ordered our provisions online and they were delivered to the boat. We did all the cooking and fed our captain. We arranged for a kayak as well.

We moored the first night at Norman Island, the second night near the Bitter End area at Virgin Gorda and lastly Peter Island.

willyd123
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by willyd123 » Thu May 23, 2019 2:03 pm

Hello -

In terms of a boat, you might try The Moorings. You can select a boat as well as crewed or not, etc. We had a 7 day trip scheduled but we canceled due to the hurricanes.

In terms of your time on land, you may already have a place figured out but in the event you do not, we love staying at Grande Bay. It's in Cruz Bay close to the restaurants.

mw1739
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by mw1739 » Thu May 23, 2019 2:16 pm

We did it about 10 years ago in the BVI and had a fantastic time. Please post back who you use, because we're talking about doing a similar trip next year.

Barefoot
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by Barefoot » Thu May 23, 2019 8:38 pm

TimeRunner wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 9:49 pm
What outfit did you use? Sounds like something to add to our list....
sailazuria.com came highly recommended to us, and I'm happy to recommend them.

brajalle
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by brajalle » Sat May 25, 2019 12:51 am

I've seen mentioned all of the chartering companies we noticed while in the USVI and BVI. Itinerary - there's some great places heavily written about on the internet (St. John was a favorite of ours - some great popular beaches, liked the town, etc), so I'll try to stick to a few lesser-known recommendations from our visits along with one big avoid.

It's hard not to mention Foxxy's on Jost Van Dyke - seems sort of like a tradition to stop there one evening. We liked the bakery there down from customs and the bake stand at the dock too. I guess they're not must-go-to's, but Jost is sort of empty, so maybe they just stood out (the macaroons were good!). We didn't care for White Bay on Jost at all though, unless you're into that scene. Was noisy, crowded, smelled of gas fumes, and had a ton of boats from cruise ships/charters.

I'd suggest stopping at Leinster Bay on St. John - there's something like 19 moorings there (it's part of the USVI National Park btw), and it's untouched by development. We saw multiple sea turtles in March there. Decent snorkeling there (around Waterlemon Cay at least), and also some hiking to view some of the ruins. It's somewhat central to the entire area and wasn't full/crowded when we were there (also not empty by any means). We also liked Lameshur Bay on St. John (there's a small ruin on the left half of the bay), mostly because it wasn't busy at all and was a nice place to spend the night. The bay was pretty clear to me, but didn't try snorkeling and didn't see any turtles when we were there. Also is hiking (and even road access) around - picnic table and some grills on the beach if I recall. Would definitely recommend Leinster more heavily, but if you're on the other side of St. John you might keep it in mind.

I'm not sure you'll have enough time with just a 3 days charter, but you might consider another stop slightly out of the area - the Spanish Virgin Islands (ie part of Puerto Rico). Now, I'd make a good argument for spending an afternoon/evening walking around and eating in Old San Juan on Puerto Rico proper - that was pretty cool - but we really liked Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands. Neat little town on the island (including a ferry harbor and airport), a biolum bay if I recall, and one of the best beaches in the world. It's neat enough by itself, but the real jewel of Culebra is that Culebrita is right next door. Stopping on that island was the highlight of our trip. It's untouched by development. There are some boats that come over from Culebra with people (only 3-4 when we were there), but the only company once they return is just some fellow cruisers (only 3-5 when we were there). The island has a nice beach, nice snorkeling (turtles and rays for example - water was pretty clear), some hiking (there's sort of a lighthouse ruins), some wildlife (the goats come out at dusk! plenty of hermit crabs, etc), but also some really neat tidal pools. Unfortunately you have to clear customs to go from the USVI to Puerto Rico, but our time in Culebra/Culebrita was absolutely worth it. There's a whale guy (Paul - https://www.listeningtowhales.com/) in Culebra who will take you out in his boat to try to listen to humpbacks off Culebra too - has some underwater listening gear if you want to, plus there's a hostel there if you have college age kids who may be interested in spending a few nights away from the adults. Decent bar with a nice view - believe it's called the Dingy Dock - make sure to catch them feeding the fish off the dock and the birds - I think they may have set times. The bar, hostel, whale-meet-up, grocery are right by each other, and it's not a long walk to/from the ferry dock or the airport/customs. Those walks also take you past most of the shops and restaurants in town (moreso towards the ferry dock, but also towards the airport/customs).

Have a good trip - it's a really neat area. Beware that charters tend to get hit with higher customs fees than cruisers in the entire area.

Topic Author
fireman
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Re: Short (3 night) Catamaran Charter in USVI or BVI

Post by fireman » Tue May 28, 2019 9:36 am

Thank you everyone for the replies. I will keep y'all posted on what we ultimately choose and do.

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