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Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

Chicago, IL
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Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

I am planning on staying around the Virgin islands for a week between Christmas and New Year and was wondering about the affordability of renting a boat with a captain for a few days at either St. Thomas or Tortola. I have so many questions and would be really grateful for any advice?

- How much (reasonable, non luxury boat ) is it approximately to rent a boat for a family of 4 shared or private option?

- Can I rent a boat in St. John or do I need to go to either Tortola or St. Thomas?

- Can I rent for just a couple of days or I have to go for a whole week?

- Any recommendation for an affordable agent or website is great appreciated.

St Thomas
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1. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

You might check with these folks for a start to get an idea of what's available and what the cost would be:

http://www.charterboat.vi/

North Pole, New York
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2. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

I would also suggest you e-mail Captain Rick of the Sophisticated Lady, a monohull out of the BVI. He's very popular for shorter length charters, we see his boat moored off all of the islands of the BVI as well as Caneel Bay St John. Give him a shout to check pricing and availability, he also has a live webcam on his sailboat. Can't beat a few days hopping the islands of the BVI and STJ!

http://www.windinmysails.com/

St. Thomas
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3. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

What kind of boat are you thinking about ?? A 25' open power boat? A 50' sailboat that sleeps 6? - A 40' sport fishing vessel? One you can travel on for the day, or spend a few days on? One that can easily meet you in STJ or Tortola every day or one that is on 24 hr. call? Going sightseeing, snorkeling, beach bars for the day is quite different than living and sleeping aboard.

So it really depends on what kind of use you have in mind , for a good recommendation ---- but it certainly is possible to rent a boat and Captain for a few days and the cost will be based on the boat and its intended usage.

Edited: 21 June 2013, 17:57
Chicago, IL
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4. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

What I was thinking about is to rent a boat for 2 or 3 days to hop from island to island to see beautiful beaches. I do not dive but like to snorkel. It would be so cool to wake up in a deserted beach somewhere and have it all for ourselves. I have no idea about how much it would be to stay on a boat for day for a family of 4.

If it is too expensive I was thinking about doing just day trips, but I am just overwhelmed with all the information out there. I don't know too much about boats so not sure about the types and size of boats for this type of trip.

My wife is sensitive to motion sickness and perhaps catamaran is a better choice if the seas are choppy around this time of the year?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Edited: 21 June 2013, 18:12
Chicago, IL
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5. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

Also some websites are stating that motor boats are better to tour the islands as opposed to sailing which perhaps is too slow?

North Pole, New York
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6. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

The cats will move under power for part of the trip and under full sail another part, depends on your location and direction.

You will be certainly overwhelmed with the options unless you nail down your destination and then do some research for that area like St Thomas/St John or Tortola.

Our choice for this type of experience would be in the BVI because of the excellent snorkel sites and beautiful islands. You can wake up in a different harbor each day then move on to a new area.

St John is also a popular place to moor and snorkel in the cays.

Motorboats like Breakaway and others offer a 1-day motor boat to the Baths on Virgin Gorda and a stop on Jost Van Dyke following a snorkel stop. But you're looking for a 3-day excursion where you stay on the boat so you want a charter that offers that like the Sophisticated lady or another outfit.

We would prefer a cat vs a monohull but both are nice. There are several sites you can google, many will require a minimum of 7 nights and you can toss those out and concentrate on the rest. If the BVI interests you I would also log into the BVI forum on TTOL and ask for help. Many operators and sailors use that site and can be very helpful with this question.

traveltalkonline.com

Otherwise check the sites mentioned above for STT and STJ, Yacht Nightwind and others are very popular but I don't know that they offer more than 1-day sails.

Good luck!

St. Thomas
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7. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

Getting a charter boat to stay on for a few days is certainly possible - I suggest using a charter broker who can explain your options, match your needs to a few vessels, arrange for your rendezvous location and make a solid booking that will satisfy your expectations.

A local company like http://www.stewartyachtcharters.com/ may offer an advantage over just picking a broker out of a magazine like Yachting, Sail or Cruising World where many brokers advertise. But all these companies do these kind of arrangements for a living all the time and are quite good at it.

Rockford, Michigan
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8. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

Go to Airbnb.com and enter St. John as your destination. Check out the 47' Bahia Catamaran. I have Ray booked for 4 nights in August with my family. He has been great to work with so far, very reasonably priced and very flexible. I have no idea what his minimums might be but I imagine he would be flexible. I can report back to you after my trip if you'd like.

Nassau, New...
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9. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

Think you should start out of Tortola & take a ferry over there from STT...

Send out emails for prices from all the companies you can find e.g. Moorings, Conch Charters, Sunsail... That will give you something to work with.

There are great pills (non-drowsy bonine, for one) to take for those who are prone to seasickness.

Don't rule out a monohull sailboat or motorboat - it affects different people differently, but the motion of a cat, especially at the dock, can be extremely unpleasant.

Happy Planning!

10. Re: Need advice renting a boat with a captain for a few days!

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