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Catamaran Charters

Fontana, Wisconsin
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252 posts
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Catamaran Charters

I am looking for recommendations for reputable charter company for a trip out of St Thomas/Red Hook to BVI. There will be 3 couples and we are looking for a 3 day sail out of Red Hook on a newer Catamaran.

Olathe, Kansas
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1. Re: Catamaran Charters

I'm wondering if you wouldn't have a lot more choices for charter rentals if you took the ferry over to Tortola and rented a Cat there. Tortola has a huge amount of charter companies like Sunsail, The Moorings and many others. You might also save some time not having to go through customs while simultaneously paying for your charter.

Rockford, Michigan
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66 posts
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2. Re: Catamaran Charters

I highly recommend Risky Ray and his 48' catamaran. He's out of Coral Bay but will pick you up just about anywhere. He books through airbnb. PM me if you would like anymore specifics.

Fontana, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Catamaran Charters

Sure, please forward info, thanks so much!

Rockford, Michigan
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66 posts
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4. Re: Catamaran Charters

Just let me know what specifics you're looking for and I'll be happy to help.

Fontana, Wisconsin
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252 posts
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5. Re: Catamaran Charters

Looking for price/details of types of boats available from St. Thomas/Red Hook for 3 day sail to BVI for 3 adult couples. Departing approx Nov 10. Good size and fairly new catamaran desired. Food/Bev to be included in price. We are staying at Ritz in St. Thomas from Nov 1 til about Nov 15.

Rockford, Michigan
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6. Re: Catamaran Charters

He has all the details including pricing on his website, viwaterfundotcom as well as his listing on airbnb. His boat is very nice/comfortable but not new. My family of 6 fit very well and there was a surprising amount of privacy. I researched this for quite some time last spring before booking with Ray. Honestly, his price seemed too good to be true. I wasn't necessarily looking for a budget outfit but couldn't bring myself to spending $1-1.5k per day. Ray and his wife are no frills, salt of the earth people. They are very laid back. To me and my family, that is perfect. Don't ask Ray what time it is, he doesn't have a watch. If you are looking for a captain with pressed white pants who yucks it up and tells tales of the sea, it's not Ray. The food he prepares is not gourmet but very good. I have 4 kids, so he based his menus around that, to some extent. We woke each morning to the smell of fresh breads or rolls, meats, etc. and "Las Vegas coffee"; he makes a great omelet and he's better than average with his grill (he used to own a bbq restaurant in Texas); plenty of snacks throughout the day (shrimp cocktail, cheese & crackers, chips, fresh fruit); plenty of beer and rum (that's what we asked him for). We did have a couple of meals ashore, which was nice.

Here's a brief overview of what we did:

Day 1: He picked us up at the beach by the airport. We got settled in and made our way to Great St. James Island where we did some swimming, had dinner and cocktails and spent the night. No other boats in sight.

Day 2: Headed for Jost where he took care of customs for us. Went to Foxy's for a drink. Ray introduced us to Foxxy. That was cool. Went to White Bay where we had lunch and drinks at Soggy Dollar and played in the water for the afternoon with the kids. It was a bit crowded, although not nearly as crowded as it would be during peak season. This was probably our favorite beach we visited. Generally, we enjoy the solitude that many of the other beaches provide but the sand and water here are amazing. From there we made our way to Sandy Spit. We were the only ones there and this was awesome, too. Well worth the trip. Then we went to Waterlemon Bay where we moored for the night. There were only 2 other boats within sight.

Day 3: Sailed to The Caves and snorkeled for the better part of the morning. We really enjoyed this as well. Cruised over to Willy T's to watch some of the nonsense and swim some more. We did not like the scene there at all. Willy T's takes away from the beautiful landscape. Made our way toward The Indians but the water was too rough to stop and snorkel so we pushed onto Round Bay to swim some more. Next was Coral Bay where we ate dinner ashore and moored for the night. Lots of boats there.

Day 4: Cruised to Hurricane hole where we spent the morning kayaking and snorkeling . We saw some turtles and Ray went down and brought up some starfish for my kids to check out. From there we went to Salt Pond Bay for more snorkeling and swimming. This was the best snorkeling spot we experienced. Lots of rays and turtles and even a giant baracuda Ray nicknamed Fang. We spent the night at Kiddel Bay with no other boats.

Day 5: More snorkeling and swimming at Kiddel Bay. Then we sailed to Lonvango Cay for lunch and more snorkeling before he dropped us off at Red Hook at around 4 pm.

The 5 days went by way too fast. We have reserved with Ray again next April. He and his wife were great hosts and were very good with my kids, even though they don't normally sail with children. When we met Ray later in the week to square up with him (when our trip was over and I asked him how he wanted to square up, he just said "I'm sure I'll see you around"--seems crazy this day and age) it was like being reunited with family that you haven't seen in a while. Just very warm people.

This is probably more than you needed but I hope it helps just the same. Feel free to ask for other specifics if you'd like.

Rockford, Michigan
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66 posts
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7. Re: Catamaran Charters

I should also add, that when we sail with Ray next year, we plan on spending most of our time around Tortola. Ray suggested Culebra and/or Vieques which look beautiful but a littler further than we want to sail with only 4 or 5 days to work with.

St Thomas
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
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8. Re: Catamaran Charters

Great "trip report", Jim. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

St. Thomas
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9. Re: Catamaran Charters

Sounds like a fine sailing trip for sure! But from the itinerary you described it would seem you checked in at BVI Customs and Immigration and then went back and forth into the USVI [ Leinster]and BVI [ Norman] around the East end of STJ [Coral bay] and then to Red Hook STT -- it would be a glaring oversight on the part of a licensed Captain on a commercial vessel to fail to clear his vessel and passengers back into the USA at the Cruz Bay STJ Customs Office where everyone on the boat must appear in person - perhaps it was just a part of the vacation you forgot to mention.

Edited: 10 September 2013, 21:54
Rockford, Michigan
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66 posts
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10. Re: Catamaran Charters

We did in fact clear back in at Cruz Bay. I failed to mention that part.