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“Simple Boat and Captain for the Perfect Day!”
Review of Pocket Yachts

Pocket Yachts
Certificate of Excellence
Boring, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Simple Boat and Captain for the Perfect Day!”
Reviewed 20 November 2013

We Rented a 24 foot Key West style boat for the day to take us from Sapphire Beach to the BVI's. Tobie was our Captain, he was very knowledgeable and suggested we leave the island at 8:00 am which kept us ahead of the other private charter boats for the day. We went to Tortola to check in then over to Norman Island. Willie T, is a boat anchored in the bay at Norman Island that comes alive at noon when boats start tieing up to come aboard to enjoy lunch and drinks. This place looks like an evening aboard could be very entertaining and we wished we had a way to stay overnight. (Tobie did llet us know that he can arrange for evening tours if a group wanted to do just that). We then headed toward Jost Van Dyke stopping at Sandy Spit before our stop at White Sand Beach. Amazing beach with a lot of life. Had drinks at the soggy Dollar Bar then headed down the beach to One Love which Tobie reccomended for lunch(we regret not going with his suggestion). after enjoying a drink there we headed over to Foxy's Bar just one cove over, ate lunch there and visited with Foxy himself. I would highly reccomend this to any groups of 4 to 6 as it was an amazing day on the water!

Visited November 2013
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1 Thank 4ts125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level 6 Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations And More-A+++”
Reviewed 17 September 2013

Way overdue review of Pocket Yachts and Captain Tobie. We are two couples that were on St John and St Thomas for 22 days in June and July 2013. We are well travelled, especially in the Caribbean, and have enough experience to know what is good and what is bad.

Good is an understatement, excellent may not even be appropriate when trying to describe our satisfaction with the day we spent with Pocket Yachts and Tobie.

Like many others we have done the cattle boat excursions in and around the BVI's. We knew we wanted to go on our own and do what WE wanted. There are many operator's in the VI offering private powerboat charters and it can be quite overwelming when you try to sort though what each offers it terms of equipment, flexibility, and price.

We initially decided against trying to do a powerboat charter due to the expense. The prices quoeted by many of the operator's we contacted were well over $500 for the boat plus fuel, which could be between $200 and $300. We concluded that we were just going to take an excursion because of the cost.

Then we heard about Pocket Yachts. I researched online here on TA and other sources and I will be honest, there just wasn't alot of information out there. Many of the TA reviews were old and most of the forum threads on TA were pretty old as well. I looked at their website and the pricing and initially thought that it might not be a good option. I will be honest I was sceptical.

I went ahead and called and talked to Tobie. He gave me the rundown on the equipment, types of itineraries we could plan, costs etc. Again after the initial conversation with him, I was still a bit sceptical. My main concern was the boat. It was described as a 27' Key Largo, which is a center console type boat. The pic on the website made it look small compared to what I found with the other operator's. In my conversation with Tobie, he exlained that it was a single engine boat. So these two things are really what had me concerned, not very big, and a single engine. Our itinerary had us leaving Sapphire on St Thomas and going to the Indians/Caves/Norman Island in the BVI then all the way back across to Jost Van Dyke. Its a pretty long haul with most if it in the Sir Francis Drake Channel, which can get rough.

After alot of debate amongst ourselves we decided that we would go ahead and book with Pocket Yachts, his price couldn't be matched, and we knew fuel costs would be considerably less since it was a single engine craft.

We stayed at Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina, which was very convientent since that is where Pocket Yachts boats are located, infact the boat was only a few hundred feet from our condo. We had spoke with Tobie a couple days before to confirm everything and we agreed to meet him at the boat at 9:00am.

It was a nice sunny morning, which actually was a treat since we had a lot of gloomy rainy days over our three week stay in the VI. We met Tobie as planned a 9:00am and after a few paperwork items we were underway to Soppers Hole on Tortola to clear BVI immigration/customs. The seas were calm and the boat handled just fine and we made quick work of the crossing, probably in under 30 mins. Tobie went into clear imm/cust and we waited in the boat. A couple mins later he returned and we were on our way to the Indians for some long awaited snorkeling at what we've heard is some of the best snorkeling in the BVI.

So out of Soppers Hole into the Sir Francis Drake Channel we go. It was nice and smooth for the first 10mins or so, but as we got closer to Road Town, the channel got very very choppy. This was my main concern with this boat. How would it handle in the swells?

All that worry for nothing. Tobie is a very good captain. He knew how to handle the boat in the rough swells so good that we never even got wet. My SIL can be prone to seasickness. She felt fine the entire time. Soon we were through the rough chop and back into smoother water as we left the East end of St John and had the Indians in sight.

We arrive at the Indians to find all the moorings occupied. As luck would have it, one pass around the moorings and we found a boat leaving. Tobie helped get our gear together, gave us a really good briefing about what is where and the best direction to navigate around the Indians.

Into the water we go. AWESOME, is all I can say. The coral and marine life at the Indians was everything we hoped for. We were able to enjoy over an hour there, one of the main reasons we wanted to do a private charter. You just don't get enough time when on an excursion. After an awesome snorkel, we we back in the boat and headed off to the Caves at Norman Island which was only a short 5 mins ride away.

Again, all mooring occupied at the Caves, so this time Tobie brought us in close to the most easterly cave and dropped us off. He motored around til a boad departed a mooring. We spent at least another hour at the Caves. Again really nice coral and marine life. Venturing into the two larger caves was pretty cool and there were so many tiny fish in there it was hard to believe.
There were so many fish that they litterly surrounded you. We got some really cool pics.

Luch time! Since we were already on Norman Island, we motored around into The Bight and found the Willie T and promptly hopped onboard. Yes there were painkillers, yes there was food (really good Mahi Mahi sandwich BTW), and yes we jumped off the back. We spent about an hour or so here as well just enjoying the beautiful day that it was.

Now off to Sandy Cay....you know, it the little slice of paradise where they have filmed many Corona commercials. The girls just had to have their pic on the now famous stretch of sand. It lies between the west coast of Tortola and the East coast of Jost Van Dyke. Again it was a long haul across the Sir Francis Drake Channel. This time it was smoother as we were going downwind and the seas lied down abit. About half way we notice a squall closing in behind us. It was moving pretty quickly and consumed us just as we dropped anchor at Sandy Cay. It rained pretty hard and spoiled the idealic pics the girls sought, but none the less it was a real slice of heaven. We were the only ones there (due to the squall I'm sure). We didn't stay long. Took a couple pics and back on the boat for the short ride over to JVD.

We caught back up with the squall as we rounded the Eastern side of JVD. It rained all the way into White Bay. But soon it was gone and the water was smooth as glass. Tobie got us in close to the shore so we didn't have to make the famed soggy dollar swim (more like soggy credit card). The Dollar Bar was hopping as usual and we had the obligatory pain killers. In the past visits via excursions we never ventured away from the Soggy Dollar Bar mainly due to time constraints. This time we walked the entire length of White Bay stopping to visit each bar along the way. We were here the rest of the afternoon, probably a couple hours. We watched as all the excursions and many other private charters loaded up and left for the craziness that is Cruz Bay Customs. Tobie said, "I like to be the last one on the dock", apparently he meant fuel dock cause we bypassed Cruz Bay all together and headed straight for Red Hook. But not before we had most of White Bay to ourselves for quite awhile. We just sat there on our favorite beach sipping our painkillers enjoying what was the beginning of the end of a truely amazing day. Before long Tobie hailed us to climb aboard and we left Jost in our wake.

30 mins later we were in Red Hook at the Fuel Dock and it was 4:55, 5mins before the fuel dock closed. $190 later we had refuled and were off for the 2min ride back to Sapphire and our day was over.

All in all we were really happy we stuck with our decision to give Pocket Yachts a chance. I was very impressed with Tobie. He is a really nice guy and is very entertaining. He knows what he is doing and all of my worries over the whole boat thing were just a faint memory. Tobie really went out of his way to make sure we were doing what we envisioned. Anything we wanted to do we did, it was our day as he put it. The ironic part about it is that we saw many of the other charter operator's that we had made inquiries with throughout the day. Tobie kept us ahead of all of them all day long. Their twin engine boats didn't get them to any one location but maybe a minute or two ahead of us. When we fueld in Red Hook we were along side one of them that we saw pretty much everywhere we went and their fuel bill was over $300. Ya I'd say we made the right choice.

Till next time Tobie!

Mike in Tulsa

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank N737AA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tobie W, General Manager at Pocket Yachts, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Thank you so much for that great review. You guys were all great to have onboard. What a beautiful day. One i will not forget. I hope you all choose the virgin islands for your next trip.

Thanks again

Captain Tobie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Comfort, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great price-performance; excellent Captain Tobie”
Reviewed 31 August 2013

After comparison shopping I decided to charter a powerboat for the day with Pocket Yachts. I was very pleased with the conversations on the phone -- it just felt fair and customer-focused. Then it got even better when we showed up and met Captain Tobie Welch. Tobie was a great host -- friendly, interested, interesting, laid-back, helpful, flexible and adaptive.

Our family of four -- mom and dad with sons 21 and 16 -- wanted to find great snorkeling spots around St. Thomas and St. John and Tobie delivered. This day created memories.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank ChristopherAvery2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Youngstown, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“one of the best days of my life!”
Reviewed 30 August 2013

I can't even begin to describe what an incredible day I had! My mom, sister, boyfriend and I went out with Captain Tobie to St. John, Tortola, and Jost Van Dyke. We had some of the best snorkeling at Waterlemon, swam with three dolphins near Tortola, went to the most beautiful beaches, and had the time of our lives! We all agreed that it was one of the happiest, most beautiful and fun days ever! And we couldn't imagine it with anyone else than Tobie. He was great at pointing out interesting sights, making us feel welcome and comfortable, and showing us the beauty of the Virgin Islands! I wish I could live like this every day!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank blitzkriegbeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
342 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“What a blast!”
Reviewed 6 August 2013

Thanks to Captain Tobie for a wonderful day in the BVI - loved being able to map out when and where we wanted to go! A great, relaxing way to spend the day -- on a boat, seeing the various islands and beautiful blue waters -- will definitely look forward to this excursion on our next trip to the USVI!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Suzanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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