How much fuel do the boats normally use in a week?
It varies quite a lot depending on a) Which boat you are chartering b) How much distance you cover and c) how much you run your generator, but on average our guests use around 190 gallons/week.
What if I have to cancel my trip?
Our Charter Contract states: – No portion of the charter fee paid herein is refundable unless the Charterer provides the Company at least ninety (90) days written notice, prior to the start date of the charter of their intention to cancel and further provided that during such ninety days period the company is able to rebook the Yacht for the same charter dates under such terms and conditions at least as favorable to the Company as those set forth herein. There will be a $300.00 cancellation fee in the event of a refund. In the event that the Company has to cancel any portion of the charter due to severe weather or warnings of severe weather, a credit for the unused portion of the total charter fee will be issued. This credit can be used against any future charter with the Company depending on Yacht availability. We strongly recommend our clients to take out their own trip cancellation, medical and personal effects cover. If you have any concerns at all about any part of this subject, give us a call, we are here to assist.
Who do I contact if I can’t find the answer to my question?
If we have not addressed your important question, then please contact us either by e-mail
How Much is Diesel, Gas and Water?
Currently – April 2016
Prices may vary throughout the islands. For further information speak to our Customer Service Assistant when you arrive for you charter.
What happens when I arrive back at the base?
The first thing that happens is the re-fueling of the yacht, then our Captain or one of our Dock Staff will come aboard and do a De-Briefing with you. This allows us to check over any problems you experienced and rectify them for the following charter. The fueling and de-briefing normally take about 1.5hrs, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to complete this process before having to catch flights! Don’t forget before you leave the dock to give the office your flight times should you need these reconfirmed and we shall gladly book a return taxi for you too.
Can I get internet access?
Virgin Motor Yachts is happy to offer free, unlimited wireless data to all our guests while on charter. You will be provide a wireless ‘MiFi’ device that all your guests can log into at one time. The wireless covers approx. 85% of the area of the BVI. Also, quite a few restaurants and bars offer free wifi connection. Contact our Customer Service Department for further information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I sail after dark?
No, we ask you to find a safe anchorage or mooring for the night before dusk.
Details in our charter contract para 5. Failure to do this (unless permission specifically given in writing) may void insurance cover and make you liable for damage or loss.
Do we have to clear customs with the yacht?
Only if you leave one country and enter another (i.e leaving the BVIs to enter the USVI’s). In such case, you need to clear both customs and immigration when you leave the first country, and enter customs and immigration upon arriving at the next. We will provide you with information about the area you are visiting during your chart briefing.
How can I be reached in an emergency?
All our Yachts have VHF radios and an out of hours number will be given on the day of your arrival. On the day of your charter you will be issued with a local cell phone, whereby all calls to our office and our emergency number are free of charge. Upon arrival we can place credit on these phones so you can use them for other calls. (Calls to the USA and Uk are 20c/25c per minute). You can of course bring along your own cell phone, but you may have to activate it to roam through your local cell phone provider. Calls can be very expensive this way (up to $4 per minute). Please feel free to pass on our office number 1 284 495 2526 as a means of contact to your folks back home. We will be more than happy to pass on messages.
Am I responsible for damage?
You are responsible for any damage or loss to the bareboat during the term of your charter. Your liability is to the amount of the insurance deductible on the yacht and will require a security deposit equal to this figure. We can also offer you additional insurance. This reduces your liability. Make sure that you understand the insurance offered and the liability you assume. Insurance does not cover damage caused by extreme negligence. Examples of extreme negligence include sailing into prohibited areas, sailing after dark, and operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Can I scuba dive?
Absolutely, you can carry scuba equipment aboard your bareboat. The British Virgin Islands has some of the very best diving in the world. Check with us so we can talk through with you exactly what you would like to do. We can make reservations for you with Blue Water Divers our preferred Dive Company who can arrange rental gear for you once they are happy with your dive certification card (don’t forget it!). Blue Water Divers are located right next door to Virgin Motor Yachts. Their website is www.bluewaterdiversbvi.com
What about extra “toys”
To rent paddle boards, surfboards, kayaks, water floats and other toys and have them delivered to your yacht prior to the charter, please contact Island Surf and Sail at www.bviwatertoys.com. They have an array of rentals for all the family to enjoy!
Planning A Charter
What Is Not Included In The Advertised Bareboat Charter Rate
There is no extra ‘tax’ on top of your gross charter fee – what you see on our website is what you pay. The extra charges to consider are
- Provisions, alcohol
- Cruising Permits (a levy imposed by the BVI Government on all charters, runs $0.75-$2 per person/per day, depending on the season)
- National Parks Fee (between $25-$45 per boat, per week, depending on how many people you have on board
- VISAR (Virgin Island Search and Rescue, a collection of $5 per person is collected and passed on to the search and rescue team of volunteers who NEVER SAY NO to an emergency rescue at sea
- Hull Damage Waiver Insurance
What’s included in the rental fee?
Your bareboat charter cost covers the Yacht only along with a dinghy and outboard. We make sure the Yacht is fully fueled, watered and ready to leave the dock. You buy your own provisions, ice, etc… and whatever else you want on board for your charter. When you return the Yacht at the end of your charter, it is refueled and watered, at the client’s expense.
How many days are there in a charter?
A charter week means 7 days from noon to noon, and you are welcome to charter for longer than this. Our charters run from 12 noon to 12 noon on the day of your arrival and departure. Sometimes a yacht’s calendar falls with a gap of less than 7 days/nights, we then are in a position of trying to fill this gap so we can offer down to a minimum of 5 nights as standard.
How Does Your Yacht Insurance Work?
There are 2 options for our yacht insurance. Option 2 is included with your charter cost, but your deductibles can be reduced if you choose to select option 1 and pay a daily fee (non-refundable).
Option 1: Your deductible is $1,000 for any damage to the yacht, and $3,000 for any damage/loss to the dinghy, under specified terms and conditions. There is a $3,000 credit card ‘hold’ placed on either a Visa or Mastercard. Option 1 requires an additional $50/day (non refundable).
Option 2: Your deductible is $3,000 for any damage to the yacht and $5,000 for any damage/loss to the dinghy, under specified terms and conditions. There is a $5,000 credit card ‘hold’ placed on either a Visa or Mastercard. Option 2 does not require any daily fees.
Insurance relates solely to the yacht/dinghy and does not cover cancellations of a charter, medical assistance or any personal effects.
Can I charter one-way?
This can be done by prior arrangement. Virgin Motor Yachts will arrange collection of the yacht. A Captain and Mate will be sent to collect the Yacht and return it on your behalf. The cost of the captain/mate and their travel expenses would be at your expense. Please contact us by phone if this is something you would like to consider.
What’s the difference between Bareboats and Crewed Yachts?
You skipper and run a bareboat by yourselves, or hire a captain if necessary. Bareboats are just that – bare. We make available a boat fully fueled, watered and ready to leave the dock. You buy your own provisions, ice, etc… and whatever else you want on board for your charter, while crewed yachts have a permanent crew and many items are included in the price.
How do I find out if I’m qualified to bareboat?
We want to see some experience, history of ownership or skippering in similar sized yachts or lots of experience in smaller yachts. You do not need any formal qualification, though this would help if you are relatively new to boating and sailing. If you don’t quite meet this requirement, we place one of our staff captains on board with you on the first day so that he can verify for us that you are able to safely and comfortably handle the boat. We are looking for a demonstrated ability to be able to handle and skipper the Yacht; this is as much for your benefit as ours! You and your group are looking for a relaxing charter and we too are looking for that as well as safeguarding the Yacht. If you are worried about this, don’t be! Give our office a call and one of our staff will be pleased to talk this through with you.
If I’m not qualified, what can I do?
If you are not qualified, or feel unable to skipper the Yacht yourself, we can place a training Captain on board until such time as both you and our Captain think that you are comfortable and able to take command. Alternatively, if you would rather “put your feet up” or have never sailed, we can arrange to have one of our own captains on board with you who, in agreement with you, will be able to take you to all of the best spots around the islands.
What is a Sleep aboard?
When requested (and if the Boats schedule allows), we are able to make a boat available for clients to board on the evening prior to their charter. The cost is 60% of the seasonal daily rate. This offers our clients reduced inconvenience of having to book into an hotel for one night prior to the charter start, having to check in, unpack, pack & check out in the morning, move to boat and unpack again. Sleep aboards commence from 5pm, but if the boat is available before this time then we will gladly allow guests to board. Should you arrive at the base after hours, your taxi driver will take you to our location, where a notice on the office door will indicate the name and location of your boat. Your boat will be ready for you to board with its air-conditioning and lights on. The following morning, we reserve the right to have our Staff board the boat to complete any outstanding work on the boat (this is fairly rare). There may well be no more work to do and the boat is fully prepped for sea, but we will still hold the boat on the dock until noon, unless special circumstances apply. Please note, and this is important, the charter start time as per signed charter contract is 12 noon. Before Noon, the Boat / Client is not under contract to us and this means that we are open to all sorts of problems not least insurance. Clients can be unaware that the start time is noon, which can sometimes lead to clients feeling frustrated because they wish to get on with their charter. We are subject to insurance and contractual issues so please bear with us.
How do I book a Yacht?
Firstly email, livechat or call our Reservations Department. email@example.com, + 284 495 2526, Toll Free 1 888 684 6486. We can immediately check availability and rates for you. An option of a 48 hour hold on the yachts is available giving you the chance to secure flights. Our Reservations Department will then email you a Booking Form which you need to complete and email or fax back to Virgin Traders. Deposit required is usually 25% or 50% of the charter fee, depending on the start date of your charter.
Should we bring the kids?
This is entirely up to you. Kids will have a fabulous time, as there is so much swimming and snorkeling available in warm water. There are also plenty of beaches and places for kids to explore and enjoy. Boats however can be dangerous places for younger children and wandering fingers, so you should think carefully before you bring them and make sure they know the meaning of the word NO. Our boats do not come equipped with Child Nets so this may be another consideration.
Are life jackets provided for adults and children?
Yes, we will always ensure there are enough life jackets to provide everybody on board your boat (plus a couple of extra’s). We do also have an array of children’s jackets however we would ask that you speak to our Customer Service Department before your charter to ensure the jackets we have in stock suit the requirements of your child. Most parents prefer to bring their own childrens’ jackets.
What about food and drinks?
To make your charter as stress free as possible and save you time, Virgin Motor Yachts would recommend ordering your provisions in advance of your charter and having these delivered directly to your yacht on the day of charter. We recommend Riteway Foods for your provision requirements as they have their entire inventory available online, with pictures of each item. You can either order individual items or packages whichever suits the needs of your group, Riteway even has sections online for ‘vegetarian,’ ‘organic,’ etc. They are also able to provide you beverages and your alcoholic spirits as well: http://www.rtwbvi.com/howto
What should I pack?
As little as possible is the way to go here. First-time charterers always pack far far far too much. In the British Virgin Islands you’ll be wearing bathing suits and tee shirts or other cover-ups 95% of the time and will NOT need a coat and tie! (Except for certain high-end restaurants and resorts, ask us) Bring some boat shoes, water shoes or old sneakers for exploring ashore, light cotton pajamas (wear for the first couple of days while snorkeling to avoid sunburn) If you like pack an extra flashlight, your own binoculars, a hand-held VHF and a hand-held GPS, if you have them as you will no doubt be familiar with your own gear.
What’s on board the Yacht?
Everything needed to cruise it, anchor it and in short, operate it. All of our Yachts have dinghies with outboard motors. The galley is fully equipped, hot and cold running water and refrigeration. Our boats also include towels, sheets and bedding, stereo, and air-conditioning in the cabins to help keep you comfortable. If you need additional linens or galley equipment ….ask us and we will do all we can to provide you with whatever you need.
Can I drink the water?
The desalinated town water on board the boat is safe to drink BUT it may not be as palatable as you are used to at home. There are many varieties of water available here on island from Highland Spring to Perrier to the many good local spring waters sold in Gallon Jugs in the Supermarkets. There are also water filling stations on some of the islands whereby you can refill your gallon containers – cost $1.00.
What if I arrive after 5pm?
Your taxi driver will bring you to the dock at Nanny Cay Marina. Located on the door of the Virgin Traders office you will find your yacht allocation. All yachts are located directly opposite our office on H Dock. Your Yacht will be ready for you with the air conditioning and lights on. A file will be located on the table of the salon which indicates what restaurants are available for the evening and other useful information. You can start enjoying the Caribbean atmosphere from here on in. The following morning you will need to pop into our office for some paperwork and then we will aim to get your briefings done as soon as possible, then off you go.
What happens when we arrive?
Your charter starts at 12 noon, and we will do our very best to make sure all chart and boat briefings are held as promptly as possible so you can leave the dock. Your nominated captain will be given a comprehensive chart briefing which will include moorings & anchorages, changes in buoyage, how to safely navigate from one place to the next, restaurants, beach bars, things happening and so on. You will also be given a very thorough boat briefing on all systems and daily maintenance. You will not leave the dock wondering where you are going or how you are going to do it. Previous clients will be given a refresher on all the above as things do change ….even in the Caribbean!
How far are you from the airport and ferry docks?
From the airport, we are an approximate 45 minute ride. We are also located more or less halfway between both ferry docks (West End and Road Town) which is around a 15 minute drive away.
How much does a taxi cost from the airport/ferry dock?
From the airport, the charge is $15 per person (minimum $36). From the ferry docks in Road Town it is $6 per person (minimum $16) and from the ferry dock in Soper’s Hole it is $10 per person (minimum $24) Taxi charges are subject to change without notice. If you advise us of your arrival details we can ensure a reputable taxi driver is ready to collect you.
Who pays for the Taxi and will we be met on arrival?
If you have provided us with your flight details prior to arrival, we will brief a reliable local Taxi driver to meet you and your party whether it be from airport, ferry or local resort. Sadly we cannot pay for this so it is a charterers expense.
Where are you located?
We are situated in Nanny Cay which is located on the south shore of Tortola about 3 miles west of the capital Road Town.
Do we need passports?
Absolutely, yes. A valid passport is the principal requirement for entry into the BVI. The U.S. government has announced that effective January 1, 2006, U.S. citizens visiting the Caribbean will be required to be in possession of a valid US passport to re-enter the United States. Visitors from some countries may also require a visa for entry. If in doubt contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office or call the BVI Government direct at Tel: 284-494-3471 ext 2538.