Choosing a Yacht Charter Company in the British Virgin Islands

One of the hardest things for new charterers to figure out is which yacht charter company to go with. There are many reputable charter companies in the British Virgin Islands, and choosing one can be challenging, especially when you can’t visit their office and see their boats in person.

First off, there is no single best company. Each has its pros and cons. Most of these companies have been in business for years and keeping customers happy is in their best interest. Google them, ask on forums, and find out their strengths and weaknesses.

No one can choose a charter company for you, but here are some factors to consider:

  1. Price: You will find that some companies are more expensive than others. Typically, you get more for that price, whether it’s a newer boat or a brand name. For example, Moorings is more expensive than Footloose Charters because Footloose’s boats are older Moorings boats, usually 5-8 years old instead of 0-5 years old. While many choose based on price, think about what you might be sacrificing for the cheapest option.
  2. Type of Boat: Ensure the type of boat you want (monohull or catamaran, size, and even make) is available. Boats of the same length can vary greatly in space and layout. Whenever I’m at a charter company, I take the time to visit as many boats as possible to check their layouts.
  3. Age of Equipment and Maintenance: Older boats are more likely to have issues, but that might be acceptable if you’re saving money. Charter companies should perform regular maintenance, but fast turnaround times can prevent significant repairs between charters. On our last Footloose charter, we called the chaser boat three times, which altered our itinerary but saved us thousands of dollars. We weren’t in a hurry, so it worked out fine.
  4. Availability: Popular boats go quickly. If you want a 38′ catamaran next week, you may find that only one charter company has one available.
  5. Location: All BVI charter companies are on Tortola, so location isn’t usually an issue. However, you might prefer being near the airport or Road Town. Chartering out of St. Thomas is also an option, offering proximity to a major airport without a ferry ride, but ensure your boat is licensed to sail to the BVI.
  6. Size of Company: Smaller companies might offer a more personal touch and a chance to meet the people responsible for your boat. Larger companies may provide quicker response times from the chaser boat and a better chance of having your desired boat available.
  7. Extra Charges: Most companies are transparent, but you might still pay extra for water toys, ice, coolers, and fuel. Check if you’ll need to pay for fuel upon return and where you can refill water tanks during your charter.
  8. Restrictions: Some companies prohibit visits to Anegada or have restrictions in White Bay. Verify your plans with your charter company to ensure they are allowed.
  9. Captain or Crew: If you don’t know how to sail or prefer not to cook, you might want to hire a captain or chef. Not all companies offer this option.
  10. Amenities: Some companies offer extras, like TMM Yacht Charter’s fleet, which comes with wireless internet.

Here are just some of the charter companies in the British Virgin Islands:

Have fun picking your charter company and your boat. Half the fun of a sailing vacation in the BVI is planning your trip and dreaming about it!

One comment

  1. I understand North South Charters sold the company to Shandy and I don’t know the name of the new company. Can you help me with their contact number or website?

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