Facts And Questions about Seabbatical Long Term Charters
Below you will find some answers to common questions asked about Seabbatical Discount Bareboat Charters and how we offer such reasonable rates for our Bareboat Yacht Charters. You will also find hints on travel, packing, and provisioning for your bareboat charter vacation.
Where are you based?
We are primarily based at Manuel Reef Marina, Sea Cows Bay, which is just east of Nanny Cay. (Jpeg ) You can fly directly into Beef Island Airport (EIS), Tortola BVI, typically from either San Juan (SJU) or St. Martin (SXM). Both are approximately a 35-minute propeller ride, with the BVI in the middle. Or you can fly into St Thomas (STT) and take a ferry to Road Town or Soper’s Hole and take a cab from there, but make sure you can make the last ferry (or you'll need a hotel).
What are the cruising grounds I can enjoy?
For one week charters are just enough to explore the BVI. Our regular cruising grounds for a month are the BVI, USVI, and Spanish VI (Vieques, and Culibra). For longer than a month we will consider your plans for sailing outside of this area based on your sailing resume. Occasionally we have boats in other places. During the Christmas winds Dec and Jan or Hurricane season July to Nov we need the boats to stay in the BVI.
Where can I get complete specs on your boats?
You can get complete specs on the Our Fleet page here. link
How do I get price information?
Please go to our pricing page and enter the dates and times you are interested. link You will get pricing if the boat is available and you will be able to see the calendar for other dates that might interest you or see other boats that are open for the dates you have in mind. The calendar is updated and correct. When you find something interesting you can put it on hold and even book it on line. Please bear in mind when booking, that we need a minimum of 2 days either side of the charter to clean and service the boat. 3 days is preferred after a longer charter.
What is included the prices quoted on the website?
The prices quoted on the website are bareboat for the entire boat, not for a cabin. Our prices are so low that we actually get this question. The price includes a dinghy normally 10 – 12 ft RIB with a 10 – 15 HP Outboard, and two sets of fins per cabin but not snorkel or masks. We supply two complete sets of linens and towels for each cabin so you can send some out for laundry and still have another set to use. The galley is well stocked; in fact we ask guests to just replace anything that has outlived it useful design life and charge us. Our Dock Master, Robert Fredericks, looks forward to meeting you at the dock when you arrive to give you a boat and chart briefing.
A four week cruise with Seabbatical cost about the same as a two week charter with our competitors or a one week crewed yacht charter. All our Yachts have queen berths, just think of how many friends or family members can join you throughout your charter to help share the costs and multiply the fun on your bareboat yacht vacation. Website pricing is subject to confirmation.
What are the additional costs?
There is an additional damage waiver of $15-per-day (which gets added onto the website price) and a refundable security deposit of typically $3000 (possibly $5000 for the larger boats, detailed in the Charter Agreement) which is due 7-days in advance via credit card or money wire.
As of 2017 the BVI Cruising Tax is $6 per person per day . National Parks Permit: $25 per week up to 4 persons $55 for up to 10 persons. Airport Departure Tax: $20 per person.
Want to try sailing for the first time? The fee for a Captain is $200.00/day (plus meals, a cabin, and gratuity if satisfied).
Want to learn to sail while on vacation? We can arrange instruction for ASA certifications. Further discussion is required to determine costs.
Want to sharpen your skills? Maybe rusty on maneuvering under power? We'd be happy to get you setup with an experienced check-out skipper.
If you would like to spend a extra night due to flight requirements, we have a Sleep Aboard option for $200 (if available, 5pm check-in).
There are also plenty of additional fun toys to make your sailing even better. Its easy to rent whatever you're looking for from these local BVI companies: Island Surf & Sail www.bviwatertoys.com (Soper's Hole), Blue Water Divers www.bluewaterdiversbvi.com (Nanny Cay), or Last Stop Watersports (Port Purcell). Tell them you're chartering with Seabbatical Long Term Charters and ask about free delivery to your boat too!
How does your payment schedule work?
We take 50% down at the time of booking, and the final 50% two months prior to the charter. The security deposit is due 1 week prior to the charter on credit card or wire transfer. We can discuss the best option for you at time of booking.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations must be received by email. An email over 180-days in advance refunds payments less a $120 processing fee. An email between 180-days and 60-days refunds payments less 35%. Email notification less than 60-days prior does not qualify for a refund. However, if the yacht is re-booked and goes out on charter, Seabbatical will gladly refund 90% of what would have been the overlapping days.We advise that you take out proper cancellation insurance in the event that you must cancel. If we have to cancel due to a mechanical problem you will get a full refund.
What if something breaks?
Due to the long term nature of our charters we tell our customers to expect a day or two of down time in a month long trip, even though we do our best to keep our boats maintained to the highest level. Our business model enables bareboat captains to experience the cruiser's lifestyle (if only for a month or so), and while it is not your boat, you are expected to treat it as you would your own - and as part of that being willing to perform some light maintenace along the way, if needed. But always the first thing to do is to contact our Dock Manager, Robert Fredericks for guidance and support. Depending where you are, you may be expected to at least coordinate repairs. We will supply a list of our company contacts and others that have done work for us in different regions. It is possible that you may have to come back to Tortola or some other island if you are further down island. You will be reimbursed for lost sailing time due to a mechanical problem (detailed in the charter agreement) while in the BVI, and USVI but not if you are outside of that normal cruising area. If we have a major problem we hopefully can transfer you to one of our other boats that are open. We have only had to cancel one charter in 12 years due to a mechanical melt down.
What to bring with us
Being charter people ourselves we recommend bringing the basic necessities like a beach towel each, rose tinted sunglasses so you can see water depth and bottom contours and details best. We have a good supply of fins, but ask you to bring your own snorkel and mask. Bringing your own gear ensures you will be more comfortable while exploring the underwater wonders of the Caribbean. Fishing gear, most airlines will allow you to check a fishing pole if its in a short cardboard tube without charging extra fees and a fishing permit is required for fishing from your bareboat charter if you are within a countries territorial waters. Electronic devices, with Wifi free in most restaurants and bars Seabbatical charters would like very much if you post your experiences to our Facebook page during your charter and send us an email now and then telling us how things are going. The boats have a local phone, but an unlocked phone or tablet is great to have if you are leaving the BVI. First Aid supplies, our boats have well stocked first aid kits but you will want to bring your own as well and maybe you can leave some of the basics behind for the next charters. This makes sure that every charter has ample supplies of first aid supplies onboard.
Sun screen, if you have ever reacted to sunscreen it might be because there is a lot of chemicals that your skin doesn't really like in their ingredients. Try to get the most natural protection you can and if all else fails try Hawaiian Tropic. I personally have seen very few people react to Hawaiian Tropic over my many years of chartering and living in the Caribbean. Bring spf 4, 15 and 30 and even some Zinc for your noses, re-apply after swimming. Word of advice on sunscreen... do not apply sunscreen to your face when you are going snorkeling, it will burn your eyes for hours and hours. Your face is in the water and not exposed to the sun when your looking at the coral and fish. Apply it when you are finished swimming and back on board your charter yacht.
Local provisioning in the BVI, we like Tico for alcohol (best prices) and Bobby's Market for the basic's, Rite Way for a little more exotic food and Ample Hamper for the Speciality foods. But for convenience and location you cannot beat Manuel Reef Market. It is a mid-sized store including frozen meats (perfect start), beer, wine, and spirits. Best of all, it is closer to the dock than the taxi parking lot. Given them a try - tell them Seabbatical sent you!
Often guests will drop their luggage off at the boat and go for shopping and provisioning, then be back before noon for briefings. We ask that you let us know when you are "on island time" so we can expect you.
Alternatively, you can pre-provision your bareboat with the basics while at home via the links provided and have the order delivered right to your yacht for usually no extra fee. You can also re-provision while your on your bareboat charter using a local wifi access to the above links and have it delivered to West End Sopers Hole, while you are topping up your water, fuel and ice. These little measures will reduce your time doing stuff you need to do, so you have more time to do the stuff you want to do... Have fun and happy chartering with Seabbatical Long Term Charters.
What if I want to go to a different place?
Let us know where you would like to go cruising. One of the advantages Seabbatical Long Term Charters is time and the distances time allows you to travel and exploring places, which have no charter bases. Maybe we can include your dream destination in next years routing?
How do we join your fleet?
We are eager to add more yachts to our program and you can fill out a contact form on our Join Our Fleet page to learn more on how you can cover most of the costs of ownership by letting us look after your yacht. Give us a chance to show you how the numbers work out and why this program looks better than the others. This can be especially appealing to corporations that want to reward their best employees, and customers.