Bareboating 101: What Every New BVI Visitor Needs To Know

So you’re reading to take your first bareboating trip to the British Virgin Islands. Bareboating is when you take a vacation and live on a sailboat that you are operating for the duration of your trip without a hired crew.

It’s the adventurer’s dream, really, to bareboat in the warm, beautiful waters of the Caribbean for days on end, but there are some important things every visitor needs to remember before you reserve your BVI bareboat charter.

Scene in the British Virgin Islands, capturing the essence of this Caribbean paradise

You need to have some sailing experience

You cannot simply go to the BVI and sail a boat without any experience. The charter company will ask you for a sailing resume that gives them an idea of what boat you can handle. They may have a captain come on board with you for a few hours to ensure that you know what you are doing.

From there, it’s all line of sight sailing, which means that land will be in sight at all times. This is great because it makes it very difficult to get lost and helps you feel confident in your sailing abilities even in a new location.

Plan your itinerary before you go

While sailing is easy in the BVI, you still want to plan out your itinerary before you go so that you have a plan of action in mind each day of the trip. Otherwise, you might end up spending more time deciding where to go then you do enjoying the vacation!

Choose your charter carefully

Every charter is different, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a charter company that fits your needs. Consider the boats they have available, the resource they provide with your charter, and whether or not they will give you a longer instructional lesson about the boat if you need it.

A good charter will fit your specific personality and needs, so take the time to select your charter carefully.

Plan out your provisions & shop quickly

Before you arrive in the BVI, plan out what provisions you are going to bring (and even bring some things along with you if possible).

Then, you can shop quickly before checking in for your charter and getting out onto the water. If you aren’t prepared, you’ll have to make extra stops for more provisions, so planning in advance is essential for a seamless trip.

Keep a leisurely pace & enjoy it!

It can be tempting to pack your trip to be brimming with plans and adventures. While it’s great to see many places, it can also be exhausting to spend too much time sailing from place to place each day. Plan your trip at a leisurely place that gives you ample time at each destination.

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