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St. Thomas Boat Charter - Looking to rent a boat while you’re visiting St Thomas, but don’t know where to choose a boat rental, a boat charter, or a day sail? We break it all down for you so that you know exactly what you’re doing when you book your St. Thomas boat charter.
If you’re interested in a boat charter where you actually sleep on the boat, this is commonly called a “live aboard charter.” A live aboard charter will include a captain, crew and chef and can be for any length of time, but is usually a week or more. Depending on the size of the boat, the number of staterooms and the number of people in your party, you can charter a private live aboard or do a shared live aboard, where you rent one of the staterooms and the remaining staterooms are rented to other people. A live aboard charter is a fantastic way to see the Virgin Islands, and the service is usually very personalized because of the small number of passengers. In addition, you’ll have input into your stops and activities--if you charter the boat privately, you’ll have total control of the stops and destinations.
Another option is a “day sail charter”. With a day sail charter, the boat will typically take about 6 passengers in addition to the captain. When you charter a day boat in the Virgin Islands, you’re in control of where you go and what you see. Simply tell the captain the kind of experience you’d like to have and the captain can get you to the best places, quickly. The benefit of a captained day boat charter is the captain, who comes with knowledge of the area, boating and anchorage rules and laws and does all the work while you relax and enjoy. You can also rent a day boat by the hour or for a half-day, but to get the flavor of the islands, you really need a full day.
A “bareboat charter” is when you captain the boat yourself. You can save some money by going this route, but its not without its disadvantages. In this case, you are the captain and are totally responsible for the safety of everyone on board. Any damage to the boat is also your responsibility. This is a viable option if you have experience captaining a boat and are familiar with the area and boating safety rules. In the Virgin Islands, you can go from U.S. to British waters and back again in minutes, so its important to know the geography and how to clear customs.
Finally, you can book a group charter where you join a large group of people and visit some pre-determined locations. This is usually your most economical option, but due to the shear number of people that are on the group charter--usually upwards of 50 people--you won’t get to see a lot of places, and your time at the pre-determined locations is limited.
Whatever the best St Thomas boat charter is for you, enjoy the amazing beauty of the Virgin Islands!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grey Beard runs "Pirates Paradise Adventures," a powerboat charter company specializing in taking families and friends on fun and exciting day trips to the best beaches, beach bars and snorkeling sites of the USVI and BVI. www.PiratesParadiseAdventures.com.
Seeing the virgin islands by boat is the absolutely best way to see them, especially if you only have a short time! For more information, photos and videos about the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, go to www.PiratesParadiseAdventures.com.