Sail Away – September 2007

New Digs for The Moorings in Tortola

The Moorings is building a new charter village at the southern end of its Tortola, BVI, base at Wickham’s Cay II Marina in Road Town. Construction began last summer on the $10 million-plus expansion, which includes such amenities as a customer reception and lounge area, boutiques, a restaurant and bar, a spa and bathhouse, a conference facility, a briefing area, and oceanfront hotel suites. In addition, new docks and the conversion of the existing jetty will provide space for 120 additional boats. Charterers will arrive at the Moorings Village via a landscaped area and a covered entrance.

“Environmentally, we’re working hard to be state of the art,” says Van Perry of The Moorings. “A new breakwater paralleling the waterfront, essentially creating a new harbor, will allow water to flow through and improve the natural seawater circulation in the harbor.” In addition, pumps will be installed to move filtered water from the harbor entrance to the inner harbor.

The company has committed to other environmentally friendly courses of action, including the use of biodegradable detergents for cleaning boats and for laundry, non-tin-based antifouling bottom paints on their charter fleet, and recycled paper products in cleaning packages. Even the showers are eco-friendly; water in the bathhouse will be solar-heated.

Construction was well under way when I spoke with Van in early July. The project is expected to be 90 percent complete by the end of this year, and charter vacations will continue undisturbed, he adds.

Sunsail Relocates to Road Town
In the meantime, Sunsail has moved its Tortola base from Hodges Creek Marina to Road Town in the innermost portion of the Wickham’s Cay II Marina. The marina is home to the Mariner Inn Hotel, a restaurant and bar, and includes a swimming pool. Plus, adds Sunsail’s Peter Cook, there’s the convenience of being within walking distance of Road Town.

Sunsail is concurrently expanding in another direction, with three new flotilla programs designed to appeal to North American sailors; all are appropriate for first-time charterers. A dedicated flotilla base in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, is scheduled to open in February 2008 with a fleet of brand-new Sunsail 372 sloops and Lagoon 380 catamarans. One-week flotillas with a Saturday start will be available both in the Bahamas and in the British Virgin Islands.

And if you’ve always wanted to charter in Greece (but perhaps your Greek is a little rusty), Sunsail’s third new flotilla program, in the Saronic Gulf (that’s the cruising ground closest to Athens), will start up in May of 2008. The flotillas will begin and end in the charming fishing village of Korfos, on the east coast of the Peleponnese peninsula. This isn’t the place to search for nightlife, Peter says, but it is a place where the real old-time Greece still exists. Amy Ullrich

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