Skip to main content

Chartering in the British Virgin Islands

A busy day at White bay on Jost van Dyke, which has recovered well from Hurricane Irma.

A busy day at White bay on Jost van Dyke, which has recovered well from Hurricane Irma.

Not for nothing are the BVI known as the “nursery slopes” of sailing charters. There simply is no better place to ease yourself into a first-time sailing vacation; for that matter, such is the appeal of these islands that many charterers return year after year.

The islands abound with sheltered anchorages and mooring fields, the distances between them are short, navigation is line-of-sight and all hazards are clearly marked. Stores are well stocked with provisions, and in the two years since hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the islands, most of the resorts, restaurants and beach bars have reopened. Whether you want the party atmosphere of Foxy’s and the other beachfront restaurants on Jost van Dyke, upscale dining in Road Town or firing up the grill in a quiet anchorage, there literally is something here for everyone.

Three must-dos are the island of Anegada, the Baths on Virgin Gorda and the Bubbly Pool on Jost Van Dyke. Arrive at The Baths early as it gets crowded and then swim ashore to explore the caves and tunnels. Bring your reef shoes because the rocks and wooden ladders get slippery.

Hook up to a mooring in Anegada’s lagoon if you want a respite from the BVI party scene. Take a taxi to the windward side to snorkel or have a drink at Cow Wreck Beach. Then sail to Jost Van Dyke for a dip in the washing machine known as the Bubbly Pool and finish up with a Piña Colada at Foxy’s.

DON’T MISS:

Snorkeling at The Baths on Virgin Gorda

Watching the sunset from Cane Garden Bay

Diving on the wreck of the Rhone at Cooper Island

The full moon party at Trellis Bay

EXPERT TIPs

Avril Hypolite and Compton Wintz base manager, Navigare Yachting

“While the Baths is on everyone’s to-do list, if this isn’t your first visit to the BVI, we suggest you check out the small wrecks along the coastline of Anegada, an incredible snorkeling destination. Some of our favorite swim spots are Cow Wreck Beach and Hurricane Hole. And of course, let’s not forget Deadman’s Bay and the infamous Willy T Schooner anchored off Norman Island. If you find yourself near White Bay, be sure to visit the floating spa after a rigorous swim/snorkel.”

Ian Pederson, marketing manager, The Moorings

“Monkey Point is my favorite spot to snorkel in the BVI. It is the perfect place to stop on that long sail from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke, so I always stop, have lunch and go snorkeling. There is always an abundance of fish and turtles there. It is also a little bit lesser-known than other spots like the Caves or the Indians, so finding an available mooring ball is usually not too difficult.”

Mandi Atack, operations and maintenance manager, Conch Charters

“Anegada’s awesome anchorage has the most amazing atmosphere for all to see, above and below the water. Plan in advance, but always keep it flexible and use boatyball.com to enjoy a full day of sailing with the knowledge that there will be a mooring ball available at your destination when you arrive.”

Melody Delgado (owner) Virgin Islands Sailing

“On Virgin Gorda, we like to snorkel from Devil’s Bay along the rocks all the way to the main beach entrance of the Baths. The most exquisite, colorful fish live in the tunnels and crevices formed by these enormous boulders. Once we’re done exploring, it’s the perfect time to hike up the island for a delicious lunch at Top of the Baths Restaurant. Make sure to get there early! It’s a popular spot. And pack a waterproof bag with your water shoes, as the rocks get very hot during the day.”

Andrew Thompson, director of operations, Horizon Yacht Charters

“Key Cay off Peter Island’s southern shore is secluded, rugged and protected. Anchor over sand in 30ft of water. It’s a popular spot for Hawksbill turtles, and those seeking peace and tranquility. Be sure to match your itinerary to the weather conditions—don’t make a plan and stick to it come what may. Have a flexible itinerary, taking into consideration the weather, island happenings and the wishes of the whole crew.”

Barney Crook, managing director, TMM Yacht Charters

“Our family’s favorite anchorage is Anegada, hands down. The atmosphere is refreshing and the breezes are always blowing. The island is different from all of the others—the highest point is 28ft above sea level—the beaches are great for snorkeling and swimming and the choice in restaurants is superb. Try out Flash of Beauty for a delicious rum punch, Loblolly Bay for their infamous conch stew lunch and just about anywhere for the Anegada lobster, which is my favorite.”

BAREBOAT CHARTER COMPANIES

BVI Yacht Charters / Conch Charters / CYOA / Dream Yacht Charter / Footloose / Horizon Yacht Charters /Island Sailing/ Navigare Yachting / Sail Caribe / Sunsail / The Catamaran Company / The Moorings / TMM Yacht Charters / Virgin Island Sailing / Voyage Charters

Photos courtesy of Peter Nielsen, Map by Pip Hurn

October 2019

Related

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more

bermuda

How to Spectate on the Newport Bermuda

The biannual Newport Bermuda Race starts on Friday with the first warning signal at 1 pm. Whether you’re tracking a loved one’s progress or just spectating an event that draws pros and weekend warriors alike, there are plenty of ways to stay up to watch. The starting line will ...read more

03-Hyeres-220429_SOF2022_SAILINGENERGY_1933_3184-copy

US Sailing Strikes Gold in Hyères

After being skunked or nearly skunked at multiple Olympiads, could the US Sailing Team (USST) now under the direction of Olympic veteran Paul Cayard, be finally turning it around? If its performance at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyères, France, where the team posted ...read more

P1480042

New York City’s Newest Fleet

120 children enrolled in Brooklyn Boatworks’ STEM and life skills-focused program launched their hand-built optimist prams on June 14 from Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The launch is the culmination of years of student work, with boats in process before the pandemic caused the ...read more

AdobeStock_197518370

Charter: Off the Beaten Path

So, you like to charter in the Caribbean with its warm waters, swaying palm trees, steady trade winds and strong rum drinks. What’s not to love? It can be easy, though, to get stuck in a rut when chartering year after year in the same place. Sure, the British Virgin Islands are ...read more