A bareboat catamaran charter is a private yacht for you and your guests. If qualified, you may sail the yacht yourself, or hire one of our captains to sail it for you.
No, food and beverage is ordered separately through a provisioning company or purchased directly at a grocery store on Tortola. One of the many advantages of a bareboat charter is you can pick and choose your itinerary, when and where to go onshore for meals and when to cook.
We typically enjoy most meals on Sea Tiger, sometimes going ashore for appetizers and drinks. We typically dine ashore 2-3 nights per week and perhaps a few lunches. On our trips, we generally prepare a menu of meals ahead of time with each couple suggestions. From this, we provision everything that is needed, bringing some specialty items from home such as spices and lightweight items such as Ziplock bags, coffee filters and coffee, etc. From our “Boat Kitty” we purchase provisions, including beer, wine and alcohol, as well as Ice and fuel. Also, overnight mooring balls are another cost to factor in (generally $30 per night). Perhaps out of the “boat kitty” we will rent a truck/SUV on Anegada or Virgin Gorda for the day to explore the island( +/- $100). For all of this, we generally budget about$50-60 per person per day. Of course, this does not include the meals and drinks consumed on land and these are generally similar to our US beach trip prices.
Generally all the entertainment is free as snorkeling, swimming, beaches and hikes, as well as sailing, fills our days aboard Sea Tiger.
Prime weeks, such as Christmas and New Years, are often reserved 9 -12 months in advance. If you have specific dates such as school breaks, it is best to reserve those dates far in advance.
To check availability, make reservations, or just need help and advice, contact us! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SeaTigerBVI for special discounts for those who have more flexibility.
Chartering Sea Tiger directly from the owner assures the best discounts and money-saving opportunities. Last minute deals are frequently available, and booking with the owner provides added flexibility while still enjoying the full service and amenities of the charter management company.
There are two flight options to consider. You may fly to Tortola (Beef Island, EIS) typically via San Juan, Puerto Rico, or you may find it more convenient to fly into St Thomas, USVI (STT) and take a short public or private ferry to Roadtown, Tortola. Upon arrival in Tortola, we will arrange for transportation to meet you at the Beef Island airport or at the Roadtown ferry terminal.
For an additional fee, we can arrange for an experienced captain to sail Sea Tiger for you.
Pack lightly, beach wear is acceptable almost everywhere in the BVI. Soft sided luggage is preferred and easier to store on the boat. When provisioning or packing, be sure to remember the following: shower gel/bar soap, paper towels, TP, coffee filters/ground coffee, spices (including salt and pepper), bug spray, sun screen, after burn lotion, beach towels, condiments, foil/ziplock bags/plastic wrap, and bin liners.
Kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and guitars are available for rental at the charter base. You may also wish to browse rental equipment and toys at bviwatertoys.com, offering free delivery and pickup to the charter base.
Keep in mind this is a bareboat charter, so no consumables will be onboard when you arrive. Whether you are looking for a simple supermarket or gourmet services, there are several options for provisioning. For food items, we recommend using Rite Way Food markets, and for alcohol/beverages, we recommend Caribbean Cellars. Both provide the option to order in advance with available delivery to the boat. For last minute items, there is also a small market adjacent to the marina.
Yes, you need a passport to gain access to the BVI.
We require your up-to-date sailing resume before approving you to bareboat skipper Sea Tiger. Feel free to submit your resume anytime for pre-approval. For resume approval, we will be looking for previous experience skippering similar-sized and type vessels. Boat ownership, prior charter experience, and marine certifications such as ASA and RYA are also taken into consideration. If you have not skippered a yacht similar to the one you are chartering, or have limited experience, we offer a Check-Out Skipper service. Our Check-Out Skipper will join you on Day 1 and stays on board until late afternoon, giving you extra practice and orientation on your yacht. There is an extra fee of $175.00 for this service.
Yes, a 50 % deposit is required within 7 days of confirmation of booking. The remaining expenses are due 45 days prior to charter start date.
The charterer may cancel a HOLD without penalty. Charterers may cancel a confirmed charter subject to the following:
$300 cancellation fee if 90 days or more before charter start date
50% of the charter fee if 45-90 days before charter start date
100% of the charter fee if under 45 days before charter start date
The US dollar is the official currency of the BVI. Mastercard and Visa are accepted by most retail establishments. American Express is not as widely accepted. Cash is needed for taxis, gratuities and some vendors, so we usually take an assortment of denominations. ATMs can be found on the islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda in a few locations.
TMM will be happy to provide a licensed boat captain should you need a skipper for Day 1 only (Check-Out Skipper) or a full-time skipper for the entire length of your charter. Please see TMM's website for more information if your question is not answered below.
The terms skipper and captain are used interchangeably and there is no difference in qualification.
Your skipper will be with you 24 hours a day, staying each night on board in one of the berths. Your charter skipper is a skilled professional hired to drive the boat, show you how to operate the equipment on board, provide information regarding destinations and anchorages, and ensure the safety of the yacht as well as his/her charter guests.
Your charter skipper is more than a tour guide or chauffeur. Most all charter captains are very people-oriented types and have a sixth sense about when to interact with your group and when to make himself scarce. There is little need to be concerned about having a stranger aboard. More often than not, we get glowing reports from charter guests saying that their captain made their sailing vacation a dream come true.
Once your charter is confirmed, and you have requested a skipper during the reservation process, we will contact freelance skippers from our private TMM list to check availability. If your charter is to have a check-out skipper only, then we will also book and confirm for you and let you know.
TMM maintains a list of skippers we know personally. Many of these skippers have been with TMM so long that they have become good friends! Thus we will be able to vouch for your skipper’s sailing expertise, reputation, experience, knowledge of the local waters, honesty, integrity, and service record with TMM. We think we have the best skippers in the BVI working for our clients and they, in turn, enjoy working on behalf of TMM for our clients.
No, sorry, it is necessary for TMM to schedule the captain for you. This process has worked well for many years and we receive excellent reviews on all our skippers. Last minute changes are rare but do happen from time-to-time; therefore, it is possible you could be assigned a different skipper. Again, we think we attract and retain the best skippers in the BVI!
Skippers’ fees are $175/day. A day is defined exactly the same as your charter day which is 24-hours, noon-to-noon. This does not include his or her meals, beverages, and optional gratuity. Skippers receive 100% of the fees paid by you.
A check-out skipper (COS) is a professional captain that boards with you on day 1, and is dropped off late afternoon the same day. A COS may be requested by you or may be required by TMM after review of your sailing resume.
The purpose of hiring a COS is to 1) practice and learn how to handle your particular yacht, and 2) prove your competence to continue on your own. You will take the helm from the moment you leave the dock and your COS will be near at hand, assisting you with the skills checklist, while heading to your first mooring or anchorage. Your COS will be knowledgeable about all things local in the BVI's which is another benefit of having one!
If you have not skippered a yacht similar in size and type to the one you are chartering, have limited or no prior charter experience, and/or have never been ocean sailing with overnight anchorages in similar conditions, you may be required to hire a COS. The fee for a check-out skipper is $175 plus transportation back to our base (or a destination agreed upon by you and your skipper), and optional gratuity.
Your check-out skipper will meet you at base on the morning of day 1. After your TMM briefings, your COS will board and sail with you for the afternoon -- from approximately 12:00pm to 4:30pm. There is a written checklist of skills to practice which you will complete and sign at the end of the day.
You may drop the COS anywhere you agree on Tortola or another nearby island, depending on your itinerary. Soper’s Hole and Trellis Bay are convenient drop off points. Or, if you want to overnight near Norman island or one of the southern islands, there are daily ferries from Peter Island and Cooper Island. We kindly request that you provide taxi fare and/or a ferry ticket for the skipper to return to TMM or home. The taxi fare or ferry ticket will be $5.00 - $15.00, depending on the drop point and the COS’s final destination.
Typically charterers will simply include their skipper when they buy, prepare, and serve meals on the boat. We encourage you to communicate with your skipper so both of you will have a general understanding of how you are going to manage mealtimes during your charter.
Many clients invite the skipper at least once to join them for a meal ashore. After that it is not an expectation. Skippers will fend quite well for themselves with the food already aboard.
Skippers work hard to provide the best possible service to their clients. If they have done a good job for you, they will appreciate a gratuity at the conclusion of the charter. A rule of thumb is $350-$500 for a one week charter. A one-day check-out skipper (cos) gratuity would be a percentage of the fee of $175. Twenty-five dollars tip for a cos would be a good rule of thumb. All gratuities are optional.
If you want your skipper to formally teach you or any crew members how to sail, or you wish to take an ASA class aboard for certification, then the skipper fee increases to $200/day. If you wish to become ASA “certified” in one of the ASA courses, you will need to obtain your ASA membership, ASA course materials, and ASA exam fees, which are all extra. Check out TMM's website under Booking Info> ASA courses for more information. Please note: ASA instructor/skippers are more difficult to book because there are just not that many ASA certified instructors in the BVIs . Therefore, book well in advance (6 – 12 months) if you wish to have an ASA skipper. If you simply want sailing instruction without any official certification at the conclusion of your charter, no extra fees are applicable (as outlined above for ASA certifications).
If you want to occasionally take the helm or assist with anchoring, mooring, docking, raising the sails, etc., that is absolutely fine with a regular skipper, in fact they appreciate the assistance and you will also develop some valuable skills during your sailing holiday. Just ask!
Skippers arrive at the TMM base mid-morning of your first day. You will be introduced in the office or out on the dock depending on where you are at the time of his or her arrival.
Skippers typically bunk in a single berth on the boat. Occasionally, there will be a charter with a double berth free for the captain. Skippers appreciate comfort and privacy, just like anyone. If it is possible to offer your skipper a double cabin, by all means do so, and he or she will be most grateful!
If you cancel a confirmed charter more than 90 days prior to your charter start date, you will incur a $300 cancellation fee; however, there will be no charge for cancelling the skipper. If you cancel your skipper close to your start date, some clients in the past have paid the skipper his fee or a portion thereof anyway. They understand the skipper may not have time to find other work to replace the lost wages. We appreciate your consideration of this matter should it occur.