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robertsnole
Link to this postPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: Note Charter Companies

Has anyone used Pro Valor (not Pro Valor Sailing) or Footloose in the last few years? Were the boats in reasonable shape? Did they fix any problems you had while off base to your satisfaction?

Thanks
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Guest
Link to this postPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:52 am    

We chartered with Footloose last June. About 2 weeks before the trip, we were upgraded to a Moorings 4300 Cat for some reason but that was fine with me. So I can't say anything about the Footloose boats as I was on a Moorings boat. But the Footloose service was ok. I found that the people there were friendly and helpful...if you could find someone. They work 8am-5pm and if you have an issue at the dock outside of this, you are in some trouble. We had an issue with the refrig on our boat and I did make a small complaint at the end of the charter and they hooked us up with a gift certificate for the restaurant.
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cvbreno
Link to this postPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:49 pm    

We will be chartering with Pro Valor Charters for 2 weeks starting 6/10. Cecilia has been very friendly and terrific to work with so far. I'll post a report when we get back!

- Chris
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teammac
Link to this postPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:51 pm    

Debra and I just got back from a 21 day trip again with Footloose. They have regained their form and are doing well. They did have some issues during and after the "merger" between Moorings, Sunsail and Footloose, but I believe they are back to where they were when Bentley was the manager. Mr. Thomas does a good job along with Jeneatte and Natalie at the Footloose base. I believe you are better off with a boat that has just been put into the Footloose fleet from the Moorings fleet as Footloose goes over the boats pretty well when they come into their fleet. We just booked another August trip on a Footloose 473. Pretty big boat for just two people but Debra does need her space......its a 24 day charter. One small tip that might help some of you charterers.....never ever make a complaint to the charter company, simply ask them for "help". "Can I get some help with my boat" seems to work much better than "you need to fix my boat" in the BVI.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:27 am    

Wow! 47-footer for just the two of you?

How was it handling the sails?

A few years back Barb and I chartered a Benny 41 from Sunsail at Oyster Pond, SXM, and she flat-out could not handle the sails - too big. With good timing she could get them close, and then I'd put the boat on autopilot for just a minute and finish cranking them in the rest of the way.

When we first started chartering in the BVI, back in the '80's, a 33 footer was all we needed for 10 days. Now a boat of that size seems incredibly cramped! laugh
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robertsnole
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 8:03 am    

I will be doing the wife thing as well. I have also reached the conclusion that bigger is better even when short handed. The 40 footer is just so much easier to handle in wind and swell than a 34 footer. We had a smaller boat that was reefed and depowered to the max in a reasonable 20 knots and swell and it was a pain. The 40 ft. boat is no problem in the same or much worse conditions we had in May.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 8:18 am    

robertsnole wrote:
I will be doing the wife thing as well. I have also reached the conclusion that bigger is better even when short handed. The 40 footer is just so much easier to handle in wind and swell than a 34 footer. We had a smaller boat that was reefed and depowered to the max in a reasonable 20 knots and swell and it was a pain. The 40 ft. boat is no problem in the same or much worse conditions we had in May.


That was our reasoning for getting the 41-footer in SXM. It handles the big Atlantic swells much better than a 35-footer.

In the calmer waters of the BVI, my dream charter-boat for two-people would be a one-cabin high-volume center-cockpit 36-footer with Gen/Air and oversized fuel/water tanks. RF main and Jib. A scaled-down Moorings 422CC with a forward cabin converted to storage would be close to what I'm thinking. We can easily handle a 36-footer, and could cruise the BVI for two weeks without 'wasting time' taking on fuel and water.
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robertsnole
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 8:41 am    

I saw a Sundeer once at Norman and think that is my dream cruiser. It is set up for shorthanded cruising, has redundant systems for almost everything, was constructed by TPI, and is fast as hell. Probably too big for BVI only.
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teammac
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:56 am    

Twanger wrote:
Wow! 47-footer for just the two of you?

How was it handling the sails?

A few years back Barb and I chartered a Benny 41 from Sunsail at Oyster Pond, SXM, and she flat-out could not handle the sails - too big. With good timing she could get them close, and then I'd put the boat on autopilot for just a minute and finish cranking them in the rest of the way.

When we first started chartering in the BVI, back in the '80's, a 33 footer was all we needed for 10 days. Now a boat of that size seems incredibly cramped! laugh


Actually we don't sail the 473 until August, but we normally get at least a 40 if not a 43 foot boat. I usually sail the thing by myself and only bother Debra if I need to jibe....tacking single handed is pretty easy. One thought.....if your wife can't get the jib sheet in before you come about, think about slowing down your turn to give her more time????? As for the larger sails, the larger boat should have larger winches / sheets to handle the load, therefore the same amount of strength to crank a winch should apply on all size charter boats. Remember, we are not racing the boat, so making a perfect quick tack or jibe is not really very important. Slow and smooth works really well for us. I feel the bigger boat is easier to sail, anchor and dock. Two people who can work together well ( remember we drag race pretty fast cars, just her and I ) is much better than some of the four or five man fire drills we have seen in the BVI. I had a really good sailing instructor who taught me how to tack, jibe, heave too, and dock a large boat by myself. Its really not very difficult if you think it through.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:14 am    

Maybe I'm tacking to fast, but don't want to be caught "in irons." We usually back the jib for two seconds as the bow goes through the eye of the wind and then pop it loose and haul away on the windward side (with a couple of wraps on the winch) until the wind fills it, and then bam - the load comes on and she might crank a couple of turns, but that's it. Sometimes after tacking I'll pinch up to allow her to grind a few more turns, but that gig takes well coordinated timing and still doesn't typically get the jib all the way in. I could single-hand it myself, but hesitate to cut her out of the action because she likes participating in sailing the boat. I'd swap places with her and let her handle the helm but she's not confident behind the helm in big seas.

We find ourselves chartering 41-43 foot boats when we are double-handing... something big enough for Gen/Air. I'm getting used to comfort in my 'old age,' and like to have AC at night. The novelty of 3am hatch drills has finally worn off. laugh
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saildoggie
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:51 am    

We have a Voyage 440 PP cat at the end of June for 10 days, looks like the couple joining us may bail out.

I discussed with the Wife last night, we can handle the boat just fine, electric winches are your friend!! Mr. Green
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:08 am    

Those cats handle like a dream around docks. Waaaaaay better than monohull.

I guess the charter company we usually use doesn't trust us quite enough to give us the keys to the electric winch. Very Happy

I'm sure there's a fuse or switch somewhere that turns it on, but they ain't tellin'! blush
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saildoggie
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:14 am    

Just a swiitch on the electrical panel!

Raising the main is a snap, here, push the button honey! love
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:26 am    

saildoggie wrote:
Just a swiitch on the electrical panel!

Raising the main is a snap, here, push the button honey! love


Maybe on the boats you charter. Very Happy
That was the first thing I tried. Then tried running the engine too (like you gotta do for a windlass).
The company I charter with installs a hidden switch somewhere. Plus they 'say' the boat does not have electric winches even though I point right at the button and say "WTF?"... the implication being that we'd better not use them!

I can understand why... it's really easy to break something if you don't know what you're doing... and they are worried about the least common denominator charterer. Jeeze, you'd think after chartering with them for 25 years they'd trust me!
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saildoggie
Link to this postPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:42 am    

Never more than 2 wraps on the drum on an electric winch, it will slip before you break something. I will add more if I am personally operating it, taking care to not oversheet and pull the clew off off the jib or over-hoist and rip the head of the main off, they are very powerful!

Voyage Charters does not disable the electric winches, they just make sure you understand the power you have there!
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