PLANNING FAQs


Can We Start Any Day of the Week?   

Almost, we are closed on Sunday so our staff can spend time with their families. Sunday sleep aboards may be available - please check with the reservation department. We do not start charters on Christmas Day.

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Do you have captains and chefs? How much will that cost?       

We can make arrangements for a skipper/sailing guide – we do not offer chefs. The cost of a full time skipper is currently $300 per calendar day, and is subject to change. All of our skipper choices are fully explained here. The fee will be invoiced to you as part of the cost of your charter. Please remember that sailing guides rely on gratuities for a substantial portion of their earnings. It is customary and very much appreciated to receive a gratuity of $50 - $100/day depending upon the service, size of the vessel and the number of people aboard.   

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Will my cell phone work in the BVI and USVI?   

  1. Yes. It will roam automatically in the USVI if it is a US or Canada based phone. Typically you must notify your cellular carrier before leaving the mainland to activate "international roaming" (remember to deactivate it after you return home.) Once you are physically in the BVI cell service area and receiving their signal, your phone will work normally.    

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What if there is an emergency at home? How can I be contacted?    

  1. Unfortunately, cellular telephones have driven the Marine Operators out of business. The only way to stay in contact is by bringing your cell phone. VHF radio is line of sight and will not work for contacting the CYOA office once you have left the local area. See the FAQ Will my cell phone work in the BVI and USVI for details.    

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Do we need passports for the BVI and USVI?      

  1. Yes - but.

    If you are visiting the USVI and not leaving the USVI, standard airline ID's are required. If you are visiting the BVI, every person on board MUST carry a valid passport as proof of citizenship. This includes minor children of any age who are US citizens. Minor children that are not accompanied by both parents have special rules so check with the State Department. You will be stopping at Customs and Immigration in both the BVI and USVI. Make sure all passports are signed and valid. No other ID's are accepted.

    This advice is tailored for Americans; if you are visiting from overseas, please check with the State Department for the most current information, including whether or not a VISA is required for the US or British Virgin Islands.  

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 What does it cost to clear into the BVI?   

This is one of those mysterious "Island Tings" that has a different answer every day. There are several fees that are collected by HM Customs – you will pay a vessel fee, a per person cruising tax, a per person exit tax, and a BVI National Parks permit fee.

Fees are based upon your statement to the authorities of what date you will be departing the BVI, how long your boat is and how many persons are on  board. Fees are subject to change, but you can look at our Other Charges Page and get an idea of what to expect. Fees are payable in CASH or Travelers  Checks ONLY.   

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Can I have a free “sleepaboard?"   

CYOA offers the convenience of sleeping aboard the night before your charter begins for a reduced fee, if you have purchased a charter of seven nights or longer. This is far less expensive than spending your first night in a hotel, and allows you to get started first thing the next morning. Call us to ask about the fee for your yacht.  

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What is included in my charter fee? Any extras?   

In addition to the normal stuff you expect that is listed below, you will enjoy a lot of personal attention – including a personalized, individual boat and chart briefing. Every client is asked to briefly sail the boat with a member of our staff so that you can satisfy yourself that everything is in good order before leaving the harbor.    

CYOA includes linens, towels, galley gear, snorkel gear, RIB tender with 15hp engine and a small kit of basic necessities on each boat. Check out our Equipment List and Provisioning List for details.

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What qualifications do I need to charter a boat?  

Please review our Bareboat Qualifications to see if you qualify.

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How much fuel will I use?   

Hard to say but here are some guidelines.    

Sailboats will burn about a half gallon of fuel per hour, per engine; don't forget the second engine if you are chartering a cat. For most sailboats you will probably run the engines for about 6 hours per day (12 in total for a cat) for propulsion and battery charging.

If your boat has a generator, you will need to add about three quarters of a gallon, per generator hour, to your total. Most boats with generators return with about 60 hours on the generator – more if you run the generator all day and all night to enjoy the air conditioning.     

Power boats will burn up to 6 gallons an hour per engine plus generator usage.

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What if I want to cruise to Anegada, the Spanish Virgin Islands or St. Croix? Do I qualify?  

Ask us about this when you call to reserve a boat, as only certain boats are allowed to go to the SVI & St. Croix, and review our Bareboat Qualifications. If you’re experienced in navigating and cruising, it is likely that you will qualify. If not, you can still explore these exciting cruising grounds by hiring a skipper through CYOA.”.

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Do you offer one-way charters?  

CYOA does not offer one-way charters.

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Are we allowed to bring food into the USVI?   

Yes; pack your food in a cooler, bring a roll of duct tape with you to the airport, give it to the TSA people and ask them to tape your cooler closed after it has been inspected. There are no restrictions on foods or vegetables being brought into the USVI from the US mainland.

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Can we get a fishing license through you for the BVI?

We can't obtain the license for you, but you can contact Island Surf & Sail in the BVI at www.bviwatertoys.com. The cost of a BVI fishing license is $45.

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What kind of coffee pot does the boat have?

Our boats have stove top percolator-style coffee pots.

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How far away are you from the airport? Do you have a shuttle service?

This is so cool — we are less than 15 minutes away by taxi! We don't have a shuttle service, but taxis are plentiful at the airport and cost about $8 - $10 per person. Just tell the driver to take you to CYOA Yacht Charters next to the Hook, Line & Sinker restaurant in Frenchtown. We're right beside them along the waterfront.

Be sure all members of your crew know they are sailing with CYOA, just in case there are travel delays or events that cause your group to be separated.  

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Can you help us with airline reservations?    

If you, or a member of your crew, are in need of air travel assistance, call Caribbean Travel Net at 800-825-9648. Give them our Ref. #2300 for great charter discounts.  

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What if we want to rent a car on St. Thomas?

If you would like to take a day to tour St. Thomas by land, there are many car rental companies from which to choose. CYOA suggests you reserve with AVIS because AVIS offers the most convenient drop off location, just a few hundred feet from your yacht. Rental car companies on St. Thomas typically do not have cars for walk-up clients, so be prepared by reserving ahead on the Internet. Renters must be 25 years of age.  

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What kind of money do they use in the islands?

The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Many spots you may visit have become more sophisticated over the years and now take credit cards, but many smaller establishments still use old-fashioned money. Please be prepared.

St. Thomas and Tortola have several banks with ATM machines.  While you will find some access to money machines, and there is an American Express office on St. Thomas, it is best to plan ahead and bring money with you!  

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What do I need to bring with me?

Good question. Check out our CYOA Packing List for details!

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