Yacht Charter British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands may be the best place to sail in the world. There's no better place to get your feet wet with easy navigation, crystal clear waters, dozens of harbors to visit, and hundreds of boats in every configuration. 

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    Temperature

    The hottest months in the BVI are July and August, with average temperatures of 28°C - but October often feels hotter, as the winds are less and humidity higher after the hurricane season. Peak season temperatures average 25.5°C

    Average Winds

    Trade winds bless the BVI almost year-round. From November to January, the wind is a steady NE 15-20 knots, strengthening around Christmas to 25 knots. By mid/late February, the winds veer to SE and soften to 10-15 knots.

    Currency

    The British Virgin Islands use the US Dollar as their official currency, and have done so since 1959. Most credit/debit cards are accepted, except for Amex, and you should always cary some cash for moorings or bars

    When To Go

    The BVI is blessed with a subtropical climate. Outside hurricane season (August to October), the weather is warm and rainfall is low. Peak season is December to March - we suggest going in April or May, for fewer crowds and excellent conditions

Best Towns to Charter in the BVI

These are Borrow a Boat's pick of the top charter towns across the British Virgin Islands, from Road Town to Nanny Cay. Select from sailing yachts, catamarans or motor yachts and enjoy sensational sailing conditions, wonderful weather and buzzing beach bars.

Types of boat to rent

Lush BVI Caribbean

Best BVI Sailing Areas

Tortola is the main chartering center in the BVIs. Chartering in the British Virgin Island group isn't about lengthy sailing trips, you're already in the destination. The sailing is fantastic, with reliable breezes and clean water, but the distances are not long.

In a week you can visit most of the top spots and pick a route that suits your preferences. Besides the main population centers on Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, there are dozens of smaller islands and cays to visit on your BVI yacht charter.

anchorage on Tortola BVI

Tortola

Tortola is the largest population center in the islands, and where most BVI yacht charters start. In Road Town you'll find Wickham's Cay 1 and Wickham's Cay 2 , popular marinas to start a yacht charter.

A couple of kilometers outside town you'll find the Nanny Cay and Sea Cow Bay charter yacht bases and marinas. If you're leaving from any of these places, provisioning is best in Road Town if you haven't contracted with the charter operator to have the boat stocked.

East End Bay is another popular yacht charter base, with Hodge's Creek Marina for taking on fuel and water, and shopping and provisions nearby.

At the other end of the island, you'll find Soper's Hole in West End, a popular site for visiting yachts with waterfront shops, bars, and moorings. On the north side of the island, you can visit Cane Garden Bay with beachfront bars and restaurants right off the white sand.

Tropical beach and sea. White bay beach, Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Jost Van Dyke

Three miles from Tortola, Jost Van Dyke is another favorite destination. On the south side of the island, you can drop an anchor for the day in White Bay and head into the sparkling white sandy beach with beach bars like the Soggy Dollar and Ivan's Stress-Free Bar. Just to the east it White Bay, Great Harbour is home a variety of beach bars and eating places, including the world famous Foxy's - the place to be on New Year's Eve.

To the east, you can spend a night end in Garner Bay and head ashore for dinner. Or keep going to Diamond Cay on the east end of the island. It's a quieter place to moor, snorkel, and swim, with a restaurant on shore near the beach. A short walk takes you to the Bubbly Pool, a small bit of natural beauty and a fun spot to spend the high tide.

Turquoise waters off Baths, virgin Gorda BVI

Virgin Gorda

The third largest of the British Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda has some of the best-known sights in the islands and lots of space to moor and anchor in North Sound. Around the sound are several resorts and restaurants to visit, though as of this writing not all of them have re-opened since the recent hurricane damage to the area. There are plenty of spots to snorkel and swim in North Sound, and more white sandy beaches.

At the south end of the island, The Baths are maybe the best-known sight in the BVIs. Temporary day moorings for charter yachts and dinghies are available, but you cannot spend the night.

Sail around from North Sound or take a taxi through Spanish Town to see the rock formations and snorkel in the rock formations.

In Spanish Town you'll find restaurants and shops along the waterfront. You can stay on moorings off town or in the marina, the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour.

Flamingoes in Anegada (2)

Anegada

This is the most off the beaten path spot in the British Virgin Islands and considered one of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean Sea.

Almost fifteen miles past Virgin Gorda, Anegada is in the far corner of the islands and the only coral island in the British Virgin Islands. It's a flat, low-lying island surrounded by stunning coral and white sand beaches.

On shore, besides world-class beaches, you'll find walking trails with rare birds and iguanas and natural springs, and excellent restaurants and bars. Anegada is famous for its lobster and conch fisheries and the dining is outstanding.

sandy island BVI

Norman Island

South of Tortola lie the "little sisters" - a string of islands along the southern edge of the BVIs. The most south and west is Norman Island, famed as an inspiration for "Treasure Island". It's rumored that several pirates buried treasure of a time on the island, which is riddled with caves and hiding places.

The Bight in Norman Island is the most popular harbor, with moorings, space to anchor, a beach bar and restaurant, and the (in)famous Willy T - a floating bar.

Around the west end of the island are caves popular for snorkeling and diving and easy to reach by dinghy. Norman Island is close to The Indians , one of the top snorkeling spots in the Caribbean.

Most of the Little Sisters have moorings to pick up or spots to anchor. Some have resorts or restaurants on shore to visit, or beaches.

sunset at Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island Beach Club, Cooper Island, British Virgin Islands

Peter Island, Salt Island, Cooper Island

Just east of Norman Island, Peter Island has six anchorages around its coast. Three have moorings and are suitable for overnight moorings - Little Harbour, Great Harbour, and Sprat Bay. Sprat Bay has limited moorings, but has a dock with water, fuel, ice and trash disposal. There are plenty of great spots to swim and snorkel.

Salt Island is an uninhabited island between Peter Island and Cooper Island doesn't have overnight moorings, but has day moorings where you can park.

It's near the national park with the wreck of the RMS Rhone and is a popular staging spot for diving and snorkeling near the wreck.

Cooper island has an excellent mooring field on the west side of the island and easy access ashore. Crystal clear water and sea grass beds attract rays and turtles to this popular snorkeling spot.

Catamaran at Baths - DSCF2208 (1)

Why Charter in the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands offer a wide variety of destinations and experiences to meet almost everyone's dream sailing vacation. From quiet anchorages with few lights and traffic, to lively beach bars with great food and live music, you'll find something to suit your mood.

There's a reason the BVIs are such a popular and magnificent charter destination. There's everything from secluded out-of-the-way anchorages to hopping party spots.

If your vacation is about an easy vacation sailing somewhere warm and beautiful without the hassles of long passages, the BVIs fit the bill.

The one word to describe chartering a yacht in the British Virgin Islands is easy. Since chartering and tourism are big industries in the islands, you'll find everything you need for a successful Caribbean vacation.

Most charters originate in Tortola, a convenient place to start your trip. The best shopping and provisioning are right in town and close to the boat.

Plenty of boats of all varieties are available for your Caribbean yacht charter, from sailing monohulls and catamarans to power cats, cabin cruisers, and luxury yachts.

If you're not experienced, or you want to sit back and relax instead of navigating and cooking, skilled captains and crews are available.

The British Virgin Islands are not large, but has over fifty islands and cays, sixteen of which are inhabited. The islands spread over 150 square kilometers of water, so most islands are a short sail in between. You can set sail after a leisurely breakfast and sail to a new island with time for an afternoon at the beach.

Through the islands, twenty-one national parks on land and underwater protect waters and wildlife for snorkeling, diving, and hiking. The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands maintains the parks and day buoys for large boats and dinghies.

Most charter rentals have a park pass included with the boat, make sure it's since you don't want to miss places like the RMS Rhone Marine Park, The Baths, or The Indians.

The beauty of sailing the BVIs is that a change of scenery is just a short sail away. The sailing is beautiful and fun, navigation is easy and line of sight, and the winds are reliable.

If you're ready for beach bars and night life after a couple of days of beaches, hiking and snorkeling you can decide where to go next during breakfast and settle in your new spot by early afternoon.

Bareboat, captained yacht or crewed charter?

You don't need to know how to sail to rent a boat in Greece as you can go for a captained boat rental where the captain can get you wherever you want to go.

If you're more confident and have the relevant licences, you can go for a bareboat rental. Captained charters are available on nearly all boats as an optional extra.

When using Borrow A Boat you can filter all boat searches to be with or without captain depending on what you are looking for, and below we cover some of the main points to consider for your boat rent

bareboat sailing

Bareboat Yacht Charter

Bareboat charters offer qualified and experienced sailors the ultimate freedom to explore where they want, when they want.

You are the captain, you plan the route, and you are ultimately responsible for the safety of the boat and all of your crew.

For skilled sailors, a bareboat charter is lower cost and gives more privacy for you and your charter guests.

Many sailors prefer to helm the boat and choose their own course, and provided you have the knowledge and relevant qualifications you can captain (typically up to 54 feet/16.5 meters in length) yourself.

Browse Bareboat Yachts

Moorings skipper and guests

Captained Yacht Charter

Getting a captained charter in the BVIs is easy and takes a lot of stress from your vacation. If you're a beginning sailor, or not a sailor at all, you can take a dream yacht charter vacation.

There is a per diem charge for a captain and any additional crew, and you will need to provide food and a berth on the boat. You can rent captains to teach sailing and build your skills while you enjoy the cruise.

A captained yacht charter or crewed motor yacht will cost you a little more but you get the peace of mind of having someone aboard who knows the waters and can get you safely to all the destinations you want.

Where it comes to a captained boat rental for your sailing vacation, the captain will also know some of the best places to go to meet your needs.

Browse Captained Yachts

OCEAN-VIBES-Sunreef-74 crewed BVI.2

Crewed Yacht Charter Greece

A fully crewed yacht charter provides absolute luxury. The captain and deck crew are responsible for handling the navigation of the yacht, while the interior crew look after your every need, preparing gourmet meals and refreshing drinks and providing the highest level of service to help you enjoy a spectacular vacation.

Sample local culture and entertainment alongside organized activities or simply relax in luxuriously appointed cabins and salons, before exploring dive and snorkel sites in your limousine tender.

Your captain and crew will take care of all navigation, organizational, catering and housekeeping. Leaving you and your guests free to relax knowing that you will receive first-class service and attention from embarkation to the day you leave.

Our unrivalled network of global yacht brokers ensures we have access to an extraordinary range of luxury yachts and superyachts - of every size and fitout.

We take care of every detail of your charter and ensure that you and your party's requirements are fulfilled.

Browse Crewed Yachts

Lush BVI Caribbean

Do you need a licence to charter in the BVI?

While you do not technically require a sailing licence to bareboat charter a yacht in the BVIs, we do recommend obtaining one before you book your charter.

If you do not hold a yachting licence, charter companies will require a sailing resume as proof of competence and may require you to undertake a quick competence check before you are allowed to leave the base.

You will need to prove that you are comfortable and safe manoeuvring the yacht.

If you have any doubts at all about your experience and ability to handle a charter yacht, talk to your broker.

It may be a good idea to rent a captain for your trip, or to enroll onto a course before your charter.

White beach at Great Harbour , Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Best Times to Rent a Yacht in the BVIs

The busiest weeks in the BVIs are around Christmas to the New Year. The weather is nicest in the winter, and many people take their sailing vacations with family and friends during the peak season.

Peak season is December through March, though fine sailing happens on both ends of the season in November and May and June.

Hurricane season runs from mid-August through mid-October, and the weather is warmer, more humid and less predictable.

You can charter off-peak; you will usually have pleasant conditions and rates are lower. But there is a slight risk you may have to cancel your vacation if a storm threatens. Many rentals will refund charters if they recall you for seasonal storms, but make sure of the policy before reservation.

Clear water BVI anchorage

The Climate

The primary BVI sailing condition is "delightful." The peak season has the most wind, with steady 15-20 knots making for fast, fun sailing.

While you may get a brief tropical shower, most days are sunny and warm with a good breeze. At the edges of the high season, the winds soften as the temperature rises.

A light jacket or wind breaker is the heaviest sailing gear for sailing in breeze on warm, sunny days.

If you are looking for the cheapest rates and the smallest crowds, off-peak season runs from April through October, though there is that small risk of a hurricane cancelation in August, September and October.

The peak seasons are "peak" for a reason though. Prices are higher and availability lower, but the weather is more comfortable, with the best breezes for sailing. But there will be more people, and most moorings will fill up fast.

couples relaxing on crewed catamaran bvi (1)

How Much Does it Cost to Rent Yachts in the BVIs?

Yacht rent prices in the British Virgin Islands vary with the size and type of the yacht and the time of year of your charter.

During the peak seasons, entry level forty-foot monohulls start at $300 per day and increase with the size of the boat. The most expensive yachts may run up to $4,000 per day for a deluxe bareboat catamaran, but a more typical cost for a fifty-two foot catamaran (sleeps twelve) is closer to $1,500 per day.

Off peak, you may save as much as 30% off the high-season rates.

A skilled captain may cost you from $200 to $250 per day.

You will be required to put a deposit on your yacht charter when you sign the rental agreement, with the balance due a month or before the charter. The deposit may run from 20% to 50% of the total charter fee, including crew and add-ons.

Some charters have an optional cancelation insurance you may purchase when reservation to protect your deposit if you have a chance of cancelation.

Check the cancelation policy, many charters canceled far in advance (over 120 days) will only incur a cancelation fee instead of losing the whole deposit.

Rentals also require a security deposit against damage. This is sometimes offered as a combination of non-refundable liability insurance and a small refundable deposit.

The other option is a much larger security deposit, which they refund when you return the boat without damage.

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Frequently asked questions
Is Yacht rent in BVIs Legal?

It is legal to rent a yacht in the British Virgin Islands. The industry is regulated, and charter vessels pay different taxes and fees. When arranging a yacht rent make sure the boat you are renting is a legitimate commercial rental with the proper permits. A rental agency will only deal with legal rentals.

What kind of Yachts can I rent in the BVIs?

Sailing catamarans and monohulls, power cats, motor boats, smaller powerboats, and day sailors are all available for rent. It’s wise to reserve in advance, especially in the peak seasons.

What should I consider when renting a Yacht?

Think about what sort of vacation you want, and what your skill levels are for making sure you have an enjoyable time. Where do you want to go, what do you want to do and who will be with you? Priorities are different for a group of four couples versus two families with kids.

What is the best time to rent a Yacht in BVIs?

The shoulders of the high season – November and March – can be a suitable compromise if you are looking to avoid peak season pricing and crowds but still avoid hurricane risks and the summer heat.

Do you have to pay a deposit when renting a Yacht in BVIs?

Most yacht charters in the British Virgin Islands will require a deposit to hold your boat for you and will require a form of security deposit, Liability & Damage insurance, or a combination of both.

What happens if my Yacht breaks down?

Most charter companies have a service guarantee and will send a technician to fix your yacht within a few hours of calling. The BVIs are small enough that a boat can be dispatched anywhere to support you if there is a problem. In the worst-case scenario, the company will find a replacement boat or refund your charter, though this is unlikely.

Do I need a visa to visit BVIs?

Residents of the UK, Europe, the United States and Canada do not need a visa for a vacation visit to the BVIs, only a valid passport.

If you are from another country, check this list to see the visa requirements for your home country.

https://www.bvitourism.com/visas

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