So far, Tortola’s greatest gift to the world is the charter yacht vacation. Ginny and Charlie Cary cooked up the idea of renting sailboats to tourists back in the 1960s. They started their company, The Moorings, with just six yachts. Today, The Moorings has 900 yachts at dozens of bases around the world, and its success has spawned a thriving charter yacht industry in the BVI.
This is good news for sailors since it means choices: choices between motor or sailing yacht, between monohull or catamaran, between bareboat or crewed, and between large or small charter companies. It also means that sailors are bound to find like-minded people at watering holes and restaurants all around the BVI. Winter offers the best season for sailing, with late-December to early January winds the best of the year.
Tortola has a sizable number of private crewed charter yachts—yachts with their own dedicated crews, personalities, and services. The Charter Yacht Society of the BVI (Columbus Centre, 284/494-6017, www.bvicrewedyachts.com) maintains a database and provides booking services for more than 50 crewed yachts operating in the BVI.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition