BVI Bareboat Catamaran Charters – What To Plan!

You’ve always dreamed of bareboating in the BVI, and you finally found the right time to do it! Fantastic!

There are many things that come up to mind when planning a sailing trip and the most frequent questions people usually ask me are, what is the most appropriate boat to sail in the BVI? What is the best yacht charter company to book from? What certificate will I need for the BVI? When will be the best time to sail? And where to sail?

So here we go; I am pretty sure you will find all your answers in this article.

Bareboat License in the BVI

Having a license is always advantageous, but many companies in the British Virgin Islands won’t require it. However, for more security, if you have one, take it with you! Many yacht charter companies will probably ask for a credit card and some competence to handle the boat.

If you don’t have enough confidence to navigate alone, it is preferable to hire a skipper for the first day; it will help you relieve the stress, and you’ll be more comfortable about getting started. If you have some experience but not enough to handle the boat and you would like to get a license, there are many places where you can participate in a sailing course while you are on vacation. The course lasts about a week, and if you think you need more practice, there is the possibility of prolonging the course.

If you want to save some time, then I suggest you do the theory online; this way, you will only have to do the practice when you get to the BVI.

In many cases, one week will be enough to obtain the 103/104 certificate, but if you want my opinion, take some extra days to not stress about the time.

Choosing the Right Yacht Charter Company

Choosing a good yacht charter company may be a bit challenging for some people. But fortunately, this is not the case for everyone. In my opinion, it really depends on the person; each one will have different contact with the yacht charter broker.

The main things to consider are the pricing, what is included (Freshwater, fuel, equipment, food, drink), the boat condition, the amenities, and the service. Usually, the price of the charter includes everything on board, but again, it depends on the company itself, so check these out!

If you are not sure and need more information about charter companies, you can get some good advice in forums such as Sailnetcruisers, and TripAdvisor. There, you will find all you need to know about companies in the BVI.
Apart from this, it’s always nice to exchange some ideas and experiences with other sailors that have the same passion.

What Boat to Sail In the BVI?

The better way to bareboat on the British Virgin Islands is with a catamaran because this beautiful island contains a wide amount of coral reef in some regions and shallow water depths.

With a catamaran, you will be able to easily access beautiful desert islands. Thanks to its fantastic shallow draft, it will be much more comfortable for you to anchor close to the shore.

 Reasons to Sail with a Catamaran

  • Plenty of space and storage
  •  Easy to manipulate,
  • very comfortable, you can even walk with a cup of coffee without toppling it.
  • You will love to rest and chat with your friends on the trampoline,
  •  Much faster than a monohull,
  •  Flexible and light.
  • safe

In a word, this is the perfect boat to sail on the British Virgin Islands :).

Catamaran near the beach


Some Good Advice

It is preferable to sail with another couple of friends; it will make the sailing trip more fun, easier for everyone, safety and also you can count on your friends in case you want to rest or do something else.

I always recommend taking extra fresh water, fuel, and food in case you’ll need it, don’t forget that most of the time, you’ll be sailing. Even knowing that you are going to spend some time ashore, it would be reasonable to take some precautions.

Normally, charter boats are well equipped, but it’s better to check if you have all the safety equipment required on board, which are:

  • life jacket (PFD)
  • sound signals
  • visual signal for distress
  • flares
  • navigation lights
  • make sure that the equipment is in good condition.

What are the Best Months to Sail in the BVI?

The better months to sail for beginners are November, December, January, February, March, and the middle of April since the hurricanes are not present at that time of the year, but it is crowded, and the rates are the highest. Generally, hurricanes are present in June, July, August, September, and October and finally disappear in November.

During this period, there is almost no crowd, the water condition is great, and the rates are low.
Maybe, you are an adventurer, and you like strong sensations, so if you prefer to sail during this period, it’s up to you! However,  you won’t be the only one; just make sure to check the weather.

Anguilla beach

Popular Places to Anchor!

Usually, yacht charter companies have some rules about the anchorages, and for some reason, they won’t permit anchors into unknown areas.

The main islands to anchor and explore are,

  • Virgin Gorda
  • Jost Van Dick
  • Norman Cave’s
  • Wreck of the Rhone
  • Tortola
  • Cooper Island
  • Anegada
  • Peter Island
  • Deadman’s Bay
  • Sandy Spit
  • Bath of Virgin Gorda
  • Road town.

These places are amazing and beautiful to explore, especially to practice all kinds of water sports. You will enjoy swimming and snorkeling in one of the most stunning clear blue water of the Pacific Ocean.

Have you already bareboat a Catamaran to the British Virgin Islands? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “BVI Bareboat Catamaran Charters – What To Plan!”

  1. Hello!
    I never saw any articles on this subject online before. I will need to research more considering the fact that I am newbie. May I ask, what is 103/104 certificate?

    I live in Sweden and I don`t have any certificate for boats of any kind. When I was in Croatia few years ago I couldn`t rent a boat cause they don`t rent it without certificate. Is there any kind of international certificate?

    Thanks for the great article!

    • Hi Igor,

      The ASA 103/104 is the continuation of the ASA 101 license . In fact You will need first ASA 101 which will allow you to sail a boat up to about 20 feet in length. This called the basic keelboat sailing. With ASA 103/104 , you will be able to develop your sailing skill and skipper a 30′ – 50′ yacht in length in moderate wind and sea conditions.

      Croatia and some other countries , such as Turkey, Spain, and Greece became extremely strict about Bareboat licenses and usually these countries will required an (ICC) An International Certificate of Competence + Radio license!

      So if you plan to sail in the Mediterranean, I strongly recommend you to have the appropriated license:)

      I hope this helped and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any further information.

      I am always happy to help!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day

  2. really cool site now I’ve been wanting to try this and now i have the spare money to do this i have no experience in sailing and never even been on a katermarang so where would or what would be the best thing for me to start I’m in the uk at the moment
    best regards


    • Hi Jimmi,

      I would suggest you to charter a skippered or crewed yacht first and if you like the idea , then take a RYA training courses . They are everywhere in the world, I am sure you will find them in Google 🙂

      A catamaran is the best option for novice sailors as it is much easier to control than a monohull !

      I hope it helped and if you have any other questions , don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ll be glad to help you!

  3. Hello, you have an exciting website. Just for few minutes I imagined myself stepping on white sand and exploring British Virgin Islands. I guess that your described catamarans are a way smaller compare with Lending Club 2, which belongs to Renaud Laplanche. It is a 105 foot maxi-trimaran, speedy one.
    Anyway, to have possibility to get away from ordinary things, is an exciting one.I like your advices, which help to understand how to chart one of these catamarans.
    Happy writing, Nemira

    • Hi Nemira,

      Yes ,there is a difference between a catamaran and a trimaran. Trimarans are much faster than catamarans. In fact, trimarans are mainly used for racing and multihulls ” Catamarans” more for cruising. I have a nice article about the Neel 45 trimaran review of what to expect. I am sure you will enjoy the reading:).Thank you for the compliment and for the comment and if you need any help, I’ll be more than happy to assist you !

      Have a wonderful day!

  4. Wow I have always want to sail and can there be a better place than the BVI to do it. Do you have any suggestions on places to get a license? Or if not are there some things I should look for in a licensing place or how to learn?
    Thank you in advance for the info.

    • Hi Mark,

      The best place to learn sailing is at the RYA training. Just take a look, I am sure you’ll find all you need.

      I hope it helped and if you need to know further information, I’ll be more than happy to assist you.

      Have a wonderful day!

  5. I really love your website overall (you can probably tell by the amount of comments I have left all over the place!) as I love to travel and I love water but have never even been on a charter before so am doing lots of homework! We want to go sometime this year so your site has come in handy for so many reasons. Will be continuing to read all your posts as you produce more. Thank you for all your help thus far with my bf and I planning our romantic getaway!

    • Hi Holly,

      How nice to see you again:) I am really glad you like my blogs, I really appreciate!

      If you plan to go on a romantic getaway, then the British Virgin Island is definitely the right place to choose!

      Thank you for the comment and I wish you a wonderful day!

  6. Hi
    in my last summer holidays I sailed a catamaran, later back ashore l got thinking l did not know anything about catamaran safety measures, no one even explained where simple things like life jackets were located and I would have been lost should anything have gone wrong.
    With summer coming up im thinking for a new holiday destination since l enjoyed the sail so much, im sure l will repeat the same so l decided to look for tips and ideas on how to be safe.
    Thanks to your very well written article l now know what to look out for should l go on a catamaran sail next time
    Things like flares or sound signals are a must know.

    • Hi Roamy,

      Every boat will carry safety equipment appropriate for its size if she is well maintained.

      We don’t need to be paranoid but it is preferable to take some precautions:)

      I am glad you like the article and thank you for the comment!

      I wish you a wonderful day!


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