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Shipping to BVI


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#1 Par Avion

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

So, I've chartered a boat to cruise the BVI's for week in March. I'm very familiar with the USVI, not so much the British side. I'm aware of the higher costs of everyday food items and such. In the past I've shipped stuff to St. John before I get there, saving quite a bit of money. I've not had any luck figuring out if this makes sense to do for BVI though.

Have any of you done this? If so what did you send and what was the cost? Who did you use?

Is it worth it to send down food and drinks, or should we just bite the bullet and purchase there? There are some things I would like to get there that I know will be hard to find, christmas strings of lights, glow sticks. crap like that.

Haven't had much luck with search as BVI is too common a term somehow.

#2 B.J. Porter

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

Being down here now, I've been looking into some shipping especially for Christmas. Shipping from US to USVI is cheaper than US to BVI, at least for things from Amazon and the like. You can use US Mail I think more reasonably, and UPS et al don't seem to think it's International, at least for basic shipping. But something I was looking at as a Christmas gift for the kids was $7 or for basic shipping to St. Thomas, versus $28 to ship to Road Town with 3-7 biz day shipping to USVI, vs. 5-12 for BVI.

Prices down here...don't seem so bad compared to the US. A bit cheaper in the BVI's than in St. Thomas for a lot of staple items. Meats are a fair amount higher, however you are not supposed to import meat into the BVI's anyway. Milk is insane ( > 12/gallon in Virgin Gorda, $6/gallon in St. Thomas).

The bigger issue is availability, a lot of what you see on the fresh side is less appealing, especially at the prices you see. Most of the fruits and veggies are imported. We've gone into a lot of the stores ambitious for fresh stuff and come out with little after having a look at a bin of $4.00/head broccoli with a little brown on every head. No bargains on meats, however they are here if you want to pay for it. We've not seen ground beef for less than $4.00/lb, but you can get T-Bones for $12.50. A lot of the frozen stuff looks better than the fresh.

If you are picking up a boat in Road Town there are some decent shopping options, three minute walk from Sunsail, Moorings, etc. If you are picking up over at Conch, TMM or somewhere else in RT there is a Riteway enear there too, btu I don't know if it is as nice as the one by the Moorings. If are picking up elsewhere (e.g. West End) there are still shops but they are smaller - you can get basics in West End but it's not got a lot. The Riteway market and RTW (Road Town Wholesale) is better.

Things like lights & glow sticks, I can't tell you what you will find in March. "Department Store" contents seem wildly variable, though there are a lot of "Party Stores" that might have that sort of stuff. Lights and things are available now for Christmas, but prices are much higher than you'd be used to in the states. Seems like those things might be easier to bring. If you do come to St. Thomas though there is a Home Depot and a K-Mart.

Booze...buy it down here! BVI prices seem a touch better.

#3 bugger

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:09 PM

Take out half the clothes you have packed.

Pack in some staples and things that will get you through a few days of cruising (instant-type rice, noodles, cheese, a jar of peanut butter, snacks, bagels, crackers, etc.). Bring the maximum weight you are allowed by your airline without incurring extra fees.

For the rest, support the local economy. They will appreciate it. When you are tired of your on-boat cooking, support a local restaurant.

The sailing and snorkelling is fabulous. Focus on that. Think of food as just fuel to keep you doing the fun stuff.

#4 Tucky

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:16 PM

For the rest, support the local economy. They will appreciate it.


+1

#5 Par Avion

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

Take out half the clothes you have packed.

Pack in some staples and things that will get you through a few days of cruising (instant-type rice, noodles, cheese, a jar of peanut butter, snacks, bagels, crackers, etc.). Bring the maximum weight you are allowed by your airline without incurring extra fees.

For the rest, support the local economy. They will appreciate it. When you are tired of your on-boat cooking, support a local restaurant.

The sailing and snorkelling is fabulous. Focus on that. Think of food as just fuel to keep you doing the fun stuff.


I'm VERY familiar with "island life". I do appreciate the thoughts though. As for supporting the local economy, it's not about the restaurants and such I don't mind paying(although shitty meals at the same price as good meals is rather annoying), so much as not wanting to pay 5 bucks for a box of pasta, 8 bucks for ketchup and so on and so on. I guess what we'll end up doing is just jamming our bags with max allowable weights of dry foods. Thanks much for that suggestion.

#6 B.J. Porter

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:24 PM


Take out half the clothes you have packed.

Pack in some staples and things that will get you through a few days of cruising (instant-type rice, noodles, cheese, a jar of peanut butter, snacks, bagels, crackers, etc.). Bring the maximum weight you are allowed by your airline without incurring extra fees.

For the rest, support the local economy. They will appreciate it. When you are tired of your on-boat cooking, support a local restaurant.

The sailing and snorkelling is fabulous. Focus on that. Think of food as just fuel to keep you doing the fun stuff.


I'm VERY familiar with "island life". I do appreciate the thoughts though. As for supporting the local economy, it's not about the restaurants and such I don't mind paying(although shitty meals at the same price as good meals is rather annoying), so much as not wanting to pay 5 bucks for a box of pasta, 8 bucks for ketchup and so on and so on. I guess what we'll end up doing is just jamming our bags with max allowable weights of dry foods. Thanks much for that suggestion.


Price-wise it's not as bad as all that, assuming you are provisioning at a real store down the road and not the Charter company provisioning shop. Pasta is around $2.

Some regular things are more expensive than you might be used to but the only price we found so far that was truly appalling was on milk. If you care coming for a week or two it's not likely to break the bank relative to the cost of your charter. Spend $20 to take a taxi to go shop somewhere else and you've lost most of your savings!

Where are you sailing out of?

More of an impact on us liveaboards how we shop.

#7 Par Avion

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

I've chartered with Footloose charters. Obviously Tortola, but I don't know where. I've never actually been to the BVI's save Jost, I'm a frequent St. John visitor. While I have you guys here, any suggestions for cool places off the beaten path? I chartered a monohull, so draft is a concern.

#8 friginindariggin

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

I've chartered with Footloose charters. Obviously Tortola, but I don't know where. I've never actually been to the BVI's save Jost, I'm a frequent St. John visitor. While I have you guys here, any suggestions for cool places off the beaten path? I chartered a monohull, so draft is a concern.


You can contact either Riteway in RT or Bobby's, google them, and arrange for delivery......no x-tra charge, your charter co. can get you lists to pre-order from. We bring a cooler of prepared foods to save on prep time, meats and things to pop in the oven. Allows for more time to drink, swim etc. never any problems at C & I. Just declare it when going in. As far as off the beaten path spots, hardly any left and finding 'em yourself is most of the fun.....

#9 B.J. Porter

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:19 PM

I've chartered with Footloose charters. Obviously Tortola, but I don't know where. I've never actually been to the BVI's save Jost, I'm a frequent St. John visitor. While I have you guys here, any suggestions for cool places off the beaten path? I chartered a monohull, so draft is a concern.


We saw Footloose boats coming out of Road Town, right near to Riteway and RTW - I assume that is where you are picking up. Riteway will deliver or it's not too far from where you will be picking up your boat.

I've not been here long enough to find anything "out of the way" yet, but I can tell you we had some great snorkeling at the Indians and Norman Island by the caves. Not out of the way at all - get to the Indians EARLY or you will be circling looking for a mooring (no anchoring permitted).

Peter Island in great harbor was a nice quiet anchorage, there are a few mooring balls and a restaurant on the other end of the bay, but it's a lot quieter than someplace like the the Bight on Norman with 100+ moorings and some louder night spots. Deep water anchoring though - I think we were in 70' or so unless you get really close to shore. there are moorings in the shallower spots.

#10 joey g

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:55 PM

If you want a quiet site go to the back side of Peter Island, White Bay. Very quiet, like no boats there, and like 10'-20' depths.




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