Tips & tricks for stocking your boat with all of the essentials for a stress-free holiday.
What's a charter vacation without some seriously good eats? Find out how to stock your fridge and freezer pre-charter.
In the islands where Pain Killers reign, make sure your wet bar is stocked with these provisioning items.
Stock your boat with these toys for extra entertainment and adventure while on charter.
Provisioning is one of the most important steps to Bareboat charter planning. The fine art of figuring out what you need ahead of time and making arrangements for it to arrive at the boat before you leave the dock. Most charterers realize that they will need to provision with food, water, ice and beverages, but there are other things to consider too. Don’ forget the water toys, snorkel and/or scuba gear, fishing equipment and upgraded amenities such as a rib in lieu of the dinghy which is provided. You know, all the things that would make your charter vacation that much more enjoyable!
Please note that prices and availability of food and beverage items often change from the time you have placed an order to the time that the order is actually processed. The provisioning companies do the best they can but may substitute or leave off items that are not available without charging you for those items.
It’s often a good idea to go over your provisioning list once you arrive to make sure that you don’t need a quick last minute trip back to the grocery or beverage store. It’s also best to place your order at least 1 to 2 weeks prior to your charter and make sure to arrange for a delivery date and location. Also be sure to let our staff know when your provisions are due to arrive. That way we can be sure your perishables are properly stored.
Send food deliveries to: Virgin Charter Yachts, G Dock, Nanny Cay, Tortola VG1110, British Virgin Islands
For those of you wishing to do your own provisioning, Virgin Motor Yachts will be more than happy to arrange a taxi for you on the day of arrival to take you to one of the nearby stores in Road Town.
This might be a good time to mention the amenities that come with your bareboat charter; from there you can skip to the other provisioning sections for help with all of your provisioning needs.
VCY boats come stocked with:
Bed linens, blankets, pillows, bath towels, beach towels, hand towels, washcloths, dish towels
Blender, toaster, hot water kettle, coffee maker, microwave, propane stove and oven, refrigerator, freezer
Plates, cups, wine glasses, silverware, cutlery, mixing bowls, kitchen utensils, Tupperware, wine opener, can opener, placemats
VCY ‘Starter Kit’
Small bottle of dish soap, hand soap (in all heads), dish scrubber, dust pan and brush, matches, travel toiletries per head (shampoo, conditioner, body wash & soap), toilet paper (1 roll per head), roll paper towels, cleaning spray, clothespins, garbage bag (per trashcan)
Dock lines, fenders, large cooler, dinghy with 15hp outboard, boat hook, deck brush and bucket, emergency flares, emergency tiller, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, flashlight, life preservers, life ring, toolkit
Anchorage Guide, binoculars, charts, compass, cruising guide, depth gauge, parallel rulers and dividers, boat phone, and VHF radio
You’ll notice there is no hairdryer listed. You are welcome to bring yours but plan on only using it while onshore at marinas. You’ll learn during your briefing that boat electronics can’t handle the load of a hairdryer and trust us….you’ll end up with more trouble than it’s worth if you try!
The easiest way to stock your bareboat yacht with food is to order all your provisions before you arrive, and have them delivered right to your yacht. Riteway (the largest grocery store on Tortola), Bobby’s Supermarket or the Small Seed BVI allow you to see their entire inventory online with add-to-cart ordering for all your provisions. There is another large grocery store, One Mart, and you can contact them to assist with a list of items you would like to order. Once you’re done just select your delivery time and specify the delivery marina. They will deliver the food right to your charter yacht or powercat, and even store your perishable goods for you if they arrive with your provisions before you‘re there.
We recommend meeting with your entire charter group over lunch/dinner before your trip, talking through the meals you plan to make, quantities and each persons’ preferences. While you are talking, one person can have the Riteway , Bobby’s Supermarket or One Mart website open on their computer and can be adding items to your cart as you talk. The website will save your cart so you can continue adding items you may have forgotten until you place your final order.
If you are looking for a pre-set provision list or would like to order more specialty items, Joan at Small Seed BVI is a great option. She can hand-select items for you or you can choose from her pre-set packages stocked with the most popular provisions for charter.
For a wide range of Organic and Gluten-free products, Riteway has the best selection. There is another specialty company on island, Grape Expectations, and they focus on specialty items, gluten-free as well as other high-end offerings. Many of the crewed yachts depend on Grape Expectations for the unique items their guests require. For specialty Italian produce and wine, Italian Wine Food Caribbean Ltd. is another great option. They offer online ordering through their website so you no longer have to email them for a provisioning list. However, they are not taking online payments yet so they will contact you for payment info once your order is placed.
Planning Meals on Charter
One of the most common questions we’re asked is, “what do we do about food on a bareboat charter?”— good question! Some guests choose to make all meals on board their yacht and others never even turn on the stove, choosing instead to eat ashore for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cooking in vs. eating out is entirely personal preference while on your charter; our recommendation is a combination of both. We suggest planning to make breakfast and/or lunch on your charter boat. For breakfast many guests just provision with cereal, fruit, yogurt or even eggs, bacon, and toast — all of which are very easy to prepare in the galley of your powercat. For lunch, most charter groups simply make sandwiches or just end up snacking throughout the day.
Then there’s dinner — the pièce de résistance. We suggest planning to eat dinner ashore at one of the amazing island restaurants of the BVI.
We recommend noting all the detail about your charter in your order notes and then following up with them by phone to confirm delivery plans. If you forget to provision something–no worries, there is a small Riteway at Nanny Cay across the courtyard from Virgin Charter Yachts.
The desalinated town water on board the boat is safe to drink BUT it may not be as palatable as you are used to at home. There are many varieties of water available here on the island from Highland Spring to Perrier as well as many good local spring waters sold in gallon jugs in the Supermarkets.
“Most of our guests agree that it’s best to figure on approximately 1 gallon of drinking water per person per day if you are planning on provisioning for your entire charter. There are also water filling stations on some of the islands whereby you can refill your gallon containers – cost $1.00.”
Beer, Wine and Spirits Provisioning
For more of an extensive selection of specialty beverages, we recommend Tico or Caribbean Cellars who also will deliver to your charter boat. Each company tends to have ‘exclusive’ selling rights to particular brands, so if there is a certain beer or wine you ‘must have’ be sure to check with each company.
Rib & Water Toy Provisioning
Scuba & Snorkle Provisioning
The BVI is home to some of the most wonderful and exciting dive locations in the world from the diversity of ‘The Indians’ to the highly accessible wreck dives including HMS Rhone. For dive instruction, courses or even just equipment hire, we highly recommend Blue Water Divers – not only are they the best dive company in the BVI, they have a dive centre right next to us in Nanny Cay, making loading your dive equipment simple! Some of our guests prefer scuba diving tours. Blue Water Divers would be happy to rendezvous with you at your boat. Their diving tours include the boat, instructor or guide, equipment and refreshments.
And for those that prefer to just snorkel? Blue Water Divers can provide you and your guests with snorkel gear as well. Make sure to have each guest stop in before you leave the dock to be fitted for snorkel gear for your charter vacation.
Rib & Water Toy Provisioning
For those of you wishing to upgrade to a larger, faster dingy during your charter, please speak to Island Time as they offer rentals of larger RIBs for your charter. Island Time are located right in Nanny Cay so it is very easy to coordinate the pick-up of your RIB. Please keep in mind, if you rent a larger RIB you will need to tow it behind your powercat; the hydraulic swim platforms and davits are only designed to hold the size/weight of the 12′ dinghy that is included with your charter.
If you are seeking water toys, Island Surf and Sail are the guys to contact. They have everything needed for those who want to spend the day kayaking around the bay or perhaps try stand-up paddle boarding. They can also help you with other watersports activities including windsurfing or if you want to ‘hang ten’ on a surfboard, they have those too! If you have guests that might struggle to get back into the dingy from the water after snorkeling, they have dingy ladders and other snorkel aids as well! They also provide FREE DELIVERY.
Why not enhance your charter vacation with water toy fun?!