Current Car Barge Situation = Horrible

captain vic
The Captain Vic sat at Red Hook Wednesday afternoon after it failed several inspections.
Here’s the best advice I have given in a long time: If you can avoid taking the car barge, do it. I had the misfortune of sitting at Red Hook waiting for the car barge to take me back to St. John for a few hours yesterday, and let me tell you, it wasn’t fun. And I was one of the lucky ones. I’ve heard stories about people waiting for four, five and even six hours. It’s awful.

(So you’re probably wondering why I was taking the car barge when I am advising people to avoid it? Well Charlie, my fantastic ACC rescue extraordinaire and I took a little vacation to America for the long holiday weekend, and the majority of the taxi drivers in Red Hook will not transport a dog to the airport. So I was stuck car barging it unfortunately.)

So here’s what’s causing this… The Mister B., our largest barge, was seized back in January, and it’s been sitting in Cruz Bay ever since. The Captain Vic keeps failing its US Coast Guard inspection. I actually witnessed that firsthand Wednesday afternoon. Apparently there is some sort of pump issue. So that barge is sitting in Red Hook. That leaves us with the Island Vic, the smallest of the three barges. The workers are doing their darnedest to keep up, but one barge is simply not enough.

The Island Vic Wednesday afternoon.
The Island Vic Wednesday afternoon.
Think about it… We have to get food to St. John. We have to get supplies to St. John. Workers go back and forth between the two islands each day. St. Johnians go to St. Thomas to shop for things we can’t get here on island. People need to go to doctor’s appointments. We have tourists who prefer to rent cars on St. Thomas and drive them to St. John. The list goes on and on. And we only have one small barge to handle all of this? It simply is not enough.

I have to say, the workers have been doing a phenomenal job. They worked until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning from what I hear. And the way they are able to load these barges – it’s simply amazing. So kudos to all of you who are working tirelessly to help us. I appreciate you, that’s for sure.

So you’re probably wondering what the latest is with the Mister B? Well according to court records, Revere High Yield Fund (the hedge fund people that Boyson, Inc. failed to pay, which subsequently prompted the Mister B’s seizure) is pretty much begging the court to sell the Mister B. Boyson, Inc. has stopped responding to Revere and the Court it seems; however the Court has yet to set a sale date. So we’re basically at a standstill here. And do you know how much it has cost for the Mister B. to sit there thus far? More than $204,000!!! Unbelievable.

So again, if you are able to avoid the car barge, do it for your own sanity. If you’re visiting our island in the near future and rented a car on St. Thomas, I highly recommend canceling and renting here on St. John if you are able to.

We’ll keep you posted on the latest with the barge situation…

11am update: We hear the Captain Vic is running!! 

14 thoughts on “Current Car Barge Situation = Horrible”

  1. Thank you for the update!!! We will be there in the end of August and have been going back and forth over car rentals. I haven’t had much luck with responses from companies on island so was leaning toward renting in St Thomas but I think I’ve changed my mind.

    • We were lured in by the ads of Sunshine Jeep Rental and made our reservation over 8 months in advance, calling periodically to confirm. The day before we left, they called us, told us ‘our’ jeep had been in an accident and we were on our own. My husband suggested they find us a jeep elsewhere. They said, ‘But it is so short notice! None will be available anywhere!’ They found us one, but we had to clean it up mid-week, and do a switch with one of Sunshine’s jeeps, which now was available. We had to rearrange our schedule to clean up and turn in a jeep, do more paperwork, etc. And then they threatened to charge us for a loose plastic part inside the jeep. Never again.

  2. We decided to stay in Red Hook instead of St. John and take the car ferry over to the island whenever we wanted. We were there in early June and the delays with two ferries running were two hours or more. It was a mess. Sorry to hear it’s getting worse.

  3. AJ,

    we have been visiting St. John for 17 years and rented the car from St. John Car Rental. They are the best.


  4. With 2 barges running now, how long is the average wait? I bought a prepaid ticket, wonder if that will help any. Thank you in advance.

  5. Thank you for the update! We are going mid August and made reservations to rent our car on St. Thomas. With this update, we are canceling and renting on St. John.

  6. We waited Weds (July 6) from 9am until 1pm. We are staying on St John so we had no choice. Rent on St John if you can!

  7. Any improvement on the car ferry in the last 6 days? Arriving next Sat and of course was so smart to book car out of STT.

    • Please do not rent at the airport. I had guests the other day got stuck without a car there despite having a reservation. We are currently down two barges. We need that space to move supplies between islands and for people who do business between islands. It will also save you hours waiting in line on both sides.

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