Good Morning Everyone! We have seasonally published a report in regards to restaurant closures during the peak months of hurricane season for the past few years (See this year’s list here.). But, a question that I see popping up all over the place is in regards to boat charters during the off season.
During this time of year, a lot of the boat owners on St. John relocate and/or haul out their vessels for the off season months. There are a few reasons for this…For starters, some boat insurance actually requires that the vessel be outside of a certain “hurricane zone” during the peak times of year. Many boat owners will plan to haul out this time of year for scheduled maintenance or to simply take a vacation with the peace of mind that their boat is safe and strapped down in the event of a storm. This is all great for the safety of some of our favorite charter boats, but it leaves folks who are vacationing this time of year with slim pickins when it comes to going for a play day on the water during the off season months. So, I thought it might be time to start publishing a list of St. John based boats that are in the water and available for charter from August to November!
Although a lot of on the water dining options are closed for the off season, there is no time like the present to explore some new options (or old favorites!). Maho Crossroads will remain open throughout the off season. But, Bikini’s on the Beach at Honeymoon is permanently closed and Lime Out and Pizza Pi have safely tucked their vessels away for the off season. Additionally, The Shack at Hullbay on St. Thomas’ North Shore opened for business this winter, and serves fish tacos, burgers and fresh cocktails Wednesday-Sunday from 12PM-6PM. And Water Island is always a great option for lunch at Dinghy’s Beach Bar. Or, ask your boat captain about arranging for lunch on the boat so you can simply explore the islands all day!
Also, please keep in mind that, while the BVI does not currently have any COVID-19 protocols in place for entry into our neighboring territory, their stringent policies for foreign boat charters ARE still in place. And, quite frankly, what I am hearing from most charter operators is that they will NOT be going through the arduous and expensive process that the BVI government is currently asking. Why? Because time, because money and because the ever changing rule book of policies may make the efforts of going through this process null and void in just a few months. Additionally, once the licensing is in place for those who do go through the process, it will be next to impossible to provide a reasonably priced charter for guests who want to go into the BVI.
But, the waters in the USVI are absolutely stunning right now and the water is like glass! Which means more incredibly beautiful local destinations can be crammed into your absolutely perfect day of boating in the USVI.
St. John Boat Charters Remaining in Service Throughout the Off-Season:
Dinghy, Zodiac and Whaler Rentals
Disclaimer: This list is a work in progress! It is just the second time this particular list has been put together and there are likely some companies I have missed. If you are a boat charter operator on St. John and you are remaining in the water for charter business through hurricane season but your company is not listed above, please shoot me a message. For those of you looking for an excursion this fall, please check back here as the list will be updated as more companies notify me of off season availability. And, please remember, in the event of bad weather, the charter companies always have the right to cancel or reschedule for your safety and for that of the vessel and their crew 🙂