British Virgin Islands Sailing Article (BVI)

British Virgin Islands sailing paradise – the sailing capital of the Caribbean

British Virgin Islands sailing article written by Travel Writer Linda Jackson

Experience British Virgin Islands sailing – it offers some of the best sailing in the world. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are an undeveloped haven for natural treasures and, because of the steady trade winds, tame currents, hundreds of protected bays and crystalline waters, is a sailor’s paradise. Quite frankly the BVI are considered by many to be the sailing capital of the world, let alone just the Caribbean. Most of the islands can be reached by line-of-sight navigation and are all contained within an 80 nautical mile radius.

You’ll find the BVI to the east of Puerto Rico – an archipelago of 60 islands and cays – but only 15 of them are inhabited, the main islands being Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. There are no high-rise hotels, no casinos and no crowds. Finding a secluded anchorage and a gorgeous little deserted beach is certainly not a problem when on a sailing vacation in the BVI. Bliss!

Tortola is the sailing centre of the Caribbean and the ‘backbone’ of the protected Sir Frances Drake Channel – from here there’s a cruising area stretching 32 miles long and 15 miles wide. Because of protected waters and abundant safe anchorages the BVI play host to yachting events considered to be some of the best in the Caribbean. The BVI yacht clubs are renowned too for their facilities, training, sportsmanship, marine knowledge and seamanship, as well as for their fine dining and social gatherings.

British Virgin Islands sailing yacht charter

Needless to say all types of yacht are available to charter. Take your pick… from family-size mono-hulls to spacious catamarans and mega yachts. No worry if you’re inexperienced at handling a boat, you certainly don’t have to miss out on having a fabulous sailing holiday in the BVI – just opt for a crewed charter and let the professional captain and chef navigate the waters and keep you well fed while you sit back and relax.

Even if you are an experienced sailor, having a crewed charter in the BVI has its advantages – the captain will know all the secrets of the islands, which nooks and crannies provide spectacular snorkelling and where to find the whitest beaches on deserted islands. Food for thought eh?

Entry requirements & cruising permit for British Virgin Islands sailing

You’ll need a cruising permit if you are sailing or cruising in the BVI, there’s a daily cost based on the boat type and whether it is low or peak season. The BVI Custom Department will advise you of cruising permit requirements.

Follow this link to read about entry requirements to the BVI and what measures need to be adhered to when visiting the BVI >>

Highly recommended British Virgin Islands sailing book (includes US Virgin Islands)

Read the Active Caribbean book review of the “Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands”. Go to the Caribbean Book Reviews section for more books we have reviewed.

BVI travel book – British Virgin Islands guidebook:

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – Sheltered Isles of Sea and Sun
by Claudia Colli
This guidebook to the British Virgin Islands is a handy reference tool for both visitors and potential residents. In this 152-page BVI travel book published by Macmillan Caribbean you’ll find a geographical and historical introduction to the British Virgin Islands as well as a paragraph/section on the people and heritage, the foods of the BVI, music, festivals, sports and plenty more. (Macmillan Caribbean)

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