Bareboat Sailing the British Virgin Islands

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There aren’t many regions in the world that can reasonably be compared to the Caribbean for sailing. Climate is not the only factor here; the sailing conditions are virtually perfect, the islands provide huge variety in culture, history, food and music, and the snorkeling is stunning. If you’ve ever thought about going on a sailing holiday, the British Virgin Islands is the place to do it.

The cost of a bareboat charter in the Caribbean Sea is by no means prohibitive and such a holiday offers the kind of existence that we typically spend the rest of the year dreaming about.

Why Go On a BVI Sailing Charter

The British Virgin Islands are lavished with perfect beaches, splendid wildlife, stunning panoramas and fun, laidback waterside day and nightlife.

The weather is amazing for sailing year round and there is spectacular scenery – plus a few shipwrecks – along the way to admire and explore.

Tortola is the yacht charter capital of the Caribbean, so your charter will begin there and then you’re on your own to explore the many islands and beaches and stop off anywhere you like.

That’s the joy of a Bareboat Sailing Charter. You are your own captain and can go where ever you please. The only requirement is a 

Here are some of the highlights of a classic Caribbean Sea adventure that you can expect during a bareboat charter around the BVI.

Cooper's Island
Cooper’s Island (Image via Flickr by Curtis Brown)

Dive Cooper Island

Don’t expect to anchor here; the turtle nests are jealously protected from the kind of human activity that has seen turtle numbers decline in other regions around the world. But for that reason the diving around Cooper Island remains exceptional.

Aside from the turtles that you may see investigating the corrals, sponges and other aquatic undergrowth, you’ll be able to take advantage of the many fantastic sites for snorkeling. One of the benefits of all those invaders, pirates and blood-thirsty treasure hunters of yesteryear are the shipwrecks of today: ideal environs for spotted eagle rays, blue tangs, queen anglefish and more.

Inspect the ruins of Copper Mine, Virgin Gorda

With the islands under British rule, Cornish miners established the Copper Mine back in the first half of the 19th century and extracted copper ore, which was then shipped all the way back to Wales. Many of those miners’ descendants still populate the islands today.

Scramble around the ruins and you’ll find veins of copper and splinters of quartz as well as the mine’s ancient beam engine, not to mention various other integral features of a site that was for a brief time a hive of activity. Highly evocative of the period, the ruins represent a fascinating break from all those onerous beach barbecues and marine species.

British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands, Tortola Island’s west end (Image via Flickr by Mark Goebel)

Laze Marina Cay

If for some peculiar reason you hear the call of the cocktails, freshly grilled fish and lobster once more, you could do far worse than pay a visit to Marina Cay. This islet just off the West End Bay of Great Camanoe is the perfect stop-off for a long, lazy lunch.

From here you can go on organised diving and snorkeling trips. Alternatively, you may wish to simply paddle a while, have yourself a little lie-down, and maybe spend some time taking in the view.


No matter what you find to do while sailing around the British Virgin Islands, you won’t want to miss these three highlights.

Bareboat Sailing the British Virgin Islands

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