How to Book
Fat Bottom Girl is managed by BVI Yacht Charters (BVIYC) who handles every detail of bookings as well as all terms and conditions. As the owners we pretty much go through the same process booking the boat as you do. So let me explain the process the best I can.
First - are you qualified to charter a bareboat? A pretty large bareboat. If the answer to this is negative or you perhaps feel a little rusty and/or stressed with the responsibility you might consider hiring a captain (or "sailing guide") - either for the duration of the charter or for a day or two until you get the hang of things. No shame in that. BVIYC can assist you with the hire of a captain - you just need to let them know.
Second - what size and type of boat will suit your needs? How many cabins you need depends on both the size of your crew as well as who among you can bunk together. BVIYC manages many different boats so you should study the fleet guide and find what would work for you in the price range you are willing to pay. In general, price increases as the boat gets larger and newer. Equipment affects the price but to a lesser degree.
The full details regarding booking a boat can be found on the BVIYC web site here. Here is my commentary on the process:
1. Once you have found a boat or maybe two that you like you can either call BVIYC reservations (284-494-4289) or you can click this button and fill in the form. But I recommend calling (8:00 to 17:00 seven days a week) as it will be way more efficient
2. Once you think you have found what you are looking for you can let reservations know and they will put a hold on the boat and dates. The hold is usually for up to a week. The purpose of this time is for you to get your ducks in a row and potentially look into travel arrangements to see if you can get to Tortola on the dates you want to book at a price that doesn't make you want to puke.
3. I highly recommend that you consider a sleep aboard. This allows you to use the boat as a hotel room the night before your charter begins. You have access to the boat starting at 17:00 and possibly sooner. If you are self-provisioning you can spend the evening tracking down everything you are going to need. You can begin check out early the next morning and be on your way. A sleep aboard effectively gives you a whole day on the first day of charter vs. a half day you will get without it.
4. Keep in mind that BVIYC is open until 17:00 each day. You can depart or return but you must do it by 17:00. Plan accordingly!
5. You confirm the reservation or let the hold expire. Assuming you confirm the reservation, BVIYC sends you a contract via e-mail. With that contract you will need to submit your sailing resume. Fill it out and be honest and complete. From this resume BVIYC will determine if they believe you are qualified to charter the boat you are reserving. This is only step 1 in determining competence. In the checkout process BVIYC may take you for a short check out cruise in the bay if they have any doubts concerning your competence. BVIYC will not allow you to take the boat on your own if there is any question regarding your ability to sail the boat (one of the reasons our boat is managed by them!). So better to have a full and honest determination up-front than to be in an awkward position later on.
6. You will pay 50% of the charter fee within seven days of the contract signing. The remaining charter fee is due 45 days before your charter.
7. Now comes the long and difficult part. You wait. Order your Crusing Guide to the Virgin Islands and read up on all the wonderful places you might go. Check out the Links Page. Point your browser to the various web cams (also on the Links page) and dream glorious times ahead on the Fat Botttom Girl. Check out the BYC Facebook page - it's usually updated with some new posting a few times a month. Make a "like" link to the Fat Bottom Girl Facebook page - it should get an update once every other week or so.
8. When the day finally comes to take Fat Bottom Girl out we sincerely wish you safe travels and a beautiful trip. Please treat her like you would your own property. Take good care of her. If you find something broken or lacking please report the issue when you return the boat so it can be taken care of before the next charter guest.
If you have any questions regarding how to make a booking or any detail for your charter I will be happy to try to answer your questions and/or point you to a useful source. See the CONTACT tab above.