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There are a lot of differences between a weekend cruise and an extended cruise. Before you make your decision, try it on for size. Take some longer charters to see what type of vessel you are most comfortable with. If you are not alone in this adventure, see how well you do living in close quarters for an extended time and how you cope with daily routines, limited energy and water supplies, etc.

Look for this Logo, thoughout USVI Marine Guide, for Tips and Hints on The  Boating Lifestyle.

Are you planning to keep your boat docked at a marina or on a permanent mooring so you can work on land? Or are you planning on a cruising lifestyle? If you need to generate income while cruising, online opportunities such as writing, blogging and other stay at home careers can be molded to your new boating lifestyle. You’ll also need to set up a system with someone on land to make sure any bill payments you may have are made on time and that your mail reaches you.

Your biggest adjustment is moving from the larger space available in a house or apartment to the considerably smaller space available onboard. Every inch needs to be thoughtfully utilized to maximize space. Most boats are designed with storage in mind, but you’ll still need to pare down considerably. Your first and most difficult task will be to downsize your belongings and make some hard decisions about what you can and cannot do without. Put non-essentials in storage for later use.

Long term boating means you need to be self-sufficient. Consider taking some courses on maintenance. Water and the weather take a constant toll on your new home on the water. You’ll be better off if you are able to do those repairs yourself. Learn how to read the weather and consider installing solar panels to produce your own electricity.

Personal Care

Spas and Body Rejuvenation: Time spent onboard is always lots of fun, but after a week at sea, let’s face it, no one looks their very polished best. Sun and salt air wreak havoc on the hair and skin. Be sure to plan a little extra time to top off your vacation with a day of pampering at a local spa. Many marinas have one on the property or nearby, so live it up with a little luxury!

Body Treatments/Facials: are ideal to exfoliate and moisturize dry and weathered skin for a healthy glow from head to toe. There are a variety to choose from, from a simple deep cleansing to a full body wrap with aromatherapy and exotic oils, and each spa has its own specialty treatments. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing massage, at the spa, on the beach or in your hotel room or boat. You’ll also find a full array of hair, nail and make-up salon services for those perfect finishing touches.

Working Out: You don’t have to miss your daily workout while vacationing. Most island resorts, spas and fitness centers offer the latest in free-weight and training equipment, classes, steam rooms, pools and more. Daily, weekly and monthly passes are often available.

Go to Marine Guide Virtual Book for more!


Packing Checklist

So what should you pack for your charter vacation? Less is more. Use a soft duffel bag with outer zipper pockets. They are easier to store and can also be used for shopping or provisioning. Pack clothes in a large plastic bag inside your duffel and seal personal items and travel documents in zip lock bags to ensure that they stay dry.


Shorts and t-shirts


Boating type shoes

Extra hats


One or two lightweight pants or dresses for nights ashore

Lightweight jacket

Personal items:

Toiletries in small containers

All purpose lotion for skin

Sun block for skin and lips

Aloe Vera to ease sunburn pain

Personal medications

Insect repellant


Small personal flashlight

Waterproof camera

IPod or IPad

Small daypack for going ashore

Plastic bags and baggies

Travel documents

Charter agreement and
any boating certificates


No passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling to the U.S.V.I., if another proof of citizenship, such as driver’s license or birth certificate with picture ID, is available. Non-U.S. visitors need a valid passport and appropriate visa. No immunizations are necessary.

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