Bareboat Yacht Charters Blog

You’re at anchor with the family in Christmas Cove, on the first night of your St. Thomas bareboat charter vacation. You turn to the kids and say, “Hey, why don’t we order a pizza for delivery?”

As far-fetched as that might sound, sailors in the Virgin Islands CAN order a pizza to go – or even have it delivered – thanks to Tara and Sasha Bouis, and their 37 foot motorsailor named “Pizza Pi.”

Pizza Pi Sailboat anchored - white sailboat with teal and yellow stripes - mountain behind sailboat

Seeing a niche opportunity, Sasha, a former charter boat skipper, and his wife, Tara, an award-winning private yacht charter cook, decided to take a chance and open the first floating pizzeria in the Virgin Islands.

They found an abandoned 37ft boat in Tortola, BVI, and spent two years repairing and refitting the boat with the necessary amenities to cook fresh pizza.  They installed commercial-grade brick ovens, a dough maker, and everything else you would find in the kitchen of your neighborhood pizza joint.

They even traveled to New York city to learn how to make authentic NY-style thin crust pizza, or “pies” as they are called in the Big Apple (hence the name of the boat, Pizza “Pi”).

The pizza boat set sail in November, 2014.

The Bouis’ decided to drop anchor for business in the Virgin Islands, the hub for Caribbean-based boat charters.  They selected Christmas Cove, at the east end of St. Thomas, next to Great St. James Island. With easy access from St. Thomas and St John, it’s a popular cove for Virgin Island catamaran bareboats, as well as local resident boaters and tourist-packed dive boats.

You can order your pizza via your boat’s radio, or call it in via cell, or even e-mail it. Then you can either pick up the pizza in your dinghy (there’s a hatch in the stern where people on dinghies can place orders and pick up their pies), or Pi will deliver it to you – as long as you’re anchored in Christmas Cove.

Pizza boat sailboat anchored - smiling woman in back window ready to take orders

So far, business is steady, with Sasha and Tara selling about 25 pies a day – and 30 to 40 on busy days.

That’s a lot of dough!!  $$$!!   (sorry, couldn’t resist a corny joke…)

NOTE:  Pizza Pi is closed for the hurricane season, but reopens November, 2015…

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BOATING TIPS: Anchoring/Mooring in Christmas Cove – There are over 20 mooring buoys here, to protect the corals. Look for floating signage explaining the rules for using the buoys. There is also room for a few boats to anchor in sand and light grass just east of Fish Cay (a small island in the middle of the cove).

FREE PIZZA:  book a yachting vacation in the USVI or BVI through 1-800 Bareboat, and we’ll treat you to a complimentary Pizza Pi large pizza with toppings during your charter!!!   Contact us at info@bareboat.com, call our 24-hour hotline at 305-720-7245, or fill out our online form

 

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how to provision a bareboat charter

How to provision for your bareboat yacht charter

So you’ve made the decision to do a Virgin Island bareboat charter. Congratulations! Obviously, you are comfortable with the responsibility of taking the helm and charting your own course.

Now, what should you do about your food and drink provisioning? After all, when you decide to do a bareboat charter, instead of hiring a crew, the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning are all up to you.


Here are your two basic options for provisioning:


1.  PURCHASE A PROVISIONING PACKAGE

Most charter companies will offer to stock your yacht with food and beverages – for a fee. You can choose from a half-board plan, sometimes known as split provisioning, or a full-board plan. The split plan gives you two meals a day, and the full-board plan is three meals a day.

Unless you are sailing in a remote area, our charter specialists suggest the split plan. This gives you the option of going ashore for either lunch or dinner and sampling the local island cuisine.

We also recommend provisioning for no more than 3-4 days during a 7-day charter. There are just so many opportunities to dine ashore in most Caribbean locations – it’s a shame to let extra food go to waste.

In the Caribbean, the typical cost to arrange for split food provisioning is approximately $30 per person per day.

As to drinks, most charter companies will give you a list of available beverages, including waters, soda, and alcohol. These items are purchased at a slight premium above retail and are stocked onto the yacht before your arrival.

In addition to food and beverage options, most charter companies offer a “starter” package of non perishable items, such as toilet paper, matches, charcoal, and plastic utensils.


2.  PROVISION THE YACHT, YOURSELF

If you have the time prior to the commencement of your sail boat charter, you can hit the local market and provision the boat, yourself. Of course, this might cut into your time on deck, enjoying the sunshine, but it can also save you a wad of cash.

If you elect to stock the boat yourself, save time by planning your basic food and drink menu from home, prior to your charter. Don’t forget to purchase non-food items such as charcoal for the grill, napkins, paper towels, etc.  Again, we suggest no more than 3 to 4 days worth of fresh food onboard for a 7-night charter.

*TIME SAVER!*  If you arrive a day before your charter and are staying in a hotel, ask your charter company if you can have access to the boat prior to the charter. Early access gives you time to stock the fridge and bring supplies onboard without cutting into your actual charter time.

Whether you purchase a provisioning package or you do it yourself, it is nice to have options.  The choice is yours and simply depends upon your budget…and your time!

When you charter a bareboat, do you pay for provisioning, or do you provision it, yourself?  Why?

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