Renting vs Chartering a Boat for the Day in the Virgin Islands
When staying in the US Virgin Islands, whether you’re on St. Thomas or St. John, you’re surrounded by other islands you’re going to want to explore. Between the USVI and BVI, there are countless snorkel spots, beach bars, and other iconic locales. This is why the region is known as a boater’s paradise. You can hop on a boat for the day and island hop, easily seeing several different stops within the daylight hours.
If you’d like to go boating, the first question to determine is whether you’d like to rent a boat or charter a boat. In general, our recommendation is always to charter a boat whenever you can. In fact, all of the boat trips on our website are charters. Here’s why:
- When you charter a boat, it comes with a Captain (and sometimes crew) who knows the boat. They will be familiar with how to operate it, how it has been maintained, and where all of the necessary equipment is located.
- When you charter a boat, your Captain is also knowledgeable about the region. This means that they will not only know where to avoid hazardous conditions (you won’t get stuck on a reef!), but they also know fun stops and cool secret spots to explore.
- When you charter a boat, no one in your group needs to worry about being the designated driver. Everyone can imbibe all the Painkillers and Bushwackers they desire without jeopardizing the safety of the passengers or the boat.
- When you charter a boat, there is always someone to stay with the boat, if need be. Whether there’s limited space at a dock, not enough mooring balls, or everyone wants to snorkel to shore, your Captain can stay with the boat while you all continue the fun.
- When you charter a boat, there are typically more amenities that come with it than a bareboat rental. That means you may have access to snorkel gear, floats, coolers, and more. Check out the charter boat options to see which boats offer which amenities.
Renting a boat is definitely an option if you’re familiar with the area and have boating experience. However, even with that in mind, chartering a boat with a captain allows everyone onboard to have a safe, positive, stress-free experience for the day.