VIPCA Wins Ruling for Member Vessels to Charter between Puerto Rico and the USVI

VIPCA has just received a formal update regarding the Ruling for the Spanish Virgin Islands that “member vessels not specifically included in the final ruling may rely on the ruling to the extent they embark on the same itineraries, have the same items as sea stores or equipment, etc.  If a member vessel has different circumstances, it should not rely on the ruling.” We are ecstatic for all VIPCA vessel members that this ruling applies to every vessel and not only to those whom applied.

Please Note:

  • Unless a foreign-built yacht has gone through the process of obtaining a MARAD exemption and therefore becomes eligible for a Coastwise endorsement, the yacht cannot pick up and drop off guests in Puerto Rico.   Most yachts will have Recreational and Registry endorsements.  (Registry endorsement is for commercial activities, like chartering.)  For those yachts, acceptable itineraries are St Thomas to Puerto Rico, or Puerto Rico to St. Thomas, or St. Thomas to Puerto Rico and back to St. Thomas.
  • The MCA which allows 12 pax in USVI does NOT work in Puerto Rico.  So, even with the MCA, unless a yacht is USCG-Inspected, they cannot take more than 6 guests on charter in Puerto Rico.  (And USCG-Inspected is not some simple little safety inspection — it is a very onerous process.)

Enjoy chartering in the Spanish Virgin Islands!

Gowrie Group – Official Sponsor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2019

 

Gowrie Group Official Insurance Sponsor of the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show

 

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The off season is an excellent time for an annual review of your yacht insurance and an exam of your crew medical and health insurance. This sage advice comes from Gowrie Group, which manages the comprehensive health insurance and yacht insurance programs offered to active members of the Virgin Island Professional Charter Association (VIPCA). Gowrie, based in Westbrook, CT and one of the USA’s Top-50 independent insurance agencies, is an official sponsor of the USVI Charter Yacht Show. This show will take place November 11-14, 2019 at IGY Marina’s Yacht Haven Grande.

Photo: L to R Mark Gargula, Yacht & Personal Insurance Specialist and Rick Bagnall, Senior Vice President, of the Gowrie Group.

 

“Personal health insurance is extremely important, especially in the U.S. and its territories such as the Virgin Islands. Most emergency situations will end up on the U.S. mainland for treatment and you want to make sure your coverage extends into the U.S.,” says Rick Bagnall, Gowrie Group’s senior vice president and specialist in marine benefits and health insurance. “We are pleased to partner with VIPCA to offer this program to its members, to support the Yacht Show and to host a table at the Show where we look forward to meeting crews, captains, fleet managers and VIPCA members and answering questions.” Bagnall adds that Gowrie Group’s insurance policy available through VIPCA has been modified for 2019-2020 with changes that will positively affect each member.

 

“We have provided access to health insurance for our VIPCA Crew Members for over two years now,” says Oriel Blake, VIPCA executive director. ‘The Gowrie Group have proven immaculate with their rapid response time and continued support of VIPCA and its members, particularly with this third consecutive year of show sponsorship.”

 

Gowrie Group’s VIPCA health insurance plan is available to captains and crews as well as qualified vessel owners and suppliers. Plan highlights include worldwide coverage, coverage in the U.S., two plans to choose from, up to $5,000,000 per policy year limit, monthly credit card or EFT deductions and waiver of pre-existing conditions with creditable coverage.

 

Gowrie Group’s Yacht/Fleet Insurance Program is available to active Vessel Members of VIPCA. The program highlights include comprehensive marine insurance protection, coverage in the US and Caribbean, Jones Act coverage, personal property coverage, a large network of claims surveyors, and more.

 

“We have been duly impressed with the outstanding customer service Rick Bagnall and Mark Gargula have provided as we transitioned both our boat and health insurance to Gowrie Group,” says Steven Carroll, captain of the charter 50-foot St. Francis catamaran, Paradigm Shift. “We’ve only had to use our health insurance for a few prescriptions which were totally covered. We hope to never need our boat insurance of course, but the peace of mind and their flexibility made the transition a no brainer,”

 

As one of the nation’s Top 50 independent insurance agencies and the largest independent marine insurance group in the US, Gowrie Group provides total risk management services to individuals and organizations with complex insurance needs. Gowrie Group offers comprehensive insurance solutions matched with trusted advice and a commitment to service excellence. Gowrie Group’s portfolio of offerings includes commercial, home/auto, equine, marine, and yacht insurance, as well as employee benefits solutions, crew medical & health insurance, and safety services. www.gowrie.com

 

Register Now for the USVI Charter Yacht Show!

 

Over 60 crewed yachts are already registered for the USVI Charter Yacht Show. Among the largest are the 105-foot sailing catamaran Bella Vita, 92-foot classic monohull August Maverick, 77-foot newly built sailing catamaran Babac, and 74-foot power-cat SeaGlass.

 

Photo: Spacious forward Pilot House on August Maverick.

 

“This will be our first show and we know it’s the best way to get August Maverick and her amazing Captain and Crew out there,” says Jackie Courlas, chief of sales, marketing and logistics for Becket Benders, which owns and operates the yacht. Courlas adds that over the past 12 months, crew, which includes Captain Shawn Deweese, a 2002 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and founder, captain and chief of operations and leadership of Becket Benders, has made a number of improvements. These include completely renovated guest suites, a custom swim platform, and addition of a new wine cooler/mini-fridge and icemaker as well as enhancements guests won’t see but will enjoy like a reverse osmosis water maker and electrical and engineering system upgrades.

 

“Most people are immediately impressed by the incredibly bright and spacious Pilot House aboard August Maverick,” says Courlas. “With plenty of space for lounging, snacking, a wet bar and fridge, Bluetooth stereo system, as well as a great view of the helm, you can’t go wrong here.  It’s a space that really lets you soak in your surroundings and the experience of being on August Maverick. Plus, the pilot house is just the first of three levels of equally impressive spaces for lounging, relaxing and dinning. Almost everyone that comes aboard comments on the huge amount of interior space and that it seems to ‘just keep going’.”

 

Crewed Yachts can register online at: www.vipca.org/vessel-registration/

 

Some 110 charter brokers registered last year, with even more expected for the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show. These brokers are based in the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe.

 

Charter Brokers are also encouraged to register online at: www.vipca.org/charter-broker-registration/ Visit www.visitusvi.com for accommodation. Accommodation discounts are available at the Emerald Beach Resort and The Green Iguana Hotel. Book transport at www.vitaxiassociation.com.

 

Latest Show Updates

 

There are a number of exciting activities this year, says Blake. “This includes a culinary demonstration for yacht chefs by Chef David Benjamin at the Blue Eleven restaurant, located on the Yacht Haven Grande property. This takes place during the final afternoon after the show, on November 14. Chefs can register for this and the ‘Caribbean Fusion’ themed Culinary Competition online at: https://vipca.org/culinary-competition/. Best Stoli and Captain Morgan’s Cocktails will also be judged at the Blue Eleven restaurant during the course of the show.”

Photo: Yachts on the docks at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande Marina for the 2018 USVI Charter Yacht Show. Credit: Phil Blake.

 

The 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show’s dynamic action-packed schedule features four days of yacht viewing: an outstanding opportunity for yachts and crews to highlight signature services, features and amenities to brokers. Plus, there will be a crew cocktail party, awards dinner, sunset cruise, marine expo, and the always anticipated ‘State of the Industry’ address, which highlights many of the off-the-beaten-track anchorages in these world-famous cruising grounds.

 

Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; Gowrie Group; Denison Yacht Sales; Moe’s Fresh Market; Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Stoli, distributed by West Indies Company; Northern Lights Generators, distributed by Parts and Power; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers; Harbor Shoppers and La Royale Cosmetics.

 

ABOUT VIPCA: VIPCA is the territory’s 501(c)(6) nonprofit marine association, whose purpose is to promote, protect and further the capabilities of charter yachts and the marine businesses that sustain them. Projects and initiatives VIPCA membership supports include producing a marine directory of local information, technical advice and resources; improving Customs and Border Protection facilities; gaining ease of access for charter vessels between the USVI and Spanish Virgin Islands; compliance guidance; moving forward a proposal to manage territory wide new transient moorings; marine vocational training for V.I. youth; and surveying and cleaning up bays and mangroves under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), VI Marine Rebuild Fund. vipca.org

 

Media Contact:

Carol Bareuther

Tel: 340-998-3650

Email: bareuther@earthlink.net

Skype: Carol.Bareuther

 

CEDS Government Meeting

Friday August 9, VIPCA attended the second Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy meeting with the Governor and various heads of Government and Private Sectors.

The Governor (roughly quoted) stated that fixing the state of the Territory is like fixing a moving train. We must no longer mimic years previous like actors in a play, but grasp the new and unique opportunities by remaking and re-branding. There are things bigger than pot holes! Resilience begins with resilient people and with 30% of the population below the poverty line and 128 million dollars spent on the sick there is much work to be done.

“Tourism is the main business and we have to be extraordinary at it.”

A presentation was given by Damien Cartwright explaining the expansion and upgrades to be made to the Cyril E. King Airpot and the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport Terminal in St. Croix. The St. Thomas airport is to include a dock; VIPCA is presently working on directing this dock-build to be for the purpose of both commercial and recreational charter vessels, as well as private.

VIPCA Marine Apprenticeship – it’s a wrap for 1019

Ten students become marine professionals with help of community

June Second Quarterly Newsletter

Marine Career Talk given at CAHS

VIPCA spoke to 200 students today graduating from Charlotte Amalie High School – giving insight into what careers potential there are in the marine industry, and offering the opportunity to of a scholarship on the VIPCA Marine Apprenticeship July – Aug 2019. This is an intensive captains training with thanks to many industry leaders who donate time to training the students both on the water as captains and ashore in the marine services which support the vessels.

Offshore Marine – Official Sponsor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2019

 

Offshore Marine Named an Official Sponsor of 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show, Offers Carib Inflatable/Yamaha Outboard for Silent Auction to Raise Funds for Youth Training 

– Early Bird Discount for Yacht Registration Ends July 1, 2019

 

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Organizers of the USVI Charter Yacht Show, set for November 11 to 14, at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande, are pleased to announce that Offshore Marine, the Yamaha distributor and Caribe Inflatables importer to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, has been named the Show’s official supplier of Outboard Engines and Inflatable Dinghies. Located in Subbase, on the western side of the Charlotte Amalie harbor, this premier marine company and principal USVI Charter Yacht Show sponsor, also services what it sells. New for 2019, Offshore Marine is offering a Yamaha F70 with Caribe DL15 Inflatable, one of the most popular tender packages for charter yachts, for auction. Proceeds will benefit VIPCA and its non-profit Marine Rebuild Fund.

 

Photo: The Offshore Marine team in their facility in Subbase, St. Thomas.

 

“We are pleased to sponsor the USVI Charter Yacht Show,” says Abrie Cilliers, owner of Offshore Marine. “This is a market we know well, having sold and serviced durable and reliable name-brand outboards and inflatables such as Yamaha and Caribe for over 30 years. We know the importance of being ready for charter, the oftentimes tight turnaround between charters and how equipment breakdowns can cost a repeat charter. We pride ourselves in that we service what we sell and that we can stand behind and handle factory warranties for our products.”

 

Jennifer Augspurger, VIPCA president and chef aboard the 46-foot sailing catamaran, Starfish, adds, “VIPCA is thrilled to have Offshore Marine as a sponsor for the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show as the St. Thomas-based company is an invaluable partner for successful charter yacht operations. Charter yachts of all sizes can look to Offshore Marine for the purchase of new engines, generators or dinghies, or to secure parts or service. As those in the charter industry can attest, support services are key to optimal charter operations and Offshore Marine’s multi-faceted operation is evidence of the strength of the marine support services available to yachts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

 

Offshore Marine, the number one Yamaha service facility in the Caribbean, is staffed by factory-trained technicians. In fact, a factory certified Yamaha Master Technician runs the company’s service department. Offshore Marine’s technician’s constant dialogue with the main factory in Japan over the years and astute input about the unique challenges in the Caribbean market has helped Yamaha with product development and improvements, thus making a great product even better.

 

The inflatable repair facility at Offshore Marine handles not only the Caribe-brand but can accommodate sizes from a 10-foot cruising to 40-foot megayacht tender. Repairs range from small puncture holes to large tears and everything in between. The company even offers custom re-tubing on Inflatables 20-feet and up. Offshore Marine is also a dealer for brands such as Zodiac, Avon, Walker Bay and Novurania.

 

“Offshore Marine was wonderful to work with when I needed service repair work on my 15-foot Caribe tender,” says Mike ‘Hank’ Hampton, captain/owner operator at Feel the Magic Yacht Charters and founder of the St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands’-based Paradise Yacht Management. “I only had a short window before the next charter and they made sure the tender was quickly scheduled, repaired and splashed back in the water ready for the next charter.”

 

Join the Silent Auction Race!

 

A Yamaha F70 with Caribe DL15 Inflatable is up for auction from Offshore Marine.

 

The Yamaha F70 is one of the most popular go-to four-stroke outboards, which deliver quick starts, high performance and incredible efficiency.

 

Superior construction, an 8-passenger rating, built in fuel tank, molded console and upholstered seating makes the Caribe DL15 RIB a perfect tender for your charter yacht.

 

Fifty percent of auction profit will be donated to the charity, ‘Marine Rebuild Fund,’ to sponsor youth training in the marine industry, and 50% will benefit VIPCA.

 

Silent Auction starts July 1, see more information on VIPCA website: www.vipca.org

 

Photo: 2018 USVI Charter Yacht Show at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande, St. Thomas. Credit: Phil Blake.

 

Calling all Yachts – Early Bird Yacht Show Registration Ends July 1

 

Crewed Yachts should register by July 1 to receive 20% off with an Early Bird Show Registration Discount. Vessels who register by July 1 will be considered for priority berthing.

 

Charter Brokers are also encouraged to register early. Visit www.visitusvi.com for accommodation. Accommodation discount are available at the Emerald Beach Resort and The Green Iguana Hotel. Book transport at www.vitaxiassociation.com.

 

For more information and to register, visit: www.vipca.org

 

New for 2019

 

“This year we are excited to announce a ‘Chef and Bartender Expo’ as well as an extension of the increasingly prestigious culinary competition to include more competitors. There will be an exciting shake-up to the themed yacht-hop too,” says Oriel Blake, executive director of VIPCA.

 

Registration is now open for the Culinary Competition. This year’s theme is ‘Inspired Raw Cuisine’. Registration is first come, first serve. To register, Email: info@vipca.org

 

The 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show’s dynamic action-packed schedule features four days of yacht viewing, an outstanding opportunity for yachts and crews to highlight signature services, features and amenities to brokers. Plus, there will be a crew cocktail party, awards dinner, sunset cruise, marine expo, and the always anticipated ‘State of the Industry’ address, which highlights many of the off-the-beaten-track anchorages in these world-famous cruising grounds.

 

Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; the Gowrie Group; Denison Yacht Sales; Moe’s Fresh Market; Stoli, distributed by West Indies Company; Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers; Harbor Shoppers and La Royale Cosmetics.

 

ABOUT VIPCA

 

VIPCA is the territory’s 501(c)(6) nonprofit marine association, whose purpose is to promote, protect and further the capabilities of charter yachts and the marine businesses that sustain them. Projects and initiatives VIPCA membership supports includes producing a marine directory of local information, technical advice and resources; improving Customs and Border Protection facilities; gaining ease of access for charter vessels between the USVI and Spanish Virgin Islands; compliance guidance; moving forward a proposal to manage territory wide new transient moorings; marine vocational training for V.I. youth; and surveying and cleaning up bays and mangroves under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), VI Marine Rebuild Fund.

 

Media Contact:

Carol Bareuther

Tel: 340-998-3650

Email: bareuther@earthlink.net

Skype: Carol.Bareuther

 

 

VIPCA a leading component of the “U.S. Virgin islands Vision 2040” initiative

Governor Bryan announced during the State of the Territory Address that a 20-year economic vision for the Territory would be developed and called the “U.S. Virgin islands Vision 2040” initiative.  He designated the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) to lead the effort.  An RFP has been issued to retain a Vision 2040 consultant and an Evaluation Committee is being appointed to evaluate bids and make a recommendation.

VIPCA was honoured to have been appointed to be a member of the Vision 2040 Request for Proposal (RFP) Evaluation Committee. Oriel Blake spent one day evaluating the various applications on May 28, 2019.

VIPCA continues to dedicate time and efforts to bring the Marine Industry to the forefront of expenditure decisions made by the Government of the Virgin Islands.

 

 

19 Maritime Academy students from STX Central High School graduated from the World Ocean School St.Croix

Newsflash:
19 Maritime Academy students from STX Central High School graduated from the World Ocean School St.Croix. Through this workforce development program World Ocean School students had the opportunity to see themselves in a different way, were exposed to a multitude of new opportunities, and are on track to contribute to the community, and this critical industry, in a significant and much needed way.
VIPCA is proud to support Program Manager Nick Parker and Executive Director Eden Leonard in furthering the World Ocean School training possibilities in the VI.

Marine Career Talks Given at Eudora Kean High School

VIPCA spoke to today to graduating from Eudora Kean High School giving insight into what careers potential there are in the marine industry, and offering the opportunity to of a scholarship on the VIPCA Marine Apprenticeship July – Aug 2019. This is an intensive captains training with thanks to many industry leaders who donate time to training the students both on the water as captains and ashore in the marine services which support the vessels.