If you’re planning your British Virgin Islands yacht charter this year, local businesses need you, so don’t forget the watertoys. Here’s what you need to think about when hiring and using yacht watertoys, as well as insider recommendations from our partner Last Stop Sports:
There are various types of watertoys for you to choose from and need to be pre-booked through our team:
- Single kayaks
- Double kayaks
- Pool floats
- Fishing gear and permits
- Diving equipment
Paddleboarding has been around for a while but there are constant improvements to board designs
Things to consider when using yacht watertoys
The essential kit for a charter around the BVIs includes a couple of paddleboards and a couple of floats to have a fun time. The dinghy ladders are very popular if you don’t feel strong enough to drag yourself back into your dinghy after a snorkel.
Our advice when renting watertoys is to know your limits. Always let a crew member know if you are going for a paddle or kayak and make sure you know what the wind and currents are doing. It may be a breeze to go in one direction but a big struggle when you turn around to get back to the boat! A general rule of thumb is to always start a paddle, or snorkel against the wind and current, so that when you get tired, it’s easy to coast back.
Expert tips on paddleboarding
Paddleboarding is a skill, so find a calm bay and choose a day with minimal wind. Start on your knees and make sure you are holding the paddle correctly (ask us for a quick lesson if you are new to it). Slowly stand up with your legs square, either side of the handle and shoulder width apart (not like you would stand on a surfboard). Make sure you take your time.
You will fall in the first few times so give it a chance and persevere! If the nose of the board sinks, you are too far forward and if the tail of the board sinks, you are too far back. Usually the handle of the board is a good place to stand and you can adjust your feet from there.
BVI watertoys: top spots to use them
There are so many gorgeous places to kayak in the BVIs and I personally love the Bight at Norman Island and Little Harbour at Peter Island, as they are both always so protected. If you prefer paddleboarding, it’s fun to paddle from Apple Bay to Smuggler’s Cove when it’s calm and Little Harbour at Peter Island is also great for paddleboarding.
My favorite dive site is the HMS Rhone and the stern section is good for snorkeling in the right conditions. There’s nothing like diving on a 150 year old wreck with an amazing story behind it. The Indians is still an amazing snorkel and the Caves at Norman Island are always a crowd pleaser. Legend has it that a local fishing family actually found treasure in one of the caves about 120 years ago, and promptly moved to the USVI and opened a store!
Awesome places to eat
Our favorite off island eating spot in the BVI is Cooper Island. They are an eco-friendly, solar-powered boutique resort with excellent, reasonably priced food in a delightful beachfront setting. Not to mention their rum bar. They suffered considerable damage in Irma but I’m happy to say they just reopened and are even better than before. We are also excited to see that the new Willy T has arrived back in the BVI. We definitely recommend visiting the Willy T for food and drinks.
Look after our coral
When you’re out using your yacht watertoys, please don’t feed the fish at any location, even if you see others doing it. Among many reasons, feeding the fish detours them from eating the algae off the coral. The algae will eventually suffocate the coral and the coral dies. Our ecosystems are so fragile and everything is interconnected so please refrain from doing this – not to mention cheerios, bread and popcorn. They are not high on the list of nutritious food for fish.
Want to discover the BVIs? Find out more about our bareboat yacht charters, or hire a skipper. Alternatively, for an action-packed adventure, discover our cabin charters, or for a more luxurious experience, book a crewed charter.