Ideal Island Vehicle? + Welders?
We are two years into our five year moving plan - planning to move to STT in June of 2011. I think we've read nearly every post on this forum -- thanks so much to everyone who contributes!
I have two curiosity questions:
1) What do you consider the ideal vehicle for us to bring with us? I need to purchase a new vehicle this year and have decided that I want this to be the 'island car' that we bring with us (paid for, of course). Should I go for a Jeep Wrangler? What else would be a good choice?
I also like the Honda CRV, but I'd need to do more research on the tax to bring it into the USVIs.
If you could choose the perfect island car, what would it be?
2) Is there much work available for welders on STT or STJ? I'm just curious. I think my husband and I both have enough education and varied experience that we can surely find employment of some sort -- we'll be working on that during our PMVs. We're not opposed to waiting tables (or whatever) as necessary, but my husband would like to stick with his current trade. I just can't see that there would be too many things for him to weld on an island. Am I wrong?
Thanks again to everyone!
Jayne have you considered STX? we do have the refinery here and they always need guys like your husband
trw, quit stealing prospective St. Thomians. 😉 I counted about 11 listing for Welding in the Yellow Pages for St. Thomas so I'm guessing there's a call for welders. One listing had a website: www.ferraryenterprises.com
as did another: www.subbasedrydock.vi
Lots of Jeeps here & lots of Hondas, Toyotas & Suzukis.
Welding jobs won't be an issue. As for vehicles. I would say RAV4, Honda CRV or Pilot, Chevy TrailBlazer or GMC Envoy or Ford Explorer. Basically any of the small to medium SUV's will do fine. The tax isn't enough to be a real big issue.
welders are in demand and not always available with the skills to do specialty work. Hovensa has a training program for welders because they need far more than they can bring in from the mainland. You might want to have your husband go talk to them when you are here on your visit. You just never know if the refinery might pay your moving expenses and offer him a great starting salary if he fills a need they have. They pay benefits, too. They may just want you to move up your arrival time and not wait another three years.
Thanks so much for all the input!
We always rent a Jeep when we come down and can't imagine not being able to put the top down. That's one of the highlights of our vacations - cruising around with the wind in our hair. A Jeep is the only 4x4 that is a convertible, right? Samurais, Trackers, etc. aren't being made anymore...?
On the flip side, we have a convertible at home and I don't end up driving with the top down as often as I thought I would. Maybe I won't care if I don't have a Jeep when I'm going about my everyday life on-island. Wrangler vs. CR-V... This is going to be a tough one for me. Any pros and cons you can think of are appreciated.
I hadn't considered STX as an option until now. My island dream includes occasional island hopping that I don't see being possible from STX. I really love Jost, Virgin Gorda, STJ beaches and everything else in between. Also, airfare seems to be consistently lower out of STT and I want to be able to fly back to the mainland three times per year.
However, my practical husband will now be investigating the possibility of working for Hovensa and negotiating a relocation package. I'm trying to be open minded about this option, so I believe we'll be heading to STX this summer to 'check it out before I rule it out'. 🙂
I feel great knowing that a welder with 10 years of experience will have a shot at a job on STT too though. Thanks Trade for the info -- we'll know where to start on our PMVs!
Jeep Wranglers have a high resale value, the flip side is they are always ranked horrible as far as reliability. You may get lucky and get a reliable one but it would be my last choice unless I owned a home on a 4 wheel drive kind of road, even then many other suvs have good 4 wheel drive. You'll want something reliable and something good on gas. Because even though the islands are small you will still use it up with all the constant stop and go traffic and with the steep hill on stt and stj. Our gas bill isn't as bad as living in CA but its not that much better either.