Interested in buying a mooring STT
I would like to buy a mooring in STT. I would be open to multiple areas. If anyone has one they are interested in selling, please contact me locally at 714-3331 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was my understanding that you basically can buy the tackle of the mooring, but would have to have it permitted in your name. Any advice for this would be greatly appreciated. I have a little time to wait now, since the boat we wanted didn't pass the survey. We are continuing our search.
Lowdown on Moorings: I arrived by sailboat in March 2007, and was visited by a DPNR boat about two weeks later. I was anchored at Elephant Bay and because the Queen Mary 2 was scheduled to come in the West Gregory Channel, they were unofficially widening the channel by clearing out a row of boats and allowing "Deliver It", the line handling company for cruise ships, to place a channel marker. The actual process of channel modifications is actually done by the US Army Corps of Engineers and USCG and is a long and formal process, but that is another story. Anyway, I applied for a mooring at that time.
Since then I have learned that the Enforcement Office is "not issuing mooring permits at this time". I am not clear about who decides such matters, but it seems sort of like the Drivers License Bureau deciding they are not issuing licenses any more for a few months... but of course obtaining a mooring is a less urgent matter in some ways.
As far as I can tell from the general area where I am (moored), the DPNR only sporadically checks mooring permits. Though the rules are strictly against selling or even allowing someone else to use a mooring, in at least some locations, both selling and borrowing of moorings is practiced regularly. Since DPNR does not enforce their rules, it is a sort of law-of-the-jungle or anything-goes situation. I was told by neighbors that some people in my vicinity have been moored up to 10 years without ever speaking to a DPNR official (and certainly without paying any annual mooring fee - $5/foot). On the other hand, you may be unlucky and meet a zealous DPNR official right away, so try to be legal. The way to do this is to complete an application which means you have to register your boat in the Virgin Islands, complete the form, and submit a photograph of the boat (so the DPNR can recognize it whenever they come around to do the permit investigation). Once you have the application submitted, you can pretty much do what you want. If you install a mooring and DPNR visits, tell them you are anchored (a mooring IS, after all, simply a very well set anchor!), and that you have applied for a mooring. The fee for the mooring is not due until they approve the application. With luck, (?) you might not have to pay a permit fee for many years!
OK, good info - my earlier post was definitely STT-specific!
cost of a mooring: I installed three galvanized 4' sand screws with about 10" augers. they were $60 each. I connected them to a 3/4" swivel with three lengths of 1/2" galvanized chain (10' each). The total cost of chain, shackles, and the swivel was about $200. I found an 80' piece of discarded 2" three strand nylon line discarded by a day-charter catamaran, but a new piece would have run about $10 per foot. I think there is often some worn out commercial ship mooring line available here or there. I made the mooring float from a used plastic 20 gallon drum. I would not certify this design, but it seems typical of the moorings I've looked at around the area where I am moored. There are a few boats moored to giant concrete blocks, and a few small boats moored with a triad of plain anchors instead of sand screws. There is a lot of abandoned hardware scattered over the bottom in the area where we're moored (north of Water Island near Crown Bay, STT).
It took about an hour for me and a friend to screw in the sand screws and shackle everything together. We burned a total of three scuba tanks of air. We used a 6' piece of 1" galvanized pipe as the "wrench" to screw in the augers, and weighted ourselves down to the bottom with every scrap of lead I could find, to facilitate walking around the augers as we drove them in. One person could do it by themselves in three hours I think. I put 3/4-inch shaft zincs on the augers to hopefully increase their life expectancy.
Thanks for the information! Since my husband is a certified scuba instructor he thinks he can do it himself. We've been talking with some locals and getting the low down also. The good news is the boat deal ended up going through. It is over in Tortola getting some sprucing up and should be over here in a few weeks!
We are now of course on the look out for a dingy. Ideal would be a 8' or 10' with a 15hp. If anyone has one keep me in mind.
Just wondering....why do you want an 8 to 10' dinghy? Please pardon my unsolicited advise, but a 12' would serve you so much better. We ran a 12' with a 15 horse for years, and there were times when a bigger rig would have been better, but it was usually big enough. It was never too big! The only exception to that might be if you're going to carry it on the foredeck for cruising. If you are going to be hauling stuff like scuba gear, bigger is definitely better. I'm sure you have your reasons. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Good luck to you. Glad things worked out with the boat.
I second that Juanita. We arrived in STT from 7 years of cruising in the western Caribbean with our 8' hard dinghy and 2 hp Yamaha (which I sometimes row the boat instead of using the OB, just for exercise). We have always been happy with that set-up, but the waters around STT are rougher than protected locations farther west: There is lots of boat wake to deal with, lots of open fetches of water and lots of trade wind, so you are always dealing with choppy conditions. Despite my aversion to large outboards and inflatable dinghies, I bowed to necessity while here and bought a new 12' Caribe with 15 hp OB from Offshore Marine - a bit under $6000 all things considered, but I am pretty sure anything less would have been inadequate - and anything more might be problematic for some since I know at least one dinghy dock that nominally excludes dinghies over 12 feet (Crown Bay - but I do not think they are too tough on enforcement).
Crown Bay does post the policy - only boats up to 12ft. While I've never seen the policy formally enforced, I can say from first hand experience that I don't appreciate someone violating this policy. Water Islanders and live-aboards that work, school and grocery shop in STT keep that dingy dock stacked almost on top of each other each day - and I'm amazed at most of the dingy dock users who demonstrate courtesy, respect for others, and organized approach to tie up in such a cramped space. A boat over 12ft consumes space they shouldn't and by craming their oversized boat into this space they exhibit very inconsiderate and disrespectful behavior toward the rest of us who play by the rules and by necessity must must the dinghy dock.
We are not opposed to a 12 foot, but think a 8' or 10' would be easier for us. The boat is only 35' so we were trying not to have something too big if we need to pull it behind us. Also, we haven't decided if we want pay to leave the dinghy somewhere or have something small enough we can load it up. Since we are new to STT we are trying to learn what would be best. So, all experiences/opinions are good to read.
speaking of places to tie up, we find the Krum Bay dock quite acceptable across from the WAPA power plant and a little way west of Crown Bay. The fishermen there have lobbied successfully to expand the dock with a long "T" so now there is lots of room. Of course it is a longer hike to the store, so no good for pedestrians, but for those of us who have a vehicle it is a good option - at least I don't mind parking my old beater of a truck there. I might not want to park a shiny sports car there! Best of all it is free, and you can park a big dinghy there too if you like.
Antillean, Krum Bay dock was always so..........decrepit, derelict boats, broken stringers with sunken docks......we were always leary about leaving our dinghy there. It's not a case, like in some places, where folks feel the need to cut you loose if you haven't somehow gotten permission from the 'secret club' to tie up there? Do you have trouble with things disappearing at Krum Bay? Or, anyone mess with your boat? It is a little more of a hike but no big deal really. We've used Krum Bay to meet up with the Home Depot truck (picture 4 toilets and an air bladder in a 12 ft dinghy with me riding high on top all the way to deep water dock at Water Island) and I always wondered if we would be ok leaving our STT vehicle and/or our dinghy over-day or over-night. I haven't seen the "T" dock there. Of course, haven't ventured over there in a while but sounds like I need to check it out!
We asked around about places to tie up and someone in the anchorage mentioned that they tie up there some times. We put in a pair of screw-eyes into the dock support beams and leave the lock in them (two side-by-side means you can't unscrew the eye and take the cable away - always with a lock means it is reserved for us, though of course someone else could easily tie up to the pilings there if they want to). We had a gas tank stolen before we started locking it into the boat, and once someone stole a half-used quart of 2-stroke oil (I guess they needed it in an emergency, so they are welcome to it - glad to have been of help). As soon as we started using the dock, someone took our registration decal ($2 to replace it a few months later when we got around to it). These were all petty annoyances, and none put us off. Nobody has messed with the truck (probably afraid to get tetanus). Oh yeah, we had a stainless carabiner in the dinghy line and someone took that - but a couple of fishermen said it was a sport boat full of tourists and one of the tourists took it (!) - he had to untie a three-strand eye-splice to get it loose.
Now, we have had some chances to give fishermen a ride here or there, so I guess we are starting to get "in", but it was not a big ordeal.