US Virgin Islands - Profile
- The US Virgin Islands have three main islands, St Thomas, St John and St Croix. Most of the other 65 islands are uninhabited.
- As a US Unincorporated Territory, the islanders are US citizens, although unable to vote in federal elections.
- The islands are a convenient landfall if coming directly from continental USA and also a good point of departure when heading for the USA, either direct or via Bermuda. It is also a good transition to the US bureaucracy if coming from the Caribbean.
- The US Virgin Islands are Duty Free.
- Scenically the US Virgin Islands are on a par with their British counterpart.
- Most repair facilities are concentrated around Charlotte Amalie, either in the harbour itself or the immediate vicinity. The principal marina is at Crown Bay on the western side of the bay as is the Haulover Marine Yachting Center, comprising a group of companies providing specialist services such as diesel repair, boatbuilding and sailmaking. There are several more marinas dotted around St. Thomas's indented coastline, all offering the usual services.
- The only other island having comparable services is St. Croix. Facilities on St. John are much more limited: St John Island is largely unspoilt and its facilities, or lack of them, reflect this.
In January 2016 a French single-hander took shelter in a small bay on the SW of St Croix. The following day, 1.5 miles offshore he was approached by a large fishing boat and 3 men boarded his boat, attacked and shot him and stole his electronics. See report here.
Based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (firstname.lastname@example.org) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the Noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated February 2016.
The islands have a very pleasant climate, cooled by the trade winds. From November to April swells on the north coast can be a problem following heavy weather in the North Atlantic. June to November is the hurricane season.
National Weather Service
NOAA agency that covers weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for the USA, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.
Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Office providing public weather forecasts for Antigua & Barbuda, the Leeward Islands and the BVIs.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.