British Virgin Islands - Yachting Essentials

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The electricity runs at 110 volts at 60 cycles, and outlets will accept the standard two and three-pronged plugs found in the USA.


The island’s drinking water is supplied by both desalination plants and by treating local supply. It’s considered potable—but ask before use.


Fuel is available at multiple locations throughout the islands including on Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Marina Cay, Peter Island, and Virgin Gorda.

LPG / Gas

Propane is available at several places in Road Town, also at Parham Town, Nanny Cay, and Spanish Town.


Outside of Tortola, marina slips are available at Spanish Town, Leverick Bay, Bitter End Yacht Club, Nut Oil Bay and Scrub Island.

There are many mooring fields in the BVIs, all clearly marked. Some are National Park mooring fields – see Restrictions for more info.

Boaty Ball is a great tool for reserving mooring balls. You pay a slightly higher price but you are guaranteed a ball. This is especially nice in the more popular anchorages. Beware that some anchorages are weather dependent. When there are north swells, some anchorages may be uncomfortable or closed., especially Cane Garden Bay, White Bay and Diamond Key. In high seas, the most comfortable overnight spot is The Bight at Norman Island.

BoatyBall cover much of the BVIs and some of the USVIs. All of their moorings are branded and can be booked online, although there are some available on a first-come-first-served basis:

Many places have mooring buoys belonging to a bar or restaurant, however, these can’t be booked in advance.


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British Virgin Islands was last updated 1 month ago.

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  1. February 18, 2024 at 3:01 PM
    douglasrichard says:

    I am looking for someone to assist me in some onboard electrical repairs. Any suggestions or recommendations would be welcomed.

  2. January 16, 2024 at 8:03 PM
    Tim Schramm says:

    Diesel and gas available in Trellis Bay, Beef Island, Tortola. I was surprised that Gasoline, Diesel and Water were available at the pier in front of The Loose Mongoose. We need to top up on water, but decided not to try since Christopher said they have 2 meters depth at high tide and it drops quickly. Our mono hull draws 6’2″. Not much to spare and the chart lists it as shallow and who knows about the depths enroute to the pier. Probably no big deal to the majority of catamarans that get moorings here.

  3. October 6, 2023 at 3:53 AM
    Randall Shearer says:

    We’ll be visiting St Thomas USVI and expected to tour the BVI when friends visit. We plan to be in the area for a month, maybe two – so we might visit the BVI several times.

    I’ve just read a comment on a Facebook group that indicates there’s a limit to how many times one can visit the BVI (I think he said annually).

    Is that true?

    Are there limits to the number of times we can sail over to BVI? If so, are such limits just for commercial/charter boats?

    If there are limits for cruisers, what other things should we know (I’ve read all that’s here on Noonsite).

    Thanks everyone,


  4. September 19, 2023 at 5:06 PM

    I am a cruiser currently in Roatan. I am trying to help a newbi friend. He owns a charter cat in Tortola. He wants to take his boat from Tortola to Viequez. He can do ROAM to clear into the US. His question is how does he clear back into the BVI’s. Does he need a Zarpe? Is clearance easier in west end or Jost van Dyke? Steling Huff S/V DocSea

    1. September 25, 2023 at 9:58 AM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      Hi Steling,
      See for details of clearing into the BVIs. Both ports offer efficient clearance, but possibly Jost van Dyke is quicker. Click on the anchor icon to see the ports and find out clearance info.

  5. December 24, 2022 at 10:17 PM
    profile photo
    Aquitaine says:

    We are currently at Cane Garden Bay, Tortola and using the white mooring ball. The ball clearly says that the price is $30 per night. When I went to pay I was charged $40. I was told that the price has gone up but the balls have not been changed. Funny how the white $30 balls are still $30 at other places.
    Ian Miller
    Lady Aquitaine

  6. May 11, 2022 at 3:22 PM
    vincent-michaud says:

    The information of the opening of entry points other than Road Town in Tortola is false.
    We are sailing with 2 people on our 14m catamaran and despite a complete vaccination plan, antigen test of less than 24 hours and Sailclear formalities carried out 100%, it was impossible to check in on May 2, 2022 by Virgin Gorda, Spanish Town. It is also posted on the door that all entrances can only be made at Road Town, Tortola
    On May 7, I was able to clear out at Virgin Gorda customs and it was confirmed to me that only exits could be made outside of RoadTown.
    The customs officer informed me that this measure was permanent and that there were no plans to change
    The customs office in Virgin Gorda is also open on Saturday mornings until 1 p.m.

    1. May 17, 2022 at 10:03 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      Thank you Vincent for this feedback. We are querying once again with Customs as to what is going on with ports of entry after they confirmed what was currently open (but clearly is not!). For now, as you say, yachts should count on Road Town, Tortola as the only inward port of entry.

  7. April 16, 2022 at 9:06 PM
    permaler says:

    PT (16-04-2022) you can only check in 2 places, namely Tortola / Roadtown and WestEnd. Checking out all the usual places.
    Please note at check-in in Road Town, which may only be parked / anchored in the area in front of the Custum (ferry berth) until check-in is arranged, fines of between $ 2,500 and $ 10,000 will be imposed. They also do not allow a stopover. same fines
    The same fines are imposed if one is in the National Park areas, without having paid the fee, about $ 50 per week.

    1. April 18, 2022 at 7:20 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      BVI Customs today confirmed the following ports are open for checking in:
      Customs ports for entry open:
      – Road Town and West End (Tortola)
      – Great Harbor (Jost van Dyke)
      – Spanish Town (Virgin Gorda)
      Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm daily
      Extended Hours West End only: 8:30 am – 8:00 pm Friday to Sunday

    2. December 2, 2022 at 10:32 PM
      profile photo
      Aquitaine says:

      Hi Sue,
      We are planning on booking in to BVI in a weeks time from Curacao. Our plan is to go straight to Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke. Is the above information correct? Vincent MICHAUD posted in May that entry can only be Road Town.
      I would appreciate your advice.
      Ian Miller
      Lady Aquitaine

    3. December 24, 2022 at 10:11 PM
      profile photo
      Aquitaine says:

      Hi Sue,
      All went well booking in at Jost Van Dyke. Extremely quick and VERY friendly.
      Ian Miller
      Lady Aquitaine

    4. December 30, 2022 at 4:29 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      Good to hear! Thanks for the feedback.

  8. March 27, 2022 at 2:17 PM
    christine77 says:

    Has anyone any information about BVI Customs and the seizure of 184 charter boats in Tortola as reported in “THE DAILY NEWS” on 27 March by Dean Greenaway. I am due to pick up a boat from Dream Yacht Charters and sail it to Raitea in the next few days. I am in Australia and would be grateful for any available information or contact phone numbers anyone can assist with. Thank you. Chris

  9. March 2, 2022 at 8:41 PM
    carinebullockbellsouth-net says:

    I am traveling on my trawler from Stuart, Florida directly to the BVI’s. Myself and my crew are all American citizens. Can anyone tell me if I am required to have exit papers from the US? I don’t see it on any of the online information, but was told that it was required in Antigua and may be in other countries in the Caribbean. Dealing with US customs is a chore and don’t want to show up at an office trying to get exit papers if they are not required.

    1. March 4, 2022 at 2:29 PM
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      Sue Richards says:

      Hi, here’s some feedback from Nanny Cay Marina Manager (BVI):
      BVI Customs generally DO NOT ask for the zarpe if you tell them you have come from the USVI. This I am told by many charter boats that are going back and forth so they may be recognized locally.
      For Cruisers and not so familiar faces, they may ask for the zarpe from USVI but more often than not, they won’t ask for it.
      Coming from further down island, if you mention SXM, Grenada, etc, etc, they will ask for the zarpe.
      So no concrete answer. Our USA pages have details on how to get a zarpe – it might be worth just getting one in case. See (clearing out).

  10. June 15, 2020 at 5:44 PM
    lydia says:

    I sailed my boat Lydia from Grenada up to Nanny Cay in Tortola in February ready for a transat back to the UK later in the year, flew home for a daughter’s wedding, and… couldn’t get back because of lockdown.
    Didn’t want to leave her there during the hurricane season, so booked Sevenstar to ship her home.
    But, if I’m not there, how do I get the boat to the loading point and make sure that she is ready and secure for the voyage?
    Solution: Lincoln Ramsarran of Aquadoc in Nanny Cay looked after my nerves and the boat, got her safely loaded aboard.
    Staff at Nanny Cay were also most helpful.

  11. February 7, 2020 at 1:51 PM
    adammarks says:

    Been 24 years since having a boat in the VI and 17 years since my last visit until last week…wow ..Things have really changed !

    With that all said I am looking to possibly sail my C&C 40 from RI to the Virgin Islands next winter to use on my days off from being a full-time large Power yacht captain in South Florida.

    I have long durations in the winter with no owners aboard so I typically work 15 to 20 days in a row and then takeoff a week or so.

    I’m trying to find out / figure out the best place to keep the boat so it makes the logistics as easy as possible what I need to fly into the Virgin Islands.I will most certainly be sailing around the British Virgin Islands but I’m not sure if that makes the most sense to berth at as getting over there is time consuming once you land in St. Thomas & visa versa. Again my mission is simplicity and easy logistics …as far as cost $1000 a month is about what I’m trying to be at .As of right now sapphire in Saint Thomas probably gonna be my best bet I am just wondering if anyone else has any ideas?

    I draw 7.6 feet

    1. February 7, 2020 at 3:10 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Hi Adam, I suggest you ask on these facebook pages as well – and

  12. December 28, 2019 at 6:46 PM
    Sapphire says:

    We have sailed our yacht twice in BVI waters in 2019 and found the check in fees on both occasions differed. We were not charged a tonnage fee and we are 17GT.

    Arrived 6 April 2019
    Checked in at Spanish Town, anchored in bay by Ferry Dock

    Environmental & Tourism Levy US$20.00 (2 people)
    Unknown fee shown on receipt as ‘PD’ US$10.00
    Total fee for check in was US$30.00

    Arrived 2 Dec 2019
    Checked in at Spanish Town
    Anchored in (same) bay by Ferry Dock

    Environmental & Tourism Levy US$20.00 (2 people)
    Customs Forms US$0.50c
    Customs Services US$5.00
    Harbour Charges US$42.00

    Total fee for check in was US$67.50

    We found the islands are returning to normal after the 2017 hurricanes although some bars have still not re-opened.

    Annoyingly, most of our favourite anchorage spots have now been overrun with mooring balls and as a live aboard cruiser this is frustrating, as at $35/$45 per night, it is way too expensive. I’m sure charterers will roll this cost into their holiday budget but it is not sustainable for the average cruiser on a budget. It does make you feel that we are not welcome as live aboard cruisers despite spending our dollars here at the supermarkets and restaurants.

    It has been difficult to try and find information beforehand on where the mooring balls now are and we have often sailed into an anchorage to find we have had to move on as there is no longer room to anchor.

    1. November 30, 2020 at 7:47 PM
      mark-hoenke says:

      Fees are totally capricious and vary widely by the day and the officer and location. We have paid as little as $68 and as much as $280. There is no available schedule of fees and if you ask to see the fee schedule you may be given two hours to exit the BVI as happened three years ago to one of our rally boats. We view the officials as pirates and now as they detain boats, jail crews and hold them incommunicado, they are terrorists.

      Give the place a wide berth and let them choke on their T-shirt shops. We will never go there again.

  13. September 16, 2019 at 3:41 AM
    tomclark73 says:

    Can anyone recommend a good itinerary for 8 nights in BVI? First night will be at Scrub Island, so seven nights thereafter. Thanks!

  14. August 22, 2019 at 4:12 PM
    saltygirl says:

    Our 2nd haul-out for repairs/maintenance left us with the same impression as our first visit; can-do attitudes, courteous, knowledgeable yet humble. We have used other boat yards in the Caribbean, but VGYH is our 1st choice. They have an accommodating lift schedule, and understand how to get you back in the water with an emergency haul-out while on charter. Contractors Work Bench & CRC, lead by Clayton and Chris respectively, know boats and how to fix them. Anybody doing charter in the Caribbean should see YGYH as a valuable resource.

  15. February 23, 2019 at 3:43 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Road town customs, – little room to anchor and difficult with the dinghy at the ferry terminal. Don’t bother with sail clear, they have their own forms and are quite upbeat and efficient. Make sure all passport holders turn up in person.

    Marina Cay – open for business and provided a very good lunch using a tent over the old Pussers shop. Cooper Island very busy and dinner was rushed, as a staff trying to turn over tables, but a great spot to relax for the day. Willy T’s is now in Great Harbour, Peter island – so much fun!. Don’t try to walk on the road at Deadman’s beach (Peter Island)– it is private and patrolled, just arrive by dinghy on the beautiful beach and enjoy. Leverick Bay is doing well, and very welcoming, BBQ on Sunday night was fun. Anagarda is still beautiful, – we draw 2.5 m and found a place to anchor just past the last green buoy.

    JVD – Foxy’s is living off their reputation, expensive and not great food. Will be checking out on JVD – much easier than Road town. Sopers hole – in the early stages of recovery, Voyage Yachts staff were very helpful and Omars café brilliant for breakfast. Nanny cay – great recovery, good staff, good pontoons, but found it expensive ($227 for two nights, 53 ft yacht).

  16. June 21, 2018 at 12:43 AM
    Data Entry says:

    We cleared in road town coming from usvi. We asked for a zarpe in St John’s and they refused to give it to us because we were heading BVIs. We left the boat on a mooring in the southwest side of the bay, left the dinghy in the marina and walked to the ferry terminal to clear customs and immigration. Sail clear didn’t work (they didn’t even know what it was) we paid 29 dollars for a 10 tons catamaran with 2 people onboard for the boat. In immigration, we payed 20 cents for the forms. That was all. Both, customs and immigration are located in the ferry terminal. We walked to marine parks office in main street. It was closed. Has been closed for a while, maybe since the hurricane.

  17. February 10, 2018 at 10:29 PM
    Data Entry says:

    We arrived in Soper’s Hole on Feb 8th and there are no marinas open for business. You can tie up to the remnants of the concrete superstructures but there are no services at the marina. There are two businesses operating; Pussers Landing and D’At Coffee. Everything else is closed. There are mooring balls available for the outrageous price of $30/night. We have anchored between the balls with great difficulty. Mooring balls are the scourge of BVIs.

  18. January 17, 2018 at 7:08 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Tortola: Cane Garden Bay
    We spent some time in Cane Garden Bay tonight, our first time there at sunset since the storms. The bay is still hurting, no doubt about it, but there is progress. Paradise has reopened a small beach bar as well as their roadside “Irma Bar,” and Myett’s has opened their beach bar and offer a limited menu at the restaurant.

  19. December 11, 2017 at 10:50 AM
    Data Entry says:

    Report from Joan Conover (SSCA) – SY Growl Tiger

    Made it to the VIs. St. Thomas is open for business, the BVIS..a bit grimmer.

    Leverick Bay is open now..will have fuel etc. Restaurant and beach bar open..and Micheal Beans show is starting again.

    Bitter End/Saba closed indefinitely, but moorings are still there.

    Foxies is open, beach bars open..and Nanny Cay open. Have not heard about Village Cay Marina yet. Coopers is opening by Xmas, Normans Island – Willie T and the beach bar are open; Peters Island closed until later in 2018.

  20. December 5, 2017 at 2:23 PM
    Data Entry says:

    BVI Updates posted on Women Who Sail Facebook page – – December 5th, 2017

    Reporting in from the BVI’s. We’ve been here three weeks and plan to stay till early/mid-Jan. While the devastation is widespread and heartbreaking – the area is still beautiful and the locals are welcoming and appreciative of the dollars spent. The grocery stores are well stocked for provisioning. Mooring balls are available. Slowly but surely business are opening up. Customs is open during the day at Sopers Hole and regular hours in Road Town. There is still an 11pm curfew but that hasn’t affected us as we are asleep long before then.

    There were 12 boats on moorings in the Byte Norman Island on Sat. night & Pirates is back open there.

    We are at Trellis Bay (didn’t want to miss the full moon party). The mooring field was about half full.

    Myett’s and Quito’s are open in Cane Garden Bay. Foxy’s in Jost is open, as well as a handful of bars on White Bay, which also has a Sunday Funday flotilla every week. Moorings in Great Harbour are in good shape.

    Most active marinas have chandleries that are up and running. Some items may need to be ordered (like engine parts or batteries) but I haven’t encountered simply ~not~ being able to find something between Virgin Gorda and St Thomas.

    North Sound VG was basically flattened, no word on either place reopening anytime soon. Leverick Bay still has a dock, moorings and Pussers.

  21. November 24, 2017 at 8:37 AM
    Data Entry says:

    An extract from the blog of “Three Sheets Sailing” – – who lost their yacht to Hurricane Irma:

    Finding the words to describe our last few days have been difficult, to say the least. We are ok though, drawing our strength from those around us who lost far more than us, day-by-day putting the pieces of their broken lives back together. Tuesday afternoon we sailed into the BVI, happy to see the islands were green once again. We cleared into customs in Roadtown and offered some supplies to the customs officials working under a temporary tent on the cruise ship pier, the shade little respite from the blistering, humid heat of the day.

    Tuesday night, we anchored off Cooper Island. We watched the sunset and later gazed out at the black sky marbled with stars feeling the boat gently rock on the calm water. For a moment it felt like we were back to our life before #irma and we were at ease once again, able to forget our worries for a while.

    The next morning, we pulled anchor and sailed for Virgin Gorda to check on Three Sheets. We first stopped by the make-shift office of Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Despite the nightmares the staff has been facing personally, they were all smiles. We handed out solar “Luci Lights,” solar rope lights, some air mattresses, bug repellent, and nets to as many as we could.

    We chatted with them for a while about their homes and the storms, heartbroken to hear of their countless personal losses. Insurance has been slow to respond to those on the island and most people are living and working in damp, moldy conditions that grow worse with every rain shower. Respiratory problems are abundant.

    To top it off, we already knew they were dealing with angry boat owners who complain daily about slow progress. We had even heard of several boat owners heartlessly threatening lawsuits because the boatyard wasn’t moving fast enough for them. Too many can’t conceive of the destruction faced by every single person who lives here.

    It was abundantly clear as we walked through the boatyard they were working hard to get the job done. Still while we chatted with the yard manager, his phone must’ve rung twenty times, every call someone complaining to him about something. It hurt my heart to hear it. There’s only so much anyone can do right now with such limited resources and they are doing the best they can. We are, all of us, in this together and we are incredibly grateful for their hard work.

    We are all #BVIStrong.

  22. June 12, 2015 at 7:06 AM
    Data Entry says:

    Saba Rock Resort has a great Happy Hour (4 – 6 PM) with $4 Painkillers and Rum Punches. They offer a free bag of ice and a free water fill with each $30 overnight mooring ball receipt. Use caution as there are some $35 Bitter End Resort mooring balls over in the Saba Rock area with no associated freebies. Leverick Bay also offers a free bag of ice and a free water fill with each $30 overnight mooring ball receipt.

  23. June 12, 2015 at 6:19 AM
    Data Entry says:

    To reiterate, we base a USCG documented Beneteau 41′ in Tortola by purchasing an annual $200 Temporary Importation Permit, then going across the street with our new permit and purchasing a resident $75 annual National Parks Trust Permit and mast decal. We have been doing this for 20 years, have heard nothing about any time limits, use the boat 10 months a year in the BVI’s and have never been hassled. Last permits purchased 1/5/15.

  24. March 29, 2015 at 8:03 PM
    Data Entry says:

    The BVI National Park website indicated the following information below. So to clarify, even if you purchase the temporary importation permit and annual mooring permit (totaling $300USD),you can only stay in the BVI and use the mooring balls for 30day/calendar year?

    There is a self-registration fee of $15.00 for overnight anchoring or mooring between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Golden Age/Access Passport holders pay half price. Overnight fees must be paid prior to spending the night. Overnight stays in the Park waters are limited to 30 nights in a particular calender year, and no more than seven consecutive nights in one bay. Payment stations are located at Cruz Bay Finger Pier, Caneel Bay Watersports Shop, Hawksnest Bay, Maho Bay Camp, Leinster Bay, Saltpond Bay, and Great Lameshur Bay.

  25. March 25, 2015 at 3:47 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Posted on behalf of Robbie Dinion:

    The BVI are now chRging a $1 per foot fee for all vessels checking in.
    They also charge $10 for each island visited
    $10 for a custim services fee
    $10 the first time each year you enter
    And $20 imigration fee.
    Plus the parks fee.
    For my private vessel C NUT a 42 Bavaria with just me aboard it was $81 to check in and stay for 1 day.

    Robbie Dinion

  26. March 8, 2014 at 4:15 PM
    Data Entry says:

    DO YOU NEED PROPANE? Click the Road Harbour link and look for propane comment at the bottom for directions.

  27. January 10, 2014 at 12:57 PM
    Data Entry says:

    You can purchase a calendar year long permit in Road Town at the National Parks Trust for $150, including the decal which must be affixed to the base of the mast. Caveat: Our USCG documented boat is based (temporarily, read permanently) in the BVI’s by paying $200 annually for a “temporary importation permit” good for the same calendar year. So, for $350, you could stay in the BVI’s for a year and use all of the diving mooring balls for that same period. Getting an Immigration Department extension from the main office in Road Town is no problem as long as you are not trying to work there and have the means to support yourself.

  28. November 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM
    Data Entry says:

    This year, for the first time ever, I was asked by Custom, when checking in, if I needed a National Parks to permit. They had no documentation on the park locations. I was told the fees are US$6/day/person or US$50/week/boat of 4 people. Which means US$360 on the daily rate for two cruisers staying the 30-day max allowed or only US$200 for four weeks on the weekly rate. At http://www.bvinpt under “Mooring Bouy System” I found “To use the mooring bouys you are required to purchase a Parks Permit”.

    So I assume if you do not plan to use Parks mooring bouys (which are day use only – no overnight) you do not need a permit. But “Foreign vessels are required to purchase permits at Customs” which means you need to be prepared to answer the question when you check in.

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