The long-standing 6-passenger maximum law for crewed yacht charters in the US Virgin Islands is being eased. Now charter yachts that qualify by passing an additional inspection can sail the US Virgin Islands with up to 12 passengers.
Previously charter parties of 7 or more had to meet their yacht in Tortola, BVIs.
Benefits of the law change for groups of 7 passengers or more include being able to board their charter yacht in St Thomas where there are more regular, economical flights from the US mainland.
After landing in St Thomas you can catch a taxi to the marina where your yacht and crew are waiting, which saves you a round-trip ferry ride to Tortola and possibly a hotel night on St Thomas.
After meeting your crew and boarding the yacht you can sail to St John and spend time in the island’s beautiful maritime reserves, maybe spend a night there before clearing over to the British Virgin Islands the following day.
The “Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014” was signed into law by President Obama on 18 December 2014. Over time more and more yachts will have a chance to schedule the inspection and be able to sail with 7 or more passengers in the USVI – look for the logo on the individual yacht pages for qualifying yachts.