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New, bigger Willy T coming this month

The Willy T vessel. (Photo Credit: Willy T)

The William Thornton (Willy-T) Floating Bar & Restaurant, which is known for its lure of adventure-seekers, is expected to be back in operation this month.

The restaurant which usually operates on the south-west corner of The Bight off Norman Island was ‘an absolute right off’ following last year’s hurricanes, Manager Ewan Anderson said.

In an exclusive interview with BVI News, Anderson said the replacement vessel will be almost an exact replica of the previous steel boat.

He said the remains of the old vessel are still on the beach and will be removed and sold for scraps soon.

“We are building a new Willy T,” he said. “It is the same kind of ship [but] a bit larger and it will be in the same place.”

“We are going to drive it down next month,” he added.

New boat costly

The vessel was sourced in the United States and is currently being retrofitted.

And while remaining tight-lipped on the overall cost of the undertaking, Anderson admitted that it is costly.

“We are putting a lot of money back into it. Willy T will be back at a vast expense,” he noted.

Willy-T coming back important

Anderson said his family, which has been operating the unique business for more than 35 years, believes “it’s absolutely tantamount” to restore Willy T.

“It is one of the top ten attractions in the BVI. It’s a big tourist attraction,” he stressed.

He said fans of the restaurant are eagerly awaiting its return.

The Willy T vessel. (Photo Credit: Willy T)

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44 Comments

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  1. A PROUD BVISLANDER says:

    great

  2. Seriously says:

    Will they provide the same toilet?

  3. Diplomat says:

    No doubt the Willy T provides a valuable service and much needed entertainment. However, is the Willy T required to have holding tanks for generated waste? And if no why not? And if yes, where is the shore facility/station to discharge/off load the waste the waste? Discharging raw sewage into our water pollutes it and poses risks for it being used for its beneficial uses, ie, swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing……….etc.

    Further, fish, conchs, whelks, crabs, lobsters……….etc are popular foods in the VI. As such, polluting the waters can contaminate the marine food sources. We must protect the health of the VI waters. When they are polluted others can and will move on to the next locale but we have to stay here holding the bag, wondering what happen. What happened is we let commerce trump and damaged our vital natural resource——-the sea.

    • Worker Bee says:

      Diplomat, why don’t you ask government where they have provided a pump-out station for anyone, much less the William Thornton.
      In fact, while we are at it, let’s talk about the concept of “pumping out”. Is it the government’s policy that raw sewage should continue to be pumped directly into Road Harbour, at several outlets under and around Village Cay Marina, as has been going on for decades? Right in the middle of the Territorial Capital, all night and all day… How very 3rd World of us.
      Waste from the Willy T = A drop in the bucket, comparatively.

      • Diplomat says:

        @Worker Bee, agree that government should have central treatment plants, along with pump out stations. Sewage treatment should be a standard of governing in a First Wotld country. Pumping raw sewage into our waters is definitely Third World. It is disappointing, for the VI had the means and opportunity to be at the First World level.

        The VI is all talk, hope, desire……..etc but little action. It talk the talk but does not walk the walk. Sad. A country with a $1B GDP should be much farther along with its growth and development. It failed to prioritize projects, squander resources, and failed to capitalize on opportunities. Hon Mark Vanterpool, MCW; Pearline Scatliffe- Leonard, Director of Water & Sewage; and Dr. Hon Premier D. Orlando Smith, Al and MoF, what is status of pump out stations and treatment plants?

        Despite the tribal politics that is consuming the NDP, it still needs to take care of the nation business. Government must shoulder the dysfunction and the wide spread and lethal tribal politics that is eroding the ability to lead and government. The NDP is travelling down the same pothole-filled road as the VIP. Both lacked an apparent heirs and poor succession planning. It looked like de javu all over again. The public is being ill-served with infighting , tribal politics, opportunism…….etc. Political patronage is ruining the BVI.

    • Don says:

      Excuse Me😎

    • E. Leonard says:

      @Diplomat, real talk. The sea is vital for matainimg and sustaining the BVI’s standard of living and quality of life. The sea is a major draw for both land- and water- based tourism. In case a reminder is needed, tourism is 1/2 of the BVI’s two-legged economic stool; financial services, the other. Dig a well before you get thirsty——-Chinese proverb. The VI must put strict and practical measures in place to protect this critical natural resource——-SEA. There are numerous reasons for protecting this vital resource.

      These reasons include 1)maintaing the sea in a healthy state as a major tourism draw, 2)maintaining it in a healthy state for its beneficial uses, ie, fishing, swimming, boating, diving, skiing, snorkeling, picnicking…….etc, 3)protecting a vital food source (fish, turtle, whelks, conchs….etc), 4) protecting the health of reefs, 5)protecting and preserving a vital and critical environmental resource………etc.

      Polluting and contaminating the sea is unhealthy for residents and visitors health and the economy, giving other regional countries a competitive advantage in the critical tourism industry. If there is a major stumble with one or both legs of the two-legged economic stool, the economy will tumble. The long-term interest of the many must trump the short term interest of a few.

      On another note, a robust and aggressive effort must be exerted to diversify the economy. A knowledge-based economy is an opportunity to look at. As such, an all out effort must be launched to improve the education platform, investing more of budget on education.

      • BVI Enclave says:

        Well sah! A floating restaurant turn a much needed discussion on effluent, economy, environment and education. We are just about the Benjamins so most of don’t give a rat’s ass about the consequences of our action. But we better care, for Barry say we will hear. We will pay attention only when visitors move on to other destinations that understood the importance of protecting and preserving environmental resources. Government must do a better job of managing the BVI’s environmental resources. Some cast environmentalists as tree huggers but they provide a valuable service to the community.

    • erc says:

      Diplomat. Those fish, conchs, welks, crabs and lobsters all poop in the water too.

  4. Can hardly wait says:

    So looking forward to the Willy T’s return. It’s easy to see why it is one of the top tourist destinations in the BVI. Beautiful location, great food and drink. Good fun. Well done Ewan and team.

  5. Upgrade says:

    It would be great if Willy Three could upgraded to modern times, how about a waterslide, water trampoline, water cannon, halyard swing, and other water fun playstations, water cycles, etc

    • Nope says:

      Drunk people (guaranteed at Willy T) do not need to be doing these extra curriculars. The Willy T is an adult playground in itself, not wishing to promote children being there. It’s an adult party boat, let’s leave it in all it’s simple glory.

      • Gin and Ginger says:

        Lets hope there is no more of that saucy behaviour with scantily clad beauties jumping into the water and nubile young women lying on the bar.

        I had to go back many times just to make sure I wasnt dreaming.

    • Hmmm says:

      Send the money or buy the stuff. You think money flew in with Irma?!!!!

    • @ Upgrade? says:

      We need to leave well enough alone! The Willy T is a tourist attraction and it did that will no fancy bells or whistles. Chill out nuh man…

  6. JimmyG says:

    There was a toilet?? Humph….many visits, but I never knew!

  7. Lionel says:

    i poop once…twice…three times daily.

  8. Rafael says:

    Willy T’s is an icon of the BVI’s. Without it the BVI’s would never be the same. Period.

    • Nope says:

      Willy T***, BVI***. William Thorton (Not William Thonrton’s). British Virgin Islands (Not British Virgin Islands’s).

  9. CW says:

    So all this bickering and complaining about sewage from Willy t is based on YOUR ASSUMPTIONS that they are direct discharge. Typical BVI. Take to the comment section with literally zero actual facts and start whining. Gee, why is the recovery so sluggish?🙄

  10. Sndavis says:

    Will Zeus be back?

  11. Sn Davis says:

    Will Zeus be back?

  12. The Commander says:

    We visited the Willy T back on the 4th of July 2017, my Fiance jumped off the top deck hit the water wrong and ruptured her spleen, We spent the next week in ICU at the Tortola Hospital were they removed her spleen, it was a near death experience we will never forget!! We will be back to visit the New Willy T some day, just won’t be jumping off her anymore!!

  13. rastarite says:

    Jumping is banned but no-one regulates anything. In fact a sign saying ‘no jumping’ is more likely to encourage it. Need a crocodile under the transom!!!

  14. lizlintner says:

    I suppose person will want all vessels in BVI to have balck water holding tanks…putting a holding tank on the Willy T will have precious little impact on the environment when the wntire charterble fleet gets back to 10,000 sailing vessels.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Won’t be going …

  16. Jchase says:

    The Willy T is great if you’re on it,… but if you are tied to the nearest mooring ball (because, for some reason, it’s the only one available in the mooring field…) with a boatload of small kids that you are trying to get to sleep… not so good!

  17. Jamie says:

    Will it be back in place the week of April 14-20?
    We have a had a lot of fun at that place the two time we have been…

  18. Cajun Man says:

    Glad to see that the Willy T folks will invest in Willy T 2.0!

    We will be very interested in seeing the new boat, but I hope it’s not too nice . . . one of the cool things about the old Willy T is that it was so funky, like a New Orleans dive in the French Quarter.

    We have spent many seasons sailing in the BVI and whether you were a fan or not, the Willy T added a very interesting dimension to the experience.

    What I would like to really know is just how much money the Willy T took in over the course of 35 years! I would imagine the Anderson’s live in one of the biggest houses on the Tortola mountaintop!

    And hey . . . good for them! They have provided a very unique service for decades and it’s good that they can afford to buy another Willy T and continue on!

    And I WILL be jumping! 🙂

  19. Janet says:

    Thinking they meant a ‘write off’ not a ‘right off’.

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