BVI News

Increase in boats berthing in the BVI | Gov’t concerned about long-term residency on vessels

Government has reported a tremendous increase in marine-based accommodations in the British Virgin Islands since the hurricanes of 2017.

Premier Andrew Fahie told the House of Assembly (HOA) recently that reports from the Central Statistics Office are that the territory has recorded about 4,400 berths on boats last year.

“[This] exceeds our pre-storm capacity,” the Premier said.

Growing problem of persons living on boats

While an increase in berthing is welcomed for tourism in the BVI, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour & Immigration Vincent Wheatley has raised concern as it related to long-term residency on these vessels.

In a statement in the House this week, Wheatley said that he had received reports that several persons who reside or work in the territory have been living on some of their boats.

He said: “Although the Immigration Act is silent on this issue, the spirit of the law confers that living accommodations in the territory should be land-based … We acknowledge that housing has been a challenge since the storms of 201. However, living on boats should not be a long-term solution.”

Measures to come to cease the practice

Minister Wheatley said taking up long-term residence on boats in the BVI will result in serious damage being caused on the environment, and to prevent this, his ministry will be implementing measures to curb the growing problem.

“This practice must be discontinued,” he argued.


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  1. bahn here says:

    if i waan live on my boat, i gon live on my boat.

    Like 28
    Dislike 6
  2. Damage caused to the environment says:

    Since when is that a concern for the government?

    *wink* Pockwood Pont disaster

    *wink* Virgin Gorda volcano

    *wink* Ban on sustainable energy


    Like 29
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  3. Curious says:

    Does this apply to crewed charter boats as well?

    Like 11
  4. Snoppy says:

    Surely it’s the governments responsibility to make sure we provide pump out stations for these vessels?

    Like 32
    Dislike 1
    • Anonymous says:

      First they need to have a sewer treatment plant so all the land based toilets don’t dump in the water.

  5. Bvi lost bouy says:

    Tax them high, charge them more and stop them from spending g money in the economy, drive them away and say no to boating.

    Like 17
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    • sdsd says:

      spoken like a true nice person. if you don’t know the meaning of “nice” look it up in an etymology.

      Like 6
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    • @stupid says:

      Bvis still,demonstrates a lack of business knowledge…. sigh

      Live aboards bring money, jobs, and taxes to the economy. Anyone familiar with boating knows this. Since our “leaders” are not boaters, all they see are floating palaces. So untrue.

      Since they want to control the population through limited residency, inadequate and insufficient housing, and archaic laws, no wonder they are chasing tourism back to the USVI. High fees have already seen USVI operators openly tell their guests to avoid the BVI as they are told to expect $65-85 extra in fees just to have a $14 painkiller at Foxy’s. Yes it is making an impact and our “leaders” think even more fees, taxes, and punitive payments are the answer. Absolutely the opposite. We are driving away the very people we are catering to.

      The government wants the upper level tourist, ie the rich, to be the primary visitor. Well the rich demand a product far and above what the BVI is currently able to deliver. But when we do, we will make our product even more unaffordable for middle income earners. The rich may visit once, but it is the common person is who you target your business. If you can sell a product once and make thousands, so be it. But if you keep your price competitive and sell it hundred of thousands of times, then you make millions. Our leaders don’t get this…

      Like 39
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  6. Frigup says:

    Now crewed charter yachts will have to have land based accommodation between charters. This will add considerably to the cost of charters.

    Like 15
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    • thoughtful sailor says:

      Actually, that’s not even possible. Living ashore would mean that crews would need dockage for the unattended boats, or at least very convenient moorings. These do not exist in realistic numbers. Crewing on a boat is a full time job, including living aboard, 24/7, for safety and operational reasons. Make the crews live on shore, and they will live aboard in the USVI instead! Surely, that is obvious!

      Like 28
    • Smh says:

      Another condescending know it all. Why dont you just go away.

      Like 2
      Dislike 15
  7. Quiet Warrior says:

    The VI is a major yachting centre so liveaboards and sneakaboards will come with it. Nonetheless, there must be strict rules and criteria for liveaboards. There are different types of liveaboards, ie, a)permanent boaters who spend most of their time tied up in a marine, b) Mobile liveaboards who are on the go…….etc. Though marinas……..etc may provide restrooms, laundry and other facilities, all boats should have holding tanks, especially the more moveable liveaboards boats that anchor in the harbors.

    Further, pump out docks and other pump out facilities must be provided. Boats should not be permitted to discharge waste while tied at marinas, anchored off shore…..etc into the waters. The cost to liveaboards may be much more economical than living ashore. Let’s say it cost $150-200 per month to tie up at marina that is much more economical than paying $900-1000 per month to rent an apartment or pay for a mortgage?

    The water is a major tourism draw but it needs to be protected and sustain for the use and enjoyment of residents yet meet tourism value.

    Like 20
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    • Just Wrong says:

      Not sure what Marina you are suggesting for 150-200 per MONTH. Actually its so much more than that.

      Like 17
      • Jeff Hurd says:

        First they need to have a sewer treatment plant so all the land based toilets don’t dump in the water.
        I remember when there were open sewer canals throughout Road Town. They are still there, but now they are covered. The sewage still flows into the water.

    • Winston says:

      In actual fact, marina fees are just as expensive as renting an apartment.

      Like 11
  8. Avocado says:

    Way to go BVI. Just keep shooting yourself in the foot with never-ending & increasing fees just to clear in. Now this. Might as well say that the BVI doesn’t want charter business or tourists. This new issue is sheer stupidity.

    Like 31
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  9. Haha says:

    Living on a boat for long term is bound to have negative effects on the environment. Are they living close to garbage disposals where they can easily get rid of waste quickly and conveniently when necessary? If not we all know where it will end up. Also what kind of sewage disposal do they have or will they just be taking a dump anywhere in the sea as they feel like.

    Like 11
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  10. Watch says:

    The ignorance cannot be described. You worry about the environment but continue to dump eaw sewage into the water alliver tge territory Stop the bulls- -t and jusy say you want to squeeze the boaters… who bring in more dollars than a thousand cruise people .

    Like 26
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  11. Doh says:

    Of course there has been an increase in people berthing boats in the BVI since the hurricanes since so many properties were damage, where so you thing people were living, Also the numberof tourists coming to stay on boats to help us recovered increase as there were little to no villas of hotels to accommodate guests. Instead of trying to bite people in the butt with their boats, what about the government taking out the bull by the horns and making rent control a priority.

    Like 14
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  12. wow says:

    And i saw a boat being placed on a foundation in cane garden bay, up in the hills for a guy to live in….Makes me wonder if it was approved by the town&country planning?

    Like 11
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  13. Insane says:

    Most liveaboards tend to be mindful of their environment, rather than neglectful. It’s madness to try to shut this down unless one wants to curtail the chartering industry. What is the difference between someone who lives aboard, and different sets of people living aboard on a charter boat?

    Like 19
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  14. Resident says:

    I guess the crewed yachts will need to relocate to base out of St Thomas and spend their money there. St Thomas would love to have it….

    Like 19
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  15. Captain Diva says:

    This guy is not a sailor. Living on a boat is a long term solution and it’s a lifestyle. Somebody has to do it. If you stop us we will pull up our anchors and take our money elsewhere. Who is really moving the economy? You? Or sailors and charters?

    Like 19
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  16. we are the champions says:

    BVI champions of the BVI!!!!
    We know what we want! No infrastructure! No boats! No tourists! Not unless they come with boatload of money, and leave the territory on the next flight! That’s what we want!,,,,,,,,Really?????

    Like 5
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  17. Yep says:

    None of the governments business if you live on a boat or not!!!!! Land based??? LOL idiot

    Like 7
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  18. Think it through says:

    Enviromental Damage…?? What about air pollution the cruise ships make when they come sit in BVI port? Then you should send them away too!!..
    “Sailing capital of the world”, …but you cannot live on your boat??!!
    Doesn’t the government let sewerage into the sea…? I drove by that board on a daily basis on my way from town to Sea Cow’s Bay..
    Stop the Bullshit man…can you show me what the goverment is doing to stop the worst pollution of the century…burning trash and sending harmful chemicals into the air that we as BVIanders breath everyday?

    Like 18
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  19. Anonymous says:

    Cannot save the earth, its oceans, beaches and tree life if you have no spiritual connection them.

    Most humans have no spiritual connection to the earth, especially those who think they are legislative protectors of her and those who thik she is theirs to disfigure and destroy.

  20. Sugar says:

    Yess the moorings got a Vince man staying on one of the boat he talking how much money he done save from not pay rent you need to take a visit at the base chef

  21. Oh yess says:

    That guy talk a lot he livin on the moorings boat on base not paying to rent at all.

  22. Wow says:

    Sugar ,your just a hypocryte
    You would do the samething

  23. Destitute slum lord says:

    The Minister is right to be concerned about local, underprivileged, and seriously destitute property owners, their hand-outs from the RDA still delayed for failing to be insured. We should all care about BVI rental spaces going available and un-leased, those impoverished and uninsured landlords not getting the exorbitant and parasitic rents they think they deserve. These are his voters!

  24. oiboi says:

    Use to stop at a bar all the time cause they had cold $3 beers. Last time I stopped the beer was $5.50. I asked why the jump in price? “because business is slow”

    That bar is closed now.


    Like 7
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  25. Ausar says:

    Wha’ happen to you, Honourable Wheatley?

    Why would you force boaters on the land?

    See the potential for increased governmental revenues, and start to charge them in a manner COMMENSURATE with land-based home rentals.

    Four bedroom vessel, three thousand; two bedroom, twenty-five hundred per month and so forth.

    Perhaps then, Honourable Wheatley, we may have more water,sun and sand. housing seekers, scrambling for dirt, flora and fauna, instead, on which to dwell!

    Like 2
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