Who are Tortola Sailing & Sights (TSS)?
Based in the beautiful Soper’s Hole marina, on Frenchmans Cay, Tortola Sailing & Sights is an ASA and IYT Training school, run by a team of passionate sailing professionals, with many years and nautical miles of sailing experience.
Click here for location Tortola Sailing & Sights on Google maps
The office at Soper’s Hole is located next to Pusser’s Bar and the Serenity Spa. The office is open on weekdays from 9am to 5pm. For delayed arrival please use the following number during office hours: 1-284-340-7594, outside of office hours please call: 1-284-346 2484. Please use this number only for delays outside of office hours or when there is no answer on the office phone number.
Please note that Soper’s Hole Marina does not have a working ATM at the moment.
What experience do I need to sail with TSS?
None at all. Weather you are a complete novice never having sailed before or you have been sailing for years, wanting to get a professional qualification to add to your resume, we have a course that will suit you.
With all our courses, we have a good balance of studying, practical sailing and relaxation, because we are aware that although you are here to learn, you may also be on your vacation. In this beautiful location we want to make sure you have time to explore and fall in love with the BVI as much as we have.
Which course is the one for you?
Email us, tell us what experience you have and your aspirations for sailing, and we will ensure to recommend the most suitable course for you. Our instructors will run each course at the pace of all the students, ensure safety and comfort is paramount for everyone, (check out this blog on '10 things to expect from a great instructor'
We always have a small ratio of students to instructors, with 5 students to 1 instructor, so you will be able to ask as many questions as you need to, as you go.
How do I decide which course to do?
We have many different courses to suit every level of experience, from the absolute beginner to the experienced sailor wanting to gain more experience and qualifications. You can either read through each of the courses listed on this website, or email us, telling us your experience, needs, exceptions and sailing aspirations and we will be happy to recommend the best course for you.
Our courses include:
Tell me about the boats you use?
We have several boats we use here at Tortola Sailing school, depending on the course and number of students.
Bavaria 36 cruiser
-3 double cabins
- There will be a maximum of 5 students to 1 instructor
- 3 double cabins
- There will be a maximum of 5 students to 1 instructor
All boats are equipped and maintained to the highest standards. On-board equipment in- cludes:
▪ Dinghy & outboard motor
▪ All safety equipment
▪ All charts & certification materials
▪ Hot & Cold showers
▪ Snorkel equipment
▪ Bed linens, towels, blankets
▪ VHF Radio
▪ AM/FM Radio
▪ Bimini top for protection from sun
▪ Fully-stocked galley with all pots & pans, crockery & cutlery
What do I need to do to book a course with you?
Please complete and return via email, the Booking Confirmation Form we emailed you, as soon as you have decided you want to join us so we can secure your space on the course. Ensuring you have completed:
- Next of Kin details
- Emergency contact details
- Your 'health statement' is filled out in the booking confirmation form (any health issues we should be aware of, any medicine we should be aware of).
Note that we assume that you are capable of joining a (sailing) course and are in a suitable physical condition to do so, also that you can swim and are comfortable with a training course situated on a boat.
Do I need insurance?
YES - it is advise that everyone booking a course with us has their own travel insurance. Please ensure your policy covers you for recreational sailing.
What should I pack for my sailing trip?
We would advise that you pack your belonging in a soft bag, this is easier to store in your cabin. Space is a premium onboard, so less is definitely more for this trip.
Multi-purpose quick dry casual clothing:- swimwear
- shorts and t-shirts are the normal style on board.
- long sleeved top and trousers to cover up from the sun
- a pair of cotton trousers (cotton dress for ladies) for the evening
flipflops are great for taking up little space, (and everywhere is very casual in BVI)
if you need deck shoes, they must be non-skid non-black soles - but most people go barefoot onboard. (if you wear deck shoes, they cannot be worn ashore).
Sun screen – factor 30 or above is recommended.
Insect repellent for mosquitos is a must when going ashore in the evenings (another reason for long sleeves and pants).
Wide brimmed hat/cap or bandana.
Sunglasses – polarised lenses are recommended for cutting down glare from the boat and the water when sailing.
Pack an adequate supply of all prescription medication (we would recommend doubling your usual prescription)
Seasickness medication, (try to get non drowsy medication if you can)
You may be able to take some of your own groceries on board; please get agreement from your course instructor, as storage and space in the fridge is limited.
Cigarettes if you are a smoker - but no smoking is permitted anywhere on the boat.
Dollars for personal incidentals e.g. meals ashore, departure tax/customs clearance, and any shore based activities you may want to do.
Travel documents; tickets, passport, visa if required Copy of your travel insurance documents
ASA Log Book & syllabus book (You will require a logbook for your course, if you want your skipper to sign off your sea miles)
Other Sailing Trip Accessories: (not essential)
- Sailing gloves
- An underwater camera if you have one.
- Entertainment – mp3 player, books or magazines, playing cards are all good for those chill out moments. (Remember you won’t have WIFI every night, but our instructors will be able to know the hotspots onshore).
- Electrical equipment should have US style plugs
- We have a 12v charger and adapters for iPods etc.
- We will provide your Navigation tools, including compass, pens, pencils, notebooks, maps etc.
What do I do if I have special dietary requirements?
We will do our best to accommodate any special dietary requirements you might have, please let us know at time of booking.
As you can imagine, it is not always possible to find special foods in BVI due to imports. If you have a very specific diet you need to follow you may need to bring some special foods items with you. Please let us know ahead of time so that we will be able to discuss the various options with you. We will do our utmost to meet your requirements.
Its worth pointing out, ALL guests are expected to take part in food preparation, washing up and general housekeeping on the boat – the instructor will do his fair share but he/she is an instructor first, not a chef. Food preparation and general household duties are an integral part of living aboard.
In the interests of safety and consideration for other guests, we ask that guests exercise moderation if consuming alcohol and also that alcohol not be consumed whilst the yacht is under sail.
Can you recommend a hotel for me to stay in?
We have several recommendations where you can stay before and after your sailing course.
1. Sebastians on the Beach, located in Apple Bay.
Toll Free: 800 336 4870
firstname.lastname@example.org - ask Donna for a booking code when you book your course, and Sebastians will give you their best possible price when you email them (depending on seasonality)
2. The Sugar mill, located in Little Apple Bay Phone:
Phone: +1 284-495-4355
Toll Free (US): 800-462-8834
Toll Free (Canada): 800-209-6874
3. Frenchmans, located in Frenchmans Cay
phone: +1 284 494 8811
Just to remind you, you will be sleeping on board in a cabin during your course. Bedding will be provided.
Can you tell me about British Virgin Islands?
The British Virgin Islands (BVI), consists of more than 50 islands scattered between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic. Known as ‘Nature’s Little Secret’ BVI has so much to offer those wanting to explore, principal islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke. Tortola is the most populated of the islands, home to the capital, Road Town, and rainforested Sage Mountain National Park and many beautiful bays including, Smugglers Cove, Soper’s Hole, Cane Garden Bay. Other islands include Norman Island, Peter island, Copper island, which you may visit during your course.
Click here for more details
What Entry requirements are there for the BVI?
Please contact your consulate to check if you need a visa to entry BVI. TTS cannot supply specific information.
Visitors (even those not needing a visa to enter) may be granted entry for up to one month at the ports of entry, provided that they possess:
- return (or ongoing) tickets,
- evidence of adequate means of support and
- pre-arranged accommodations during their stay.
Visitors wishing to stay longer will need to apply for an extension. - click here for more info
How do I get to Tortola? Do you have taxi contact details?
You can reach us by air, flying straight into Beef Island (it is a very small airport, so a lot of students fly to St. Thomas US VI) or public ferry or private water taxi from St. Thomas
See our 'getting here and around' page for more information
Please remember to have your departure tax when you return to the airport or ferry terminal.
BY AIR: Departure Tax $15.00 per person; Security Tax $5.00 p/p.
BY SEA: Departure Tax $15.00 ($7.00 for cruise ship passengers.)
How do I find Tortola Sailing & Sights from the WEST END ferry terminal?
From St. Thomas: take the ferry to Tortola West End. Soper’s Hole Marina is located opposite the West End Ferry Terminal (across the bay).
You can take a short taxi ride from the ferry to the marina (2-5mins) or walk along the shore to Sopers Hole (approx 10mins). Leave the ferry terminal, turning right, and walking up the road. Take the 1st right (there are lots of business signage at the entrance to this road), over the little bridge, and turn right at the T junction. Follow it the whole way down, until you see lots of colourful buildings. Our classroom & office is next door to Serenity Spa (they have lots of signs).
If you had to
Do you have taxi contact details?
You will always find a taxi outside the terminal (ferry or airport) because they know when the flights and boats arrive.
Here you will find a list of taxi numbers if you need them
What should I do when I arrive at your office?
On arrival please report to our office/classroom in Soper’s Hole Marina, West End. (We ask students to get to us for 9:30 on the first day of their course. Please let Donna know if you are going to be later, and she can manage the skippers, and other students accordingly).
One of the team will be there to meet you (it's usually your Captain). They will take you through the legal paperwork and then walk you down the dock to your boat (and home for the length of your course).
Our boats are located in Soper's. In the event of difficulty on route ring the Telephone for delayed arrival; during of- fice hours: 1-284-340-7594, outside of office hours please call: 1-284-342-0766. Please use this number only for delays outside of office hours or when there is no answer on the office phone number.
What other important information do I need before I get to Tortola?
REMEMBER TO STUDY BEFORE YOU GET HERE :-) If you are taking your VHF, International Flotilla Skipper, International Bareboat Skipper, ICC, Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore exam, make sure you download your course notes from our website. (You will find a link to the course notes for the course you are doing on the relevant page.)
If you are completing your ASA courses, please make sure to order the course books from the ASA website