5 useful books & maps for planning your BVI charter vacation

When planning a sailing trip, preparing and planning is not only half the fun, it actually makes the trip much more fun.

Here are some books we recommend for getting ready for your BVI sailing vacation. You’ll want to take some of them with you.

Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands. This is the single most important book you should get. There will most likely be a copy on your boat – check with your charter company – so you won’t have to take your copy down. But you’ll still want a copy for planning. This book has great, up-to-date information on just about every spot in the BVI. The book tells you about each anchorage and mooring, rules & regulations, fees, where you can get water, phone numbers for restaurants, … it’s an essential book for planning a sailing vacation to the BVI.
Virgin Anchorages. This book is a gorgeous planning book. It has a great photo of every bay and harbor with entrances and coral mapped. It is extremely helpful to be able to see what the entrance will look like before you get there. It’ll make you feel much more comfortable about approaching and entering an unknown harbor. It’s also a great coffee table book for when you get back home.
The Guide to Diving and Snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands. This is the best guide we’ve found for diving and snorkeling in the BVI.
Franko’s Dive Map of The British Virgin Islands. This map has so much information on it, it’s practically a book. Lots of information about both snorkel and dive sites and what you will find there.
Fish identification card. It’s fun to be able to identify all of the fish you find. It’s likely that your boat will have a card like this – check with your charter company – so you may not have to buy one.
Chart. You’ll want a high quality, navigational chart for when you are actually sailing. Your charter boat should come with one. You can plan with any of the maps in the books above, but sometimes it’s fun to roll out a full size chart on the table and plot potential courses.

While you are planning your trip, here are some other things to consider taking: