St Thomas, (PressExposure) April 10, 2012 -- St Thomas, USVI: Picture the Virgin Islands--white sand beaches, palm trees swaying gently in the cool breeze, warm, crystal clear waters, and over 60 islands to explore. Before Pirate's Paradise Adventures began operating last year, the choice of watercraft to visit these gorgeous islands was extremely limited. Basically, you had two very different types of boat to choose from - the basic, bare bones center-console "fishing boat" style charter, or a budget-crushing 40+ foot Express Cruiser yacht. That all changed when Pirate's Paradise Adventures began operating with their first "affordable luxury" boat, Red Beard.
Pirate's Paradise Adventures (www.PiratesParadiseAdventures.com) was started by a family who frequently travels to the Virgin Islands and dreams of eventually becoming full time residents. They saw the islands like most people--on day boat charters--and this family of six quickly learned there was a big opportunity for a better experience. "We've been to the Virgin Islands many times and spent many days on the water, exploring the islands," said company co-founder Leigh Woeller. "We learned quickly that the center-console fishing style boat left a lot to be desired in the way of comfort or convenience. If the waters were even a little rough or it rained at all...everything--including us--got really wet and it wasn't a fun trip. We looked at renting a more family-friendly boat that would be more comfortable, but they were about $2,500 for the day. Like most people, we just couldn't afford that."
Together, the family identified their dream charter boat and began the search. They found their perfect boat--a 32' red Monterey super sport--and named her "Red Beard." Her features included two powerful engines, a giant swim step to make getting in and out of the water safe and easy, a transom shower to wash off salt water, and heavily padded, upholstered, front facing seating at the front of the boat. An open bow layout was critically important so everyone had plenty of room and and could see up ahead. Other criteria included a sun pad for tanning, a refrigerator and wet bar, an onboard head, and a great sound system.
Because there was no boat like her in the islands, the family shipped "Red Beard" from the states. Their gamble paid off, because customer demand for Red Beard was overwhelming.
"We were amazed at how many people wanted the features and better experience we found important for our family," said co-founder Brian Woeller. "If for some reason Red Beard isn't available, customers are really disappointed. The demand was there--we were turning people away everyday because Red Beard was booked. We knew we needed another boat--a lot sooner than we anticipated So, we did it. We bought Black Beard."
"Black Beard" is a gorgeous 30 foot Sea Ray that offers all the same fabulous features as its sister ship, Red Beard. She's sleek, stylish and sexy, with a black hull and white upholstered interior. Her layout is much like Red Beard, with fully padded, upholstered chaise lounge style seating in the front of the boat. These seats even turn into a full sunpad where sun worshippers can spread out. At the back of the boat, a fantastic "u-shaped sofa" seating area comfortably seats 4 or 5 adults. There's a bar, refrigerator, an on-board head, and a sunshade mid-boat for anyone wanting to get out of the sun. "Black Beard" also features a swim step, but best of all is her killer sound system with iPod capability.
Pirate's Paradise Adventures' fleet is lead by Capt. Stan Good, a popular St. Thomas resident and long time USCG licensed captain. Ranked highly by TripAdvisor, "Captain Stan" is the perfect captain for this fleet because of his love of the islands, desire to provide visitors a great experience and his appreciation for Red Beard and Black Beard's numerous amenities.
You might expect boats like Red Beard and Black Beard to be on the pricey side, but they're actually about the same cost as the basic center console fishing boat--with so much more to offer. "We typically paid about $700 a day including the captain's fee for the center console fishing boats," said Woeller of their family's experience with day boat charters in the Virgin Islands. "Red Beard and Black Beard are currently priced at just $749 a day, including the islands' best captains. By using a little creativity and thinking beyond what everyone else was doing, we can provide a lot more value for your money. We wanted to give our guests the best day of their lives, and now we have the boats to do it with."