Exciting times are ahead for yachters in the BVI, particularly those who regularly travel to Tortola’s East End and Penn’s Landing Marina in the picturesque Fat Hog’s Bay. Plans are currently in motion to develop the Red Bay Fisherman’s Dock, with the first phase of the $2 million project – the construction of a bulk head and boat ramp – already completed.
Hon. Marlon Penn, Junior Minister of Trade and Investment, and Representative of the Eighth District told BVI Platinum News funds have been allocated for the second phase of the project and that its completion is imminent. This second phase will see a single pier built, extending from the bulk head finished in phase one, but it is the third phase of the project that is likely to be of particular interest to yacht owners visiting the BVI. Mr Penn explained this exciting development will involve the construction of a two-storey fisheries and customs building, with the intention of creating a second port of entry on Tortola.
Currently, Road Town and the West End offers the only existing port of entry on Tortola, requiring yachts entering the BVI but planning a stay on the East End of the island to take a significant detour on their arrival in the archipelago. The only alternative customs and immigration offices in the BVI are found in Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke and on Virgin Gorda, which has three.
Mr Penn highlighted the benefits of the development for a wide variety of different boat users, whether they are locals, visiting yacht owners or charters, explaining: “Now they don’t have to go back down to Road Town to check in and so forth. And even persons from East End, which is a large boating community, go to St. Thomas with their own private vessels from there and check back in.”
The introduction of the new customs house will make life significantly easier for yacht owners using the 12 slips and 25 moorings at Penn’s Landing Marina, removing the need to sail the round trip to and from Road Town on their arrival at Tortola. Fat Hog’s Bay, the location of both Penn’s Landing Marina and the new dock development, has many advantages as a stopping point for yacht owners. The natural geography of the bay makes it the perfect snug harbor, providing superb protection from ground swells and the exuberant Christmas Winds that provide such exciting sailing.
Unusually for the BVI, the moorings of Penn’s Landing Marina can be utilized throughout the year, while the prevailing trade winds provide excellent ventilation for owners who overnight in the bay. The addition of the new customs house near the picturesque Penn’s Landing is an exciting development and is sure to make the marina an even more desirable location for boaters in search of secure long-term moorings or a convenient and tranquil spot to overnight.