On Land, Karl’s the Captain

A reliable taxi driver is the vacation sailor's best friend. "Charter Briefing" for the December 10, 2009 CW Reckonings

December 10, 2009

Karl Scatliffe of Scato’s Bus and Taxi

In the BVI, Karl Scatliffe of Scato’s Bus and Taxi Services is ready to take you wherever you need to go. Courtesy Of Scato’s Bus And Taxi

Every bareboat charterer loves a good inside tip, especially when it comes to logistics. And let’s face it, to flounder without a taxi-the only reliable way for short-term visitors to get around on an island-is a waste of precious vacation time.

That’s the way bareboat charterer Joanne Palmisano sees it; for that very reason, throughout 15 years of sailing, much of it in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, she’s made and kept careful notes about everything from packing to picking the boat. She shares them in the December 2009 CW (“Chartering in the Virgins: This Plan Is a Pitch for Smooth Sailing.”

By now, many bareboat sailors have finalized their plans for the winter of 2010; whether or not you have, spending a few moments with Joanne’s pointers about the basics is well worth it.She includes a list of provisioning resources as well as Virgin Islands taxi drivers and tour operators. One particular B.V.I. cabbie business is missing from that list-so now I shine the spotlight on Scato’s Bus and Taxi Services, run by Karl Scatliffe.


The incredibly long-legged Karl supplied me with much needed consistency and reliability during my assignment on Tortola, B.V.I., last spring. Those qualities, I reckon, must have been honed on the run; Karl was a member of track teams in high school and in college in the United States and represented the B.V.I. in the Olympics in 1992. His specialty was the high jump, though he’d competed in all aspects of track and field internationally. The way he shuttled me from various Point As to Point Bs leaves me to speculate that he also must have excelled at relay.

Karl’s also a good businessman and community member. A former president of the B.V.I. Taxi Association, he always answers his phone and needs no reminders; his customers pay cash-no checks or credit cards, please. He coaches island kids from the ages of 6 to 25 in sports-something he’s done since he retired from competition in 1996; he’s involved with various youth groups in the British territory and organizes events for all ages throughout the multi-island territory. He’s just launched the Scato’s Bus and Taxi Services website ( If you know your trip dates, you can make advanced reservation via e-mail. Trust me, he’ll show up.

Attention, Holiday Shoppers!


Armchair quarterbacks who don’t mind a few palm trees with their beer will love this offer from Horizon Yacht Charters: Horizon Antigua is offering 15 percent off the published rate for new bookings of seven nights or more, when taken over Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2010. If St Martin is your game station, Horizon is also offering a reduction-to $600-on the one-way Antigua-to-St. Martin fee.

You must book before December 28, 2009, and the offer can’t be applied to existing bookings. For details, contact Horizon in Antigua ( or via e-mail ([email protected]).


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