In light of the recent disaster with the sailing yacht My Song coming off the side of a ship off Menorca, I feel it prudent to give an industry point of view as to how to avoid future problems with Yacht Shipping.
I have personally been arranging and organizing the shipment of sailing yachts and motor yachts for the last 18 years without major incidents. It would seem that in recent years there have been a few cases where boats have been damaged or lost off ships.
How can this risk be reduced?
Equipment and vessel / service choice.
The average size of yachts being transported is increasing all the time, therefore the requirement for the correct vessels, experienced loadmasters, the correct lifting, cradling and lashing equipment is paramount to safety of the yacht being shipped and to the crew both aboard the carrying vessel and the yacht itself when loading and discharging.
Loading and discharge surveys should be carried out not only to satisfy insurance companies but also to assure the yacht owners that their yachts have been loaded correctly. With survey costs ranging from 500-800 Euros it is a small cost compared with the security a good surveyor can bring to a load. Number of lashing belts, weld points on deck, cradle integrity, pressure points on the yachts hull are a few of the required checks a good surveyor should be doing. A surveyor also helps reduce insurance costs and make claims much faster in the event of any damages.
Weather is certainly unpredictable and therefore ocean passages need to be planned to avoid bad weather. Pressure from clients to be on time or for the ship owners to be profitable heighten this weather risk. Both of which can be lessened with sensible planning and enough inducement / income on a given vessel to allow for delays. So if working on very tight deadlines expect to be paying a premium, however never push for dates if weather is a concern.
Who you work with?
Good yacht transport companies should offer different options for your boat to be moved globally, depending on the size of the yacht there are many different types of transport available. Generally, the best forms of transport are where the least handling occurs and where the yacht itself is not overly exposed to weather. For very large sailing and motor yachts often the float on float off vessel is the best, however due to these vessels being extremely expensive to run there are not many options and typically will be at the top end of the pricing scale. There are many choices of companies to work with and experience certainly counts for a lot. As per the airline industry, 1000’s of movements are done each year with no incident, but an accident can have a big repercussion. Loading and shipping yachts is a serious operation and should not be taken lightly. Therefore, choosing the right company and the right type of vessel is very important. Companies offering cheap freight options are not necessarily the best choice and more than likely will be cost cutting to achieve cheaper rates.
Yacht transport continues to be a good way to move yachts around the globe to new cruising destinations and we as a company are very proud of what we do. So, in conclusion with the right planning, the right equipment and the right people shipping boats should continue to be a safe form of moving your yacht around the globe. If you would like any advice on the best way to move your yacht or would like pricing we would be more than happy to help.
Complete Marine Freight