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Top 10 Tips: How to choose the right boat shipping company

1. Discuss Your Requirements With One of Our Sales Representatives.

 

Providing us with as much detail as possible will help us move your yacht efficiently and professionally. Ensure you understand the offer completely, that it meets your requirements, and that you are satisfied with everything it includes. You might find that the arrival time is most important to you, as well as the cost. However, remember that cheaper does not always equate to better. This is important, so don’t rush. It is essential you have all the facts and figures at your fingertips so that you can make an informed choice.

 

2. Get Like for Like Comparisons

Your options will mainly depend on the type and size of your yacht, its current location, its destination and, of course, your budget. However, it is crucial to compare the quotes in detail. Are there any costs that have not been factored in?

For example, you need to be aware of freight charges, including bunker surcharges, any additional handling costs in ports (for example, are all the lifts from truck or water back to truck or water included or priced separately?); does the price quoted include shipping cradle costs, marine cargo insurance cover and customs clearance?

3. Check Out Your Options – Land or Sea?

If you own a relatively small boat and are moving it within one country, road haulage may be your best choice. However, if on-water routes are available you may prefer to hire a skipper and crew to deliver your yacht for you. Clearly, the cost of hiring a captain and crew will increase the longer the transfer distance is. Fuelling and mooring costs along the way will also increase.

For larger yachts and for delivery over greater distances, delivery by cargo ship is recommended as it saves owners time, hassle, cost, and wear & tear of the yacht.

When considering your shipping options, it is important to consider the size and weight of your boat. Smaller and lighter vessels are more likely to be transported under the deck of a roll-on roll-off vessel, whereas larger and heavier vessels, such as superyachts, are more likely to be transported on a heavy lift vessel.

4. Check, Check and Check your Measurements – and then Check them again

It is essential to ensure that the measurements you give to your shipping company are accurate to the last centimetre, and include any parts of your yacht which protrude, such as davits, aerials, radar arches, pulpits and so on. Even a mere 10cm deviation in the declared length may create challenges, delays, and extra charges.

Yacht on Crane

5. Research Company Reputations

Reputation is a telling indicator of the quality of service you can expect. Check to see if the company has regular clients and verify how long the firm has been operating. Do you know anyone who has worked with them before? What other clients does that company have, what other companies do they work with and what associations do they belong to? How is their customer service by e-mail and on the phone? Do they take time to explain all processes to you in detail? Do they have any reviews online that make you second guess, or do they have a history of legal claims against them? In the USA this information is widely available online.

Also look at their infrastructure and association they may have with similar operators around the world. In international yacht transportation, it pays to have a global network of offices and agents in place.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If there is something you don’t fully understand, ask. Nobody will think less of you, if anything, quite the contrary. Ask as many questions as you can and ensure the company can explain all technical plans and equipment to you before you make any commitments.

Also, the more questions the company asks about your yacht, the better. These ensure they choose the best fitting transport cradle, right lifting gear etc. The loadmaster can be briefed about what yacht they will be loading well beforehand; the better prepared a lift is – the quicker and smoother it goes.

7. Don’t Take Short Cuts

Do not be tempted to take short cuts that will more than likely turn out to create problems further down the line that may be expensive to rectify. For example, your own storage cradle will most likely not be suitable for transportation on a sea-going vessel.

8. Check The Paperwork

Check your insurance cover as your hull insurance is unlikely to cover any risks during transportation by a sea-going vessel. Also ensure that you have suitable cover at your new cruising grounds. If you take out Marine Cargo Insurance via your logistics provider, ensure it is an ‘All Risks’ policy and that you fully understand any risks that are excluded and that you are aware of the excess / deductibles. Cheaper premiums tend to attract higher excess / deductibles.

9. Make Sure That the Service Offered Is ‘End to End’

What do you think of the quote? Does it include everything you asked for, from beginning to end, to move your yacht from its present position to its final mooring, without requiring anything from a third party that wasn’t included in the quote and operational plan?

10. Prevent Damage by Being Safe & Secure

Inspect your boat for damages and take pictures to document any that already exist. When preparing your boat for transport, it’s important to secure everything – especially loose items that could cause damage during the voyage. No matter how far your boat is travelling, you should secure it as if it were crossing an ocean.

 

For information about Peters & May’s end-to-end yacht and boat transfer services, visit www.petersandmay.com

Also featured in Yacht Transport – What to Consider