Boat Deliveries

by admin on February 21, 2011

There are many factors to be considered when making a decision to move a boat to a different location… decisions that must be made by the boat owner, and decisions that the Captain must also make.  Let me explain:

The reasons that a boat must be moved are varied.  A new owner may wish to move his purchase to a marina in his home area; or an exploration of a special, desired sea would require his transportation time, time which would eat into an owner’s vacation time and probably be not as enjoyable; maintenance work from a specialized vendor in a marina not presently moored; emergencies on the water or at home or unanticipated demands of an owner.  There are other methods of moving boats: over land via trucks, over water via yacht transport.  I’ve not been able to secure any ‘rule of thumb’ price for yacht transport via float-0n ships, but for over-land trucking, $5 per loaded mile is the standard for the trucking only.  The additional costs to decommission/recommission must be added, and can be significant.  I know, because I am also a master sailboat rigger for Northwest Rigging in Anacortes, WA.

There are advantages of each.  For examples, the biggest advantage of a float-on shipment would be the ability to forego transit in the pirate-risk areas. If I had a boat to move from the East to West Coast in the summer (due to hurricanes and my wish to use my boat during the summer) I’d probably hire a trucker.   Hiring a Captain to move your boat has many advantages:  weather dependent, a boat can generally be moved in a much quicker manner and be ready to utilize sooner; a Captain will take the opportunity to check out all systems and usually do minor repairs himself so that the owner will have much less chance of breakdowns during his/her planned subsequent use; insurance companies usually will insist upon a licensed Master when upon open water; most Captains will readily agree to the owner as his crew, thereby trading valuable information with each other; usually a couple of phone calls between owner & Captain is all the work required of an owner, much less compared to other methods of moving a boat.  In a market economy, total costs are competitive between all methods. 

If a  licensed Master has an opening on his calendar he will consider the risks above all other concerns.  For example, there is no amount of money that I would place on my life… I would decline a job if conditions are too risky.  If a boat is not seaworthy, weather conditions not favorable, or piracy concerns are too great, I would inform the owner upfront.  No one under my command has suffered an injury greater than mild sunburn, and I intend to keep it that way.  I have always arrived at my destination with an undamaged boat, and I intend to keep that record.

Here is an example of how things usually proceed…  After trading information between an owner and myself and completion of agreements, I make transportation arrangements to the boat and from the destination from/to my home.  I request that the owner contact his insurance company and add me as also insured.  If re-fueling will be required I take the owner’s credit card numbers with me.  No charges are to be made to the card outside of provisions, fuel, and emergency repairs and supplies. I would wish for all non-emergency repairs over $100 to be approved by the owner.  I make the final decision on go/no go due to weather, crew, and seaworthiness of the vessel.  I provide an itemized list of all expenses and full payment is required upon completion. 

I have a preference for boats with autopilot, radar, and heater (depending upon geography). It does get cold at night out on the oceans.  However I’ve moved boats with none of those items when it could be accomplished in one day, during the daylight, or in Puget Sound due to my intimate knowledge of the area.  I possess many electronic and paper charts plus multiple means of communication.

A frequent question is “what’s the longest delivery you’ve made?”  I answer “I’ve helped the owner deliver his 39′ sailboat from the Galapagos Islands to Nuka Hiva in the French Marquesas, the longest journey one can make on this planet by boat without the option of passing another island or continent… 3,100 nm.”  The next question “what’s the biggest boat you’ve Captained?”  is answered, “106 foot luxury motor yacht.”  In how many countries waters have I sailed?  Eleven.

Please feel free to contact me for interest or consultation via the Contact button.

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