is the shipping of a yacht
A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries...
to a destination instead of sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...
or motoring it. Yacht transport is an alternative to the traditional passaging (sailing or motoring) to reach desired
destinations around the globe. Transport when compared to passaging is cost effective, safer and improves availability.
For many dedicated sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...
s, passaging or an ocean crossing is a rite of passage
A rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person's progress from one status to another. It is a universal phenomenon which can show anthropologists what social hierarchies, values and beliefs are important in specific cultures....
, but it comes with many risks and expenses. For many serious cruisers, financial, business and family considerations argue against the long-term full-time dedication that ocean crossings require. Yacht transport becomes an alternative when the destination and cruising (maritime)
Cruising by boat is a lifestyle that involves living for extended time on a boat while traveling from place to place for pleasure. Cruising generally refers to trips of a few days or more, and can extend to round-the-world voyages.- History :...
is more important than the passaging.
Yacht transport generally eliminates costly, time consuming, and dangerous difficult ocean crossings, opening up cruising to more people. Container
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...
cruising, one approach to yacht transport, is significantly less expensive and has greater flexibility with respect to timing and destinations. The drawback to container cruising is that there are a limited number of yachts
that have the necessary 7.5 ft (2.3 m) to fit in the 8 feet (2.4 m) standard container.
Small boats being transported short distances are often moved using private or commercial trailers. As the boat size and the over-land distances increase, commercial trailer services are typically employed by boat owners to move vessels. Insurance coverage, transport permits, trailer safety and proper preparation and loading of the vessel and contents are aspects commercial boat/yacht services provide.
Semi-submersible ships (SSS)
Semi-submersible ships were developed to move large (project) cargo
Cargo is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft, train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal long-haul cargo transport.-Marine:...
es, but have now been adapted for yacht shipping. These ships are semi-submersible. This means that by ballasting
A ballast tank is a compartment within a boat, ship or other floating structure that holds water.-History:The basic concept behind the ballast tank can be seen in many forms of aquatic life, such as the blowfish or argonaut octopus, and the concept has been invented and reinvented many times by...
, they can submerge their cargo holds. Yachts motor under their own power into the flooded cargo holds to load. Once all the yachts are in position and secured, divers weld
Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence. This is often done by melting the workpieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material that cools to become a strong joint, with pressure sometimes...
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...
supports into place. The ship deballasts and sails away. At discharge port arrival, the process is reversed, with the ship ballasting, allowing the yachts to exit. Semi-submersible shipping is arranged by the owners.
Yachts can be shipped as deck cargo. Yachts are loaded directly from the water or from shore. Yachts are loaded by ship or by shore cranes
A crane is a type of machine, generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. It uses one or more simple machines to create mechanical advantage and thus move loads beyond the normal capability of...
in cradles either supplied by the carrier or the owner. For conventional deck cargo shipping, the rigging
Rigging is the apparatus through which the force of the wind is used to propel sailboats and sailing ships forward. This includes masts, yards, sails, and cordage.-Terms and classifications:...
is left intact. Yachts are also transported by container ships. Because container freight is sold on the basis of total enclosed volume, efforts are made to decrease that volume, including derigging the boat.
Deck cargo shipping is normally arranged directly with the shipping lines or with brokers who specialize in yacht deck cargo shipping.
If a yacht meets the restrictions imposed by container sizing, typically 39 ft. (11.9 m.) x 7.5 ft. (2.3 m.) x 9.3 ft (2.8 m.), container shipping is an alternative. Container shipping is arranged through freight forwarders.
Costs include the cost of preparation, cradles, documentation, and customs and other government fees. Container shipment costs are almost independent of distance shipped and depend more on imbalances in container locations.
The Semi-submersible ships travel on fixed schedules over popular routes such as to and from the US, Europe, the Caribbean, and Pacific Ocean destinations.
While in theory, deck cargoes can be arranged between any two port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....
s and at any time, costs are reduced if a number of yachts are shipped together. Because most ships are non-US flag carriers, they are forbidden by law to transport cargoes between US ports. To comply with the law, they load or discharge in Canada, the Bahamas or Mexico. Container shipping offers complete flexibility with respect to ports and timing.
The locked and sealed container provides the best overall security. Since the semi-submersible ships are dedicated to yacht transport, they also offer a secure environment. In addition to theft, another potential problem is partial or total losses at sea. Probability of losses is low, reflected by the lower cost of insurance.
The increasing cost of fuel, the convenience, and the ability to go anywhere make yacht transport an attractive alternative.