Shipping boats




Having crossed the pacific is the fulfillment of the big dream for most cruisers. It is this stretch of ocean that we all aspire to, that we have read about and that we picture in our heads. So what when it is done and your dream has come true? Many do not feel tempted by the politically unstable, heavily populated Asian countries, or having to sail through the Arab and Muslim world. These are boats looking for other options.

Shipping your boat home, having delivery crew take her to Europe or sell seem to be the options available. That is apart from staying here of cause, and to keep cruising.. There are obvious advantages, and disadvantages to selling. Your boat is gone and some of your memories with it perhaps, but you have much less luggage on the flight home. Since the market in Australia, apparently, is good, quite a few boats are put on the market as they arrive. Customs do cooperate and the process is pretty simple.  A friendly evaluator sets the value for the boat for customs duty and VAT, a total of 15%. This value set by the evaluator will be much lower than the actual sales price. You pay customs the day the contract for the sale is signed as your boat will be offered internationally, and not imported unless the new owner is Australian.

Delivery crew is readily available to sail your boat home for you. They price themselves according to the miles to be sailed exclusive diesel, food, repairs, harbor fees... On top of that you will have wear and tear after thousands of sea-miles with someone onboard that do not love the boat the way you do. Pricing delivery of Coconut to Europe shows that the pricing is more or less the same across the different delivery captains.  For us it was USD 25 000,- to Europe, one quote was UK pounds 15.000,- for Brisbane to Turkey. If you add on the price of the inevitable re-fit at the end of the trip it gets quite pricy!

Shipping the boat is in many ways a new option. Dockwise and others have had considerable success in shipping boats across the Atlantic and expanded their service to other parts of the world. Shopping around for prices it is shocking however to see how different they are. Dockwise is twice as expensive as Seven Stars from Brisbane to Europe! To make matters worse the USD 65 000,- ticket with Dockwise only took you as far as Italy. Seven Star wants USD 33 000,- to ship Coconut all the way to Ipswich. Thinking this was maybe a mistake I started talking to other yacht owners who where shipping their boats home. After telling them about Seven Stars offer they also received quotes for half the price of shipping with Dockwise. Connecting other yachties with Seven Star saved them a lot of money!

So if the boat does not sell or you want her home shipping seems to be the best option. For Coconut the initial outlay of another USD 8 000,- , compared to using a delivery crew, seems very reasonable. The re-fit alone after all the miles  will cost far far more than that. Just think about the price for a new sail if one should rip!

Several articles has been written in the yachting press about shipping yachts. Reading them it sometimes seems like there is only one service provider. Seven Star for some reason does not seem to get their message across as powerfully as Dockwise. What is the best option I guess depends other factors than price alone. It is however very difficult to see how a price twice that of their competitors can be justified.

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This site was last updated 26-11-2007 11:55:10