Yacht transport: Shipping superyachts across the world
Last updated: 04/07/2017
Yacht transport companies are experts in moving huge yachts across vast distances. Often the boat’s delivery is done to the tightest of deadlines and in the most adverse conditions. Yachting Pages spoke to yacht transport experts about their biggest yacht transportation projects.
Transporting a yacht of historical significance
Transporting cargo worth millions across rough seas is scary enough, without that cargo also holding important historical significance. Seven Seas Yacht Transport had the job of moving a yacht that was used by the 33rd president of the United States, Harry Truman, as his own private east coast yacht.
She needed to be moved from Victoria, BC, Canada, to Port Everglades, FL, USA, a daunting total of over 3,300 miles as the crow flies. A classic 28m Olympus, the rare yacht was built in 1929 and is one of only five built with the original construction design.
It had been 70 years since she had last been on the east coast of the USA, where she was originally commandeered by the American President and also served in World War II patrolling for Japanese submarines.
The classic design and wooden hull needed extreme care during loading and lifting, so double straps were used to ensure pressure was distributed evenly.
A huge project with a lot at stake, the owner, an advertising executive from New York, was understandably nervous, “When moving a historic yacht there is so much to worry about. Seven Seas provided the expertise, reassurance and support that you would want in such a project.”
The yacht arrived successfully, much to everyone’s delight. Farber said, “When she arrived in Florida, the new owner had tears of excitement and joy. He has plans to outfit her with new bells and whistles and restore her to her former glory.”
40 yachts from Norway to Turkey, and back again
Starclass Yacht Transport recently moved a mammoth 40 yachts at once, ranging from 17m to 45m long. Starclass use converted carriers made especially for the transportation for yachts and are able to lift yachts of up to 300tons.
Fitted with adjustable cradles and specialised lashings, the carriers have the hefty job of ensuring the pressure is spread perfectly even across the vessel, or risk millions of pounds worth of damage.
Starclass’ carriers travel across the Norwegian Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and back again in one mammoth round trip. Pick up and drop off occur in every port along the way in Norway, Germany, Holland, England, Gibraltar, Mallorca, South France, Malta, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Limassol as well as other specially requested destinations.
5 yachts from Dubai to the Mediterranean
Earlier this year, Cigisped Middle East Yacht Transport moved five 28m to 50m yachts, the heaviest weighing a staggering 370 ton, from Dubai to Lavrion and Genoa, as the season finished in the Gulf region, taking a total of 12 days to complete the transportation.
Every yacht’s cradle was tailor made to the exact shape of the hull, which of course drastically change from one yacht to the next. Made in Italy, the bespoke cradles are designed to evenly spread the load across the hull and the keel, so that no damage will be sustained even across the roughest of seas.
“These kind of operations can’t be improvised.” Frédéric Dauwe, yacht transport specialist of Cigisped Middle East Yacht Transport, explained, “They require the full attention and expertise of the in-house technical department”.
The yacht crew worked with two load master flown in from Italy to coordinate the loading and securing process, ensuring the cargo landed safely in the custom-made cradles and was securely lashed to the deck. Cigisped handled the entire aspect of the operation, including clearance on both ends, insurance and permits.
56m Benetti from Genoa to Hong Kong
Sevenstar Yacht Transport took on the challenge of moving Genesis II, a 56m Benetti weighing in at 750mt, from Genoa to Hong Kong. Using a lift-on lift, lift-off procedure, the operation used two 700t cranes.
Huge swells at the discharge caused the vessel to move in its slings, causing a challenging situation due for the two cranes. Costa Thuring, load master of the operation, said, “We came near the limits of the cranes. The swell added to the weight because of the movement it cause of the ship in the slings."
Sander Schuurman, marketing director at Sevenstar Yacht Transport, commented, “The operation was challenging, but luckily we had Costa Thuring. He is our most experienced load master, with over 20 years of experience.”
50m long, 70m tall sail yacht transatlantic
How do you move a 70m tall yacht that is taller than the cranes? This was the puzzle facing Sevenstar Yacht Transport, when they had to move Better Place, a 50m Wally Super sail yacht with a mast of 70m, across The Atlantic Ocean.
The single pick lift on, lift off technique caused a nail biting moment, when the huge mast and angles of the stays caused the mast to stray very close to the crane. But, of course, Sevenstar Yacht Transport used their expertise to bring the yacht to safety.
A huge amount of ingenuity and expertise goes into moving these behemoths across oceans.
If you need assistance or advice transporting a vessel, contact one of the Yacht Transport companies on Yachting Pages.