There is a lot of anticipation after buying a boat, and whether you're the buyer, the broker, or the builder, having your yacht delivered is the exciting final step in the process.
After the purchase of your new yacht is complete, the next step is delivery. Of course, you can hitch it up to your trailer and tow it home yourself if you have the means— but there are many variables to consider. Do you have a vehicle that can pull the boat? Have you ever driven a trailer? Does your schedule allow you enough time to do so? If those variables factor into your equation, you can consider yacht transportation as an option. Yacht transportation is the shipping of a yacht to a destination instead of sailing or motoring it yourself and is a great option that will expand the yacht’s lifespan.
Sevenstar Yacht Transport was founded in 1985 to serve the North European market. After being acquired by the Dutch worldwide shipping company, the Spiethoff Group, in 2000, Sevenstar expanded its network and now has offices in the United States, the U.K., Australia, and Turkey, with agents in Monaco, Germany, Russia, and New Zealand.
Sevenstar’s yacht transport process begins with the client requesting a quote and receiving an answer within 24-48 hours. From there, if an agreement has been reached on the sailing dates, destination, price, and insurance coverage options, the operation side takes over.
Safety and communication are a perk of the service. Throughout the yacht’s voyage, it is kept locked up for the entire duration, it is inspected daily, and the client is regularly sent updates on the transport’s progress. In addition, if you have a sailing yacht that cannot stand on its own keep, Sevenstar will supply specifically designed cradles to accommodate your vessel. All sailing crafts are transported without removing standing rigging or spars. When the yacht reaches the end of its journey, the keys are only handed over to the owner or the nominated representative.
“The client always has one single point of contact throughout the process, keeping them updated about ETAs, documentation prep, [and] Yacht prep weeks prior to loading,” said Kris Caren, who serves Sevenstar’s U.S. East and West Coast operations. “Local port and customs agents on both ends are looped in before loading. Then on the day of loading, the client or their skipper or both will bring the yacht alongside the ship. We lift from the water using [diver-placed] slings around the hull. We then stow the yacht on deck with our Lloyds Certified Cradles ([Sevenstar is the] only company with such quality equipment), all supervised by our [in-house] team of loadmasters, which boasts a damage rate of less [than] .05%. We arrange launch boats on both [ends] to bring the yacht’s crew back to shore at loading and back to their yacht at discharge. ETA communications are done every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in order to keep everyone informed throughout the process. All customs documents are exchanged with local agents via email using scanned digital copies. [A] 25% deposit is due at invoicing and the rest at loading paid by wire transfer.”
Sevenstar operates worldwide; therefore, transportation is available at any location with varying prices. In addition, the Spiethoff Group (Sevenstar’s parent company) owns and operates a fleet of more than 100 cargo ships from 2,100-23,00 tons— most of which operate with their own cranes. This component is what makes Sevenstar’s operations accessible to all corners of the globe.
Depending on the size and height of the group of yachts being transported, a cargo ship can carry anywhere from 12-50 yachts simultaneously. For 30 years now, Sevenstar has been transporting roughly 2,000 yachts annually worldwide.
But Sevenstar doesn’t stop with yacht transport. The company also has racing yacht logistic divisions, which take care of all the equipment used to host a regatta— specialty cradles with containers filled with tools. Additionally, their sportfishing division oversees bait transport before a fishing tournament occurs.
“We have an exceptional marine transport division that caters to tugs, barges, fish farms, [and] pilot boats,” said Caren. “This division is more commercial transport orientated. And then, we have the liner department that can handle door-to-door transport for yachts 50 ft. and under. This will involve trucking in Europe, U.S./Canada, but essentially can offer services worldwide. No yacht [is] too big or too small for our group as we also have DYT – the Semi-submersible yacht transporter with the largest yacht transport dedicated ship starting service last year – the Mv Yacht Servant. They have set routes between the Med, Caribbean, and the South Pacific year-round.”
Those considering purchasing a yacht that will need to be relocated should consider yacht transportation. When compared to passaging or cruising, transport is much more cost-effective, safer, and improves availability. It’s a great way to keep your boat in good condition to enrich its lifespan— a new boat can quickly turn into the quality of a used boat.
For more information on Sevenstar and their services, or to get a quote, please visit https://www.sevenstar-yacht-transport.com/.