How to Ship a Boat Overseas
Posted on January 6, 2014
The idea of shipping a boat on another boat may seem strange. Can’t she just be sailed to where you want her? Not always. It may be that she isn’t suitable for open seas, or that it is the wrong time of year and you would meet inclement weather or difficult waters. In those cases, shipping your boat will be a better solution.
Shipping a boat overseas is no different from shipping any other cargo, and offers flexibility and good value for money, but it should be pointed out that careful preparation and packaging are crucial to ensure that she doesn’t get damaged in transit, especially if you are shipping in a container, as their standard 8 foot length is often smaller than a boat’s beam.
What needs to be done largely depends on the freighter that is used and its loading requirements, but generally speaking, the rig will need to be lowered, the spars removed and everything secured in position and padded. Unless a cradle has been built for your boat, she will most likely be shrink-wrapped as an added protection against theft.
The disadvantage of this method is that you will also need to have your boat put back together at the other end, which could delay you.
An alternative is to use a freight-forwarder with special ships whose decks sink below water. Your boat is simply sailed onto it, and the transporting vessel lifts up. This means that there is no need to take your boat apart and put it back together.
While this option is increasingly popular because of its great convenience, it is only offered on a limited schedule and doesn’t cover many ports. It is also still quite expensive, which explains why shipping boats as cargo is still the solution favoured by most boats’ owners.
Click here to see our quick reference guide to making car shipping easy.