A captain of a 45m+ motoryacht contacted The Crew Report, explaining how he, the yacht and his crew were unable to make it, as planned, to this year’s much-anticipated Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show as a result of poor yacht transport. Speaking with The Crew Report, he explained just how the problems arose.
“My managers made a contract with a shipping company for the transportation of two yachts – the 45m+ yacht on which I’m working and another 32m – to be loaded on a general cargo ship. We went to a merchant port and waited there to be loaded. When the ship arrived, some insurance and exportation documents were not ready, and the longshoremen, when they saw us, decided not to take the responsibility to life both the yachts’; they were honest, saying they did not have enough experience in handling such fragile and valuable cargoes,” explains the captain.
“It was a mess, looking for alternative cranes, lifting gears, crane operators, insurance cover, everything at the last minute. But suddenly, the shipping company ordered the ship to leave the port and the contract of shipment was cancelled.”
"Waste of money is not acceptable, of course, but trying to save money using alternative ways to achieve the same result, without evaluating the risks, is not the best solution. This is, in my opinion, widely applied to everything in this industry nowadays."
Sander Schuurman, marketing and communications for Sevenstar Yacht Services, elaborated on the complexity of superyacht-specific transport, and noted: “Yacht transport is a highly specialised sector within the transport industry. To ship a yacht from one port to another requires specific knowledge, skills and the right equipment, and this is especially true in the case of superyachts. There are two ways of yacht transport: via lift-on and lift-off or with the use of specialised float-on and float-off vessels. To put a super yacht safely on board a ship a lot of specialised preparation and expertise needs to be employed. Superyacht transport is an art.”
This captain feels that, in this case, the yacht manager’s desire to save money was the cause of this logistical trouble – something numerous captains have echoed in their dialogues with The Crew Report. “For me, the lesson my managers should have learned was: do not look to the financial aspects of the problems only, but make a risk assessment before making a decision. Waste of money is not acceptable, of course, but trying to save money using alternative ways to achieve the same result, without evaluating the risks, is not the best solution. This is, in my opinion, widely applied to everything in this industry nowadays.”
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