Boats and Yachts

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Infobox on Boats and Yachts
Example of Boats and Yachts
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Risk factors See text

Boats and Yachts


A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. In modern use the term designates two different classes of watercraft, namely sailing and power yachts (boats). Yachts are different from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose, and it was not until the rise of the steamboat and other types of powerboat that sailing vessels in general came to be perceived as luxury, or recreational vessels. Later the term came to encompass motor boats for primarily private pleasure purposes as well.

Yacht lengths generally range from 8 metres (26 ft) up to dozens of metres (hundreds of feet). A luxury yacht smaller than 12 metres (39 ft) is more commonly called a cabin cruiser or simply "cruisers." A mega yacht generally refers to any yacht (sail or power) above 30 m (98 ft) and a super yacht generally refers to any yacht over 50 metres (164 ft).

Yacht transport is the shipping of a yacht to a destination instead of sailing it either by its own power or wind ( sailing yachts). Yacht transport is an alternative to the traditional passaging (sailing or motoring) to reach desired destinations around the globe. Transport when compared to passaging is cost effective, safer and improves availability. Yacht transport generally eliminates costly, time consuming, and dangerous difficult ocean crossings, opening up cruising to more people and at more locations around the globe.

Shipment / Storage / Risk factors

In order to protect the yachts during transport it is recommended that they are properly covered by the shipper to withstand an ordinary sea passage.

If yachts are to be stowed aft of the funnel it is recommended, especially on older ships without so-called "Spark arresters" in their funnel, to protect yachts from sparks or scorched residues from the funnel by GLOW RESISTANT tarpaulins.

There are much more modern modes of protecting the yachts, examples are shrink foil and fibre sheets. In the mode of packing there is a lot of revolutionary development with modern light and better protecting material, even some "sprayed" wax protection today is possible or special protective coating.

Duly bear in mind that especially when sailing yachts are involved the L.O.A. (Length Over All) is not only the hull of the yacht but must include the bowsprit and stern measures. Further it is very important to duly check the length of the mast as often the mast is longer than the yacht itself.

When masts are handled "loose" care has to be taken that they are not "deforming" due the incorrect or insufficient application of lifting slings. When stowed and secured on board the carrying vessel proper support ( bedding / cribbing) has to be provided in order to avoid deformation (sagging / hogging).

For yachts equipped with an engine, please refer to the rules set forth in the IMDG-code. (e.g. one of them is that batteries should be disconnected and the fuel tanks be emptied as far as possible).

Transport methods

Overland transport
Small boats being transported short distances are often moved using private or commercial trailers. As the boat size and the over-land distances increase, commercial trailer services are typically employed by boat owners to move vessels. Insurance coverage, transport permits, trailer safety and proper preparation and loading of the vessel and contents are aspects commercial boat/yacht services provide.

Semi-submersible ships (SSS)
Semi-submersible ships were developed to move large (project) cargoes, but have now been adapted for yacht shipping. These ships are semi-submersible. This means that by ballasting, they can submerge their cargo holds. Yachts motor under their own power into the flooded cargo holds to load. Once all the yachts are in position and secured, divers weld hull supports into place. The ship deballasts and sails away. At discharge port arrival, the process is reversed, with the ship ballasting, allowing the yachts to exit. Semi-submersible shipping is arranged by the owners.

Deck cargo
Yachts can be shipped as deck cargo. Yachts are loaded directly from the water or from shore. Yachts are loaded by ship or by shore cranes in cradles either supplied by the carrier or the owner. For conventional deck cargo shipping, the rigging is left intact. Deck cargo shipping is normally arranged directly with the shipping lines or with brokers who specialize in yacht deck cargo shipping.

Container shipment
Yachts are also transported by container ships. Because container freight is sold on the basis of total enclosed volume, efforts are made to decrease that volume, including derigging the boat. If a yacht meets the restrictions imposed by container sizing, typically 39 ft. (11.9 m.) x 7.5 ft. (2.3 m.) x 9.3 ft (2.8 m.), container shipping is an alternative. Container shipping is arranged through freight forwarders.

Costs include the cost of preparation, cradles, documentation, and customs and other government fees. Container shipment costs are almost independent of distance shipped and depend more on imbalances in container locations.

The Semi-submersible ships travel on fixed schedules over popular routes such as to and from the US, Europe, the Caribbean, and Pacific Ocean destinations.

While in theory, deck cargoes can be arranged between any two ports and at any time, costs are reduced if a number of yachts are shipped together. Because most ships are non-US flag carriers, they are forbidden by law to transport cargoes between US ports. To comply with the law, they load or discharge in Canada, the Bahamas or Mexico. Container shipping offers complete flexibility with respect to ports and timing.

The locked and sealed container provides the best overall security. Since the semi-submersible ships are dedicated to yacht transport, they also offer a secure environment. In addition to theft, another potential problem is partial or total losses at sea. Probability of losses is low, reflected by the lower cost of insurance.

The increasing cost of fuel, the convenience, and the ability to go anywhere make yacht transport an attractive alternative.