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Top 6 Things You Need To Know About Yacht Transportation

Owning a yacht involves a lot more than simply owning the yacht. Taking your yacht out on the water and enjoying the limitless feeling that comes from being able to see only light and water in every direction, maintaining your yacht so it stays in pristine condition, storing it when it’s not in use, and transporting your yacht to various destinations are all part of yacht ownership. The following will explore just one of these elements in detail—yacht transportation. The goal is to provide you with enough information so that you can figure out what transportation options you want to look into.


Of course, the most obvious way to transport a yacht to a given destination is to sail it. This can be a great option for people with the necessary skills, but it can also be a major headache. Sailing takes a lot longer than a flight, and some people can’t manage to get all that time off work. Beyond this, certain areas are harder to sail through than others putting your yacht and anyone on it at risk. In particular, many yacht owners aren’t thrilled by the idea of crossing an ocean with their yacht. It can also wind up being quite expensive to sail when compared to the standard yacht transport cost because you have to include all the necessary supplies to keep everyone on board happy until you get to your final destination. Sailing or motoring might also not be ideal for people who want to bring their families on holiday with them; not everyone thrives when they spend a month at sea, and it’s hard to get the time off school for kids for longer trips.

Overland Transport

When boats are smaller and need to be transported shorter distances, private or commercial trailers can do the trick. This being said, the larger the boat is, and the greater the over-land distances are, this becomes less and less financially viable. Things like transport permits, trailer safety, preparation, safe loading of the vessel, and insurance coverage can all make longer overland transportation too much trouble.

Transportation Via Semi-Submersible Ships

Semi-submersible ships (often shorted to SSS) are ships that were developed in order to move larger cargoes but have been adapted for yacht shipping. Via ballasting, semi-submersible ships are able to submerge their cargo holdings. Yachts can motor into the flooded cargo holds, making loading nice and easy. Once all the yachts are safely secured in place, divers weld hull supports into place. The ship then deballasts and sets sail. Once it arrives at its destination port, this entire process is reversed, and you can simply motor your yacht out of the transport vehicle.

Yachts As On Deck Cargo

Yachts can also be shipped up on the deck of larger ships. This involves loading yachts from the water or shore using shore cranes in cradles. In conventional deck cargo shipping, rigging is left alone. This process is typically arranged directly with a shipping line or with a broker who specializes in yachts as deck cargo.

Container Shipping

It is also possible to transport yachts in container ships. Often, this includes de-rigging a boat in order to decrease volume as total enclosed volume is the basis of container freight sales. Most containers are 39 ft by 7.5 ft by 9.3 feet, so if your yacht can fit into that space, container shipping might be ideal. Costs associated with this form of transport can include cradles, preparation, and documentation, as well as customs and other government charges.

Routes And Schedules

There are more popular routes for shipping yachts. Typically the US, Europe, Pacific Ocean destinations, and the Caribbean are considered popular for yacht shipments as well as the year’s yachting hotspots. These larger routes are often less expensive and more frequent than less popular routes. Of course, cargoes can be arranged between any set of ports; it sometimes becomes financially unwise to organize your transportation this way. Often it is better to ship the yacht to a larger, more popular port and then sail it yourself to the smaller port that is nearby.

The above information should have given you an idea of the different forms of yacht shipment that are available. Depending on the size of your yacht and where you would like it moved, some of the options are going to be better suited to you than others. Always be sure to read up on the transportation laws between countries as these can vary drastically. For instance, if a ship is a non-US flag carrier, it is not legally allowed to transport cargo between two American ports. Transportation companies tend to get around this by loading or discharging in Canada, the Bahamas, or Mexico. Knowing the legal standards can help you make the best choice for you and avoid unnecessary fees.