I am taking a new job in Fort Myers starting September 1st, and am looking at alternatives to sailing my boat back from Europe. I have an agreement with my new employer to take a month off for it, but the opportunity cost is substantial.
Sail her back- wear & tear and time off work vs. a nice long downhill run in warm weather, probably with my father.
Hire a delivery crew - might be tough given her size, still wear & tear issues, probably least expensive if all goes well.
Stick her on a ship and send her to Ft Lauderdale- most costly up front, easiest to arrange in advance.
Find someone interested in chartering her for the tradewind run to the Carribbean- I would have to get her back from there, but that would be an easier task, still wear & tear issues, perhaps moreso than with myself or a pro aboard.
I have considered selling her in Europe- not sure I am ready to part with her, it would be the end of the sailing season there, VAT issues in order to even offer her for sale, she may eventually bring more on the American market and I could attempt to sell her myself here vs thru a broker there.
I know this is a very individual decision, but any words of wisdom?
Anyone done any of the above?
I agree with Nate. I would have loved that kind of opportunity for a passage with my father. What’s the saying?, ‘Twenty years from now you will regret more the things you did not do then those you did.’
Hi John- Sail her back sounds the best bet to me, but here is a couple of options:
Have her brought back by freighter from Northern Europe, I have costed this going the other way as I am interested in a BCC.I have a quote from Dockwise Yacht Transport at $5200/float on/float off which seems ok.
As you know I was going to try and meet up with you and see your boat sometime in June. If you are to consider selling later in the season I?could be interested
they want $5000 for the trip in early july, $6600 in the fall due to higher season, but that was out of the med, not where I had planned to be. I could pull the mast, do the canal du midi, but would have to restep to get to the ship, then maybe unrig again when storing her here. a minor consideration maybe, but a nuisance.
Others have already commented on your option of
sailing with your putative sperm donor (genealogists
argue that only 9 in 10 people of European cultural
heritage know their biological fathers).
Let me focus instead on shipping a BCC28. We’ve done
it once, for similar reasons: we ran out of time to
complete a voyage. We’re unlikely to do it again:
we’re now firm believers in Adlard Coles’ principle of
never sailing to a schedule.
Shipping costs, in money and time, are way higher than
the best estimates. And the boat suffers petty insults
(minor damage to a stanchion here, a dent in the
bulwarks there, etc) as a further cost.
If you are going to ship, you need to focus on more
than five aspects:
Decommissioning. Take your best estimate of time
for decommissioning and multiply it by 3. Every minute
of care and attention in decommissioning is paid back
Shipping Agent. You need a good shipping agent with
experience of shipping boats (if possible) to talk you
thru the choices.
You have two chief options: (a) a container vessel and
(b) a break-bulk carrier. The bulk carrier is
generally cheaper and better, because a BCC28 and mast
do not fit into a standard container volume, unless
you are prepared to use a chainsaw.
If you use a container vessel, you have to buy two or
more twenty-foot equivalent container unit spaces
(teu), hire a flat rack container (essentially the
frame of a container), build a cradle and lash it to
the flat rack, and arrange either to be top-loaded (on
top of the container stack) or to be below-decks.
A break bulk carrier doesn’t sell space in teus.
You’ll still need to build a cradle. And some bulk
carriers prefer you to put wheels on the cradle (ie
create a trailer), so they can handle the load more
easily (if they handle the load more easily, the risk
of damage is lower).
We were, unfortunately, in a location that was only
served by container vessels. Woe!
Coordination and Control. Someone (ie you) needs to
spend a lot of telephone time making sure that
everything happens at the right time. For example,
Zygote was in her cradle, on the flat rack, on a truck
trailer, and delivered to the port gate at the date
and time specified. But the ship’s load master had,
for whatever reason, decided to postpone loading her
on the vessel. Result: I had to pay for the hire of
the truck trailer for 24 hours.
Ports and berths. Details about the ports,
including the exact berth, and the boatyard where you
decommission/recommission are surprisingly important.
It’s sad to discover, as I did, that the height of the
load of boat + cradle + flat rack is greater than the
usual air draft tolerance of bridges over the road
between the ship’s berth and the recommissioning
boatyard. I had to hire a police crew to drive ahead
of the truck, so they could personally inspect the
height limits on the bridges over the road. They found
no problems. Perhaps it was just a way of the local
police funding their retirement scheme?
Insurance. I had conflicting advice about
insurance. The manager at the destination boatyard was
right: he argued that it’s not worth wasting money on
shipping insurance. Shipping insurance will not pay
out for small problems (ie a high deductible) and for
anything major, you just sue the shipping company.
Shipping insurers demand a survey at each end of the
trip, which adds to the cost and leaves you only with
portfolios of poorly composed and exposed photographs
of your BCC looking sad.
Attention to detail. You also need a good customs
agent to handle the bizarre formalities. It’s a bit
unsettling to find that even the customs agent doesn’t
trust customs regs or customs officers: I was
cautioned that everything would be fine, as long as
the export of our BCC28 happened before a new team of
customs officers (who have a lot of personal
discretion in interpreting rules and regulations)
arrived. Be prepared to quote the serial number of
most everything on board, starting with the mast (yup,
my Forespar mast has a serial number! and because the
mast was pulled, I needed to know it. So … what’s
the serial # of your mast and where is the number
Thanks all for the advice. Everything changed yesterday when my Naval Reservist partner-to-be got activated, starting 4/21. We both thought this Iraq thing was about wrapped up. Looks like I will be starting the new job 4/21 rather than 9/1. At any rate, I am likely to leave the boat in Bergen for now, cancel the summer cruise, somehow get the boat to Cherbourg, France for a August 28th sailing date on the float-on, float-off (mast up, no cradle) ship. Cost is
about $5K delivered to Ft Lauderdale, fairly reasonable I guess. She will probably go into dry storage somewhere for the time being.