As a private and/or commercial yacht owner, it’s very likely that you’ll need to haul your vessel out of the water. This can be for an array of reasons, including yacht maintenance, servicing and repairs. Alternatively, you may be planning on buying or selling a yacht, that is located in another territory and need to facilitate its transportation.
Either way, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that transporting a yacht takes extensive preparation and there are often strict deadlines that need to be adhered to. Therefore, it’s a good idea to spend some time finding the right yacht hauling company to assist in your vessel’s transportation as certain companies will be more proficient in the specific haul out services that will suit your needs.
It’s also vital that the yacht or vessel is correctly prepared for transportation. That’s why we’ve put together these key points to help get you started.
Batten down the hatches
Ensure all ports, hatches and windows are properly shut and locked. Use marine tape to avoid leaks and prevent possible water damage and latch all cabin windows shut. You should also do this with interior doors and we recommend securing anything that is able to move, such as plates, utensils and cutlery. Store personal items from the cabin in a safe place and if your vessel is passing through customs make sure you do not have any prohibited items on board.
Inspect your vessel for existing damage
It’s a good idea to take photos of any damage you believe to be the result of the yacht’s transportation as this will act as a reminder to you and your yacht crew. Furthermore, if new damages occur during the transport process, you’ll have evidence to support any compensation claims. It’s also a good idea to take extensive photographs of anything you dismantle that you are not 100% sure how to reassemble. Documenting these processes could potentially save you hours of frustration down the line, not to mention helping you avoid further damaging the parts during reassembly.
Make sure that you unplug your yacht batteries and store any cables properly to prevent further contact. The last thing you want is dead batteries when your vessel is offloaded at its destination. If you’ve ever left the interior lights on in your car by mistake….you’ll know the feeling.
Protection from the elements
Almost everyone agrees that protecting a yacht from winter weather is a good idea but you should equally aim to protect your yacht from the elements (e.g. saltwater, dirt and debris) all of the time if you wish to maintain your investment. You can do this easily with marine cellophane or shrink wrap. However, in most cases, commercial vessels are too large to cover completely. In these instances, we recommend focussing on easily damageable areas such as the teak deck and/or non-skid surfaces. There are insulator waxes available to cover stainless steel and chrome fittings. It’s also recommended that preparation is always supervised or inspected by a professional to ensure it’s done correctly.
Lighten the load
You’ll want your yacht to be as light as possible prior to hauling because its weight can have a significant impact on the cost of services. So, in addition to removing valuables and other items from the galley and crew cabins, we wanted to list other ways to lighten the load for the marine travel lift:
- Firstly empty the fuel tank or run it down as much as possible. Diesel weighs about 7 lbs/gallon which on bigger vessels can equate to a lot of additional weight on the hull. It’s also important to note that if you need to move your yacht when it arrives at the final destination, you may need to have some fuel left in the tank.
- The next tank to start emptying is the freshwater water tank. When the tank is near empty add some vinegar to prevent bacterial growth and flush with hot water. You may also want to flush and sanitise your tanks with a chlorine bleach solution – yacht transportation is the perfect time to give your vessel that all-important deep clean.
- Removing the anchor and chain can relieve a vessel of some weight, especially since these items can sometimes be transported separately in a pallet. It’s also important that anything removed is done correctly which is why we advise using a professional team.
Measure the yacht
You’ll want to let the yacht transportation company know your vessel’s specifications (overall height, weight and beam/width) so they can allocate the necessary, required space. This is important because if your yacht is bigger than declared, the cranes may not be able to lift it and it may be too large to fit through the hatch cover.
When a yacht is travelling long-distance, there could be authorities that need to enter the cabins. So don’t forget to leave a spare key with the company transporting your vessel. It’s also important to have the correct customs paperwork available if your vessel is travelling in international waters.
The key point to remember when transporting a yacht or vessel is that you must give yourself time to prepare for a successful yacht haul. The aforementioned tips will only hold you in good stead but it’s important to do your research and find the right shipyard to support your needs.
Here at Bridgeport Boatworks, we are a full-service shipyard with easy and quick access to Interstate 95. We’re fully equipped with a 700ton Marine Travel Lift and 75ton Marine Travel lift – take a look at our photo gallery. We also offer a 24-hour emergency hauling service and have extensive industry experience.