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Making the most of your Cruising Seasons
Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:22    PDF Print E-mail
How shipping your yacht can make a difference

Sevenstar's new all-in flexible transport package is optimized for world cruisers. Three cruising couples explain how transporting their yacht opened possibilities.

Shipping home after crossing the Atlantic

"We had always been playing with the idea of a world cruise", says Annette, "and when Matthew was 7 years away from retirement we decided on a trial run: crossing the Atlantic and exploring the Caribbean". Annette and Matthew Wilson from Sussex are the proud owners of SY Cassiopeia, a 43 ft Hallberg Rassy. Toghether they have sailed most of Europe's West coasts since they bought their first yacht 36 years ago and when the children were still young the family yacht turned into a floating holiday home. Sailing trips were short, and as long as there was enough swimming and treasure hunting to be enjoyed, everybody on board was happy. Matthew adds, "We rented a Beneteau in the BVI's for a two week experience of tropical blue waters when the children were in their teens. The sailing holiday was unforgettable, but we missed the trusted comfort of our Cassiopeia".

We longed for a real taste of world cruising and did not want to wait another 7 years

A little later, with the children at university and retirement 7 years away, the couple started seriously planning a cruise around the world. However, they both felt that they did not want to wait that long and decided on a shorter trip to get a real taste of world cruising. Matthew: "I was able to arrange 2,5 months off work for crossing the Atlantic and some proper sailing in the Caribbean".

Making the most of your Cruising Seasons
Making the most of your Cruising Seasons

Transporting the yacht back to England after the trip had always been part of the plan. Annette explains: "As Matthew could only get limited time off, sailing back home against the weather was out of the question. "Shipping our yacht allowed us to maximize our first trade winds experience and do some proper tropical water exploration in the BVI's.

After 10 years at sea the grandchildren brought us home

Claude and Francine, a Swiss couple, can be considered serious world cruisers. "Being a successful stockbroker I decided 12 years ago that enough is enough", says Claude, "so I retired on my 50th birthday". Two years of planning saw the couple fulfilling their dream: sailing the world in their 58 ft aluminium ketch SY Trinity. Fast forward 10 years and we find Claude and Francine in Phuket, Thailand after serious blue water sailing and visiting every possible Pacific and Asian Island. Still happy and not yet done, some things have changed as their daughter gave birth to twins 6 months ago. "SY Trinity was in the Philippines at the time and I spent three months with our daughter in Switzerland" Francine says. She continues: "Claude decided to stay on board, managed to be online most of the time and enjoyed being a grandfather even without being there in person".

Claude and Francine wanted to see their grand children grow up

Now in Phuket Claude and Francine both feel that they are missing seeing their grand children grow up. If the yacht would be back in the Med things would be easier visiting the kids regularly would be possible. They had visions of family holidays on board with granddad teaching the grandchildren how to sail in the small sailing dinghy they would buy for them. Claude smiles: "It didn't take long for us to decide to have the yacht transported to Turkey on the next sailing after the cruising season in Thailand".

Cruising, the childrens' education and a job opportunity

It was a large crowd of friends and family standing on the docks of Vejle, Denmark to wave goodbye to Bjorn and Erika and their two kids Sven and Rick leaving for a circumnavigation on their 48 ft steel sloop rigged yacht SY Serenity. Erika tells us: "We were in our early forties and had been able to negotiate two years of leave without pay". Bjorn continues: "We thought it would be a great experience for the children too. The board of education of Denmark luckily agreed to Erika home schooling the children for the next two school years". After an uneventful Atlantic crossing and some great months in the Caribbean the family managed a stressful passage of the Panama Canal. After that the exotic islands of the Pacific turned out to be the great attraction of which they couldn't get enough. Erika: "There were even moments that the kids almost refused their daily school hours in order to play with local children on one of the exquisite islands that are in abundance in this part of the world".

We ended up doing both: a perfect solution!

It was in New Zealand after 1,5 years of cruising that Bjorn and Erika knew it was decision time. Bjorn explains: "The children needed to go to a real school in about a year and Erika had been offered a job back home that would advance her career in a way she never thought would happen". Although none of the family members were done cruising they were facing a decision, as sailing on via Asia to the Med would take too much time (yes, they conceded having spent too many months in the Pacific). Bjorn: "After extensive discussions we agreed that there were two options available. Either break off our trip and have the yacht transported straight from New Zealand to Europe (Erika's wish at the time) or, and this had my preference, discharge in the Caribbean and do a trans-Atlantic crossing eastwards". Erika laughs: "We ended up doing both as we booked two transports: one from New Zealand to Panama leaving the yacht in the Caribbean for another cruising season, after which we shipped her home to Northern Europe. It was a perfect solution."

Interview with Jan Maarten Boissevain, Sevenstar's Director of Sales, and Marieke Derks, 'representative' for Sevenstar Thailand & Malaysia.

Making the most of your Cruising Seasons When are sailings from Southeast Asia to the Med in 2016?
Marieke: "We have yearly seasonal sailings in March, April and possibly in May leaving at the end of the Thai season and arriving in Turkey and Italy in spring for the start of a new Med season."

Why is a dedicated package necessary for world cruisers?
"World sailors search for safe, easy and reliable transport, while maximizing their time at cruising destinations", says Jan Maarten Boissevain. "We schedule mast-up sailings, shipping cruisers between main yachting hubs in the world. With our new 'All-in Flex Package for World Cruisers' we make sure that pricing is transparent and all shipping related costs are included. Yachts are insured by our longstanding partner Pantaenius Yacht Insurance and customs clearance is taken care of at both ends."

Are sailings guaranteed?
Jan Maarten: "It is important that cruisers can count on us. We have been operating seasonal transport routes between the Med and the Caribbean for over 15 years and from Southeast Asia we have shipped cruisers to the Med every March, April and sometimes May for the last 5 years and we will continue to do so."

Do you take sailing yachts with standing rigging?
Marieke Derks: "Yes we do. We realize that we are shipping client's 'homes on the water' and for that mast-up sailings are the solution. Because the sailings are timed with the season clients know when to book in advance and we can use freighters with crane capacity required."

All inclusive pricing: can clients be sure all costs are included?
Jan Maarten: "Absolutely. Our clients need to know up-front what is the total amount they are looking at. We know that shipping your yacht is not a small amount of money. Therefore our pricing includes all elements involved shipping a yacht. No hidden costs, no surprises.

How flexible is the transport, what is the 'rollover' option?
Jan Maarten: "Most of us at Sevenstar are keen sailors ourselves and we understand the need for flexibility in planning. Sometimes you happen to be somewhere so interesting and beautiful, that you simply want to stay for another year. Other times unforeseen events need to be taken care of, such as break-downs or visits to family back home. That is why we give our world cruising clients an option to rollover to another loading month or even to the next year at the same rate as long as we know before the end of December. Our clients can be assured of their place on deck, while maintaining flexibility."

Pantaenius insures the yacht during transport?
Marieke: "Correct. Pantaenius is our long standing partner for insurance. They are known for their excellent service and correct handling of claims. Together with Sevenstar Pantaenius has developed a dedicated Yacht Transport Insurance taking care of all ins and outs of maritime laws and yacht shipping.

Sounds like your service is "hassle free", what about customs clearance?
Marieke: "Dealing with customs paperwork can be a big headache as regulations vary from country to country and sometimes from moment to moment. And often by the time cruisers arrive in Thailand they have bad experiences with local customs agents charging over the top. I am glad that we have decided to include costs for customs clearance and appointed reliable customs agents to take care of the red tape for our clients."

What local support do you give?
Marieke: "We have local Sevenstar teams in both the loading and discharge ports. Once cruisers arrive in Phuket they are visited on board and briefed about the loading process. At the same time we look at special requirements or address questions that may still be open. For instance some cruisers are short handed and may need an extra deck-hand on board when coming alongside the freighter.

What about VAT in Europe?
Jan Maarten: "We give cruisers a choice of destinations in Europe: Turkey (no VAT) or Italy (VAT depending on your situation).

Contact for bookings and information:
Sevenstar Yacht Transport , Thailand & Malaysia, Phuket. Marieke Derks
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mobile: +31.6.3150 4309
Chris Jongerius
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mobile: +66 86-045-4634