Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-04-2017 Thread Starter
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Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

Hello

Full Disclosure - I am not a sailor aside from a few weeks cruising the caribean but I have a situation I would very much appreciate some guidance with. My nephew (wife's sisters son) recently lost his father who was living aboard his steel hulled 37' sailboat somewhere in the Baja when he passed away last year. His father built the boat himself and is of great sentimental value. The family would like to have the boat returned to Victoria BC by some means and we are at a loss as how to best do this. His father is a life long sailor - lived aboard his boat for many years and his wisdom of all things sailing was lost when he passed away. Any suggestions or assistance would be greatly appreciated , as we hope to get the boat home safely and without drama or disappointment with the process.

If this is the incorrect thread upon which to post this question - could one of the moderators please direct me to the appropriate place?

Thanks in advance

Regards

Mark Kerschbaumer
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

A 37ft boat is relatively easy to have hauled by truck. An experienced marine trucker should know how to deal with customs. I think the issue is going to be to find one that will go from Mexico to Canada. I have some Canadian neighbors who tell horror stories about import taxes in CA, which are worth understanding well.

You could also hire a delivery crew, but that's not a fun trip. It would be costly at best and it's not clear what condition the boat is in, if your brother-in-law passed that long ago. A homemade boat that has been sitting for a year is not going to be a professional crew's first choice for that passage. When you say "somewhere in the Baja", are you trying to protect it's location (which would be smart) or are you unsure?

Sounds like a challenge. Good luck.


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post #3 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

Hello Mark,

Welcome. My condolences for your family's loss.

You have two choices: truck the boat or have it delivered.

I don't recommend trucking in your circumstance as I understand it. You would have to find someone to move the boat to a yard to have the mast(s) taken down and the boat and rigging prepared for shipping, find a trucking company with the right gear, get all the permits for an oversized load, move the boat, and then put the jigsaw back together. Given your background you'd be dependent on a lot of other people, potentially working by remote control in BC. If you take this route you would do well to get an advisor who has been through the process before.

I suggest finding a delivery skipper who will take responsibility for moving the boat on her own bottom. The cost will be the same or less, you won't have to take the boat apart, and you'll have one person (and his or her crew) accountable for the boat. The trip is considered "uphill" as it is against the prevailing winds. We don't know how well the boat sails. If she sails well and points high the conventional approach is to aim for Hawai'i until you can lay Point Flattery. If not it's a combination of motoring and sailing when possible along the US West Coast.

I do think you should move with deliberate speed. Boats deteriorate quickly when left to sit.

Here is what I would do, I think, in your place:

Try to get in touch with friends of your late brother-in-law and establish a relationship with someone who will keep an eye on the boat. Pictures of the boat inside and out are advised. Your nephew or you might consider a trip yourselves. While anyone can clean out the refrigerator, you're going to want to find someone with an understanding of boat systems to make sure nothing else goes awry.

Find a delivery skipper who will take on the job. The right skipper will understand your position and coach you through the process of getting the boat home. Depending on just where the boat is this may include incremental moves and some rental cars for provisioning and to pick up crew.

As it happens I am a delivery skipper. Getting me from Annapolis to Baja and then BC to Annapolis is probably not economic. I suggest you contact Hank Schmitt at Offshore Passages Opportunities (http://sailopo.com - tell Hank I sent you) and check on his pro skippers (I was one before my own work got too busy). I think he has a couple on the West Coast. Those pictures I suggested will help clear up a lot of uncertainty, especially since if the boat isn't up to the trip you would have to pay a skipper to go home.

I hope this overview of your options is of some help. I'm sure others will fill in details I have glossed over, or may have a different perspective. I'll be off the grid for a couple of weeks from this Saturday on a delivery. You can ask questions here and someone will surely help. You can email me directly at dave@auspiciousworks.com if I can be of any assistance.

sail fast and eat well, dave S/V Auspicious

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Last edited by SVAuspicious; 01-04-2017 at 05:51 AM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

I almost always suggest a delivery on her bottom. In this case, I wonder if the OP is dealing with a boat they know little about and nothing about what it may take to make her seaworthy for a delivery ($$$$).

Pictures are good start, but until that crew is aboard and shakes her down, the OP has no way to know what they are getting themselves into. That crew is going to demand she is blue water capable, before taking that trip. Just feels like a seriously possible money pit to me. If the crew gets there and wants some big buck fixes, the OP is either going to have to make the repair/upgrade or pay for the wasted time, as well as the return trip ticket home.

I agree that trucking is a pita to coordinate all parties. However, I think the outcome is a bit more predictable in this case.

It would certainly help to understand what kind of hull and condition the OP is dealing with here. It could be that the sentimental value is worthwhile or very ill advised.


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post #5 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

My 2 cents, once the family is cognizance of the cost of transporting the boat and its financial worth there will be a 37 foot home made steel boat up for sale.
My advice, have a survey done on the boat to determine its resale value, subtract the cost of transportation, any improvements required for transportation, taxes and any other cost then deduct 12 months of slip fees in Victoria BC then take 50% of that and that figure is what you will have in your pocket after the sale. My guess it will be a negative number.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

This is going to cost $5,000 to $20,000, so the first step would be to get the best surveyor available to do a survey for seaworthiness and approximate value and send them a detailed written repot with LOTS of pictures, that will cost $300 to $500. A delivery skipper is going to demand a boat capable of motoring quickly all the way against wind and tide if required, he doesn't have time for anything less.

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Last edited by capttb; 01-04-2017 at 12:41 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

Yeah, I'm afraid that I have to add my voice to the choir saying that your best bet is to forget about the sentimental value and sell the boat. Most especially if there is no one in the family who, RIGHT NOW!, wants to drop everything and take on the responsibility of this boat. Prepping, shipping (or sailing) to BC, and docking it there is almost certainly going to cost way more than any sentimental value is ever going to add up to.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

La Paz and San Carlos have surveyors and yacht brokers.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-04-2017
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Re: Ummm, Hello and I need some help please with Shipping a boat

Mark Kerschbaumer, please let us know what you decide to do.

Regards
Jerry

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