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From the Boathouse: As summer ends, boats prepare to move

Is transporting a yacht by ship is cheaper than sailing it?

August 01, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

Around this time of year, a number of boat owners move their boats to a different cruising area, and then return home after the end of summer. For example, if the boats are moved to the Pacific Northwest, owners want to start their trek back before winter weather begins.

There are yacht delivery companies that can move a boat either by truck or aboard a ship, and Yacht Path International was one of those companies. Yacht Path, was known locally for deliveries along the Pacific Coast and up to Seattle or Vancouver. The company was sold for a very low price of $250,000 to only one bidder, who is probably dancing on the water. I am interested to know if the purchaser plans to reestablish the yacht delivery business.

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The yacht transport companies have opened up new cruising destinations that are typically located thousands of miles away from Southern California harbors.

Delivering a boat with a crew can require weeks of underway time, wear on the vessel, increased maintenance costs, crew costs, dealing with customs in many countries, transiting the Panama Canal and, potentially, pirates. However, delivering a yacht aboard a ship might be worth the costs for your next vacation.

I have utilized the services of Dockwise Yacht Transport when I needed to shift yachts between California and Florida, and the Caribbean. The yacht delivery ships will dock in Ensenada, Mexico, and then again in Vancouver, British Columbia to load and offload yachts. So, I continue to skipper yachts traveling northbound or southbound along the Pacific Coast to San Francisco or the Pacific Northwest just due to convenience and knowledge of the courses.

Once again, the tip of week is from an email, and this reader is asking about a missing offshore flashing light.

Julie M. writes, "Hi Mike, since you know so much about our harbor and parts thereabouts, do you know why the Santa Ana Buoy marker, we call it 'C' mark, is no longer blinking? I called the Coast Guard over on Bayside Drive and they didn't know and said they would look into it and phone me back…well…not yet they haven't, so I thought perhaps you would know. If so, could you tell me? It's only my curiosity but I just love seeing it at night blinking way off the Newport Pier.

"Enjoy your column in the Daily Pilot…one of the few articles we can count on being worthy."

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