This June a 185 metre-long cargo ship loaded up with 48 motor and sailing yachts made its way from the Caribbean Island of St Thomas to the German port of Cuxhaven, stopping off at Newport, Rhode Island, and Southampton on the way. What was the special occasion? The momentous event? Answer – nothing. This was just another “day” in the life of Sevenstar Yacht Transport.
Amsterdam-based Sevenstar is one of the foremost lift-on lift-off yacht transportation companies in the world relocating over 1,400 motor and sailing yachts annually to every conceivable global destination. Founded in 1985 to serve the North European market, it was acquired by Dutch shipping company, the Spliethoff Group, in 2000 when it expanded to become a worldwide network with offices across the continents.
Sevenstar now accesses Spliethoff Group’s modern fleet of over 125 vessels – a huge advantage according to Managing Director Richard Klabbers, “The Company’s greatest strength is that it owns its carrier vessels via its mother company Spliethoff – and therefore almost never needs to search for a vessel to charter – while competitors need to line up orders and only then find a carrier, with a large chunk of their commission paid to the ship owner.”
With a yacht, of course, being a perfectly viable mode of transport, it doesn’t somewhat beg the question “why pay a yacht transport company to do the job for you?” Firstly, consider constraints of time. An ocean passage can take a fortnight or more, dependent on yacht, and not everyone has the luxury of time. On the same theme, you’d need to crew, provision and fuel your yacht for that passage and this can be a hugely costly exercise. Likewise, you’ll subject your yacht to the elements which will at best increase wear and tear on her structure, fittings and engine and at worst cause damage requiring repairs and replacements.
Weather can also hamper a solo crossing. Conditions are rarely a problem for Sevenstar as its larger Atlantic crossing vessels can go to 18 knots and outrun any weather front – and the onboard weather data is technologically advanced. Lastly, safety is a real consideration. Piracy is a growing problem on certain ocean routes and Sevenstar has the expertise and strength to handle all eventualities. It all adds up to a good sense option – especially if you are the kind of yacht owner who wants to sail some of the world’s finest cruising destinations from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, the Gulf to the Far East. A logistical and expensive headache without the help of a yacht transportation company such as Sevenstar.
Able to transport yachts 52 metres in length and up, Sevenstar handles private yachts, charter yachts and new builds straight out of the shipyard. It’s also well versed with the transportation of race yachts often dealing with organizers of races such as the America’s Cup to assist in relocating entire fleets to beautiful yet remote locations without loss or damage.
Sevenstar’s workforce is skilled and diligent, divers place lifting belts in position underwater so they don’t fall foul of hatches or propellers and yachts are cosied together like a jigsaw puzzle to make the best, and safest, use of space– all coordinated by a single loadmaster per shipping. Yachts are tightly secured before transportation gets underway and during the journey Sevenstar will keep you up-to-speed with the position of your yacht and ensure that only authorised personnel step on board – little wonder they are the market leaders.