Experienced yachtsmen and first time vessel owners often employ yacht delivery services to transport the ship from one location to another over a body of water. Private or corporate owned yacht delivery companies sail the vessel to the determined location, which might be anywhere in the world. In addition to transporting the vessel, the company or the captain, handles everything from any required legal documentation to the necessary navigational charts and equipment. The owner typically pays the necessary expenses to ready the ship for voyage and for the travel expenses incurred by the captain and his crew. Vessels measuring 50 feet (15 meters) or longer often employ permanent captains and crew and do not require delivery services.
Each vessel delivery service will usually cover only designated routes and bodies of water. Prior to the voyage, yacht and sailboat delivery companies usually insist that the vessel be insured, and most of these businesses carry additional insurance. Most captains have advanced boating licenses, many years of experience, and training in maritime emergencies.
Regulations generally require that all yachts contain various types of emergency equipment. All yachts must have up-to-date life rafts and flares. Long distance travel mandates emergency position indicating ratio beacons (EPIRB) equipment and satellite phones. The size of the crew manning the ship generally depends on the size of the vessel itself. Captains typically plot the designated routes and may plan an alternative route in the event of inclement weather. Companies generally agree to delivery of yachts only outside of seasons in which adverse weather conditions are common.
Yacht delivery services generally provide a full inspection of the vessel and its systems prior to the voyage. Some businesses might also offer special detailing services, which might entail a thorough cleaning and polishing of the ship. When transporting a yacht from one country to another, the captain typically assumes the responsibility of obtaining customs and immigration documentation. The crew supplies the vessel with the required amount of fuel, food, and water for transport.
While en route to the specified location, the captain or the delivery company usually provides owners with daily progress reports or other information upon request. Many yacht delivery services welcome owners aboard the vessel during transport. First time owners, in particular, then have the opportunity to learn how the ship functions and to gain valuable sailing knowledge from a seasoned captain and crew.
A captain providing yacht delivery services maintains logs of the voyage and detailed accounts of expenditures incurred. Expenses arising from delays associated with mechanical problems or unexpected inclement weather may or may not be charged to the owner, depending on the agreement. Under these circumstances, certain companies might agree to reduced rates.