Yacht shipping is the practice of transporting pleasure yachts to overseas and exotic ports. The yachts are loaded onto the deck of a converted tanker or freight ship and secured in place. Once loaded, the large vessel sails away toward the desired destination. The yacht shipping ends when the yachts are unloaded at the distant port and are once again taken custody of by the rightful owners. The business of yacht shipping allows a yacht owner to move a yacht from one ocean to another without hiring a crew, completing customs paperwork or causing wear and tear on the yacht.
Several companies offer yacht shipping to exotic locations such as Hawaii, the French Riviera and Middle Eastern waters. Often resembling large, floating parking lots, the ships used in the transportation of the yachts might have as many as dozens of yachts on the deck. From large fishing vessels to catamarans and large yachts, the converted freighters are able to carry many vessels on deck.
In order to ship the very large, mega-yacht-type vessels, semi-submersible ships are used to aid in the safe and easy loading of the vessels. Owners that choose to ship their yachts are not required to provide the protective cradles that provide a stable platform for the yacht to rest in while in transit. These are typically furnished by the yacht shipping company.
There are several reasons for an owner of a yacht to take advantage of a yacht shipping service, such as year-round shipping options allowing a yacht to be transported during rough seas conditions without harm to the vessel. The transporting of the yacht on the larger ship also eliminates many work hours from being placed upon the yacht's engine and drive system. The shipping service also eliminates the requirement of a captain and crew to make the long voyage, which in turn, eliminates the need of food stuffs, fuel and other supplies for a lengthy voyage.
Most reputable yacht shipping services do not mix other types of freight on deck with the yachts. This eliminates the possibility of a container or other object coming loose and damaging a yacht. The typical freighter that is used in the transportation of the yachts uses a rear-engine configuration. This eliminates the possibility of smoke and soot from the freighter soiling the hulls of the yachts. This configuration also eliminates the need for the yacht to be shrink-wrapped in heavy plastic prior to beginning the yacht shipping voyage.