Shipping a big boat

Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by j98052, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. j98052

    j98052 Member SILVER Sponsor

    74
    Jul 17, 2015
    Seattle
    2010 Sedan Bridge 520
    Cummins QSM11
    We are looking to upgrade to a larger boat, in the 50' range, with a fly bridge. Problem is, there are very few on the west coast (just 2 in fact), compared to many on the east coast and lakes.

    Our broker is telling us that we should only consider boats on the coast, that can be moved by container ship, and that shipping via truck is a bad idea - that the fly bridge would have to be removed (so the truck can clear overpasses) and many times the boat isn't the same after such a journey. Obviously some boats must be moved by trucks -- how else would they get to lakes???

    I'd like to hear about experiences moving larger boats, particularly across country.
     
  2. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    j98052,
    You found one person who's been there, done that and can answer some of your questions. We were in EXACTLY where you are when .we were looking to upsize. The type of boat we wanted (50-55' Sea Ray fly bridge) could be found on the west coast, but they were salt water boats, most had Detroit Diesels and were expensive as hell. I found our boat in the Detroit area. Over the space of 4 months of negotiations, two flights to DTW to sea trial it and two surveys we bought her. I found a shipper, had her shipped to Portland, OR for re-commissioning and installation of some extra equipment.

    After all was said and done, and after paying freight for the new boat to get here and my trade in (330 Sundancer) to get back to Detroit, I figure I saved somewhere around $75K over buying a west coast boat, and our boat had Cat diesels.

    I can give you a LOT of tips on how to save time, money, frustration, etc. Just give me a PM or ask away on here and I'll answer your questions.

    Mike
     
  3. Brett H

    Brett H Member GOLD Sponsor

    104
    Dec 12, 2009
    Lake Lanier, GA
    2004 550 Sundancer w/ MAN's - Unleashed
    Raymarine e127's; KVH HD7; Xantrex 3024 Inverter
    T-800 MAN's (D2848LE403)
    Seems to me that you need another broker... Many of the brokers we have locally are just sales folks with minimal boat expertise -- more focused on the sales commission. You need a broker that can contribute more or eliminate the broker & do it yourself.

    Every large boat on an inland lake was shipped by truck. Many of these boats are designed with shipping splits where the manufacture plans for disassembly for shipment. Some marine trucking companies will provide full service derig & rerig, just ask. Otherwise, work with an experienced service yard on each end. It's not cheap but it's a fairly simple process.

    I bought my boat in Lake Powell, AZ and brought cross country to Lake Lanier, GA. Contracted with local yard for haul out and disassembly. Hired hauler separately San Diego Boat Movers (got 25% discount for allowing them to coordinate to get a back haul). Contracted with local yard to offload, re-rig and to fix everything on my punch list.

    It's basic project management, broken down into manageable pieces. The difficulty is in the coordination as nothing happens in the time line initially presented. Therefore plan accordingly, I added 50% additional time to every portion of the schedule given by a contractor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  4. northshore

    northshore Member SILVER Sponsor

    997
    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's

    Mike, I know you have nothing but time on your hands:grin:

    Any possibility of putting this process and the pitfalls of this into some Cliff Notes like thing under the 'Tech Articles / Tutorials section'?
    I could end up doing the same thing a few years down the road and would love to know about the process before hand......

    -Mike
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  5. FootballFan

    FootballFan Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Not exactly your question, but related.

    We are shopping for our next boat for use on the East Coast. I got the wild idea about considering boats on the West coast - since that would increase the size of the market pool.

    Granted Mike had a positive experience with removing the fly bridge, I choose not to. Looked into options for shipping on the water.

    West Coast to East coast, carried on a larger ship - around 60K. That is a ball part number, not a fine tuned quote for a 60' boat. I doubt it opens up the west coast market for us, given the hassles and the need to buy the boat 60K less.

    One note when shipping via water. There is a law (I think it maybe called the Jones Act) which prohibits the shipping from one United States port to another US port direct. So the west coast boat would have to be loaded on the ship in either Vancouver or Baja Mexico, not a west coast US city. For my discussion purposes we assumed the destination would be Fort Lauderdale.

    Just some incremental information,

    Mark
     
  6. CougarCruiser

    CougarCruiser New Member

    220
    Sep 28, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    (sold) 2004 420 Sedan Bridge
    Boatless
    For those of us in the Pac NW - boats would ship to Vancouver. There's a route from Florida to Vancouver that they do larger boats a few times a year. Your broker should have the details. It's how brand new big Sea Rays get up here from the Florida factory.
    No, it is not cheap. I seem to recall easily 30-40K assuming everything goes well.

    Let's dispell a myth. Saltwater boats that are well kept in the Pac NW can easily be in better shape than anything along west or east coasts. saltwater is saltwater. And although Florida has a stronger pool to choose from, the proximity to the equator aka the sun has a far more detrimental effect than a boat that's northeast or northwest.

    When you get into the Great Lakes, there are more freshwater boats, but pulling the boat over the winter on dry land has it's issues as well.


    As I recall, GoFirstClass was positioned to take advantage of a heck of an economic downturn. He also wanted a boat with a specific engine package that could not be easily found on the west coast. Combine those factors, he made it work. I don't think he'd tell anyone it's easy to remove a flybridge and ship that too.

    In today's dollars, you're easily looking at 30-50k in shipping costs, and could be looking upwards of 8-15k in boatyard costs for teardown, packing, and reassembly. That assumes the people on each end actually have a clue about what they are doing. You would probably want to fly out the same person who took it part, to put it back together. That's an additional cost.

    I've looked at all of these options for various boats. They all became cost prohibitive very quickly. Even running a boat up the west coast from southern california will run you 15-20k when it's said and done.
     
  7. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Active Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    Boatless, but not for long!
    Diesels are in the future.
    +1

    Bennett
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  8. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Active Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones


    He also forgot to mention that he leveraged a helpful CSR member 5 wells away from where his boat was being kept and loaded. Said helper took pics of the loading process after Mike had left town so he could verify that the status updates he was getting were true.

    jeez, what does a guy have to do around here to get a little credit?? :grin:
     
  9. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Mike, It's funny, but I've never looked at that "Tech Articles/Tutorials Section". When I come onto CSR I always just hit the "24 hour search" thingie and look for what's new. Yeah, I'll cobble together something and put in some of the stuff I learned along the way. Good idea!



    As to the cost of teardown, that was included in the price I negotiated with the selling broker. Now, on a side note about that. The selling broker was a sleazeball. I didn't trust him any further than I could throw the boat I was buying. I didn't trust him to do the tear down because he would have just gone in and started cutting wires to save himself time. They also wanted to pick the fly bridge off by putting the forks of a fork lift beneath the fiberglass fly bridge and lifting. That would have likely cracked the fiberglass and they wouldn't have repaired the damage.

    The selling broker had this boat in his inventory for over a year. He basically was selling it to me and not making anything but was getting it out of his inventory. Any costs he incurred in the tear down and/or shipping would have been money out of his pocket. Sleazeball that he was I just had no faith in his desire to do a good job.

    As part of the price I negotiated with the yard in Portland to do the reassembly, I had them fly their technician back to Detroit to do the teardown. I paid for his airfare, hotel, per diem for meals and a rental car. That was undoubtedly the smartest thing I did in the whole process. He marked every wire before he cut it, marking it on both sides of the cut and when it came to lifting the fly bridge off the boat he showed them how to do it with lifting straps and the fork lift. The whole tear down went well and because he'd done the disassembly, the reassembly went smoothly as well.

    As to removing the fly bridge, done properly it was not a difficult job, just time consuming. It had to be shipped on a separate trailer on a cradle they had to build to fit the fly bridge (by itself it's 12' wide x 24' long) pulled by its own truck and they had to get separate permits for that load.
     
  10. j98052

    j98052 Member SILVER Sponsor

    74
    Jul 17, 2015
    Seattle
    2010 Sedan Bridge 520
    Cummins QSM11
    For the model we are looking for, there are 2 on the west coast compared 20+ on the east coast, and they are both more expensive than the average price of the east coast boats. We have ruled one of them out because it has considerable mold in the below deck compartments.
     
  11. northshore

    northshore Member SILVER Sponsor

    997
    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    And that ladies and gentlemen, that is why this site is second to none.
    Thanks Mike
     
  12. CougarCruiser

    CougarCruiser New Member

    220
    Sep 28, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    (sold) 2004 420 Sedan Bridge
    Boatless
    What model are you looking at if you don't mind sharing?
     
  13. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Dang Roller, you're right. I'd forgotten all about that. Its amazing what time and a feeble memory do to things that should have been remembered.
     

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