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Thread: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

  1. #1
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    Default demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    You hear the idea from time to time...has anyone out there actually sent a small boat overseas in a shipping container?

    How do they load the boat in the container without a trailer? How was getting it from the terminal to the water on the other side...did you arrange it all in advance or go over and wing it?

    The high-end yacht transport companies look over-the-top. I'm really interested in the nuts and bolts of sending a small keelboat in a plain old 20' container...would love to hear your story if you've done it.

    thanks,
    m.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    It is commonly done here in Europe for small boat reggattas with up to40 foot containers. You do require a type of trailer and ramps also a hand winch set up for loading. Most of these guys own the container, and they have been customised, but I am sure it would not be to difficult to make a one off trailer, and keep whatever hardware you require.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    I've done it with three cars in a 40' container. It wouldn't be any different with a boat.

    I used a freight forwarder to do it. They built a couple of ramps to angle the cars up in the container - so that they all fitted. They could have fitted 4 in by the way.... and they weren't small cars, all "S" class Mercedes Benz. The freight forwarder charged around $4,000 IIRC - including doing everything at the other end (building the ramps and loading the cars).

    I used a local customs agent to clear the container at this end. His charge was about $600. They liaised with Customs and I just had to turn up with my chequebook and pay the import duty.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  4. #4
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    This question has been asked before on this forum. AFAIK, the people that enquired about shipping containers did not take up that option.
    Can I ask what sort of boat and where you would be shipping it to?
    Not only but also, if it's a keeler, it had better be a detachable keel as something like a fixed keel Hartley TS18 might be too tall to fit in a container.
    It does work well with dinghys though....I've seen them packed in like sardines.
    We don't know how lucky we are....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    http://www.containeryachts.com/

    Not a woody, but this guy will go a long way towards putting delivery skippers out of business.
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    The best option , if the boat has a trailer, is using Ro-Ro ships, if available on your destination.
    I've done it for cars, from Newark (ATI company) to Le Havre, and there was quite a lot of boats to be boarded. Easy, safe, and cheap.
    Some friends tried the container and the cars had shocks...
    Be careful if you want to tow it with a rental car in Europe, the ball is 50 mm, and the eclectrical connection different too!
    Last edited by Rapelapente; 04-29-2010 at 10:56 AM.
    Gerard.
    SCHOONER FOR EVER, GOELETTE A PERPETE

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    I wonder how the boat is as a boat instead of an article of cargo?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    Quote Originally Posted by SchoonerRat View Post
    http://www.containeryachts.com/

    Not a woody, but this guy will go a long way towards putting delivery skippers out of business.
    Have you seen Dockwise in action? A submersible ship that specializes in yacht deliveries.





    Last edited by Paul Pless; 04-29-2010 at 11:25 AM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, use 7'x7'x39' for the internal dimensions of a container. It'a actually a few inches bigger, but those numbers are safe to use as the maximum cargo shape.
    Wayne
    Somewhere in Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    The Straight of Georgia looks big.
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/ven...isabeth+Grace/
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    I used Dockwise, shipping Anthéa from Fort Lauderdale to Toulon for the way back in june 2007.
    Just perfect job!
    You come in the boat just like in a harbor.
    When we went aboard in Toulon to take Anthea out, she was still on the hard, so we could clean the hull before the "tide".
    Gerard.
    SCHOONER FOR EVER, GOELETTE A PERPETE

    http://www.goelette-anthea.fr

  11. #11
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    I'll have to search the forums again, I missed that previous thread...

    I have a 16' open boat cat-ketch with leeboards that I'd love to send on a one way trip this winter just to try it...it's probably only 400 pounds or so and a container seems overkill so perhaps I should be checking Roll on/roll off. If it could stay someplace interesting for a few years where I could visit it and beach cruise a few months in the winters I would be satisfied. I was thinking Thailand, if things settle down over there.

    As for keel boats I am looking at John Welsford's 'Fafnir', Jay Benford's 'Happy', and Thomas MacNaughton's 'Silver Gull 19' (bilge keel version..it looks like it's 3" too long as drawn but it would be Sooo simple to build) or perhaps his 'Farthing'.

    It looks like container inner dimensions are 19'4" by 7'8" wide by 7'10" high.

    If shipping was halfway reasonable I'd build one of these...I just can't take years off right now for a proper bluewater sail. If I put it off until later I'm a bit afraid of winding up too old to do the kind of sailing I want to do. Shipping a tiny boat seems a lot more accessible as far as time and money goes. The red tape is looking a bit daunting though..

    Thanks for your replies!
    m.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    If you're sticking to Nth America, RORO could be the thing.......or pay a towing company to tow your boat to the start of your cruise. There are companies (well, there are in OZ and that has similar distances to Canada) that specialize in towing caravans (trailers) and that might be worth a thought.

    Remember that shipping containers come in different styles.....there are top loaders (doors at one end, tarp over the top) open sided ones and flat decks. So, there are options if your boat doesn't fit the standard box.
    And we might as well mention professional boat transporters....it'll be worth asking the cost (within Nth America) of shifting the size boat you have/want just for a comparison.
    We don't know how lucky we are....

  13. #13
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    I have a buddy from Sailing Anarchy who shipped an International Tempest from Holland (iirc) to NYC and told me that it was very easy and not as expensive as you'd think. Ernst Cancrinus in Rotterdam has told me before that you can put a Dragon in a 40' container (because of the mast) for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3500 US, but I haven't verified that.

    The Australian Dragon Association had an article on their website about shipping Dragons from Europe. Must work, because they have about doubled the size of their racing fleet in the last five years with newer boats from Europe.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  14. #14
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    I am looking into it for shipping my 33' Keelboat in a couple of years. I priced up a 40' container ex longbeach to Auckland for around 4000US.

    You have options for a hi-top container that has a door height of 8'6" vs the normal height of 7'6".

    My boat is on a steel cradle so I was going to jack it up to the height of the container floor then push it in with a forklift or similar. With the few inches I have to spare at the top, I could put the cradle on half a dozen pieces of steel tube stock to roll it in egyptian style.

    Unfortunately I would either need to ship my mast seperately or cut the top 6' off & re-scarf in a new top section on arrival.
    Aloof..

  15. #15
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    Cool Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    Quote Originally Posted by Murray Campbell View Post
    ...

    It looks like container inner dimensions are 19'4" by 7'8" wide by 7'10" high.

    ...
    Thanks for your replies!
    m.
    Right. A half container. We rarely fool with those.
    Wayne
    Somewhere in Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    The Straight of Georgia looks big.
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/ven...isabeth+Grace/
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/venchka/

  16. #16
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    Indeed it does. Imposing to say the least.
    __________________________________
    Alexandra from transport maritime

  17. #17
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Have you seen Dockwise in action? A submersible ship that specializes in yacht deliveries.





    When I worked the riverboats they would fill a 200' barge half full of water, float a bunch of snowbirds in it with a lot of lines and fenders and move them back and forth between the great lakes and the gulf with the seasons.

    Ken

  18. #18
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    Ever wonder why San Francisco Bay has so many Nordic Folkboats? This is how the Danes ship Folkboats to us.

    This was blatantly ripped off Eric's blog - All Kinds of Junk



    I've always admired how easy the Danes make transporting a Folkboat look But, gettin into a 40 foot container, that a whole other equation. That's when you solicit the help of your boat builder friend, who has a little bit of experience in these matters.

    1st - trailer it into the warehouse .......




    .... Then secure the hoisting straps to the overhead travel lift ... notice the keg of beer at the bottom of the picture

    I love the way these guys "work"




    Flip it around stern first ....




    Take a picture



    Now, wait for the container ....




    Screw down some board to guide the keel ...


    .... to be continued ....

  19. #19
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?



    Get the forklift into position




    Back the truck up and set the keel into the track




    Disconnect the lift and slide the boat back into the container




    Drink a beer and watch your buddy finish the job.




    Tie it down no matter what ocean conditions the freighter encounters, the bot won't slide around and get damaged, don't forget the mast and anything else you want sealed up for the trip ahead and .... get another beer

    ..... to be continued .....


  20. #20
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    What is "Ro-Ro"? Never have seen this term. Robert Perry had a 38' design published in SAILING Magazine several years ago which was expressly designed for container shipment. With her flat bottom and 7.5' beam (zero deadrise and rocker) my E&D 28' Shearwater Yawl would fit nicely inside a container. I've always thought that an old salvaged carpet laid in the container prior to loading the boat, plush some lashing would be all that was needed for protection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapelapente View Post
    The best option , if the boat has a trailer, is using Ro-Ro ships, if available on your destination.
    I've done it for cars, from Newark (ATI company) to Le Havre, and there was quite a lot of boats to be boarded. Easy, safe, and cheap.
    Some friends tried the container and the cars had shocks...
    Be careful if you want to tow it with a rental car in Europe, the ball is 50 mm, and the eclectrical connection different too!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    Ro-Ro is Roll on- Roll off.
    These cargo ships are long range ferries, and board vehicles, boats on a trailer or anything wheeled fitting inside.
    It's the best way to ship a small boat to my eyes . I don't like containers which are an illusion of protection.

    roro-definition-top-image.jpg
    Last edited by Rapelapente; 01-16-2019 at 02:32 PM.
    Gerard.
    SCHOONER FOR EVER, GOELETTE A PERPETE

    http://www.goelette-anthea.fr

  22. #22
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    Default Re: demystifying shipping container boat transport?

    The Flying Fifteen fleet (20 ft long) on trailers uses containers to ship their boats around the world for there Worlds champs which alternate between Europe and (Asia, Aussie, NZ, Sth Africa).
    They pack 4-6 per container by dropping the keels off. and the rigs down the side.

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