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How You Can Ship A Yacht Or Houseboat Internationally Without Breaking The Bank

So you’ve finally found that perfect yacht or houseboat you’d like to buy after a long while?


After such a meticulous search, you’ve found your dream yacht, the only problem right now is figuring out how you can get this beauty delivered to your home port.

Well, I don’t know what you know about the yacht shipping process but if you’ll be buying a yacht or houseboat in Singapore or elsewhere, you’ve got a range of options as far as international boat shipping is concerned.

Shipping your yacht or houseboat can be stressful, there are a lot of things to consider and it can be difficult to know where to start.

Today’s article is dedicated to providing you with a brief overview and what this shipping process entails. Read on!

Why Ship Your Yacht When You Can Just Sail Away?

As much as you can always find a freight company to handle your houseboat or yacht transport by sea, you may also have been considering sailing your new acquisition to your home port.

This is not impossible though, only that there are both advantages and disadvantages therein.

Some owners often seek the assistance of yacht delivery professionals to help them pilot the yacht to its new destination.

Ordinarily, there’s a lot of joy to be gained in cruising the new craft through new places but there are also a lot of tradeoffs to be made.

As it turns out, most international voyages are often long and so the owner considering self-delivery of their yacht would need to commit ample time into the journey.

Also, running the boat safely and efficiently on such a voyage would require experienced personnel as well.

The yacht’s structure, fittings, and engines will likely take some wear and tear during such a trip. Responsibility for this lies with the yacht or houseboat owner.

For most people, shipping the vessel through a freight company or carrier seems the most plausible option.

How to Ship Your Yacht Overseas in 3 Methods

International boat shipping through a yacht shipping company such as Peters & May Yacht Shipping or Seven Star Yacht Transport can easily help transport your newly bought vessel.

You can either initiate this process through yacht brokers, an Independent Boat Buyers Adviser or seek the services of a freight forwarding company directly.

Freight companies often use commercial ships for yacht transport by sea. After you might have reserved your space on the carrier, the boat shipping company would need the overall dimensions of the vessel including the cradle or trailer, in the applicable case.

Many origin ports in Singapore for example still have equipment in place you should need to ship your yacht overseas regardless of the size.

To transport your yacht or houseboat overseas, you can always choose from one of three main options. These include Roll on Roll off (RoRo), Lift on Lift off (LoLo), and the Semi-submersible shipping methods.

  • Roll on Roll off Yacht Shipping Method

The RORO shipping method of transporting yachts and houseboats is commonly used for boats on trailers.

With this method, they are rolled onto the deck of the shipping vessel to be rolled off at the final destination. Boats on cradles can also be shipped in the same way too.

The shipping line would have to provide a rolling flat track on which the cradle will be positioned.

The rolling flat track will be used to position the yacht or houseboat on the shipping vessel and then off, at the point of destination.

Most shipping lines often restrict RORO service to yachts and boats up to 15ft although there may still be some variations with different carriers.

  • Lift on Lift off Yacht Shipping Method

The LoLo is a step up from the RoRo. Yachts and houseboats of larger sizes that can’t be transported via RoRo are usually transported by this LoLo method.

These boats are usually lifted onto the deck of the shipping vessel by cranes. There are no size restrictions for this shipping method and the yachts to be transported are usually stored on the upper deck of the shipping vessel throughout the journey.

However, the method would attract additional crane fees at both the point of origin and the final destination.

  • Semi-submersible shipping method

In this case, your yacht or houseboat is easily loaded from and unloaded back to the water from the points of origin and destinations respectively.

This shipping method is the best for large superyachts and houseboats. The shipping vessels used in this case are specially built carriers that can drop their decks below water level.

The boats are able to move into position above the deck.

After some divers might have helped to secure the boat into position, the vessel then rises from the water, following the same process to unload the transported yacht or houseboat at the final destination.

The Cost to Ship Boat Across Country: Factors that Affect Yacht Shipping Prices

Yacht shipping prices, as well as the actual amount it will cost to ship a boat across the country, will usually vary from carrier to carrier.

In most cases, the factors below would usually affect how much you will have to pay for your yacht transport by sea;

  • The physical location of the yacht or houseboat

  • Where is the final destination you’re headed to?

  • Will the boat need a cradle to be built or will it need to be lifted from the water?

  • What are the overall dimensions of the yacht along with the cradle and trailer?

  • What transport method will you use, RoRo, LoLo, or Semi-submersible?

All of these variables will in one way or the other affect the costs of shipping your yacht or houseboat overseas.

Tips for Preparing Your Houseboat for Shipping

Shipping your yacht internationally, for your utmost good, requires adequate planning and preparation.

It is always important and advisable that you discuss these logistics with an expert, such as your BASCO Independent Buyers Adviser for practical and professional insight.

Generally, the tips summarised below will help make sense out of the yacht shipping process.

  • Carefully measure your yacht’s dimensions

This will impact how much you pay as far as the yacht shipping prices are concerned.

This measurement of dimensions should have accurate measurements of the length, width, and height of the yacht as well as swim platforms, bow platforms, and every protruding part of the yacht that cannot be disassembled.

  • Winterize the houseboat or the yacht

Antennas, propellers, light, anchor, electronics, and every other valuable item need to be stored securely.

Fuel should be removed and batteries should be disconnected.

Cabin windows should also be latched and taped while every cargo in the houseboat or yacht should be removed.

Clean the boat’s exterior. Drain water out of the yacht, down to the drain plugs and the air conditioner.

  • Consult your freight company’s agent

First off, reputation counts so you should endeavour to only select professionals with a proven history, credibility, and reputation.

You’ll then need to engage your boat shipping agent in discussions to get details of the rate, type of transportation, boat pick up, and trailer transportation, among a host of other things.

  • Getting the international boat transport documents beforehand

Don’t forget to contact the embassy of the country from where you’d be shipping.

This should acquaint you with the necessary custom regulations and documentation you’ll likely need.

Usually, these will include a bill of lading, a copy of the boat’s title, a bill of sale, and shipping documents from your shipping company.

Import permits for the boat or trailer or both may also be required in some countries.

  • Preparing the yacht’s loading and unloading in advance

For the country that will be your destination, you’ll want to be sure you’ve put everything in order. You’ll need to get details of customs clearance, taxes, and port fees you’ll have to comply with.

Remember that your yacht insurance will not cover the yacht while it is being transported.

Still, you’ll find reliable international boat shipping companies licensed and fully insured to reduce your risks.

Adhering to these tips, and then following this up with some professional advice or assistance will make your yacht transport by sea much easier.

Definitely, this will make it easier for you to buy your dream houseboat or yacht just about anywhere in the world.

And there you have it – a simple 3 -step method to Ship Your Yacht or Houseboat Internationally. Now that you know how to Ship Your Yacht or Houseboat Internationally, there’s just one thing left for you to do: take action.

So get to it, and soon you too will make memories of a lifetime with friends and family on the water.

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