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Old 12-03-2014, 00:17   #1
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Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

I'm looking at contracting a delivery skipper to bring a yacht over from the USA to the UK either in the summer of this year, or next (if I can't get my act together in time). Nothing firm yet: haven't made the purchase.

I started a thread recently asking for some rough estimations of cost, and got a lot of PM's from outstanding delivery skippers that were really, really helpful and obliging, and shared their knowledge freely. But mixed in amongst them were one or two that just didn't sell themselves as all round nice guys.

So, before I proceed any further, I'd like to ask if anyone has any positive recommendations regarding skippers that they have contracted recently to deliver their baby to port. I'm also interested in hearing any warnings or cautions you may have as well regarding specific skippers.

In fact, if you have any good outcome or even outright horror stories, I'm interested in hearing those too!

If anyone wants to mention a specific name or forum user, best put those comments in a PM to me (doesn't really matter for positive endorsements I guess, but is a must if you want to warn me about anyone), otherwise, if you have a good or bad story that doesn't identify the antagonist, feel free to post below.
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Old 12-03-2014, 00:52   #2
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

Have you thought about "shipping" the boat rather than having it "delivered" on its own bottom?
Basically, there are three levels of "shipping" a boat. The premier way and most expensive is Dockwise Transport which runs regular routes all over the globe. And you can get a significant discount with either a very early commitment or wait until the last minute as "standby" to fill a space made by a "no-show."

Secondly, is the second level transports that take boats "on deck" in addition to regular cargo below decks. You can Google these but one of the one's I contacted was "Peter and Mays" out of Caribbean.

Lastly, the big boat manufacturer's and world racers use "container ships" to move their boats. You rent the number of "container slots" necessary to fit your boat from the shipping company and then hire a company to build a cradle and prepare the boat for shipping. Finally another company to move the boat from the preparation area to the container ship docks.

Although there are several companies you must deal with and coordinate to do the "container ship" method, the overall costs are significantly less than the level 1 or 2 shipping methods I mentioned in the beginning.

The plus factor in shipping is time and weather - it's fast with regular scheduled departure and arrivals; and it is not dependent upon delays caused by Mother Nature.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:42   #3
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

Why not just ask for references and contact previous clients directly? The way you are going about this, based on your previous post and this one seems to be asking for a lot--and in an unusual manner that would not befit another inquiry in another profession...think lawyer, accountant, realtor, stockbroker, architect etc. especially since you don't even have a boat and began your first thread with the possibility that you might be buying a boat..at some time. You are asking a whole lot of people including some third parties merely trying to help, and some fom professionals who you admit are freely giving of their time and expertise while you "fish" around for possibly buying a boat, and a relatively small one at that, whereas I and now another member above have both suggested that for a small boat you consider shipping it. Most delivery skippers will charge about the same for a 27-30' boat as they will for a 35' to 40' but the larger one will go faster, thereby possibly lowering the overall rate, but the delivery fee as a percentage of your purchase price will be a much higher proportion for a less expensive (ie smaller) boat than for a larger one. Why not buy it in Europe and save thousands? So please, I urge you to contact the references provided to you by the skippers, but please, keep in mind that at that point you will now be involving the goodwill and free time and expertise (uncompensated) at three levels--us on the forum, the skippers and their clients before you have purchased a boat that you might "possibly" be purchasing..at some time. Most folks who freely give of their time to potential clients who might possibly be hiring them are now more challenge to ever earn enough money to buy a boat or contemplate hiring other professionals for much of anything..as you now are now freely doing with their time and expertise. Please, I urge you to think about the labor market and what conditions are necessary to have this pool of good skippers"out there" able to assist you...and then please act accordingly for everyone's best interest. Consider waiting until you actually buy the boat, or simply contact clients directly for references--but again, not until you buy the boat and are ready to hire someone. Otherwise you are rally wasting their time. You will likely find that this will be most helpful and beneficial for all parties--yourself included--if you actually buy a boat and hire a professional.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:53   #4
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

I think it is perfectly reasonable for the OP to both determine cost and availability of quality Skippers prior to buying a boat as the cost directly informs the budget. He needs to know how much he can spend on boat and how much he spends on delivery.

This allows him to determine whether a boat in a foreign port is really cheaper when all costs are considered.

Every professional in every industry has to deal with their fair share of "tire kickers". No one is forced to respond and engage with someone and ultimately it is up to an individual professional to make that determination - not the customer who should feel free to ask for whatever they wish.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:05   #5
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

That is one perspective and basically I think you are correct in general terms, but there are many ways to go about this, some more appropriate and respectful of others time and expertise, and some less so. This was the OPS first post:

"I may, at some time in the future, purchase a sailboat in top condition from somewhere on the east coast of the USA. Probably the lower states (as there seem to be more for sale down that way of the type I am looking at, no other reason).

It's likely to be between 27 foot (possibly a Nor'sea 27) and 33 foot (Cape Dory 33)."

After all that with all the maybes and possiblys and after he admits he already got good responses he is asking yet again for more free advice--why not just contact the past clients of the skippers he is interested in and ask them? And why not wait until he buys the boat? If he does..at some point.,..maybe...possible..." I've been on the professional end of situations like this many times and in nearly every similar case--perhaps all, a boat is never even purchased. And almost everyone who has worked and earned enough to be able to afford a boat still thinks that the professionals they seek should freely give of their time and expertise--which if they had to do all the time would never have been able to afford a boat. I am asking these prospective boaters to consider how they would choose an accountant or architect or lawyer--all of who earn in a day what skippers earn in a week or more of 24 hour days--and Yes, we must do some of that in order to show goodwill and encourage clients but how much? And expecially when we cannot even qualify the buyer or assess his seriousness? And now he asks for yet more free advice on almost anyone out there when he has already interviewed professionals and narrowed his choices? This seems to be a bit much and not ordinary information gathering. The paralysis of analysis it seems to me.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:22   #6
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

I hired Phil,"Boatman61" to take my boat from France to the Canaries just a few months ago. We had some challenging situations at times that he handled very well. We also had some enjoyable social experiences in the bars of Spain and Portugal. He's a good bloke.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:43   #7
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
Why not buy it in Europe and save thousands?
Sensible advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
I urge you to contact the references provided to you by the skippers
Unfortunately providing only names of satisfied clients (friends? ) does not give a balanced view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
.... keep in mind that at that point you will now be involving the goodwill and free time and expertise (uncompensated) at three levels--us on the forum, the skippers and their clients before you have purchased a boat that you might "possibly" be purchasing..at some time.
Reinhardt, ask away. This is precisely what forums like this are for - free exchange of information. No one here expects compensation when posting.

I, for one, would be interested in hearing about any good experiences from longstanding members if they care to share .
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:51   #8
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

By all means...ask away for all the free advice you want but remember that free advice is sometimes only worth what you pay for it. It's never guaranteed or absolute but ask away any and all reasonable questions in a reasonable manner that will be respectful of all parties. As for the above comment that you will only get good references..so what? Do you need to ask every single client they ever had? When firing an employee the employer contacts three references provided. he does not send out a broadcast message asking everyone to weigh in. There has to be some propriety, balance and reasonable expectations.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:57   #9
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

I meant hiring of course..not firing...or did I? Why would unsolicited or even solicited comments from random strangers be any more or less valuable than contacting provided references???
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Have you thought about "shipping" the boat rather than having it "delivered" on its own bottom?
Basically, there are three levels of "shipping" a boat. The premier way and most expensive is Dockwise Transport which runs regular routes all over the globe. And you can get a significant discount with either a very early commitment or wait until the last minute as "standby" to fill a space made by a "no-show."

Secondly, is the second level transports that take boats "on deck" in addition to regular cargo below decks. You can Google these but one of the one's I contacted was "Peter and Mays" out of Caribbean.

Lastly, the big boat manufacturer's and world racers use "container ships" to move their boats. You rent the number of "container slots" necessary to fit your boat from the shipping company and then hire a company to build a cradle and prepare the boat for shipping. Finally another company to move the boat from the preparation area to the container ship docks.

Although there are several companies you must deal with and coordinate to do the "container ship" method, the overall costs are significantly less than the level 1 or 2 shipping methods I mentioned in the beginning.

The plus factor in shipping is time and weather - it's fast with regular scheduled departure and arrivals; and it is not dependent upon delays caused by Mother Nature.
Yep, I've looked into the container option and have been provided with some information from various specialist shippers. However in terms of simplicity and logistics, I'm still interested in scoping out the skippering option.

I think given I'm still potentially going entrust my purchase to a skipper for about 3 weeks, it's good to broaden my inquiries and find out what the experience of others has been before I make a final decision: I've never used a delivery skipper before.

I value the advice you've given, and have printed it off and it will contribute to my decision.

Cheers!
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:13   #11
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Sensible advice.



Unfortunately providing only names of satisfied clients (friends? ) does not give a balanced view.



Reinhardt, ask away. This is precisely what forums like this are for - free exchange of information. No one here expects compensation when posting.

I, for one, would be interested in hearing about any good experiences from longstanding members if they care to share .
Thanks Seaworthy Lass. I certainly have considered purchasing in Europe, but there are some sailboats I covet that are hard to get there (for instance, the Nor'sea 27), so I have a certain degree of leeway in regards to budget if it means I get what i want.

I''ve also never used a delivery skipper before, and I'm interested in hearing what the experience of others have been, and if they have any recommendations (or warnings) so I can broaden my choices.

I also agree with your comment that these sort of enquiries are exactly what these forums are for. If professional skippers feel a little uneasy about this thread, I can only reassure them that I have asked anyone that posts publicly to not mention individuals, and any recommendations or cautions I receive in my mailbox are for my eyes only.

Cheers!
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:21   #12
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
By all means...ask away for all the free advice you want but remember that free advice is sometimes only worth what you pay for it. It's never guaranteed or absolute but ask away any and all reasonable questions in a reasonable manner that will be respectful of all parties. As for the above comment that you will only get good references..so what? Do you need to ask every single client they ever had? When firing an employee the employer contacts three references provided. he does not send out a broadcast message asking everyone to weigh in. There has to be some propriety, balance and reasonable expectations.
Quote:
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Why would unsolicited or even solicited comments from random strangers be any more or less valuable than contacting provided references???
Paul, the difference is that when hiring an employee the employer contacts the previous employer (or the last few employers). The employee does not just provide the name of employers who were happy with him/her.

I would take 'personal' references provided with a grain of salt, unless they were from someone with whom I was familiar.

And the OP is not asking for comments from "random" strangers, only ones who have used the services of delivery skippers.

As for free advice, there are countless members here willing to share their expertise with others with no thought of compensation. Just because the advice is free does certainly not make it worthless. Not everyone here is posting for monetary gain.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:27   #13
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

"Boatman61"; Boaty, also know as Phil.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:34   #14
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

Seaworthy Lass I read your comments and believe did not really read what I was trying to communicate but are somehow tryintg to completely negate and undermine my sincere comments. As to two comments already where you suggest my motives are selfish or geared toward compensation as opposed to simply trying to be of help, I completely reject that because I have provided many dozens of comments here to complete strangers with the goal of simply being of help. Second of all, if it is good and expected for professionals who are trying to earn a living to give away free advice when contacted by a "possible,...maybe someday..thinking about it..." client and the pros obvious goal is to earn income, why is it wrong for a pro to provide it here with or without expectation of compensation??? Finally I NEVER said free advice is worthless. If I felt that, why would I freely offer it here? Read my comment gain..please...this is what I said "By all means...ask away for all the free advice you want but remember that free advice is sometimes only worth what you pay for it. It's never guaranteed or absolute but ask away any and all reasonable questions in a reasonable manner that will be respectful of all parties." So if you wish to counter or question another post, please be sure to read it with the proper care needed to understand the writer's invective. As to my comments regarding a reference or a testimonial from a stranger about another stranger are not reliable--they could be made up from whole cloth--from thin air! I stand by my concern. To pooh pooh using references of actual clients and then praise the use of random strangers is seriously flawed. Every professional in any line of work will have a bad experience with a client and of course the pro will not provide that reference. But that does not make positive references of any less value--and they are certainly of more value than yes--random strangers. So yes--ask around...of course...as I said...but I think you should try to understand the professionals' point of view here rather than to disparage it or to disregard it while only supporting the boat owner (or the maybe..one...day..possibly" boat owner which is unfair and less constructive than it could have been.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:52   #15
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Re: Delivery Skippers: Good and Bad

I feel it makes lots of sense to ask for recommends from others (like asking on CF) over asking for references from "professionals". I seriously doubt any professional is going to provide a reference that isn't good for them (unless they are real idiots). I would also expect someone to dig deeper into recommendations they receive.

There are various "professionals" here on CF that I personally wouldn't ever consider hiring just based on their posts here, even though I'm sure their references would check out.
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