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Old 19-11-2012, 13:29   #1
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Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

Hi again,

A lot has happened since my first post. After visiting some boats and further analysis, I decided to go for a Catalina 34. I found one in Los Angeles, which is said to be in a very good shape (pending survey results) and well priced. But now the question is the transport of the boat from LA to SF Bay. I opened a request for quotes on uship and I am getting bids short of three thousand. I understand having good reviews and reputation are important. On the cost point alone, I not sure what to expect, also I am trying to get a total by adding the additional costs that are associated (de-rigging, and rigging back etc.). I am not sure what those costs would be or how to get estimates on them.

Anyone has any practical experience on moving a boat? Any advice?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 19-11-2012, 13:50   #2
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Re: Cost and intricacies of boat transport

Earlier this year, we had our newly purchased boat shipped from FL to MN. Transport ran about $8,000. I can't seem to find or recall the cost to derig in FL since we had the marina do a bunch of other work before the boat was shipped. Once she arrived in MN, we paid the marina $240.00 to splash her from the truck. We raised the mast and re-rigged on this end ourselves with the help of a friend, so no cost there.

Depending on what the boat is equipped with, check with the transport company on what they will require to be removed. They have height restrictions. We had to remove the hoyt boom (boom for the self tacking stay sail), dodger, bimini, radar pole, davits, solar panel, etc. However all stanchions were fine and everything else in the cockpit was fine as well.

One of the best things we did was prior to raising the mast again, we took the time to completely clean and polish the entire rig and mast. Took us 2 full days however was completely worth it. You don't have the mast down and taken apart very often to do this.
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Old 19-11-2012, 14:08   #3
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Re: Cost and intricacies of boat transport

how about ............... sailing it up?
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Old 19-11-2012, 14:15   #4
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Re: Cost and intricacies of boat transport

if it's in good shape, why not pick a good weather window and sail/motor/motorsail it up?
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Old 19-11-2012, 14:34   #5
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Re: Cost and intricacies of boat transport

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how about ............... sailing it up?
Reference: Bluewater Cruising Capability
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Old 19-11-2012, 14:40   #6
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

I'm not an expert on the weather for the west coast, but I would think the weather wouldn't cooperate for this time of year from LA to SF. That is a long trek, and bad weather is not a good idea.

He also didn't say if the boat was up to par for sailing. He did say it was in good shape, but that doesn't mean it's ready to sail. It should be though.

James L
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Old 19-11-2012, 15:05   #7
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

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I'm not an expert on the weather for the west coast, but I would think the weather wouldn't cooperate for this time of year from LA to SF. That is a long trek, and bad weather is not a good idea.

He also didn't say if the boat was up to par for sailing. He did say it was in good shape, but that doesn't mean it's ready to sail. It should be though.

James L
I think it is in good shape to sail up (again, pending survey results) but I am not in any shape to sail it on coastal waters ;-) I am a newbie in sailing (I recently got my US Sailing Basic Cruising certificate, with the intention of proceeding to Bareboat Cruising as soon as possible, probably before the end of the year). One of the reasons I would like to buy a boat is to learn more about it and spend some time living in it (one/two nights a week), with the intention of making an offshore passage making in some 2+ years time.

I think there is an option to hire a transfer captain to bring it up but I am not sure about the costs associated to it, and I think ground shipment is quicker and simpler (just an assumption on my end, I would be interested in hearing opinions if I missing something here).
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Old 19-11-2012, 15:13   #8
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

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I think there is an option to hire a transfer captain to bring it up but I am not sure about the costs associated to it, and I think ground shipment is quicker and simpler (just an assumption on my end, I would be interested in hearing opinions if I missing something here).

My feeling is that it is a much better use of your money to get a captain to sail it up with you. If you are planning on getting ASA bareboat you could do that at the same time! When I got my first boat the insurance company required that I get some more instruction (and I already was bareboat) so I just hired a captain to come with me as needed someone to come along anyway.

When you add up the costs of the trucking don't forget the hauling, unstepping, restepping and launching!
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Old 19-11-2012, 16:07   #9
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

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My feeling is that it is a much better use of your money to get a captain to sail it up with you. If you are planning on getting ASA bareboat you could do that at the same time! When I got my first boat the insurance company required that I get some more instruction (and I already was bareboat) so I just hired a captain to come with me as needed someone to come along anyway.

When you add up the costs of the trucking don't forget the hauling, unstepping, restepping and launching!
Thanks, this is good advice. I also would enjoy accompanying the captain for the trip to see 'my boat' in action ;-) I made a couple of quick phone calls and it looks like this will be about $2500 for the fee of the captain, fuel, food. Not very sure if a third crew would be needed. But if it is really around $2500, I would definitely prefer this for both sharing the experience also to avoid the hassle of de-rigging and rigging.
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Old 19-11-2012, 16:24   #10
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

The winter can be the *best* time to go from LA to SF. I have done it many times. Hire a captain or borrow an experienced friend. In January of February, before the blasting NW'lys start, there is often a nice calm period after a cold front passes. Make sure the engine is 100% good, fuel clean, get warm clothes, point her NW and put the RPMs at MAX. 4 days? Easy!
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Old 19-11-2012, 16:41   #11
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

Note that I have no experience doing deliveries on the west coast. But as I mark it this is about a 300 mile trip. So figure three days.

Go walk into the San Francisco yacht club, and look for the 20ish year old college student. Offer to buy him a beer, and ask about doing the delivery with you. Offer to pay all expenses, plus $150 a day for the trip and offer his buddie $100 a day. This will run you about $1,000 and get you two very experienced racers on the boat. They may not be the best teachers, but every big sailing community has boat bums like this hanging around looking for a few days paid work sailing.

Heck I paid my way thru college like this.
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Old 19-11-2012, 17:16   #12
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

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Note that I have no experience doing deliveries on the west coast. But as I mark it this is about a 300 mile trip. So figure three days.

Go walk into the San Francisco yacht club, and look for the 20ish year old college student. Offer to buy him a beer, and ask about doing the delivery with you. Offer to pay all expenses, plus $150 a day for the trip and offer his buddie $100 a day. This will run you about $1,000 and get you two very experienced racers on the boat. They may not be the best teachers, but every big sailing community has boat bums like this hanging around looking for a few days paid work sailing.

Heck I paid my way thru college like this.
Thanks Stumble, this made me really laugh. But given my personal experience I will need more than a few college students. I don't mind hiring a captain and a crew to take the boat up. Seems the cost is comparable and I see it as an adventure for myself.

Talking to a candidate transfer captain, one of his conditions is to recondition the engine and replace all filters and have spare ones, which makes sense, since the boat has a 25 year old engine with some 1300 hours on it. I think it is a good investment in the boat anyways. Trying to get a cost estimate for this, Google didn't return many relevant results. Anyone has any ballpark figures for getting the engine reconditioned prior to the trip (It is a Universal Diesel M-25 @ 23 HP)? Also as a general practice, is it better to get an engine survey first then get it re-conditioned or simply pay a mechanic to re-condition it without paying an initial survey?
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Old 19-11-2012, 17:24   #13
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

You should check out a west coast chart and talk to a few folks who have made the trip. There are a number of spot to hide out if the weather kicks up beyond your comfort level. There is a small little bay sheltered from the crappy weather you usually find around Point Conception where you can wait out bad weather just before you turn north around the Point. Once you make the rounding which might be at night, Morro Bay is just a short jaunt north but entrance can be problematic due to fog. Another little spot to hide out from NW wind and swell is the Bay off San Simeon. These are just a few examples if you want to sneak up the coast. From there up to Monterey is only about 150 miles as I recall.
I've made delivery trips north from SoCal many times at all times of year as well as south from the PNW and as long as you watch and wait for the weather window, no drama.
You should have a good radar, a couple of serviceable GPS units, a chart plotter or paper charts with the ability to do dead reckoning and chart a course, preferably both, a knot log that works reliably and the time to sit out poor weather.
Your boat should be in good nick as well as the engine and sail inventory. A respected marine surveyor should help you with that. Make certain you have lots of extra fuel filters as well. Don't trust the PO to tell you the tanks are clean. Would be a good idea to fill your tanks and polish the fuel before setting out.
Don Lucas' suggestion is a good one if you are a little short on experience offshore. A licensed skipper can teach you a lot on the trip north and add to your sea needed for further sailing qualification. Sorry, I'm retired...
On another post thread, I related a tale about a late 70's/early 80's Catalina 30 or 32 that was not up to the trip north of San Francisco and ended up in Humbolt Bay after a rather terrifying trip around Cape Mendocino. The vessel was not up to an offshore passage and had delaminated along the starboard hull/deck joint for about 8 feet forward of the mast. Took on a fair bit of water but the made it into port. Make sure your surveyor knows where you plan on taking her if you indeed plan to exercise the sail option... cheers, Phil
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Old 19-11-2012, 18:59   #14
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

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Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post

Talking to a candidate transfer captain, one of his conditions is to recondition the engine and replace all filters and have spare ones, which makes sense, since the boat has a 25 year old engine with some 1300 hours on it. I think it is a good investment in the boat anyways. Trying to get a cost estimate for this, Google didn't return many relevant results. Anyone has any ballpark figures for getting the engine reconditioned prior to the trip (It is a Universal Diesel M-25 @ 23 HP)? Also as a general practice, is it better to get an engine survey first then get it re-conditioned or simply pay a mechanic to re-condition it without paying an initial survey?

recondition the engine??? you mean rebuild? That seems like a silly thing to do to an engine that is running well with only 1300 hours on it. Is it running well? or have you sea trialed yet?
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Old 19-11-2012, 19:03   #15
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Re: Cost and Intricacies of Boat Transport

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recondition the engine??? you mean rebuild? That seems like a silly thing to do to an engine that is running well with only 1300 hours on it. Is it running well? or have you sea trialed yet?
No, I actually misquoted him. This is about servicing of the engine (changing the filters etc.), not rebuilding it.
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