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Old 07-01-2015, 07:35   #1
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Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

My husband and I are moving our 2014 Beneteau Sense 46 from Miami to Traverse City, Michigan and need all of the help we can get! We exploring any and all options, but because of the 70' mast height and 14.5 foot height, some options are closed. We are happy to pay a qualified crew to make the sail, probably doing some of it ourselves, but are concerned about the time it will take. We plan to move the boat during mid-April this year. We would be grateful for any information anyone can provide. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:46   #2
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, iLean.
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Old 07-01-2015, 16:50   #3
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

That's a challenging move and would take a long time over water. Alternatively, you should consider unstepping the mast and pricing transport over land by oversize truck. You might be better off in the end and have the boat in the water at your new place for the thaw this spring. Alternatively, there is the possibility of sailing up the coast this spring/summer when the wind is more favorable and motoring across the Erie Canal. Unfortunately, by the time you get to Traverse City, it might be very cold again. The sailing season there is short, but the area is awesome. Be sure to chesck out Charlevoix and Beaver Island. Best of luck with this move.


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Old 07-01-2015, 17:16   #4
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

Thanks very much for your reply and my husband and I are in complete agreement with your strategy. If anyone knows of reputable marine moving companies, we'd be anxious to know their names. We've already begun to reach out to several and it looks like this may be a viable option, but it will required removing the arch on our boat.
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Old 07-01-2015, 17:16   #5
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

Consider removing the keel and having the boat trucked to Irish Boat Shop in Charlevoix (50 miles north of T.C.) Probably the best place to receive and put it back together.
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Old 07-01-2015, 17:22   #6
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

Thanks very much. We were both born on Lake Charlevoix and know the Irish family well. We hadn't thought of removing the keel and are anxious to look at this option.
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Old 07-01-2015, 17:50   #7
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

I know three are some serious height issues in Michigan for big loads. I would think some feedback from some of the yards up there on a company they can recommend for the haul that has experience.
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Old 07-01-2015, 18:03   #8
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

I had a 38' Moody w/ 5' keel moved from Holland, MI to Deltaville, VA, in 2006 for $2230. The company was McDonald & Associates Marine Haulers, Melrose, FL,. 800-783-7071. The fellow I purchased the boat from used them to move the boat from St, Petersburg to Holland, and he put me on to them. I could not have moved the boat via water from MI to VA for a fraction of that price, although I have long wanted to do the Erie Canal.

It is possible they are not in business, but I woudl check. The key here is flexibility. The dispatcher lady said I can save you a lot (50%) if you are flexible, meaning let me find some cargo going out to Michigan or that area, and that means the truck is carrying cargo both ways, but you are only paying your half returning. If you are in a hurry, we can do it tomorrow, but you pay for the empty ride out and the loaded ride back.

I couldn't write the check fast enough. My dealings with them were hassle-free. I paid up-front--no surprises. Was a three day transit--the driver or someone called me each day to tell me where the boat was for the night.

Key factors are the height of the boat which if it exceeds a certain height means a chase car plus route restrictions. Big bucks. My boat was smaller --38 overall, 12.6 beam, not sure on height but got it under 12 by taking off the SS guard around the binnacle and all canvas. The mast came alongside the boat in the truck; the RIB under the boat was well. Lowest configuration will be the cheapest--even take off the pulpit/pushpit/lifelines.

Anyway, try this outfit. They were wonderful when I moved my boat. Not a scratch!

If you do move your boat via water, I recommend June. Two years ago I bought my current boat (Moody 46) in Stamford, CT, and moved her on the water down the Jersey coast to VA in May. Not a lot of places north of the Chesapeake were fully open, and we were clearly one of the first boats of the season in a couple marinas. Up north, Memorial Day is the traditional opening day.
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Old 07-01-2015, 18:06   #9
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

I am sure there is a reputable yard in the Miami area who can do whatever it takes to prepare your boat for transport. Removing and reinstalling the arch shouldnt be a huge deal. Try uship.com? My guess and it is only a guess is that you are looking at 5-7 K for the transport with 1- 2 K on each side for de and recomissioning. A lot of cash, but thats a lot of boat. The over water alternative probably wouldnt be much cheaper if you consider the time and provisions required. I suppose a third alternative is unstepping the mast and sealift to Detroit or Chicago where it can be sailed to TC.


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Old 07-01-2015, 18:46   #10
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

Thanks for all of this intel, guys. The people in Traverse City have already mentioned the McDonald Co. for moving the boat, so it was nice to hear a second recommendation.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:15   #11
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

I researched some estimates to ship a 50'er from Tampa Bay to Holland Michigan, the average was around $7100 if the height loaded was less than 13'6" or so, and 13'2" beam. Over 13'6" height required a second car and added $2400 to the cost, for a total of $9100 over height and wider than 12'. One of the quotes was from Hurricane Marine Transport, who moved a friends Gulf Star 50, and were very professional, I met them on our end and helped commission. They were very good, and kept in contact along the way. My buddy did get uShip quotes and Hurricane met their lowest bid they received. Just had to be flexible on time so as to not have a deadhead trip.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:21   #12
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

Previous to being an exiled Cheesehead, I sailed to Charlevoix a couple times. I suggest not sailing it up this time of year. Just kidding. Cost of trucking has gotten crazy expensive these days. I recently got a quote of $7,000 to ship a 28' sailboat from Maine to CA.
Enjoy the sailing in the Great Lakes. Someday I'd like to sail back there and spend a couple years.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:02   #13
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

You do have a problem with the 70 foot mast. I just did that route round trip as far as Detroit last year. Most of the lift bridges are only 65 feet. If youwNt to stay i side the rig will have to come down. It is pretty well a long motor-boat ride anyway. It took me 340 engine hours each way and the trip took approximately 6 weeks.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:02   #14
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

Thank you.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:02   #15
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Re: Moving our sailboat from Florida to Michigan

I noticed one of the first posts exclaimed how far of a trip it would be by water without really defining how long long would be.
I would think 6 weeks would be plenty in a new mechanically sound boat with such a long water line, and it would be a fantastic way to see some country side. 5 weeks to lake Erie then another week up the system to lake Michigan.
Of course this only makes sense if you have 6 or 7 weeks to spare.

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