Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Smart Cruising With Dockwise

While some boats and yachts are built to handle Atlantic (or Pacific, for that matter) Ocean crossings to enjoy cruising in different parts of the world, not every owner wants to put his or her vessel through the wear and tear—or put crewmembers through it, either, as sometimes it’s impossible to outrun a storm. That’s where transport ships come in. These massive vessels feature a semisubmersible section that permits yachts to literally float on and off as cargo.

There are a handful of companies that carry yachts, but Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT), which has been in business since 1987 and solely focuses on the pleasure market, can now boast ownership of the largest transporter in the world. The photo here, taken by famous yachting photographer Onne van der Wal, is of Yacht Express, measuring nearly 688 feet long—that’s more than 130 feet bigger than DYT’s previously largest carrier. Equally impressive, Yacht Express has nearly 106 feet of beam and displaces 15,000 tons. DYT commissioned the vessel from Yantai Raffles Shipyard in China in 2005 to meet the ever-increasing demand for yachts traveling to and from Florida and the Med. To date, DYT says it’s transported more than 8,000 motor- and sailing yachts.

As this photo (also by Onne van der Wal) shows, there’s 541 feet of deck length for boats and yachts to be transported on. Because crewmembers need to be present when the yachts are ready to disembark, Yacht Express features complimentary cabins for them—plus a swimming pool, restaurant, movie theater, fitness center, and other amenities to make the passages more enjoyable. Even better, because the vessel is capable of an 18-knot speed, DYT says transatlantic trips can be reduced from 15 to eight days.

Yacht Express will be picking up and dropping off boats in Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks and then heading to Florida. She’ll be rechristened at the Monaco Yacht Show in late September during a special ceremony, complete with a fireworks display.

No comments: