Transport Experience with Seven Star – Maldives to Turkey

Published 11 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Posted 7 May 2012

This is my report about the transport by Sevenstar of my sailing boat between Male (Maldives Islands) and Marmaris (Turkey).

The unloading in Marmaris has been quick and easy despite a wind of 20 knots, but awful in Male.

First, we had to wait two weeks around Male because the ETA changed a lot of times, and we wouldn’t take risks in case of any kind of possible trouble.

Finally, the vessel arrived on the 6th of April, and we got an appointment to be lifted on the 7th of April at 9.30 am. When we arrived at the right time, nobody welcomed us. So we called the vessel on the VHF, and the answer was “….wait….”.

We hung around all morning and more and finally we called the lockmaster. The answer was not precise, and at 3.30 pm, we called him again, “Come back tomorrow morning, at 8.00 am.” – “But sir, we have a plane tomorrow morning, please do something before tomorrow morning….” You can imagine me.

Finally, the operations began at 10.00 am and finished at 2.00 pm. Good technicians, but very bad to communicate with. Mainly, it depends on the lockmaster (not the same in Male as in Marmaris), and you have to keep in mind that they carry not only boats but another kind of freight as well.

François Tabourdeau

s/y “MEROE”

Response from Sevenstar

Thank you for asking us to comment on SY Meroe’s report of their yacht transport with us, this is correct and true. I will explain a bit about the circumstances, which were very hard with some swell and tide running. This gives a very small loading window to lift the yachts out of the water.

If we miss something or a lift is more difficult, it costs not two hours but an entire tide window. This puts a lot of pressure on the loadmasters and crew of the vessel to make all the slots and indeed often ends up with little/too limited communication to the yacht owners.

I apologize for this but sometimes we cannot give the attention we want to give and the client wants to have…

All minor damages to the yachts that occurred over the last two shipments have been paid out in full and repaired in good order. Besides the delay in loading of the HR Facility (got stuck in Indonesia loading weather sensitive base cargo (no yachts) for over 10 days), everything went very well.

Once again thanks for asking our feedback.

Jan Maarten Boissevain

(for and on behalf of the Ocean Carrier) Sevenstar Yacht Transport BV

Posted 3 May 2011

We recently transported our yacht, BeBe, with SevenStar Yacht Transport. Our search for a transport solution started shortly after we arrived in Cochin, India. Once in Cochin, we began to update our “Piracy Chart” with the last 90 days of activity. It was very apparent that we were not going to sail the Indian Ocean because after updating our chart, we counted 13 times more pirate attacks than the same period the previous year.

We first called SevenStar’s competitor who politely told me that they were no longer servicing the Indian Ocean route. We then contacted Mike Heffer ([email protected]), agent for SevenStar. Mike told me that they did not have anything scheduled that would accommodate BeBe from the Indian Ocean to Turkey. He said that if we could find enough interested yachts, that he would try to find a vessel.

Within a few days, we found 2 in Cochin and 1 in the Maldives. He told us that he would have the Maldives vessel go to Cochin and that there was enough room to load 4 vessels on a ship that originated in Asia and would unload in Marmaris, Turkey. Several weeks passed and 12 more yachts expressed interest, with the majority lying in the Maldives and 2 in Sri Lanka. At this point, the original transport ship would not work, nor the departure of Cochin. We understood, of course; and 4 yachts sailed from Cochin to Male, Maldives (1 more had joined us in Cochin).

We were loaded 30 days after our arrival in Male and about 10-15 days after the original ETA for the transport ship, BBC EVEREST, in Male, Maldives. BBC EVEREST was on her maiden voyage after having been built in a shipyard in China. There had been about a 2-week delay in the shipyard completing and releasing BBC EVEREST.

SevenStar had never loaded in Male before, and BBC had never handled cargo in Male. The SevenStar loadmasters and riggers arrived a few days before BBC EVEREST. They attempted to obtain a dock to secure the transport ship as we loaded and were told that there were none available. When BBC EVEREST arrived, SevenStar did their best to load the yachts; but had challenges. There was a swell in the commercial ship anchorage and many fast ferries traveling through the anchorage. This caused the yachts to swing while being lifted with the ship’s crane which was rigged with straps, similar to a travel lift straps. SevenStar asked the authorities in Male permission to load at night when most of the fast ferries would be in port. The transport ship had plenty of loading lights and the capability to load at night. The Male officials told SevenStar that night loading was only allowed while secured at a dock. SevenStar offered to pay whatever Male was asking for a dock but was again told none was available and that they could not load at night. Eventually, and we assume at great expense, BBC EVEREST was allowed to tie to a wharf at “garbage island’ which is where the garbage that is not thrown into the sea by the Male citizens is burned in open pits…BTW, Male charter boats toss their garbage into the sea and most Male citizens think nothing of tossing garbage and plastic refuse into the sea!

The loading proceeded with few challenges once the ship was secured to the dock. As far as we know, the only vessel that appeared to sustain any damage during the entire loading was our yacht, BeBe, which was loaded while BBC EVEREST was at anchor. We had requested that the loadmaster use the lifting points on the deck of BeBe rather than the straps beneath the hull. Under the conditions, we all agreed this was safer; and it was. However, in the process of attaching the heavy steel cables to BeBe while she was tied alongside BBC EVEREST, several fast ferries caused BeBe to roll. The cables were not yet secure and they touched the gel coat in several places. Turns out it looked worse than it was. After we removed the grease on the gel coat left by the cables, all was fine. The cables did damage 1 white plastic cover on a mizzen shroud…less than $20.

BBC EVEREST made very good time to Marmaris, Turkey, arriving 5 days before its original ETA. We had some agent challenges in Marmaris with a gold-digging agent which we quickly dispatched in favor of Soner Yaman, Marmaris Marine ([email protected]). Soner did a wonderful job saving each yacht owner about $1,200 over the gold-digger.

The unloading was very professional and even though we again elected to use our deck-level lifting points with BBC EVEREST’s large steel cable, the cable did not touch BeBe’s gel coat this time. We heard that another yacht sustained some damage during transit…we have no details or any direct knowledge of this damage. But, of course, that is why SevenStar includes at no additional charge insurance, which covers damage or loss in transit.

We would recommend SevenStar and BBC EVEREST to anyone wishing a very good experience transporting their yacht.

Bill & Judy ROUSE

s/v BeBe, Currently Marmaris, Turkey

Related to following destinations: ,

Related to the following Cruising Resources: ,

You must Login or Register to submit comments.

  1. November 22, 2020 at 2:28 PM
    hauguelpa says:

    dear sailors,

    If you have planned to ship your boat with “sevenstar Yacht Transport”, I think you should read the following advices.
    I shipped my sailing boat 6 months ago. The story of the shipment is so long and I had so many problems with sevenstar that I will not tell the full story now (If you want I can give you the details by email).

    If you want to avoid all the problems I had, You should follow these advises:

    -Always be on board the cargo ship to oversee all the boat handling/chocking operations during loading and offloading (The best should be to make a movie of all the handling operations): sevenstar loading master can really do big mistakes and damage your boat even if you gave all necessary informations about how to handle your boat before loading. Remark: because of “safety reasons”, we were forbidden to be on board the cargoship when loading.

    -Always make a survey of the boat at loading: if your boat is not new and is damaged during transport, sevenstar will say that the boat was damaged before loading even if they obviously did some mistakes during handling.

    -Modify the transport contract between you and sevenstar: this contract has been made by sevenstar’s lawyers: it means you have no rights. You should read all the contract before signing and try to modify all that you can.
    You should try to add to the contract a date of delivery and penalties for sevenstar in case of delay. If you don’t do that, as soon as your boat is loaded, sevenstar can do exactly all that they want, and you can only wait…
    You should modify or cancel the clause n°9 “liberties”: Due to this clause, the cargo ship can deviate from his initial route and call at any ports for any reasons even if carrying your boat.
    Due to this clause, your boat can be offloaded in any ports, stored and reloaded on another cargoship: this is transhipment.
    Sevenstar is not supposed to inform you of the risk of transhipment.

    I hope it will help you

    have a safe trip