We plan to transport our yacht from Sweden/Antwerp to Panama on a dedicated freighter (Ocean Yacht Transport). The time schedule is January 5, 2008, from Antwerp, and from Panama to Galapagos in February, and further to Marquesas that we plan to reach in late March 2008. The plan then is to sail through the South Pacific and end up in New Caledonia mid-August. For work reasons, I have to be back in Stockholm for September 2008. Now, this creates some problems. We would prefer not to sell our yacht that has served the whole family with adventures for 8 years. We, therefore, have to leave the yacht in the Pacific and the big question is how to get her back to Panama for transport home? As I see it there are some more or less attractive alternatives:
Send her back on a freighter (most probably too expensive)
Let a professional skipper sail her back to Panama (most probably also expensive and excessive wear and tear of the yacht)
Sail her back myself in 2-3 month periods (Are there any reasonable routes for sailing back, via Hawaii and to Vancouver?)
Employ a professional skipper with paying crew (have no experience of this – bureaucratic? Wear and tear?)
The question is also where to leave the yacht, which will have to be for up to 3 months – cyclone safe harbours? Expensive to leave a yacht? Safe?
I and my family would very much appreciate any advice to the above delicate questions, and we will maybe find a solution so that our plan can be launched?
Your plans sound ok. Now to your points:
>>Send her back on a freighter
You can use Dockwise Transport. I used them myself to send back my own yacht from British Columbia to the Med, and it was perfect. In your case, it would cost you around 30,000 euros.
>>Let a professional skipper sail her back to Panama
I would prefer solution 1. Sailing from New Caledonia to Panama will be quite hard.
>>Sail her back myself in 2-3 month periods
Yes, it could be done and the voyage could be easily broken up in individual stages. The other solution is to do it the easy way and take, say, 2 or 3 years to sail back yourself to Europe. Not as difficult as it sounds.
>>Employ a professional skipper with paying the crew
See No. 1
>>Where to leave the yacht?
You could leave the boat in Port Moselle which is relatively safe during the cyclone season. It would be safer to actually leave the boat in New Zealand or in Brisbane. This would cost you around 2000-3000 euros.
Jimmy Cornell, noonsite