Whether carrying 50-foot sport fishing boats or 250-foot luxury yachts, Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT) and its fleet of semi-submersible ships provide clients with access to plenty of the world’s most important shipping ports, which in turn lead to some of the most desirable travel destinations around the world.
Super Servant 4 in Auckland New Zealand, a popular yachting destination for Dockwise Yacht Transport
In early February, DYT’s 556-foot (169.49 meter) Super Servant 4 started its annual passage to Brisbane (Australia) and Auckland (New Zealand), a sailing that originated in Palma de Mallorca in late November, 2012. Having stopped in Le Marin (Martinique), Port Everglades (Florida) and Golfito (Costa Rica) on its way to the South Pacific, the semi-submersible ship, which “sinks” to load and unload its floating yacht cargo, is now enroute to Golfito and will return to Port Everglades before it goes transatlantic.
Currently aboard Super Servant 4 is Glen Kerunsky’s (Calgary, Canada) 64-foot (19.66-meter) motor yacht Mystery Ship, with which Kerunsky has cruised the South Pacific for the last three-and-a-half years.
“The last time we used Dockwise was in 2008, to ship our boat from Long Beach to Vancouver,” said Kerunsky. “We cruised Mystery Ship all the way down to the South Pacific from Canada, but if we could do the trip again, we would start by shipping the boat on Dockwise to Auckland and begin our trip there. The country is a must-see, and there are so many friendly people.”
Kerunsky and his wife Cindy enjoy scuba diving but they like to discover each of their new destinations both by sea and by land. After they had exhausted their options in New Zealand, they cruised north to Tonga and then west to Fiji where they did more diving. The next stop was the Vanuatu Islands.
“It is a very friendly place,” said Kerunsky. “All of these places make you feel like you are stepping back in time, and it’s great because many of the islands are so remote that many tourists cannot get to them.” After exploring the Vanuatu, the couple cruised to New Caledonia, and from there it was a four-day run to Australia. In Australia, they explored the coastline and dove the Great Barrier Reef before cruising south to Brisbane to ship their boat.
“Dockwise is timely, easy to work with, and there is always a representative to talk to,” said Kerunsky, acknowledging that when things go like clockwork, it’s easier for yacht owners to pursue the wilder of their dreams. In fact, when Mystery Ship arrives in the port town of Golfito, located on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the Kerunskys plan to continue their adventure, taking excursions up and down the Costa Rican coastline and into Panama, Nicaragua and El Salvador before they cruise to Mexico and then head home to Canada by the summer of 2014. “We’re looking forward to hiking through the rain forest in Costa Rica and getting into the whole rhythm of the countries we visit, experiencing the food and meeting the people.”
According to Jason Roberts, president of Aurora Global Logistics and DYT’s agent in Australia, Brisbane is an especially attractive port for both big game fishermen and those cruising on sailing or power yachts. “Australia’s east coast is a major draw for fishing, especially Far North Queensland, where anglers from all over the world come, hoping to catch a 1,000 pound Marlin and win the Port Douglas Marlin Challenge,” said Roberts. “As for superyachts, they can head north to the Great Barrier Reef or south to French Polynesia.” (DYT also directly services Papeete, Tahiti.)
After Super Servant 4 stopped in Brisbane, it picked up additional yachts in Auckland, including the Auckland-based VvS1, a 111.32-foot (33.94-meter) motor yacht ultimately destined for Palma de Mallorca.
“I’ve loaded previous boats on Dockwise for transatlantic voyages, so I knew the process,” said Andy Grocott (Auckland, New Zealand), who has been the captain of VvS1 for over six years. “Dockwise is reliable, on schedule, and the timing of the departure from Auckland has us arriving in Palma in good time for the Mediterranean charter season.”
Grocott explained that VvS1 was built at Alloy Yachts in Auckland and the boat has returned to the region the past six summers, “because it has a great marine infrastructure with marinas, shipyards, technicians, yacht agents and excellent cruising grounds.” He added that VvS1 spends the winters cruising the South Pacific – French Polynesia, Tonga, Wallis, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Queensland. “The owner, who has listed the boat for sale, is looking for new places to go, and when VvS1 arrives in Palma de Mallorca it will spend a few weeks there before heading to the south of France and then Turkey to begin its cruising season,” said Grocott. “VvS1 is capable of making the trip to the Med on her own bottom, but the time it would take, plus the cost of fuel and wear and tear on the vessel, makes transportation by Dockwise a better option.”
Super Servant 4 is one of DYT’s owned and operated “float-on/float-off” yacht carriers. It uses a unique de-ballasting process that allows seawater to flood the ship’s dock bay to a draft required by the yachts to safely motor in from the stern of the ship. When the yachts are over their assigned positions and touch the wooden cribbing or rubber mat, divers place temporary supports upright as the ship slowly rises from the water until the deck is dry and the ship’s crew can begin the docking operation. With its cargo secure, the DYT ship leaves for its next destination, a veritable moving marina.
The company is also able to coordinate lift-on/lift-off voyages onboard third-party cargo ships when needing to service additional ports of call. In fact, to keep up with the adventurous appetites of its clients, DYT has confirmed an upcoming voyage that will commence in Singapore in mid- to late March and stop in Phuket (Thailand) and Malta along the way, with a final destination of Genoa (Italy) at the end of April.