Fraser Interviews Sevenstar Yacht Transport
Bridging Oceans: Fraser Interviews Sevenstar Yacht Transport
01 SEPTEMBER 2017
“Lifting a yacht is quite an impressive feat,” says Valerio of Sevenstar Yacht Transport – a provider of superyacht transportation services – speaking from the company’s Monaco office. “A 15-metre yacht out of the water looks big, but imagine a 40-metre yacht being lifted by a crane…It is a spectacular sight.”
Sevenstar Yacht Transport, the world’s leading lift-on/lift-off yacht transportation company, has offered a distinguished yacht shipping service since 1985, building up an international network of offices and a wealth of knowledge and experience in the process. In 2000, the Spliethoff Group acquired Sevenstar, meaning the company now benefits from access to the international corporation’s expansive fleet of 125 owned vessels – some of which are semi-submersible. Fraser sat down with Valerio del Becaro to find out more about the distinguished company and the yacht transportation industry in general.
“Many yachts do not have the range to cross long distances without stopping,” continued Valerio. “The main advantages of yacht shipping include the prevention of the wear and tear of your yacht; the opportunity to send your crew on holiday - thus saving time; and the safety aspect, of course. Also, it takes just two weeks to cross the Atlantic on one of our ships but much longer on a yacht.”
It is easy to understand, then, why yacht shipping has become an increasingly popular option for Owners and yacht management companies in recent decades. Whether a vessel is unable to make extended crossings on its own or a faster, easier, and safer crossing is the preferable option, yachts of all shapes and sizes benefit from the versatile services offered by Sevenstar.
Each year, Sevenstar transports around 2,000 vessels between locations all over the world – the largest of which weighed approximately 900 Tonnes and spanned 56m in length. While most loads are conducted on a lift-on/lift-off basis, the company also has access to a number of float-on/float off vessels, should the need arise. “For larger yachts, the float-on/float-off system is very handy because the weight does not really matter,” says Valerio, when describing the meticulous approach that his team takes when arranging each voyage. Up to 15 professional loadmasters assist with each lift, after months of planning and preparation using computer simulation software.
On the topic of popular transporting routes, Valerio says: “for yachts, activity is very big on the transatlantic route, with Owners transporting their vessels between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, and vice versa. But we also see that routes in Asia are growing in popularity, and should continue to do so in the future.” While the transatlantic route is the most popular, Sevenstar’s ships navigate the world’s oceans, carrying yachts throughout Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific regions. Whether an Owner has bought a yacht in a foreign country or wants it transported to a distant cruising ground for private or charter use, a yacht transport company offers the ideal solution. Valerio points out that one major benefit is the break in the vessel’s cruising schedule: as only one crewmember is required to accompany the yacht on its journey, using a yacht transport service helps with the scheduling of crew vacations and training in an otherwise busy cruising programme.
“We have many different types of clients, each with differing requirements,” explains Valerio. “We work with shipyards, private Owners, sailing teams, and yacht brokerages like Fraser.”
It is not just luxury yachts that make these long-distance crossings: Sevenstar is the major player in racing yacht transportation, with a dedicated Racing Logistics Division. Sevenstar was the chosen transport company for the British America’s Cup sailing team, as well as the Oyster World Rally, the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, Les Voiles de St. Barth, and the RORC Caribbean 600 teams. The Spliethoff Group is also engaging in more unusual cargo shipping opportunities in some of the world’s most remote and forbidding areas.
A major consideration in the company’s operating procedures, environmental concerns lie at the heart of Sevenstar’s company ethos. “We adhere to the new rules concerning emissions that apply in the Americas and the Baltic,” outlines Valerio. “We employ scrubbers to clean our ships’ exhausts and burn low-sulphur bunker fuel to minimise emissions.” Valerio concluded by highlighting the important role Sevenstar Yacht Transport plays in the international yachting community: “There are many reasons that yachts need to be transported throughout the world’s oceans. We offer expertise in the yacht shipping process, meaning our clients are free to relax with the assurance that their vessel will reach its destination safely, punctually, and with minimal problems.”
Sevenstar Yacht Transport enjoys an excellent relationship with Fraser, with collaboration at the Monaco Yacht Show and with Fraser’s parent company, Azimut-Benetti.