Saturday, August 11, 2012

How To Ship A Sailboat

I left so many blogs half-written in Baltimore. I have been waiting to write about more recent events until I catch up with the burgeoning blog backlog. But it is time to consider them jetsam. At some future point, I might try and resuscitate them.

So, for now, while we are waiting here in Istanbul for our boat to arrive in Izmir (about an eight-hour car ride from here) here are some shots of how our boat got loaded onto a freighter.

I am submitting an article on “How to Ship a Sailboat” so I can’t talk too much about the details of our experience here, since the publishing world wants fresh material and not recycled blogs. So for now, let the photos tell a thousand words.

We approached the freighter just before 0800 and stood by while they put the cradle into position on deck.

Once alongside, they lowered a single line for us to use while we continued to standby, and a Jacob's ladder. Just beyond the ladder, you will see an oval bulkhead hatch, which you will see open in photos below.

They modified the container-loader by adding slings to it.

Everyone on deck was curious. You now see hatch open in the side of the hull where we will eventually enter the ship. The slings are weighted with shackles. For this step, we motored away from the ship and approached again, as they lowered the slings into the water. We motored into the slings and began the process of positioning them and securing them with lines.

Loading a sailboat onto a freighter: If you click on this photograph, you'll see we had to add two shackles to the aft straps so the boat would come somewhat close to being level in the slings. A container-loader has no means to individually adjust straps like a marina tavel lift does. So the ability to accommodate cut-away keels is limited. You can see I tied the straps so they wouldn't slip off either end. I also tied the straps to the bow and stern so they wouldn't slide together. 
After A LOT of struggling, our Hans Christian 33 was finally set down into the cradle on the deck of the freighter. Yes, that's me in the foreground, next to the ship's loading supervisor. Neither one of us are happy.

Our Hans Christian 33 sailboat is ready for transatlantic shipping on a freighter.

Phoenix is due to arrive in Izmir sometime around Aug. 16. We are able to track the freighter's process via Marine AIS as it makes it way from port to port throughout the Mediterranean. I've never worried about mailing something as much as this little package.

1 comment:

judymac said...

All I can say is wow! and hope those lines are heavier than they appear and that there are more of them than I can sits up so high and close to the edge.....but I guess it is done all the time..