Now what? (Shipping Sans Souci)

The shipping company says that the problem this time, with shipping my boat, is that the freighter company swapped which freighter they would be using, literally at the last minute, to one with a slightly smaller crane. The change meant that the approx. 30 other boats that were planned for shipment WILL be able to be transported within the next two weeks, but that my boat has to wait for a freighter to pass by Golfito that has a larger crane. They expect this to be mid August, with delivery into Seattle in early September.

I received several emails today asking this same question:

Ken, what prevents you from hiring a crew to bring Sans Souci back to Seattle on its own bottom? I must be missing something obvious but now that you’ve been thwarted twice, I can’t stand the injustice of it all & want to help 😉
William G
Seattle WA

Here’s what I wrote back:

Hurricane season, the fuel price, crew cost, having already paid for the shipping, potential damage to the boat, and existing damage to the boat.


Hurricane season – until Oct 15th

Fuel price – $5.50 per gallon – 5,000 miles, at 1.5 gallons a mile = 7,500 gallons, or approx. $35,000

Crew cost – I’d guess around $500 a day, times 20 days (weather delays) Another $10,000 plus food and plane fares

Previously paid shipping cost (which I could probably get back) – $57,000

Potential damage to the boat – Running in hurricane season? A lot. Plus.. it is very unlikely any boat can run 5,000 miles without something breaking

Existing damage to the boat – Not really much, but the boat has run 5,000 miles without being checked out. I’d like to see some things done to it before starting a trip of that magnitude. A few days of work.


So … if you look at it as the shipping cost almost matching the cost to deliver on its own bottom, then really the only reason not to have a crew bring it back is the potential hurricane damage. To get back the boat would have to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec, and the Papagayo wind area (off Nicaragua); both of which would be no fun this time of year.


And, if those weren’t serious enough issues…


My insurance company doesn’t like the boat traveling in a hurricane region during hurricane season, and might not cover me.


And, then the biggest issue of them all…


I don’t want to do the run personally, which means a delivery crew. The only guy I trust to run my boat is Jeff Sanson (Pacific Yacht Management) and he has a conflict. He thought the boat would be safely in Seattle by now, and booked some deliveries for others – so he isn’t available. Plus, he is a relatively nice guy, and a good friend. I don’t think I want him bouncing around the pacific during hurricane season!


-Ken W


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