Frequently Asked Questions

No matter how frequently questions are asked, we are always more than happy to answer them. Because we are a professional office-based operation there will always be someone on hand with the necessary knowledge and experience. Here are many of the things people have requested information about.

What type of boats do you deliver?

We deliver a variety of yachts: mono-hull, multi-hull, power, sail, leisure and commercial. Most are within the 30 - 80ft range. They may be privately owned, commercial or charter vessels. An important part of our workload is the delivery of new yachts for yacht brokers and new owners.

What is your experience?

Direct Yacht Deliveries was established in 2006. Director, Mat Sandys-Winsch was previously employed as an Operations Manager for a large yacht logistics company. Previous to that he worked for 10 years as a delivery skipper worldwide. Mat is a qualified RYA Yachtmaster Ocean (comm.). Since 2006 Direct Yacht Deliveries has been engaged in the UK, North Europe, Mediterranean, South Africa, Caribbean and USA. We have delivered yachts across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. We have traversed the Panama, Suez and Kiel canals. We have worked for some of the most prestigious brokerages, and for the rich and famous, but mostly not.

Where are you based?

Direct Yacht Deliveries is based in Winchester, Hampshire. We are 15 minutes from the Solent and within easy striking distance of such renowned sailing areas as Lymington, Hamble and Chichester.

Who will actually deliver my boat?

We have a cohort of skippers that we know and trust. Most work exclusively for us although we do not require it. We will allocate one of these skippers to your job. We will not use people that we don't know, or who have not sailed for us before.

Will they be qualified?

All of our skippers are qualified to at least RYA Yachtmaster level, with commercial endorsement. Most of our skippers have a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean qualification. Some of our skippers have higher and further qualifications enabling them to undertake a greater variety of work.

Will they be experienced?

All of our yacht delivery skippers have at least 20,000nm of experience. However, mileage alone is not so important. We ensure that all of our skippers have a level of technical competence, experience of dealing with a variety of difficult situations and a level-headed approach to problem solving. They will all have sailed for us already.

Will you perform the delivery yourself?

No. We are proud to be a professionally run office and draw a distinct line between management and operations.

What is your relationship with your skippers like?

Healthy! We have known our skippers for a long time and have worked through things together. We talk regularly, often meet and make an effort to know each one personally.

Are your skippers insured?

Yes. The majority of our skippers carry their own professional indemnity insurance. This provides cover of up to €5 million Euros for such items as gross negligence, culpable damage, crew claims and loss of charter income. Details are available upon request.

Does the boat need to be insured?

Yes. We require that the owner carry insurance on the vessel to be delivered. This is a pre-condition for delivery and for the skippers own cover. We will need a copy of the cover page of your policy showing the effective dates, boat identification and the Protection and Indemnity (P&I) section of your policy.

How do you minimize wear and tear during a delivery?

All of our skippers are well versed in the protection of the boats that they deliver. As new boat delivery forms the bulk of our work, we are used to working to the standard whereby the boat arrives 'as new'. Our skippers employ a variety of methods on deck to ensure that sails and lines do not chafe or wear. Below decks, exposed wood is covered, cushions are usually stowed, sinks are lined and mattresses are covered.

Sail or motor?

We will always sail where possible. We understand that fuel costs are becoming more of an issue. We also seek to add as few hours to the engine as possible. However, it is inevitable that batteries will need charging and the wind will not always be helpful. This is part and parcel of an 'own keel' delivery.

What are fuel costs likely to be?

It is difficult to estimate likely fuel costs as this is so dependent upon sea and weather conditions. Upon completion of the delivery we will present copies of all fuel receipts. This can of course be tallied against logged engine hours to give an idea of consumption rates. Owners may give advice on how to run the engine most economically and skippers will work within rpm guides.

What geographic areas do you cover?

We operate worldwide. Our network of skippers and crews stretches around the world and we are able to quote on any delivery route imaginable. However, since December 2010, we have declined all deliveries through the Straights of Hormuz and Western Indian Ocean. The safety of our crews is paramount and until the security situation in this part of the world improves, we will continue with this policy.

What does it cost?

Our quotations are based on a number of factors: Primarily the geographic distance and expected duration of a delivery. The size and expected speed of boat will therefore also have a bearing. Crew travel costs can be significant. We aim to be competitive and welcome comparisons with our competitors.

Can I come along?

Yes. We like to encourage owners to engage and see it as an opportunity for you to learn about your vessel's capabilities and improve your own skills. It is however important to remember that the Captain is the person legally responsible for the safety of the yacht and those on board. In our experience, owners who are willing to be part of the crew, to 'muck-in' and embrace the delivery, get the most out of it. We have seen good friendships develop in this way.

Is instruction available?

Yes. We can allocate skippers to deliveries with the right skills, patience and manner to instruct. Many of our skippers have worked for sea schools and so can give insight into the RYA curriculum.

What condition does the vessel need to be in?

In a word, seaworthy and well-found. Of course it is impossible for this to be judged other than by our skipper's inspection. However, we will ask a range of questions prior to accepting a delivery. Recent surveys are useful if available. Otherwise, photos, inventories and history is important. As a general guide we expect rigging to be no more than 12 years old, engine(s) to have been serviced within the last 2 years, bilges to be dry and some form of maintenance regime to have been in place.

What needs to be onboard the vessel?

Required safety equipment may vary according to the area being sailed. However, as standard we require:

  • An in-service life-raft
  • Adequate fire extinguishers for size / layout of boat
  • An offshore flare pack
  • A working VHF Radio
What equipment will your crew provide?

Our crew will provide:

  • Their own life jackets and harnesses
  • 406 EPIRB
  • Galley equipment as necessary
  • Tools as necessary
  • Charts as necessary
  • Foul weather gear
  • Back-up GPS
  • Bedding
What happens if it is not ready for the voyage?

When we come onboard, we will assess the vessel and prepare a written report of any deficiencies. The owner will be responsible for correcting any deficiencies necessary for the safe and efficient delivery of the vessel.

What are your terms? / How do I pay?

We accept payment in $US dollars, €Euros and £GBP sterling. You may advise us which is most convenient for you. Generally we expect 50% of the delivery fee initially, together with a deposit towards fuel. The final 50% + any outstanding fuel costs or other agreed expenses will be payable upon completion.

How do you treat delays?

Hopefully the answer to this is "simply". We do not distinguish between weather, technical, or administrative delays. We set an allocated time for a delivery and charge a daily rate beyond that. The time allocation is a margin within which the delivery could reasonably be expected to be completed. It is designed to prevent our clients from punitive delays expense while protecting our crews from excessive costs due to technical, administrative or weather delays. In reality we aim to negotiate any such cost with our clients in order to reach an amicable solution.

What happens if repairs are needed along the way?

Our skippers are technically proficient and will make repairs underway within their capability. These will be logged and reported to you. Work outside the capabilities of our crew will be assessed, we will get quotations, and finally your approval before it is begun. This will be charged at cost and according to receipts.

What happens if the vessel becomes unseaworthy or incapable of continuing safely?

The skipper will immediately get to the nearest port and we will contact you.

How long will a delivery take?

This depends on the vessel and the route. We estimate between 120nm and 160nm per day. Our skippers are professional people and their job is to deliver a yacht as quickly and safely as possible. As mooring fees are their responsibility there is little risk of them hanging around in port unnecessarily. As they are paid per job rather than per day, the same applies. We monitor the progress of all deliveries.

What about communications during the delivery?

Our skippers know to keep in regular contact with the office. In this way we can keep our clients informed. We provide satellite phones for all trans-ocean deliveries.

How much notice do you need? / How do I book a delivery?

Firstly, give as much notice as you can. This will reduce travel costs and ensure the best crew. Secondly, provide us with as much information as you can about the boat and your requirements. Lastly, we will send you our terms and contract. Please sign and return these promptly.

Can you provide references?

Of course we can and we will be proud to do so. We receive many letters of thanks and are continually recommended - when we know more about your requirements we'll provide references for similar deliveries we have undertaken. In the meantime view our Customer Comments Page to get a flavour.

No matter how frequently questions are asked, we are always more than happy to answer them. Because we are a professional office-based operation there will always be someone on hand with the necessary knowledge and experience.

Please contact Direct Yacht Deleveries to discuss your yacht delivery plans.

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Lagoon Beneteau Fountain Pajot Jeanneau Fairline Voyage Catamarans Elan Broadblue Bavaria Swan Nautor Robertson & Caine Najad Dufour Hunter Sunseeker Windy Trintella Grand Soleil Hallberg-Rassy Moody Oyster Sweden Yachts Farr Yachts Tayana Nordia
Cheoy Lee Malo J Yachts Contest Westerly X-Yachts C&C Princess Catana Finngulf Prout Catamarans Azimut Aquastar Nauticat

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