Dockwise debuts the world's biggest purpose-built yacht carrier
By Loz Blain
April 16, 2007
"The majority of yachts do not have the range to reach many of the world's inviting cruising areas and international playgrounds," reads the company's vision statement, but this need no longer be a limitation. Yacht owners simply sail their craft into the massive semi-submersible Yacht Express, where they are securely attached. The owners can then rendezvous with the yacht at its destination, or accompany their craft aboard the carrier in five-star luxury.
Dockwise Yacht Transport has been moving yachts around the globe for their owners for 20 years in 2007, giving yacht owners access to a whole world of sailing destinations. The company recently announced the successful launch of the biggest, fastest purpose-built yacht carrier in the world, the Yacht Express. The new flagship is a symbol of pride in the company's continued success and its expectations of a growing future market.
The loading process is fascinating to watch. The carrier takes on ballast water until the main deck is submerged to a depth that allows the yachts to sail aboard. Once all are loaded, divers attach temporary suports to elevate the boats as the ballast is released and the carrier is brought back above the waterline. Finally, with the carrier deck dry, the yachts are welded to seaworthy fastenings that keep them safely supported for the duration of the voyage.
The biggest technical advantage of the new carrier is its speed. "Most amazing is that this ship is designed to have a service speed of 18 knots", said DYT President Clemens van der Werf. "This means that a transatlantic voyage with this ultra modern yacht carrier can be reduced by nearly 50%, from 15 to 8 days." Van der Werf added that Yacht Express also will feature amenities not found on the other DYT ships such as complimentary cabins for ride-aboard crew, an atrium with swimming pool, conference, media and fitness facilities, allowing for added comfort and entertainment during transit.
The launch of the Yacht Express is a major milestone in the development of the yacht transport industry. With a beam of 106 feet (32 meters) and deck space of 55,060 feet (5,115 square meters), the vessel has a carrying capacity of 5,000 metric tons, which allows Yacht Express to accommodate more yachts on regularly scheduled trips to and from Florida and the Mediterranean.
"The addition of this new yacht carrier to our fleet is an important step forward by DYT to improve the quality of services to our clients -- services that are based on safety, regularity and reliability," said Van der Werf.
Following sea trials in mid-May, Yacht Express will mobilize through Australia and New Zealand and to Florida before making a special appearance at the Monaco Yacht Show in September, 2007.
Since its maiden voyage in 1987, DYT has transported over 8,000 motor and sailing yachts to various destinations around the globe, offering owners and charterers safe and easy access to many of the world’s premier cruising grounds. Dockwise Yacht Transport is specialized in the maritime transports of luxury (mega) yachts and is a group company of Dockwise Transport B.V., the global leader in maritime transports of extremely large and heavy cargos. DYT is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and with a fleet of four dedicated yacht carriers is the world's leading provider of yacht transportation on a regular liner service.