Ship-shipping ship in Northport first
Some call her a heavy load carrier. We like to call her a ship-shipping ship. Whatever your preference she’s called 'Yacht Express' and she’s here to deliver seven yachts that will spend time cruising New Zealand waters.
When she leaves on Sunday 24 January she’ll be taking with her 14 others - off to cruise other parts of the world.
This time last year local agents McKay Shipping were expecting twice as many vessels to be delivered to NZ on this call, in time for the America's Cup. But COVID-19 has had an impact, resulting in just seven being delivered.
'Yacht Express' traditionally calls at Auckland every January. But her principals decided on Monday this week that she would call at Northport instead of at Auckland, where shipping congestion would have created challenges for the offloading operation.
Local representatives of her owners, DYT, said that the wharf, facilities and piloting service at Northport were "very good" and the company would consider calling at Northport in the future.
'Yacht Express' collects her super-yacht cargo by taking on seawater ballast, submerging the deck. The yachts are floated aboard and positioned on supports. After all the vessels are secured, the ballast tanks are drained, the ship rises, and the stern drains. To discharge vessels the process is basically repeated in reverse. The stern is flooded, divers go in to release the sea fastenings, and the yachts float free of their supports.
Her delivery round is a global one. On this voyage she started in Genoa (Italy) and then called at Palma (Majorca), Martinique (Caribbean), Port Everglades (Florida), then travelled through the Panama Canal to Golfito (Costa Rica) and Tahiti before arriving in New Zealand. From Northport she will go to Brisbane, Ensenada (Mexico), then back to Golfito, through the Panama Canal and on to her home port of Port Everglades and then on to Palma.
The larger super-yachts she carries typically charter out in the Med and Caribbean for six-figure sums.
We are, of course, delighted to host 'Yacht Express' and believe that her call demonstrates the flexibility of our multi-purpose facility and the 'can do' approach of our team.