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Yacht Delivery Captains Thrive on Growing Yacht Industry
As the number of sailing yachts continues to grow rapidly around the world, many new boat owners are finding that they lack the skills to safely sail their boats and are turning to specialised yacht delivery professionals for help.
Recreational boat ownership is currently a $25 billion international industry and sales are growing annually at 5-10%. While sales growth will likely be lower in 2008 due to economic conditions, many motor and sailing yachts are pre-ordered and already under construction. There are waiting lists of up to three years for luxury yachts in the USA and Europe and so the international fleet of recreational boats will continue to grow strongly.
However sail training and sea experience lag far behind the growth in boat numbers. Learning how to handle boats safely, how to navigate and how to operate the often-complex equipment found on a modern boat can take years. The American Sailing Association and the British Royal Yachting Association operate training and certification schemes in the United States and Great Britain. But learning to sail is not as simple as doing a course - developing experience is critical.
"Often new boat owners will join a delivery skipper for the voyage to the boat's new home", said Caswell. "This helps them to get to know their new boat and gives them valuable sea experience, while the presence of a professional captain gives them security and confidence". Caswell offers instruction to new yacht owners in such cases, as do most delivery captains.
But lack of experience is not the only reason that boat owners hire delivery captains to move their boats. Many wealthy boat owners are also very busy people and cannot afford to spend days at sea away from mobile phones and Internet connections. The average yacht will only move about 150 miles a day, so a long trip can take weeks that busy boat owners don't have. Instead they want to be able to hop on a plane for a sailing holiday and have their boat waiting for them when they land.
Popular routes for yacht deliveries include from the United States to the Caribbean and back and from the boatyards of Northern Europe to the sunny marinas of the Mediterranean. Yachts are also delivered to major events such as yacht races or the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers in which hundreds of yachts sail across the Atlantic Ocean each year. And of course, the boats have to be brought back as well.
"In rough seas or on cold nights the job of a delivery captain can be difficult", says Caswell, who documents the typical yacht delivery process on his website at http://www.delivery-
As boatyards continue to produce record numbers of motor and sailing yachts for busy boat owners who are often inexperienced with long voyages, it seems that yacht delivery captains like Caswell will be moving for some time to come.
About UK and Ireland Yacht Delivery:
Graham Caswell is a professional yacht delivery skipper based in Ireland. He delivers sailing yachts throughout Ireland, the UK and Western Europe, including the Atlantic and Mediterranean. His professional website can be found at http://www.delivery-
RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (Commercial)
Yacht Delivery Skipper