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Old 08-06-2017, 11:29 PM   #1
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Cruising SE Alaska

We are keen to cruise to SE Alaska next summer. The question is how to do it?
The options we are exploring:
1. Buy a boat, do the trip and sell it again.
2. Charter.
3. Ship our own boat from New Zealand and sell it or ship it back afterwards.
Our current boat is fairly small and we can ship it by flat rack.
The best quote so far is around USD11,000 for shipping the boat.
Charter for around the same size seems to be USD5,000 a week (but I’m open to offers)
We would far sooner do the trip in our own boat and maybe even bump on down the coast to San Francisco in the late summer.
We have circumnavigated a bigger boat in the past and lived aboard that one for five years.
So we have a rough idea what we are doing at sea.
If we do import to sell which would be easiest, US or Canada?
If we bring our own boat do we ship to Vancouver or Seattle?
Thanks in advance
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:38 PM   #2
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I would say charter a boat or better yet go on one of the group cruising charters.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:31 AM   #3
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Thanks but a group charter won't work (and not really us). We will be traveling with another boat currently in Tahiti that will be up there by then.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:34 AM   #4
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I would recommend chartering a suitable boat. It will be set up for Alaskan cruising and if you have problems with it you have backup from the charter company. Unless you already have a heater on your boat you will need one if you want to be comfy. Once you see the list of required items for your trip that are already included on your charter boat it will look more attractive.

It will be nice to be able to just walk away from the boat when you return from the trip too. Selling boats (as I am sure you already know) can be a lengthy ordeal.

Best of luck! I have made the trip in both direction numerous times and it never gets old. The best trips of my lengthy boating life.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:16 AM   #5
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You may consider shipping your boat to Prince Rupert.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:40 AM   #6
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How big a boat would you want?

My diesel powered 26 footer, very well equipped for cruising 2-3 folks, and veteran of many BC and SEAlaska trips, is for sale.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Larmex99 View Post
I would recommend chartering a suitable boat. It will be set up for Alaskan cruising and if you have problems with it you have backup from the charter company. Unless you already have a heater on your boat you will need one if you want to be comfy. Once you see the list of required items for your trip that are already included on your charter boat it will look more attractive.


Great advice. Even during the summer months, a diesel heater is almost a "must have", and not just in Alaska.
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:32 PM   #8
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Yes we have an Eberspacher heater which works great. The only modification we need to make to the boat is a deck pump out fitting for the holding tank. Our current set up only discharges overboard when far enough out to sea.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:35 PM   #9
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Talk to the folks at Northwest Explorations. They can run you through all the charter options, including the flotillas they run (as "group" or not as you prefer) as well as bareboat.
Great fleet and good people. Just speaking as a happy customer. Home - NW Explorations
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:18 PM   #10
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Yes we have an Eberspacher heater which works great. The only modification we need to make to the boat is a deck pump out fitting for the holding tank. Our current set up only discharges overboard when far enough out to sea.

Is your current setup with a holding tank and pump,overboard? Or is it direct overboard discharge? I think you ate saying the former. If so, a deck pump out probably isn't needed. If you will be in BC and AK. We haven't used ours once in the 3 years we spent in that area. Down in Puget Sound towards Seattle would probably be different.

From time to time we have considered charting, but really like being on our own boat that is set up as we like it. So I sympathize with your interest in shipping it rather than charter. Also, a full summer I think is the minimum time to spend in that area. We went for one summer and ended up staying for 3 years. My point is that a charter long enough to really explore the area will be costly, and might make shipping your boat a lot more attractive. If it's $11k each way, I would ship it both ways. Then once there you can stay longer if you want. And you can always sell the boat rather than ship it back if you so choose.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:06 AM   #11
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Holding tank then discharge. I realize pump outs will be few and far between in Alaska. However we thought it was a box we should tick to make importation as easy as possible.

Yes the main thing we have against charter is that the clock would be ticking. However we are mindful it would be great to step on board and go.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:03 AM   #12
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I would bring your own boat, and take your time.

You know your boat, how it handles, and its systems. It is probably a second home to you with all the things you want onboard.

Chartering would be more like a hotel. Show up with a suitcase.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:01 AM   #13
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I have zero experience with this, but my understanding is that you don't have a very reliable time window when you ship. You are kind of at their mercy. Does that matter in this case? Or am I missing ones about that?
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:21 AM   #14
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BTW, if you bring your boat over, I don't think you want to import it as you would commercial or personal goods that are mean to stay in the destination country. I think you want to bring it in on a temporary status as a visitor, just as if you sailed it here for a vacation.

I don't know the ins and outs of this, but your shipping company should, and if they don't I'd question whether you have the right shipping company. What I do know is that foreign flagged boats can enter the US and cruise here under a federal cruising permit for up to a year. That's what you want for the US. For Canada it is similar, but I think the process is simpler. When you enter, you just tell them how long you plan to stay, and it can be up to a year. In both cases, once you leave the country, it resets and you can reenter for another year. And all of this is exempt from the various sales taxes which is why you would want to do it. And I'm pretty sure it will exempt you from meeting any local regulations, though most are worthy of compliance if your boat does not already confirm.

The more I think about it, the more I think your plan to install a deck pumpout arrangement is a good idea. It just gives you another degree of flexibility, like being able to stay at a dock for an extended time if you want, or to venture down to Puget sound, Seattle, and south where pumpout will start to become important. I'm not sure if it has been enacted yet, but it would appear that Puget Sound will become a no-discharge zone.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:47 AM   #15
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I have zero experience with this, but my understanding is that you don't have a very reliable time window when you ship. You are kind of at their mercy. Does that matter in this case? Or am I missing ones about that?
BD
You are correct, especially on a trip that far. The range of delay will vary greatly depending on the shipper. Sevenstar will normally be within a month. Others may miss the target by as much as 3 to 6 months.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:47 AM   #16
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Holding tank then discharge. I realize pump outs will be few and far between in Alaska. However we thought it was a box we should tick to make importation as easy as possible.

Yes the main thing we have against charter is that the clock would be ticking. However we are mindful it would be great to step on board and go.
Do you have your electric set up for US?
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:28 PM   #17
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Yes we will do temporary import and thanks for the tip that Canada may be simpler. Of course if we sell there may need to be a permanent import (depending where the purchaser is located) but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

The best shipping quote we have is Hamburg Sud. As it is a container vessel the scheduling is much more precise than the float on/off services which seem more demand driven. I am aware we may get "bumped" as an over dimension flatrack (over width and height) may not be every captains favorite cargo.

My battery charger can accept 115V as well so we expected to live off the 12v and invertor system when docked. We will purchase a small petrol generator as a back up.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:44 PM   #18
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Yes we will do temporary import and thanks for the tip that Canada may be simpler. Of course if we sell there may need to be a permanent import (depending where the purchaser is located) but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

The best shipping quote we have is Hamburg Sud. As it is a container vessel the scheduling is much more precise than the float on/off services which seem more demand driven. I am aware we may get "bumped" as an over dimension flatrack (over width and height) may not be every captains favorite cargo.

My battery charger can accept 115V as well so we expected to live off the 12v and invertor system when docked. We will purchase a small petrol generator as a back up.
Will it be on one vessel the entire way or will the boat be switched to another in transit?
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:47 PM   #19
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I think $5000 a week may be on the high side for charter cost. A few years ago when we had our boat for charter in Anacortes we had an offer of $40,000 US to charter our boat for 3 months for an Alaska trip. We weren't interested, but I heard that the owner of a Bayliner/Meridian 47 was and even offered to upgrade the boat a bit for the chartererest.

If you have any real interest in chartering I think you can negotiate a much better deal than published rates.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:22 PM   #20
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The ship is direct and takes 18 days
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