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Old 02-25-2019, 06:17 PM   #1
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United Yacht transport reviews

I am considering using them to ship my boat. Please let me know your experiences with them. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:25 PM   #2
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I used them from FLL to Ensenada. The ship was delayed a few times but all and all not a bad experience. I had a lawyer friend read over the contact... She pretty much said it was horrible from the clients standpoint. Bottom line make sure you are fully insured for everything if anything goes wrong. Theyíre not liable for anything.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:46 PM   #3
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I am considering using them to ship my boat. Please let me know your experiences with them. Thanks in advance!
I just went through the research and shopping process to move my boat next month. I talked to all the players and Iím going with Peters and May. Through the quote and interview process they were great; no BS, lots of knowledge and experience, didnít criticize the competition, and pricing at least as good as others. United didnít check those boxes for me.

My boat likely ends up on the same freighter regardless of who I contract with. I had multiple referrals to Peters and May and so far I am pleased. I wasnít as impressed with United but thatís one manís opinion. Others have had good experiences with them.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:28 AM   #4
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I'm also evaluating a new P&M contract right now. So far I've been happy with the very professional discussions.
I believe UYT is affiliated with Dockwise (same parent company?).
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:02 AM   #5
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I'm also evaluating a new P&M contract right now. So far I've been happy with the very professional discussions.
I believe UYT is affiliated with Dockwise (same parent company?).
No United is not affiliated with Dockwise or Sevenstar, which are under the same ownership.

United is the successor to Yacht Path which had an ignominious death. They do miss times by greater amounts than Seven Star and have been known to cancel runs but for their regular runs are reasonably dependable. Just insure yourself against everything and I'd do that with any carrier. That includes insuring yourself against the company not paying the ship and your boat being held. United would not be my first choice but on certain routes they might be the best choice.

There are other providers too who use a large variety of shippers. Quite a few booking agents in South Florida. The only one I'm aware of that owns their own ships is Sevenstar/Dockwise.

Where are you shipping from and where to? That can factor into determining your best option.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:54 AM   #6
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Thanks BandB, glad you corrected me.
I don’t want to take over the OP which is about UYT, so I’ll pm you.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:36 PM   #7
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Be sure to get your fly bridge “shrink wrapped “ with plastic. Your boat will come back coated in salt spray, so shrink wrapping anything critical is well worth the extra money.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:27 PM   #8
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Can folks who have done this talk about the price of their shipping. I keep hearing about last minute deals, or back-haul rates, but have yet to find any. Looking to ship to Europe.

Thanks,
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:27 AM   #9
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Update:
I just booked with United Yacht transport. I found them to be professional. They were firm in their price until I did extensive research and found a cheaper price with one on the big companies. They matchrd the price.

My biggest issue is whether or not they will keep the time frame they committed to. Insurance company requires the boat out of Florida by June 1st. The sailing is supposed to be May 15-30. UYT competition tells me there is no ship scheduled for then. UYT tells me there is. I don’t know who to believe.

I hope it’s not a case of the ship continuing to get “delayed’. I essentially don’t have much of a choice at this point to rely on their word and move forward. I’ll keep you all posted.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:37 AM   #10
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Update:
I just booked with United Yacht transport. I found them to be professional. They were firm in their price until I did extensive research and found a cheaper price with one on the big companies. They matchrd the price.

My biggest issue is whether or not they will keep the time frame they committed to. Insurance company requires the boat out of Florida by June 1st. The sailing is supposed to be May 15-30. UYT competition tells me there is no ship scheduled for then. UYT tells me there is. I donít know who to believe.

I hope itís not a case of the ship continuing to get ďdelayedí. I essentially donít have much of a choice at this point to rely on their word and move forward. Iíll keep you all posted.
Odds are probably 80/20 against it making the June 1 date. Relying on their word for dates has not generally worked out well. You better work out a plan in advance for your insurance beyond June 1. I hope your luck proves my reservations unwarranted, but I would strongly advise you not to bet on it.
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:36 PM   #11
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Can folks who have done this talk about the price of their shipping. I keep hearing about last minute deals, or back-haul rates, but have yet to find any. Looking to ship to Europe.
I've been checking for about a year to keep an ear out for opportunities, from Caribbean/Florida to Asia or Europe for us. I've found no cheap "back-haul" or "last minute" deals. This even two weeks before a scheduled shipping date for multiple companies.

All the discussion on those sort of phrases seem to be "oh that was years ago, the industry hasn't done that for some time. It was common before the global meltdown and almost non-existent since. We can't afford to run like that now."

We had similar words with brokers who claimed half price last minute or back rates. None of them was able to come through with one.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:40 PM   #12
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I used them to ship my new boat from Fort Lauderdale to Ensenada. They delayed the ship dates three times (75 days) . This put me in hurricane season with out insurance. Had to beg my insurance to help cover me. Talk to insurance company before you book about this risk.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:09 PM   #13
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Just bumping this thread to see if there is any update. Did United Yacht Transport deliver as promised? Has the boat been shipped? Any feedback at this point?
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:47 PM   #14
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Can't answer for UYT, but we just uplifted using Peters and May, delivery due in three weeks. Communication was ok. Price was good. Timing was pretty good (a days delay or so).
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:52 PM   #15
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Just bumping this thread to see if there is any update. Did United Yacht Transport deliver as promised? Has the boat been shipped? Any feedback at this point?
I’ll provide feedback. My boat was shipped from FLL to Victoria, BC and arrived a few weeks ago. I learned a few things in the process.

The choices in shippers are far fewer than it at first appears. Your origination and destination points, along with your schedule, determine which ship can move your yacht. More than one company can sell you space on that ship. United says they have their own ships, which really means they charter the ship, which is operated by someone else and owned by yet another entity. Peters and May books space on the best available ship, which in most cases will be the same ship that you will be on if you book through United.

In my case, I looked at the available offerings and booked through Peters and May. The ship was the same one offered by United but P&M was willing to make the deal slightly more attractive (pricing and insurance coverage). I also talked to Sevenstar but they didn't have a sailing in the time frame that I needed.

The contracts are terrible and the shippers accept essentially no liability for anything, including their own negligence. I did request and review contracts in advance from each shipper and they are all very similar and very one-sided in favor of the shipper. This is workable because they provide (for a cost) insurance for the boat owner to cover losses. They can do it because the competition in the yacht shipping business is very limited.

My boat was loaded and delivered within days of the promised dates, so I'm happy about that. You don't get much notice in advance of loading and offloading, so it is hard to plan, but that's part of the deal.

My boat arrived in generally good condition but has very extensive rust staining all over the boat. This seems to be from grinding dust from whatever source on the ship creating still particles that rust where they land. In any case, my boat is covered from top to bottom with rust stains. I have been in touch with the shippers and they seem willing to remedy this, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm hopeful that they will step up and make it right. They have made motions in the right direction still unresolved. The boat will take many man hours of rust removal and then a complete wax job to replace the wax that must be stripped off to remove the stains.

I'll report back when this is resolved. How it is handled will have a big impact in my overall rating of the experience.

I did have our tender shrink wrapped before shipping, and it stayed clean. Shrink wrapping the whole boat was priced at several thousand dollars since it has to include window openings and zippered doors to allow loading etc., and that still leaves large sections of the boat uncovered to allow crew access to bollards etc for tie-down on the ship. The benefit didn't seem worth the cost and complication. Had I done it, the rust problem would be less but would still be a problem.

What have I learned? I learned that I hope I don't have to ship a boat again.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:55 PM   #16
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I have been mute on the topic because my boat was on the ship until this morning. I contracted with United Yacht Transport (UYT). I paid my non refundable deposit a couple of months before I was scheduled to ship my boat from Fort Lauderdale to Ensenada, Mexico. UYT does not accept a credit card.

I was very clear that for insurance reasons I needed to have my boat out of Florida by June 1st. Once I paid my deposit, the communications from UYT became almost non-existent. I was promised that there was a ship at the end of May and not to worry. As they continued to send their advertising emails there were no ships leaving Fort Lauderdale at the end of may. To make matters worse, we were in the Bahamas with limited communications with my representative.

The problem was that I had nowhere to put the boat once we arrived back to Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, we had a commitment that we had to fly back to California.

After weeks of no returned emails from my representative I called and ultimately I was transferred to the owner. He told me that my representative had been out of the office for two weeks. I told him that my expectation was that someone would be monitoring her emails so customers weren't left hanging. After providing a bunch of excuses, he finally agreed and said I could communicate directly with him.

As it turned out a ship that was scheduled to leave two weeks earlier was now going to fit perfectly within our window. We now had our target and we were able to firm up our plans. As the day drew closer I sent numerous emails asking how to prepare the boat. Do we open portholes to the shower to allow for ventilation? Do we zip up the Strataglass and button up the covers? What about the covers for the windows? Of course none of my emails were answered. I even did a youtube and internet search to see if there was any information. I found none.

As we tied up to the side of the ship, the guys told us that we should prepare the boat for the event of high winds. This meant we needed to remove all of the canvass and reverse all of the work we had done to prepare the boat. Of course the pilot of the water taxi is pressuring us to leave. I told him that I was not going to be rushed and that he could drop off the other people and come back if he wanted to, but I wasn't going to be rushed in preparing the boat.

We did get a form email while the boat was in transit from the shipping company. We were also able to follow the boat's progress on Marine Traffic. We were given the name of an agent in Ensenada (Fito Espinosa) who helped us through the import process. I emailed him all of the required paperwork. We made an appointment to arrive 24-hours before the boat arrived to complete all of the necessary paperwork.

We arrived at the agreed upon time and went to immigration, the port captain and completed the import process. I believe out total fees were around $300. We were told to present these to the ship representative when we picked up the boat.

We arrived this morning and were shuttled by panga to our boat. It was already on the side of the ship waiting for us. We climbed on the boat and turned on the engines. Eventually someone from the ship looked over the side. I asked him what he needed from us and he said nothing. We untied the lines and drove away. Kind of anticlimactic considering all of the paperwork we had to complete the day before.

The boat is in much better condition that I expected. I had read issues about rust stains etc, but thankfully we didn't experience any of that. It was covered in a heavy coat of salt, but not nearly what I had expected. I do have a crack in the gelcoat at the rub rail where I think the sling pushed on the side of the boat. I have to evaluate what I am going to do about it.

All in all the experience was pretty straightforward, but very stressful. The stress was caused because of the lack of communication and directions. This could have been easily avoided.

As I explained to the owner of UYT, people who have the disposable income to ship their toy across the world have their acts together. They are usually some type of business owner (or successful in some other endeavor). We are professionals who expect professional service and communication. I can say that UYT did not meet my expectations. I do not know if this is common for the industry and they can get away with it because of limited options.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:22 PM   #17
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I have been mute on the topic because my boat was on the ship until this morning. I contracted with United Yacht Transport (UYT). I paid my non refundable deposit a couple of months before I was scheduled to ship my boat from Fort Lauderdale to Ensenada, Mexico. UYT does not accept a credit card.

I was very clear that for insurance reasons I needed to have my boat out of Florida by June 1st. Once I paid my deposit, the communications from UYT became almost non-existent. I was promised that there was a ship at the end of May and not to worry. As they continued to send their advertising emails there were no ships leaving Fort Lauderdale at the end of may. To make matters worse, we were in the Bahamas with limited communications with my representative.

The problem was that I had nowhere to put the boat once we arrived back to Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, we had a commitment that we had to fly back to California.

After weeks of no returned emails from my representative I called and ultimately I was transferred to the owner. He told me that my representative had been out of the office for two weeks. I told him that my expectation was that someone would be monitoring her emails so customers weren't left hanging. After providing a bunch of excuses, he finally agreed and said I could communicate directly with him.

As it turned out a ship that was scheduled to leave two weeks earlier was now going to fit perfectly within our window. We now had our target and we were able to firm up our plans. As the day drew closer I sent numerous emails asking how to prepare the boat. Do we open portholes to the shower to allow for ventilation? Do we zip up the Strataglass and button up the covers? What about the covers for the windows? Of course none of my emails were answered. I even did a youtube and internet search to see if there was any information. I found none.

As we tied up to the side of the ship, the guys told us that we should prepare the boat for the event of high winds. This meant we needed to remove all of the canvass and reverse all of the work we had done to prepare the boat. Of course the pilot of the water taxi is pressuring us to leave. I told him that I was not going to be rushed and that he could drop off the other people and come back if he wanted to, but I wasn't going to be rushed in preparing the boat.

We did get a form email while the boat was in transit from the shipping company. We were also able to follow the boat's progress on Marine Traffic. We were given the name of an agent in Ensenada (Fito Espinosa) who helped us through the import process. I emailed him all of the required paperwork. We made an appointment to arrive 24-hours before the boat arrived to complete all of the necessary paperwork.

We arrived at the agreed upon time and went to immigration, the port captain and completed the import process. I believe out total fees were around $300. We were told to present these to the ship representative when we picked up the boat.

We arrived this morning and were shuttled by panga to our boat. It was already on the side of the ship waiting for us. We climbed on the boat and turned on the engines. Eventually someone from the ship looked over the side. I asked him what he needed from us and he said nothing. We untied the lines and drove away. Kind of anticlimactic considering all of the paperwork we had to complete the day before.

The boat is in much better condition that I expected. I had read issues about rust stains etc, but thankfully we didn't experience any of that. It was covered in a heavy coat of salt, but not nearly what I had expected. I do have a crack in the gelcoat at the rub rail where I think the sling pushed on the side of the boat. I have to evaluate what I am going to do about it.

All in all the experience was pretty straightforward, but very stressful. The stress was caused because of the lack of communication and directions. This could have been easily avoided.

As I explained to the owner of UYT, people who have the disposable income to ship their toy across the world have their acts together. They are usually some type of business owner (or successful in some other endeavor). We are professionals who expect professional service and communication. I can say that UYT did not meet my expectations. I do not know if this is common for the industry and they can get away with it because of limited options.
You've done an excellent job of laying out all the differences between UYT and Seven Star. Generally, they get your boat there and it's in one piece. However, communications and timeliness, they fail at. Now, in South Florida today there are many other providers and they are even less dependable. They're just looking to add boats to freight carriers. And they may never ship. Still with UYT being in the middle, their performance is not something I'd consider satisfactory. They pass perhaps, with a D.

I know of someone recently needing to return his boat from Panama to FLL and there was an urgent need as he'd traded the boat and the broker/dealer thought he might have a sale. After so many promises, he finally flew a captain down who then brought it on it's own bottom. Required drums of fuel but otherwise went ok.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:49 PM   #18
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It wouldn't take much for them to up their game. Customer service is about attitude and treating the customer the way you want to be treated. Unfortunately this does not seem to be a priority.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:11 AM   #19
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It wouldn't take much for them to up their game. Customer service is about attitude and treating the customer the way you want to be treated. Unfortunately this does not seem to be a priority.

There priority is clearly getting your check. One red flag is that they don't accept credit cards. I'll bet that's because you have recourse with a credit card.


In terms of scheduling, it frankly sounds like they got lucky that there was a ship available when it was. That was to your benefit.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:10 PM   #20
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Well I finally got a good look at the boat and noticed a 36" gouge in the side of the boat. The crew on the ship repaired the damage but did a poor job with the gelcoat. There are also several other areas of damage that need to be addressed. I have an email out to United Yacht Transporters. I will update this post when I hear something back.
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