A Pro Skipper’s Advice for Loading Day
1. “Put every fender you have over the side, including a few well forward in case the stern swings out,” says Chris Leyden of SeaPort Yacht Services (seaportyachtservices.com).
2. While lift-on ships lower lines, be prepared to throw lines 10 to 30 feet up to the ship’s crew.
3. Shut down engines and generators right away so the ship’s divers can position lifting straps.
4. Leave fuel and through-hull valves open for quick starting when offloading.
5. Turn off batteries and apply shrink tape to leaky hatch seams.
6. Crack refrigerator doors open with packing foam and tape.
7. Secure everything for wind and rough seas.
8. Mark keys with the boat’s name and phone numbers, and bring a spare set to the offload.
Approaching a semisubmersible isn’t much trickier than entering a lock. “You’ll need your own lines, but they have lots of line handlers.” It’s not like the quick pace of lift-on boats. “Once you’re tied up inside the ship, you’ll have hours to secure the boat,” he says. — Chris Leyden, president of SeaPort Yacht Services