Shipping with Dockwise
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All actions by Dockwise have been very professional, on schedule and satisfactory. The page below documents our experience and the few issues that cropped up along the way.

Date Event Notes
19 Jun 06 Received quotation predicting loading date between 8 and 21 November 2006 arrival in Fort Lauderdale between 7 and 20 December.  
20-27 Jun 06 Made booking with Dockwise and process went something like:
  • 20 Jun - Received quotation
  • 20 Jun - Made verbal commitment
  • 20 Jun - Dockwise representative in Palma emailed us a Booking Notice where we provided all of the particulars of the yacht.  We signed and fax'd it back to them.
  • 21 Jun - Dockwise representative then emailed us an invoice with instructions to send funds electronically to the shipping company's offices in the Netherlands.  They require 15% within a few days and full payment 1 month before loading.  They also provide a 10% or 20% discount for early payment in full.
  • 27 Jun - We sent the funds electronically.
5 July 06 Received "Preliminary Boarding Notice" predicting arrival of the Dockwise ship EXP in Palma between 12 and 16 November 2006.  
18 Aug 06 Received "Reminder" predicting arrival of the Dockwise ship in Palma between 10 and 21 November 2006; delivery to Port Everglades between 10 and 23 December 2006.  
18 Sep 06 Received "Preliminary Boarding Notice" predicting arrival of the Dockwise ship EXPLORER in Palma between 12 and 15 November 2006.  
12 Oct 06 Called local Dockwise representative in Palma who told us:
  • Ship is due 12 November
  • Take furling sails off.
  • Do not cover the  yacht, tie things down and prepare it as if to go to sea "...which is what it will be doing..." he said.
  • No additional paperwork was required to leave Spain and they would send us paperwork required to enter the US.
16 Oct 06 Received "Preliminary Boarding Notice" predicting arrival of the Dockwise ship EXPLORER in Palma between 12 and 14 November 2006.  
2 Nov 06 Called Adam, the local representative who told us:
  • Ship is due 11 November; loading to be on the 11th and it will leave on the 12th.
  • It is 4 days out of Gibraltar and will stop there for fuel.
  • Do not make any travel plans yet; Dockwise will not be responsible until a formal Loading Notice is sent.
2 Nov 06 Received email from VanDeGrift containing forms for:
  • Customs Information
  • Arrival information for Port Everglades
  • Customs Power of Attorney for VanDeGrift to act as our agent

We then downloaded US Dept of Homeland Security Form CBP 3299 which represents the Declaration to Customs of the contents of the yacht.

6 Nov 06 Received Loading Notice indicating:
  • Ship is due 11 November
  • Loading to take place 12 November beginning at 0800.
  • We are to be : "...on stand-by on board your yacht floating
    close to our carrier by the loading time."
  • Coordination is done on VHF Channel 17.
11 Nov 06 We confirmed by phone with Adam that MV Explorer was due Saturday evening, 11 Nov 06 - it arrived after dark.  
12 Nov 06

Loading day

Up at 0600, out of marina at 0715, on station by ship at 0740.  Weather was fine; light breeze and clear.  The process went like this:
  • We called on VHF 17 and were told we were number 6 in the queue, and would be going between 2 motor launches.
  • We watched other boats going in; the first two were large motor launches (70-90') which entered in reverse - we were afraid we would have to do the same, but then two yachts entered, motoring forward
  • We milled around, taking pictures and watching the proceedings until approximately 0930 when we were called (actually the 7th boat to enter).
  • We motored in, snuggled between the bows of the first two launches. A beautiful Swan, about 90' long, entered behind us and took up the center of the ship.
  • We passed lines to them, and a launch on our starboard quarter and then had to hold ourselves in place for the next five hours as the rest of the boats were loaded and the ship gradually raised.
  • It took several hours to raise the ship and place supports under each boat since each boat has its own unique shape and depth.  For example the Swan has a 15' draft with a bulb keel whereas we have a 5' 6" draft and long keel.
  • By 1700 we were high and dry, and the hold had drained so that we could lock up Long Passages, climb down a ladder and leave her to be transported in safety across the Atlantic.
  • We returned the next day to see how the crew had welded supports on the deck and had braced her for the trip.
  • The ship departed on schedule at 1700 on 12 November; due in Port Everglades, Florida on Pearl harbor day.

So far, all actions by Dockwise have been very professional, on schedule and satisfactory in all ways.

12 Nov 06 At the loading sign-in, we were given notice that the anticipated arrival date for the MV Explorer in Port Everglades was 7 December 2006.  
20 Nov 06 Received "Preliminary Unloading Notice" predicting arrival of the Dockwise ship EXPLORER in Port Everglades between 8 and 11 December 2006.  
2 Dec 06 Received "Unloading Notice" predicting arrival of MV Explorer on 9 December and unloading at 0730 on 10 December 2006.  
7 Dec 06 Received telephone call predicting that MV Explorer would dock at Port Everglades on 9 December and that we would have an opportunity to inspect our vessel after 1700 hours, and should be on board at 0730 on 10 December to offload.  
9 Dec 06 Received telephone call telling us that MV Explorer would not dock until late in the evening and that there would be no opportunity to inspect our sailboat; we should still report for offloading at 0730 on 10 December. MV Explorer would be tied up at Pier 5.  
10 Dec 06 At 0730 we showed up Pier 5 and went aboard.  Water was starting to flood the hold so we were unable to walk around to get a close inspection of the hull, but Long Passages seemed to be in good shape.  The crew set up a ladder and allowed us to climb aboard and get things set up below - all appeared to be in good shape except a little soot on the deck.  Some notes:
  • When they offloaded 7 of the 14 boats in Martinique, Long Passages had been floated and moved to a new location along the bulkhead.  All appeared to be in good order.
  • Winds in the port were blowing 15-20 and when they lowered the rear door, the swell started to buffet us around and tug on our docklines - at times with such force that we were afraid there would be damage.
  • We signed for our yacht, noting that we had not had an opportunity to inspect her and received our boat documents back.
  • Customs - US Government officials did not show up for about an hour.  When an official arrived it turned out to be one for the previous ship.  We were finally released to go at about 0930.
  • We offloaded shortly after 0930, reversing into 10-15 knots of wind and all went well.
  • On 12 December we received a telephone call notifying us that our Customs release had been signed by the US Government and would be mailed to us.

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