Delivering yachts, peace of mind
SCHEVENINGEN _ You drooled over the photos. You touched the wheel. You inhaled the sales pitch. You produced the money. The boat is yours. A smart thing to do now? Call someone who knows yachting and safety at sea, who can corral a good crew, who does minor repairs, who puts your boat through her maiden voyage to spot defects or sail it _ with or without you _ anywhere you want. Erick Veldhuis’ business is hard to describe. He calls himself a yacht deliverer. That’s a short cut, really.
Veldhuis (photo) responds to a demand from boaters in Europe and beyond to explore new yachting regions. He sails their yachts there. And back, if needed. Yacht-and-Coast recently reported how Amsterdam-based Sevenstar, the world’s largest yacht transporter, benefits from that trend. http://goo.gl/0WAoQ.
Veldhuis: “Sevenstar’s growth shows you the trend to find different sailing regions and to have your yacht transported there. That benefits us, too. Especially to and from areas Sevenstar cargo vessels don’t get to.”
All sorts of people want their yacht delivered, Veldhuis tells Yacht-and-Coast. “And for all sorts of reasons. Some lack the papers insurers require. Others have no time. Or cannot get a crew. Yacht owners who contact us are typically 40 to 60 years of age, have made their money and are ready to shift to a less hectic lifestyle.” In late March, 2013, the website of Veldhuis’ company – Happy Crew _ listed 8 deliveries of sailing yachts for the first half of 2013. The longest: a US-to-France delivery of a 45ft vessel. Veldhuis also delivers motor yachts.
Happy Crew offers boat owners a safe and timely delivery of their yachts by certified skippers. He’ll also do maiden voyages to spot defects that escaped the manufacturer or provide you with a crew. He is a vacation stretcher. “Most people have only a fixed amount of vacation time. We bring yachts to Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Portugal, Spain and the Baltic. If you insist on sailing there yourself, Veldhuis can also provide a crew.
His business offer peerless crewing opportunities for boaters _ with or without certification. “Most of our crews are volunteers keen to make sea miles. In general, crew members donate a small joining fee of about €100 per week, share in the cost of food and meals and provide their own transportation. There’s no cheaper way of having a fabulous sailing holiday!” Veldhuis also uses professional sailors, people who crew for a living.
As yachts in Happy Crew’s care make their way around the world, they toss overboard _ on average about once every 3 hours _ electronic “bread crumbs.” These are picked up satellites and displayed on a map accessible through the Happy Crew site. The data keeps yacht owners _ and relatives of crew members back home _ up to date on a yacht’s progress.