Wheels are in motion
Great, everything was lined up finally to bring Wanda to the UK, where I could restore her to her former glory. The cradle would be delivered to the marine yard in Sint Maarten end of February according to the sailing schedule. The yard would then load Wanda on to the cradle, next the yard would load the cradle on to a low-loader trailer. The local hauler would then transport Wanda via low-loader trailer 5 km to the port. At the port the local handler would secure the boat and cradle to the flat-rack. Finally, a load-master would load the flat- rack on to the deck of the container ship. Sint Maarten to Tilbury had a shipping time of three weeks, therefore I could expect to receive Wanda end of March.
Too many moves
Handling a yacht during transport is a bit like using a twig to handle a dog turd from pavement to bin; you want to lift it as few times as possible to minimise the risk of something breaking and having the whole thing come crashing down. Wanda would be lifted a total of four times prior to being secured to the container ship deck in the current plan, which was not ideal..
I learned also that ‘corner castings’ require special attention; ‘Corner castings’, fixed to the corner of the containers, are used to stack containers together. These are critical; should they become fatigued they can break and compromise the security of the container. The higher the stack, the more stress on the castings. The responsibility is on the contractor, not the shipper to provide corner castings for the container. The castings must be fit for purpose.
Keep a low profile
The local hauler had concerns over the height of Wanda. The distance to port was short, however there was one bridge en route to contend with. The height from keel to highest point on deck (the windscreen) was 4.5 metres. Hopefully this would work. A representative of the hauler was going to check the route and confirm Wanda’s height would be acceptable.
There was not much I could do but wait; therefore to feel some sense of progress I commissioned the yard to do some cleaning on Wanda before the journey started.