Yacht Transport News Extra 2009

Boat Transport?

What's wrong with Shiply?

YACHT transport queries are posted every day of the year on Shiply, the new online 'low cost' way 'to get great prices from the best boat transport companies'.

Robert Matthams. founder of Shiply, tailored his prize-winning online transport auction to help yacht owners find suitable transporters. Transporters, vetted for quality, bid down the price until the yacht owner makes his choice. Hauliers and yacht owners can ask each other questions and post their answers online.

Shiply won the EUR 100,000 Dutch Post Code Lottery Green Challenge in 2009 for saving fuel, carbon emissions, time and trouble for transport buyers. So what's the problem?

For boat owners, the Shiply system fails to gather the facts and figures needed for a realistic price quotation. Only length x width x height and weight are quoted. That's enough for moving free-standing items like household furniture and industrial plant, but well short of what boat hauliers need to plan a yacht movement. The Shiply system can sometimes throw up a baffling boat specification, where dimensions entered in metres appear inaccurately in feet and inches. The Shiply system fails to specify who will pay for lifting and unloading, costs that can double the bill for a yacht movement. Short of technical information, hauliers submit quotations by guessing the keel configuration. That's risky, for the haulier and the yachtsman.

For hauliers, the Shiply system presents unchecked specifications. Transporters report that some posted enquiries are fictitious, fantastic or fabulous, posted by users who have not even bought the boat in question. Hauliers have been known to post as many as eighteen bids to move a boat without any response from the Shiply client. Shiply carries out no technical check on the quoted dimensions, tempting boat owners to guess the tricky 'overall height' and 'displacement' of their yacht. Since the information goes unchecked it cannot be reliable. Weights are often guessed. Locations are indicated only by postcode. Shiply takes between 3.4 per cent and 9.9 per cent of the agreed transport price 'up front'. So quite naturally, Shiply needs to hide the identity of the potential haulier and prevent unmediated conversations between boat owner and haulier until Shiply has been paid. Not much transparency there.

What's The Answer? Until Shiply can crack these problems, why not try BTX, the boat transport exchange? Running since 1997, BTX allows yacht owners to talk to boat transporters. BTX is free to use and transparent. BTX lets the potential haulier talk freely to his potential customer. BTX takes no fee from haulier or yachtsman.

On BTX, your initial enquiry is checked against a big technical and geographical database, so that dimensions, weights and keel features are quoted accurately. On BTX, your initial enquiry is examined by a yacht transport professional with thirty years experience. He checks the facts and adds relevant information before posting your details on the oldest boat transport bulletin board in Europe. You can talk about your job over the telephone, well before you make any decision.

CLICK this picture to try the BTX boat transport exchange.

CLICK to view the current BTX boat transport bulletin board.

To sail is necessary, to survive is not necessary.

Attributed by Plutarch to Gnaeus Pompeius who sent sailors to sea in bad weather to bring grain from Africa to Rome.

Ici on trouve la metéo, des vendeurs de bateaux, les spécialistes du transport bateau et la cyberbourse électronique des transporteurs.

Ein Amerikaner aus Kalifornien war 1997 unser erster Kunde. Er liess seine Yacht in Amerika von Küste zu Küste transportieren. Seit diesem ungewöhnlichen Boottransport, hat unsere Transportbörse hunderte von Yachtbesitizern mit anderen Bootstransporteuren in Verbindung gebracht. Stellen auch sie ihr Transportproblem auf dem BTX board dar. Die Bootstranporteure geben kostenlos Ratschläge und bieten ihnen Preise an.