From virtual delivery of back in August of 2020 to an upcoming delivery in Newport, Rhode Island in mid-June 2021, it has been a long 10 months. It was a difficult decision to ship our boat to the US. Due to the pandemic, our dream of sailing the Mediterranean had been delayed. By April, the options of traveling to Europe didn’t look good. So, we decided to make the best of the situation. Fortunately for us, Seven Seas Transport Company had enough room on their ship leaving from Genoa, Italy in mid-June.
We booked a spot alongside two other American-owned Outremers, SV Black River and SV Goombay. The ship carrying our boats was upgraded to allow float on and off. This was a pleasant surprise since we originally contracted the shipping company to provide sling loading. This was a concern for us since Relentless has a vinyl-wrapped hull, and we were worried about the potential for damage during the loading or unloading process. What a relief!
We didn’t receive a confirmed shipping date until just a few days before departure, but the shipping company kept us informed as best they could with estimated dates. In the meantime, preparations were made to get Relentless ready.
North Sails came in to remove the main, not a small task. La Grand Large Services worked with us to get Relentless hauled out to receive a new antifoul. They also applied PropSpeed, checked the zincs, and upgraded the solar panel array (an additional 1500 watts for a total of 2300 watts) on our coach roof (which we had already planned on doing after delivery anyways). Many thanks go out to Michael Körner at Solbian Solar who beautifully completed the prep work for the installation of the Integral Alternator System, which would now be installed in Newport, Rhode Island after delivery.
You can see our preparations in the photos. The different positions of the ships Relentless and SV Black River are shown.
Kevin Bray was our Delivery Captain, and we can’t thank him enough for guiding us through the process. He lives in France, so he was a great asset as he could travel quickly when we received our 3-day notice. Doug and Amy, the owners of SV Black River, also hired him for their delivery, so he was very busy leading up to departure. He worked hard to make preparations that would protect the boats from damage during transit. Clear plastic was taped to all decks, the coach roof, and cockpit surfaces, halyards were removed and replaced with messenger lines, and all exposed stainless were thickly coated with polish. Once the boats were loaded on the ship, he made sure the support braces were installed under the hull to Outremer’s specs.
Kevin communicated with us closely each step of the way. He sent pictures of the inside and outside the boat, which we greatly appreciated. Kevin also shared that Relentless reached an exciting speed of 22.2 knots in 30 knots of wind as required by our insurance. We watched her journey from La Grande Motte, France using Vessel Tracking and were relieved when we got word from Kevin that she was had successfully reached her berth to wait for loading in Genoa.
The morning of loading, it was a tight schedule driving both Relentless and Black River onto the ship, but Kevin and his crew managed it all beautifully as you can see from this time-lapse video.
For the next two weeks, we would watch her journey through Vessel Tracking as Relentless made her way West from the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic. She was carried aboard Super Servant 4, a massive heavy-lift vessel measuring 169.49 meters long and 32 meters wide.
With Relentless on her way, we put everything else in motion for our own departure. We made our final preparations including shipping a crate full of provisions and gear, SUPS, foldable bikes, tools, and clothes so that we wouldn’t have to fly with much. For the first leg of our adventure, we'll be gone a little over a month, returning home to California for a niece’s wedding in mid-July.
For now...Newport, Rhode Island awaits!