The Boating Forum - ??? Shipping a boat to USVI

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View Full Version : ??? Shipping a boat to USVI

06-30-2009, 07:40 PM
Anyone ever ship a boat to US Virgin Islands? Any help would be appreciated. Boat is located in NJ

06-30-2009, 08:14 PM
I have imported three from the US into the TCI. I would think it would be even simpler going to the USVI. No customs import duty. Just the sea freight charges.

If you can get the boat into a 20 or 40 ft. container, you'll save money over shipping it as deck cargo. that means less than 8 feet high and 8 wide, though. tough to do much if it's on a trailer. Unless it's something like 17-20 feet. those would probably fit in a container on a trailer without a t-top.

Two of mine came down deck cargo.$$$

06-30-2009, 08:19 PM

I don't think it will fit in a trailer, its a 23 footer 8ft6in beam

Who did you go with for the shipping? Est cost??


07-01-2009, 05:31 AM
Nope, that won't fit in a container.

Unless someone else has a better solution, it sounds to me like you will have to ship it deck cargo. That gets expensive, because they usually stack something like three containers in the same space that your boat and trailer is going to take up. SO basically, it's about three times as expensive.

I did a quick search online, and it looks like you need to call or email these guys:

Another one that showed up is Sea Star.

They will tell you exactly what it will cost.

The guys I use here don't go to the USVI.

07-01-2009, 05:51 AM
Tropical Shipping goes to the USVI out of the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, FL. They ship boats as flat rack cargo. Seastar goes out of Jacksonville and Port Everglades and will load your boat/trailer right on deck. Seastar rates are usually cheaper than Tropical.

07-01-2009, 05:56 AM
As a point of reference, I just shipped my 33 Pursuit from Port Everglades to Panama. It cost $14K for ROLO (Roll On, Roll Off).

07-01-2009, 06:29 AM
Well, a flat rack open container doesn't do you any good with a boat and t-top on a trailer. The height of the boat is something like 10-12 feet. The flat rack ends are only 8'6" tall. Might work with a bimini or with the t-top removed, in a 40 ft. flat rack.

The contender 25, on a Rolls Axle trailer ( total length 35 ft.) cost us $ 6,000 on Tropical from Florida to Providenciales. The quoted rate was initially $ 14,000.

When we heard that, we decided to fly up to Florida, and drive the boat down ourselves. I figured it would take us a leisurely week, doing 100-150 miles a day, pulling into a nice spot early afternoons to look around.

Then I ran into the issue of shipping the trailer. It was the same problem. Finally someone at Tropical came up with a (to me) new solution. I signed a contract with Tropical guaranteeing that I would commit to shipping a minimum number of cubic feet in the next thirty days. The minimum I contracted to ship just happened to be about the same number of cubic feet as the Contender on the trailer. It's a lot of cubic feet with a t-top. The rate, under this contract, went from $ 14K to $ 6K.

This was now cheaper than me driving the boat down through the Bahamas ( estimated $ 4K) plus the cost of shipping just the trailer. So, we went for it.

You might ask about that.

Special K III
07-01-2009, 06:32 AM
If you need to get it down from New Jersey, then you probably need to use.... (

07-01-2009, 06:36 AM
Tropical picks up in New Jersey. They shipped our household goods down from NY, I think.

I just didn't realize they also went to USVI.

07-01-2009, 07:17 AM
Well, a flat rack open container doesn't do you any good with a boat and t-top on a trailer. The height of the boat is something like 10-12 feet. The flat rack ends are only 8'6" tall. Might work with a bimini or with the t-top removed, in a 40 ft. flat rack.

Boats are banded and loaded on flat racks all the time. The racks are slung on the ship using cables and loaded on the top block containers as over height cargo. That's why Tropical is more expensive than Seastar because you are paying for the overall cubic feet. In the smaller island ports you can do RO/RO, but in St Thomas and St Croix if overall length is less than 40' Tropical will load it on a flat rack. Seastar is strictly RO/RO.

07-01-2009, 07:28 AM
I used Tropical back in 1989 to ship a motorcycle to the USVI. Tropical then was what everyone used to get their cars, building material etc to the USVI.

07-01-2009, 08:36 AM
Does Dockwise take boats this size? I know they go to St Thomas...

Not sure about a trailer though.

07-01-2009, 08:39 AM
Odd, I shipped a twin-engined boat (on a trailer) with the exact same dimensions to USVI last year. The cost was about $3,500 (from a south Florida port) and I used a local EXCELLENT freight management company that took care of EVERYTHING. I came back from a business trip to find my boat and trailer in my driveway (they emailed me pictures of the boat coming off the pier here while I was out of town.)

Send me a PM and I'll give you the contact information and tell you who to deal with if you're interested.

For land transport I shared a truck with another Washington State family that was shipping their boat to St. Croix as well. The trucker (deadheading) was found on and my half to move my boat from Seattle suburbs to Port Everglades was $3,500 also.

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