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Can I Take My Yacht Anywhere?

Published by Tamar Hela.

What's in this article?
  1. What do you need to drive a yacht?
  2. Documents
  3. Vessel
  4. Budget
  5. Human Toll
  6. Where can you go?
  7. Some Last Things to Keep In Mind
  8. A Few Words About Law
  9. Final Thoughts
Can I Take My Yacht Anywhere?

For those who want to experience the freedom of the open waters, yachts have always been a choice to enjoy without worrying about sharing a cruise with hundreds of other people. They have always been popular, but after the pandemic, yachts became even more of a sought-after property.

Especially now that people have remote jobs, different schedules, and the chance to combine business and pleasure, it fuels many to invest their money in a yacht.

But then, the question arrives: can you take your yacht anywhere? Let's find out together.


What do you need to drive a yacht?

Since this type of vessel can give you extreme freedom, you may be tempted to explore the waters all around the world and visit other countries. However, before you leave, you must ensure you have everything you need for a safe journey.


First of all, you need a recognized license to drive your yacht. For example, this is a common requirement if you are renting a yacht. You need to check the legislation of where you are, as some countries may accept the ICC (International Certificate of Competency Licence) and the SLC (International Sailing License and Credentials). Knowing which of these licenses you need will make your life much easier.


If you have the documents, you need the yacht now. When it comes to size, the recommended is between 30 to 45 feet long. It doesn't mean that smaller yachts won't work - if you don't know, the smallest boat to ever go across the globe was 21 feet, so you're fine with something smaller.

However, larger yachts are much more comfortable, safer, faster, and have storage space so you can take everything you need for your trip. The downside? They are more expensive.


Traveling on a yacht is not cheap; we won't lie. Especially if your destination is far away, you need to prepare for what you'll find along the way. You need to know the kind of permit fees you'll pay, mooring fees, visa fees, and maintenance. They all amount to a big part of the money you must set aside for your trip.

You may also need to get ready to store some essentials that will come in handy: food and fuel. When planning your trip, you need to consider the stops you'll make along the way so that you know you have enough fuel to take you from one port to the next.

For that, you must consider the size of your boat, the speed you'll be traveling, and how much power you'll be using.

Human Toll

Let's also be very real: traveling by boat is as relaxing as it can be taxing. Not only physically but also mentally. It's essential to keep your health in check so you don't risk getting sick in the middle of your journey while having no access to medical services.

It's also essential that you have all the medication you may need for your journey or enough to last until you get to a port.

If you never lived in a small space before, maybe you should think about making a test run before going on a month-long trip across the ocean. While living on a yacht, you must be prepared for being confined in a smaller space, maybe losing some of your privacy and having to share days in and out with other people on the sea.

However, if you are well-prepared for your trip, everything will be like an adventure. When you have all the documentation set, provisions, and journey planned, and you've taken the necessary steps, there's a higher chance you'll have the time of your life.

Where can you go?

Considering that two-thirds of the world is covered in water, you must think it's possible to sail anywhere without worrying about borders and rules. There are fewer regulations for sailing across international waters, but there are restrictions and requirements you'll need to be aware of. As mentioned above, licensing and certifications are at the top of our list, along with route planning and your preparation for sailing.

It's important to remember that, as already mentioned, you can't just set sail anywhere without preparation or adhering to specific laws and regulations. Each country or region you plan to sail to has its safety requirements and rules for you and your boat. It's essential to familiarize yourself with these standards and comply accordingly.

Additionally, your boat must be registered and licensed as per applicable laws. Since sailing laws can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it's essential to know that your boat adheres to federal and local regulations, as they may vary.

Let's take the US as an example. Pleasure boats have specific requirements for getting into the country.

Also, it's worth noting that not all waters are suitable for all kinds of boats. As a sailor, you might need different boats for navigating shallow waters or treacherous coasts compared to the open sea.

If you respect the restrictions of every place you go to, sailing will offer the sense of freedom you seek.


Some Last Things to Keep In Mind

Having proper documentation for your travel is vital. Passports and visas are necessary wherever you go, and you must adhere to port clearance procedures and local laws. While sailing on the high seas is legal, cruising within a country's territorial waters might require specific certifications and approvals. Ensure that you have the necessary paperwork and permissions to avoid legal issues.

Another major challenge you will face on your journey is unpredictable weather. It's essential to familiarize yourself with weather patterns, such as trade winds and storm seasons. Also, watch weather forecasts closely and plan your route accordingly.

You might also consider improving your sailor skills by taking part in weather-related courses and gaining practical experience. It's also essential to remember that having decent equipment to accompany you on your trip will make your life much easier on the water.

A Few Words About Law

The sea is governed by international law in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS is a treaty that created the legal framework for using and managing the world's oceans and their resources.

Under UNCLOS, each country has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that extends 200 nautical miles from its coastline. Within this zone, the government has exclusive rights to explore and exploit the natural resources, including fish stocks, oil, and gas reserves. Beyond the EEZ, the high seas are considered to be international waters, which are governed by international law.

However, even in international waters, regulations must still be followed.

For example, ships must fly the flag of a country and be registered with that country's maritime authorities. They must also comply with international safety and environmental regulations, such as those set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

In addition, certain high seas areas are protected areas, such as marine reserves, where fishing and other activities are restricted or prohibited altogether. These areas are established to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems and endangered species.


Final Thoughts

After considering everything, we mean preparing documentation for you and your yacht, setting up your provisions for the trip, planning your route accordingly, and following the law; there's a big chance that everything will go great for you.

If you desire to set out to the high seas but you're still buying your boat, it's a good idea to get in contact with A1 Auto Transport. They offer shipping services that can be of use to you now.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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