Boat, Yacht and Marine Vessel
Import Shipping to Australia

Do you need to ship your boat, yacht or marine vessel to Australia? Are you a boating enthusiast planning to order and import your ideal pleasure boat from overseas? Do you also need to import your boat trailer as well? Then you should consider contacting Smith Lewis to help you.

Our experienced and friendly staff have been shipping (importing) marine vessels to Australia since 1988 and are happy to advise and assist you. We have longstanding relationships with carriers around the world. We deliver flexible and competitive pricing while ensuring Your marine vessel is smoothly and timely transported to its new Australian destination.

We provide a complete shipping service for your boat, yacht or marine vessels. Our services are tailor made to meet your specific requirement.
Speak to us if you wish to import your:

  • Racing yacht/Classic yacht
  • Fishing boat/Speed boat
  • Super yacht mast
  • Boat Trailer (requires VIA)

For further information, please read on.

End to End Marine Vessel Shipping Import Service

Smith Lewis offers an end-to-end service from pick-up to final destination.
We ensure your marine vessel arrives in a timely and efficient manner.
Our team works with you to ensure the following:

  • Planning ahead to ensure your boat, yacht or marine vessel is picked up and dropped off at the departure wharf. This may include providing assistance in organising cranes and loading at the marina.
  • We book the shipping of the marine vessel from the departure wharf in advance to ensure the transit starts smoothly and leaves without delay.
  • Assign expert and experienced cartage people to assist in the unloading process at the arrival wharf in Australia.
  • Provide road transportation via trailer of your boats,
    yachts or marine vessel.
  • Help organise cranes and unloading at the destination
    marina if needed.

Customs Clearance Provided

Your marine vessel will need to be Customs/DAFF(AQIS) cleared upon its arrival in Australia. We offer this as part of your shipping to make things as easy as possible for you. We will help you gather the necessary documents including:

  • Bill of sale
  • Proof of value
  • Photo identification (Passport or photo driver's license)
  • Bill of lading and fumigation certificate (if applicable)

Processing of All Necessary Permits

Our customs clearance brokers are well-versed with the complex marine vessel shipping regulations. We are happy to assist in the obtaining of any required permits for transporting on Australian roads.

What you need to provide for us to give you a
Marine Vessel Shipping Quotation?

All we need you to do is to provide us the following information to get a quotation for the shipping of your marine vessel:

  • Manufacturer and model
  • Dimensions and weight
  • Where you wish to ship it from and to

Please contact us and we are happy to discuss the details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
for Boat, Yacht and Marine Vessel Shipping?

Can you ship a marine vessel to any port in Australia?

Yes, but please inform us in advance when you plan to move your marine vessel to Australia. Our team will work with you to facilitate the necessary preliminary planning to ensure it is transported safely with minimal delay.

How do I accurately measure or weigh my boat?

The measurement of your boat based on its overall length, height, width and weight. We recommend the removal of platforms, radar arches, flybridges, keels and bowsprit's to reduce weight. The smaller you can make your boat the lower the shipping price will be.

Overall Length

Overall length includes the bow pulpits, swim platforms, motor brackets and the length of the motors or outdrives in the raised position.

Overall Width

Width is measured as the widest point of the boat including anything attached to the sides of the vessel. You may have to mark the wide points on the ground by a drop line and then measure those points.

Overall Height

Overall height is measured from the bottom of the keel to the highest non-removable part of the vessel. Should the boat be shipped on a cradle, the height is from the bottom of the cradle to the highest point on the boat. Should the boat be shipped on a trailer using the Roll On Roll Off method (RORO), the dimensions must include those of the trailer.

Overall Weight

The weight of your marine vessel is the when it is fully loaded with all equipment, trailer/cradle and water/fuel if applicable. For a sailing yacht, you will also need to add the weight of the mast or masts.

Call us and we can give you further advice on how to properly measure and weigh your boat.

Can I place personal effects inside the
marine vessel when shipping?

Personal effects can be placed inside your marine vessel if and only if it will be shipped using a full (FCL) shipping container. However it is not recommended and not common practice as it can add further expense and complexity to the shipping. Please see our section on What are Personal Effects for more information or call us for advice.

How can I prepare and protect my marine vessel?

Wash and defoul your boat

It is very important that your boat is spotless inside and out. All dirt on the trailer should be water blasted off and the hull should be clean and free from any organic matter such as barnacles. The inside should be washed and vacuumed so there should be no leaves or dirt inside the boat. This includes engine bay and hatches.

Securing your marine vessel

To best protect your marine vessel, we highly recommend that you cover
all its fragile parts such as stainless and chrome fittings and unstep
its mast and rig.

Stow all loose objects below decks and make sure all items have been buttoned down securely including hatches. The open sea can be rough and cause damage to your boat if objects are loose within your vessel. Any valuable items should be secured in a lockable area with the keys kept by you. You will be required to have your keys available upon arrival in Australia for quarantine inspection. You need to make sure the battery is disconnected and tied to prevent contact. Check all drain plugs. There should be no water in the bilge as this will become a quarantine issue on arrival. Fuel tank should be no more than 1/4 full. Avoid filling it up because the marine vessel has to be brought on board as light as possible.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Boats with on board air conditioning and refrigeration will need to
be de-gassed and decommissioned prior to export. You will also require a certificate from the company responsible for the degassing and decommissioning prior to departure.

Should I insure my marine vessel?

We recommend you insure your boat. A Condition Survey Report has to be performed before you can take out Marine Insurance. Please contact us for further information.

What method of shipping should I use?

You have the option to have your marine vessel transported using a Roll On Roll Off method, using a cradle or via shipping containers. Please speak to us so we can further assist you on what best option will best suit your vessel.

What if I don't have a trailer for my boat?

We can source a company to construct a custom cradle for your boat from either steel or timber, depending on your hull design. If your yacht comes
with its own cradle, or you are commissioning a bespoke cradle elsewhere,
it needs to be either steel, or ISPM15 compliant timber. Otherwise,
fumigation fees or cradle destruction will apply on arrival into Australia
which may add considerable expense.

If I am using a shipping container service, who will
arrange the loading and unloading of my marine vessel
into the shipping container?

We highly recommend, as part of our all-inclusive service, that we use our experienced team of packers to load and unload your marine vessel into and out of your shipping container.

Do I need to unstep the mast of my sailing yacht?

Yes, you will need to always unstep your mast in order for your marine
vessel to be shipped. Please contact us for further details as it is
an important consideration.

What happens when my marine vessel arrives at its destination?

Your marine vessel will need to be Customs/DAFF (AQIS) cleared
upon arrival at the destination wharf. Please refer to the
"Includes Customs Clearance" section.

How long does it take to load or unload
my marine vessel at the wharf?

Loading and unloading time is dependent on the size of the
marine vessel, weather and sea conditions. Our transport vessels
stay in port until the unloading is complete.

Our representative will be present at the advised time to ensure the
safe unloading of the marine vessel. Please speak to us if you
have any further questions.

Why should I use a freight forwarder rather
than a shipping company?

Freight forwarders provide an all-inclusive service and take care of all transporting, shipping and customs/quarantine clearance of your marine vessel. This makes the process more convenient.

Can you help me export my marine vessel?

Yes. Shipping marine vessels to other countries is more complex than shipping one into Australia. Import requirements vary greatly from country to country. We can help you with this and ensure your marine vessel is allowed to enter the country once shipped from Australia. Please call us for advice on shipping your marine vessel to a specific country.

Why Choose Smith Lewis over other
Companies Offering Boat,Yacht and Marine Vessel Shipping to and from Australia?

All Inclusive Service

We provide an all-inclusive service when shipping your marine vessel and take care of all considerations such as:

  • Transporting
  • Shipping
  • Customs clearance

This makes the process as convenient and easy for you as possible.

Wealth of Experience

Our friendly staff have a wealth of experience in shipping marine vessels, boats and yachts. For example, we ensure double handling of the shipping is eliminated to reduce risk of damage by using direct routes.

Competitive Rates

Our worldwide network of transport providers and customs brokers provide competitive rates and allow us to ship your marine vessel, boat or yacht in a timely and cost effective manner.

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