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Report for Delivery of 11.5 meter yacht from Venice to Malta

A boat delivery can also be a very pleasurable experience, both for the new boat owner and for the skipper/crew. The following narration is a recent boat delivery by Vella Marine, skippered by Edwin Vella.

17 November 2014

The new experience starts here. The new owner will have a good opportunity to enjoy his boat while it is being delivered by professionals.

17th October - Flight Malta to Venice - 08:10 Dep, Arrived on time at 10:00 at Venice Airport. Taxi was waiting, arrived at the offices around 11:30, and at 12:15, we were taken to the boat. We went for a nice casual lunch at a nearby restaurant right by the sea... it had to be pasta being in Italy... Afterwards, we returned to the boat and started checking the boat, all was well, tested the engines and all other equipment. All was found well. At 16:30, went to get fuel to be ready for the morning. We had to navigate the channel... that was different and interesting. The channel is quite narrow and we were told to make sure we stay within the marks as it is very shallow (0.5m) once you go to either side...

This took us about 45min, 30min to re-fuel and 45min to go back.

Then, we needed to get some supplies for the trip, which we did, and soon after, we were all hungry again, and headed to another nearby restaurant. The next thing to eat in Italy, Pizza... it was quite nice, we all agreed... then it was back to the boat, where we sat on the back deck and enjoyed the tranquility of the flat calm seas.

18th October - At 06:30 - crew up, waiting for sunrise... at 7:15, started the passage out of the Marina, about 45min to get to open water... Around 08:00 started the passage south, towards Pescara... Around 12:00 we decided to make a fuel stop as it was not enough to get to Pescara. Stopped at Ancona at 14:15, waited until 14:30 for the fuel supply station to open, got fuel. We tried to walk around to find where we can get some more supplies but there was nothing within walking distance. Therefor we decided to leave it, and continue straight away to Pescara. At 15:00 we departed... 

At 18:30 - we arrived at Pescara. First things first, we got the fuel. Right at the entrance to the marina, there was the fuel dock, and we got that sorted straight away. After that, we had to go to the customs, all done around 19:30. After that we needed to try find a supermarket as we needed to get a few food and drink items for the next day. It was a race against time to get there in time as they close at 20:00, but we made it with 5min to spare... got what we needed and had to walk back. By this time we were all pretty tired and hungry. Therefore, the next priority was to find a restaurant. We were quite amazed that there was not much around the Marina, but eventually we did find one and sat down around 21:00. The food here was not good at all. My colleague had a marinara pizza, and it was just sauce... we could not believe it. I wish I could take a picture, but by this time our phones were about to go off, as all three of us had no charge, and no place to charge them. During our time in the restaurant we carried our chargers and manage to get some charge in one of them. So, disappointed, we returned to the boat. Soon after, we all went to bed. At around 23:00, someone was near the boat and they called us. We went up and found the Guardia Costiera. They wanted to check our documents. All was found well, but it took a good 30min. to fill up all the documentation. Not the best time for them to visit, but we cannot argue with the law... it was good to see that they do check on these kinds of boats randomly. Back to bed... 

19th October - woke up at 06:30 - 07:15, sunrise and hence our departure... It was a great morning, flat calm seas and therefore made good progress. At 11:20, we decided to stop for fuel at Vieste. We were not going to make to Brindisi and it looked like a nice place to stop for a short stop. It was a shame that we were very pressed for time and did not have time to go for a coffee at least... the priority was to make it to Brindisi, so we were off after just 20min. 

At 12:00 we continued our way south to Brindisi. Unfortunately around 14:30 the weather picked up very quickly. We went form very calm to force 4/5 in a hour. Waves reached 1.5 to 2meters and there was still 60nm to reach our target destination. After so many years of sailing, it still amazing how quickly the weather can change... and I always remind myself never to underestimate the power of the seas. They can get dangerous very quickly. So, I decided to make a stop at Bari for shelter. At 15:00 we were at Bari.

We had an interesting turn of events here. So, there was quite a bit of swell coming in at the Marina. Plus, from all the places we stopped, this was by far the most expensive. The Marina berthing assistant told us that if we go on the opposite side of the harbour, and tie up with the breakwater, it would be calmer and free. BUT, we could not leave the boat unattended as there was no security. After discussing it, we decide to go for it. I was a lot calmer on this side. The Owner and myself decided to go to find a bar
to be able to charge our phones for a couple of hours as we were again without mobile phones. We found one and did charge them... after a few coffees, we headed back to the boat. Much to our surprise we found the engineer on the back deck looking worried. He started telling us that he got off the boat and walked 100meters just to put the garbage in the bins nearby, and as soon as he turned to the boat, he saw someone on board. He run towards the boat and had an argument with the guy and had to push him off the boat. He was trying to rob us!! We could not believe it. He also threatened to come back. By this time it was quite dark, but, there was no way we would stay there for the night. We moved back to the Marina. It was crazy! By this time it was 21:30. We were all very hungry. All we had eaten was some crackers and croissants that day! Eventually we manage to find a restaurant. At least this time we had a great meal and that put smiles on our faces again. Went back and straight to bed. No coast guards today at least.

20th October - Woke up at 05:30 to try leave earlier... left at 06:30 to try make the extra 60nm we lost the day before. Thankfully the weather had calmed down and we could make the speed we needed. At 09:20 we stopped at Brindisi for fuel. We had to wait to get the fuel, and because of this we lost about an hour here.

At 10:15 we were back out and on the way to Rocella Ionica, our target for the day... The weather was great, which was a huge help to reach our target.

At 16:00 we made it to Crotone and stopped for fuel. We were just on track to make it. Left straight away at 16:25 and headed south. We made it just in time before it got dark, 19:45, to our destination. Quite a long day, but at least the weather was calm all the way, which allowed us to keep the speed we needed all day. There is nothing around here, except on restaurant. So there was not much choice. But, we went in, and got some amazing food. It was the engineer's birthday so we shared a bottle of wine. 

21st October - Left at 05:30 (still dark but we kept the speed to 10knts to be safe) to get a head start as we wanted to make the crossing to Malta as early as possible because some bad weather was on the horizon. We found some bad weather as we approached the Messina straights, but managed to keep making way at a decent speed and made to Augusta at 11:00. Although we did get wet.

To my surprise, it was quite a hassle to get fuel here. I taught this would be the easiest to get fuel from as it is a huge port. When we eventually got to the fuel dock that could give us fuel, they realized they did not have enough fuel, and therefore we had to wait for the fuel truck to come. we lost about 1.5hrs all in all... But, eventually made it out of there and headed to Malta. Weather was ok and made it on time.

What an amazing experience it has been! This is another service that is offered by Vella Marine. If you are interested in buying a boat from abroad, we can assist. We can offer the services of a surveyor to make the pre-purchase survey, deliver it, boat yard services, berth assistance, registration and much more. 

JOB DONE! - Boat delivered, safely and on schedule.

The owner had the following to say about his boat's delivery:

"Thank you very much for the excellent and professional service offered in delivering my yacht to Malta. I did come along for the trip and could see that every detail was taken into consideration when planning the trip. Thanks for making the journey from Venice to Malta such an enjoyable one. Will make sure to use your services in the future." - Owner

For further details, please contact:
Vella Marine Malta
28, Triq id-Dielja,
Attard ATD 2680
Tel: 2729 0101
Mob: 7927 1344