Yacht transport is a service that involves moving a large boat from one location to another, over either land or water. Vessels up to a certain length can be trailered and driven long distances over land, which may take less time and be less expensive than moving them over water. In other circumstances, a yacht transport service might be hired to move a vessel over excessive nautical distances if the owner is unable or uninterested in doing so himself. Yacht transport companies are sometimes hired when an area is under threat of piracy, and yacht owners are afraid of sailing through those waters on their own.
The exact definition of what constitutes a yacht can differ, though they are generally considered to be recreational vessels that vary in length between 26 and 390 feet (about eight to 120 meters). Yachts at the lower end of this scale can be easily trailered by the owner, while larger vessels may require more towing power or special permits. When a yacht is short enough to be trailered but the owner is unable to do so himself, he may hire a yacht transport company. This type of service may be used to deliver a newly purchased yacht or to transport one between two coasts or other bodies of water. In the United States, a yacht purchased on the east coast may be transported over land to the west coast, rather than making the long voyage south through the Panama Canal.
Another usage for a yacht transport service is to move a vessel long distances over the water. Many yacht owners enjoy this type of journey, though others prefer to stay close to one port or coastline. A yacht transport company can offer this type of owner a change of scenery without the intervening voyage over open oceans. This type of transport service can also be useful if a yacht is purchased in one place and the owner wants it moved to another area for regular use.
Companies that offer yacht transport services can also provide an important security function in the face of piracy or other similar issues. Yacht owners will sometimes sail in convoys to create a safer environment at sea, though transport companies can also provide this type of service. It is also sometimes possible to employ the transport services of a large container ship to move a yacht from one port to another for greater safety.