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Boat Transportation & Shipping Services, Information, Rates

What You Need to Know about Boat Shipping

Whether you are moving, buying a boat from someone across the country, or just going somewhere for a long vacation, you may not be able to get your boat to its destination on your own.

A boat transportation company could be the better option so that you don’t have to worry about the craft making it to your destination on time and safely. This could be very important if you don’t have a vehicle that could pull a boat or a trailer. Transporting a boat can be a straight forward process, but if you have never done this before, you may be a little confused where to begin.

The Preparations

It is a good idea to start by planning the transport. The more you are prepared, the better off you will be in the long run. You do need to pay attention to detail, prepare your craft properly, and choose the right boat transport companies.

To prepare your boat, you have to go to certain measures to ensure it is safe for transportation. De-commissioning boats will depend on a number of different factors, including the size of the vessel. If you are unsure of what to do, you can check with full-service marinas near you. They may be willing to prepare your boat for a cost. If not, then they can give you advice on what to do.

Items that you should go ahead and remove from your boat include:

  • Canvas Materials
  • Screens
  • Weatherboards
  • Transmitters
  • Dinghies
  • Cushions
  • Hailers

Remember that your boat will be going down the road at up to 60 miles per hour. That equals hurricane force winds, so anything that could blow off probably will. If you have any doubts, its best to remove items and not take a chance. Additionally, remove items from inside the boat. Remember that the craft will not be sitting the same way as it would in the water, so water may leak in if it rains. Make sure all hatches are sealed tightly and preferably taped down. Canvas covers should be removed and anything like propellers, horns, radars, and hailers should be removed from the inside of the boat to avoid damage.

You also need to make sure there is no water or fuel left in the boat. Be sure to drain all water systems including pumps and air conditioners. The batter will need to be disconnected. Some transporters will require that you remove the batter completely.

Do not ship your boat without the proper preparations. If you do, then the shipper will not be liable for any damage that may be caused to your vessel along the way.

Choosing a Transporter

Your first reaction when looking for a boat shipping business may be to look at price from the get go. However, boat shipping costs should not be the main factor you take into consideration. It’s much better to pay a little more and work with a company that you can trust. There are certain things you can look for when choosing someone to ship your vessel:

  • “Whichever carrier you select must have the correct authority. Any legal carrier should be authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Authority and the Federal DOT.” (from How to Choose a Boat Transporter)
  • Look for companies that have good feedback. Remember that word of mouth is one of the most important tools for finding someone that is trustworthy and professional.
  • Ask about insurance. Many carriers will include a certain amount of insurance for any damages caused to the boat by transport. However, if they do not, you will need to get extra coverage on your insurance policy.
  • Do consider price, but don’t choose the lowest quote you find. Instead, look for a company that has a good reputation and that offers fair prices.

If you take the time and choose the right carrier to transport your boat, then you will enjoy a much better experience all the way around.

Be Cooperative

Each transportation company will have its own specific rules about what needs to done with your boat before and during the move. Be sure to work with them cooperatively and ensure your vessel does make it to the destination safely.

You may be required to do certain things to your boat per the company’s regulations. You may have to provide specific information to them. They may have rules about when the boat will be delivered and who must be present to take delivery. Make sure you do everything you can to follow their rules so that your boat will arrive to you safe and sound.

Know Your Boat Measurements

When you contact companies to find out boat shipping rates, you will need to know the exact size of your vessel whether it is a yacht or a small fishing boat. That means you need to take the proper measurements and not estimate.

The overall length measurement of your boat should include any swim platforms, outboard motor brackets, bow pulpits, and outboard motors themselves. Make sure to consider the whole length of the boat because this will have a massive effect on the size of trailer needed to move it.

You also need to know the overall height. Keep in mind that overpasses are generally just over 13 feet in clearance. If your boat is larger than this, then it will need to be transported extremely low or a pole car will need to be used. The right boat shipping company will know the state by state regulations on height and clearance so that they can plan accordingly and include any extra permits or equipment needed in a boat shipping quote.

Again, it is extremely important that you never estimate on boat length or height. If you do, and your measurements are even just a few inches off, this could result in numerous problems and extra charges.

If you take the time to prepare your boat properly and choose the right transportation service, you should have no problem getting it from one place to another whether you are moving, buying, or going on a sailing vacation.

Works Cited

How to Choose a Boat Transporter. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2013, from Uship Guide: