If you’re a first time boat owner, transporting your new vessel might be slightly alien to you. If you need to move a boat you can either use your own trailer, should you have one, or employ the services of a professional boat transport company.
Depending on the size of your boat, self-service might be unfeasible. If you’re going for a small craft that you’re keeping on land then investing your own trailer in the future might be prudent.
Before Your Boat’s Move
Whether it’s a yacht or a speedboat, you’ll want to plan as far ahead as possible to give yourself to time to prepare for the transport and to enable you to find a suitable transport service. However your boat is going to be moved, make sure you:-
Check the boat’s condition: Make sure you check the interior and exterior of your vessel for any damage, this way you can see if it suffers any damage during transit.-
Remove valuables: Make sure you take anything valuable off your boat before it’s transported as these will not be insured.
If your boat is being transported by land there are a number of preparatory jobs to do to ensure that the transportation goes as smoothly as possible:-
Drain the bilge: Pumping out waste water and other liquids will make the boat lighter to transport and prevent any potential leakages during transport.-
Empty water and refuse stores: Any freshwater tanks and rubbish should be emptied from your boat.-
Empty the majority of fuel: Disconnect fuel tanks and empty the majority of gasoline, it’s only extra weight and another potential leak.-
Disconnect battery and tidy cables: A precaution that will help avoid draining the battery and any shortages in electronics.-
Make things watertight: Despite being a waterborne vehicle your boat might be exposed to different weather conditions when it travels on a trailer. So make sure that all exposed electronics are covered and battery cables are tucked away.-
Make things secure: If they aren’t travelling separately make sure all accessories and life jackets are stowed away in lockers. Secure all doors and compartments in the galley and washrooms. Also make sure that the canopy is extra secure as it might not be built to travel at the speed of a trailer.
For sailboats: removing all winches and rigging etc. from the mast is important (also provide padding for points at which the mast will be tied down). Pulpits, stanchions and lifelines should only be taken off if they will make the boat too large to transport easily.
You can also check with your boatyard for any other precautions that they might think important for safe transport.
If your boat is going to be sailed to its destination make sure you arrange with the captain what preparations need to be made prior to the handover.