How To Transport A Boat
Regardless of whether you are buying a boat, selling an old one, or just need to transport your boat from A to B, finding a reliable boat transport company that meets all your requirements can be tricky.
On Shiply you can find and compare trustworthy boat movers in just a few clicks, often with quotes up to 75% less than standard rates, but first, you need to work out exactly what service you require. This guide will aim to help you do just that.
How Much Does It Cost To Transport A Boat?
It is difficult to give an accurate price due to the number of variables that can affect quotes, but on average, short distance transport can cost between $150 to $300 with longer haul journeys costing anything from $600 to $1,000.
As stated above, there are a number of variables that can affect how much your boat transportation will cost, we have listed some important factors below:
Distance - The distance that your boat needs to be transported will greatly affect the price. If the boat only needs to be transported domestically (within the US) then the most likely method will be through inland transportation on a trailer, which is typically cheaper than international travel.
If the boat needs to travel internationally then this can be more costly. There are a few options here. Roll-on/Roll-off (RO/RO for short) is the most frequently used method of international boat transport and involves your boat staying on a trailer for the duration of the trip.
If your boat is a standard size then you may want to consider an enclosed container that would be put on a large shipping vessel. This can often be a cheaper international boat transport method.
If it is a big boat that you need to transport internationally then a flat rack can often be secured onto a vessel which your boat can be strapped into whilst in its own personal cradle.
Finally, there is always the option of submersion when looking at international boat delivery options, which simply involves your boat being loaded and unloaded from the water.
Boat Size - The size of the boat that you want to transport can also greatly affect the pricing. For example, standard-sized boats can be transported internationally using enclosed containers, whereas larger boats cannot. The size of the boat can also affect which routes a boat transport company can take if transporting by road.
Trailer - Depending on whether you have your own boat trailer or you need the boat movers to provide one this can also affect the cost of your boat transportation.
Locations Of Pickup And Delivery - The ease of access to your pick up and delivery locations can affect pricing as well, with ease of access playing a part. A boat being picked up from a remote area may also incur extra costs for the extra miles required to pick it up.
Time Of Year - Seasonality is another thing that can affect pricing. Ice, wind, and snow can all affect road conditions which can alter the routes available for transportation.
How To Properly Measure Your Boat
In order for you to get an accurate quote for how much it will cost to transport your boat, you need to provide the dimensions of it to potential boat movers. Whilst the manufacturer will usually provide you with these we recommend double-checking yourself to avoid any mishaps on the day of transport.
As a brief overview:
Overall Length - This is measured from the very end of the bow to the middle of the stern.
Overall Height - This is measured from the highest (non-removable) point of the boat to the bottom of the keel.
Beam - The beam is just the overall width of the boat, so measure from the two widest points.
A ‘standard’ boat is considered to be roughly 40’ long, 7’10” high and 7’8” wide. Boats over this size may require a special permit to travel.
How Can Shiply Help Find Boat Transport Companies?
There are many things that need to be considered when looking for a boat transport company, and often it can seem daunting given all of the variables. This is where Shiply can help you.
Once you have the make and measurements of your boat and the pickup and drop-off locations you can simply enter this information on our site and boat moving companies will send custom quotes directly to your inbox. The more information you provide, the more accurate these quotes will be. This gives you a great place to compare your options.
Shiply’s feedback and review system allows you to view ratings and feedback for any boat mover who quotes you, meaning you can stay safe in the knowledge that the company is reliable. You can also message anyone who quotes you within our platform to sort out details such as trailers and accessibility.
Another added bonus of using Shiply is that often drivers are making the journeys already and are looking for extra loads, meaning not only is using Shiply good for the environment but it can also be up to 75% cheaper than standard rates.
Preparing For Your Boat To Be Shipped
Once you have looked at all of your quotes and chosen one you are happy with, you need to prepare your boat for transport. Some of the steps you should take are:
Documents - If your boat is being sold or traveling abroad you may require some documents. Make sure you have these at hand if you need them to avoid any late mishaps.
Cleaning - It is a great idea to thoroughly clean your boat before it is transported. Not only will this mean you can remove any personal belongings and expensive electronic equipment that you don’t want to get lost during transit, but it also means you can get a good idea of the condition of your boat prior to pick up should anything occur. You should also make sure to secure any loose items that will stay on the boat such as lifejackets and to disconnect the battery and tidy the cables.
Empty Liquids - You should empty the bilge, refuse stores, and the majority of your fuel prior to pickup, as well as disconnect the fuel tanks. This will make the boat lighter for transport and put a stop to any potential leaks that may occur in transit.
Remove Sails - If it is a sailboat you are transporting then you need to remove all winches and rigging from the mast.
Photographic Evidence - We highly recommend that you document the condition of your vessel with time-stamped photographs before it is picked up as this will come in handy as evidence of its prior condition should any damages occur whilst it is being transported.
What To Do After Delivery
Once your boat has been transported to its destination the hard part is over, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t a few steps you can take to ensure everything is in order.
Check Vital Signs - Check that the boat’s engines still run and any electronic equipment left on the vessel still operate as expected.
Exterior Condition - Compare the exterior condition of the boat upon arrival to the photos taken prior to pick up. This will help you spot any damages which have occurred during transit and you can then raise this with the boat transport company.
Once the boat transport has been completed we also ask that you leave feedback and a rating for your chosen boat mover so that future Shiply users can browse services with the same level of confidence, as well as helping your mover to understand how their level of service was received.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does Shiply Cover My Area?
Yes! There are couriers using Shiply all over the country and abroad, so whether you need to move a sofa across town or send a car across Europe, we have got you covered.
Does Shiply Have Different Sized Vehicles?
There are thousands of couriers on Shiply, with a wide range of vehicle sizes capable of handling any delivery. Providing the rough dimensions (and pictures if possible) on your listing will allow the delivery company to get the right vehicle sent out to you.
Can I Call Shiply?
Shiply Support is available only on email, at
Who Will Carry Out My Delivery?
Whoever you choose! There are thousands of rated transport providers on our platform ready to make a bid to carry out your delivery. It is up to you to decide which quote to accept.
When Will I Receive A Quote?
You will typically start to receive quotes within 30 minutes. If you are worried about the lack of quotes, try adding some more detail to your listing as transport providers may be unsure of dimensions or weight and feel unable to provide an accurate quote. If your delivery is urgent, you can try our 'featured delivery' feature which moves your listing to the top of the search page for couriers.
How Many Quotes Will I Receive?
Whilst there is no guarantee of quotes, 98% of our listings receive at least 3 quotes, so you are likely to find someone who can undertake the delivery of your items.
Does Shiply Provide Packing Materials?
f your item requires packing materials or extra care then you should make sure this is highlighted in your listing and discussed with any transport provider whose quote you are considering. Couriers on Shiply are able to provide all levels of service and can help pack your items, just ensure you inform them of your needs.
Will My Goods Be Tied Up Securely?
Transport providers will almost always tie up an item in the transport vehicle, as the risk of damage from moving around during transit is high. You should always confirm safety precautions and packing needs with transport providers before accepting a quote.
Can Items Be Taken Upstairs?
Yes, items can be taken upstairs if needed, and can also be assembled. Transport providers on Shiply are happy to provide these services, but you should ensure that you are mentioning these requirements in your listings as it may mean a second person is required for the move.
Can I Travel With My Goods?
The majority of transport providers on Shiply are only insured for the transportation of goods, however, some are also able to take people. If you need to travel with your goods, make sure to mention this in your listing and to highlight this to any courier who quotes on your listing.
What If I Need To Cancel My Booking?
If you have accepted a quote and paid the deposit but wish to cancel the delivery, then you should first inform your chosen transport provider that you no longer require the delivery. You should then contact us at to have your deposit refunded.
Can I Change The Address Of The Delivery?
If you have not yet accepted a quote then you are able to change the address of your listing. Note that editing details of your listing after publishing will result in active quotes being voided, so you will have to wait for new quotes to come in. If you have already accepted a quote and need to change the address, please let your transport provider know and contact us at .
Do I Need To Take My Boat Anywhere?
Typically, boat transporters on Shiply will be able to pick your boat up from wherever it is located and will use special boat trailers to do so. If your journey is strictly overseas then it may be cheaper to drive to the port yourself, but boat transporters will always be able to collect your boat, wherever it is.
Can I Keep Items In My Boat During Transportation?
This will likely be up to your boat transporter's discretion, so make sure to ask! One thing to note is that the items will likely not be covered by the insurance that covers the boat, so don't leave anything in there you cannot easily replace.
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"Communication was great from the time I accepted the quote until the car was dropped off. In terms of the timeline, I was given a potential range for both how soon the car would be picked up and how many days it would be in transport."
"Everything was perfect! Fast, easy and hassle-free process! I definitely recommend and would use them again in the future. Thank you so much!"
"Great experience using these guys. This was my first time having to transport a car using a service like this and I could not be happier. Picked up earlier than expected and delivery was early as well. Quick easy and problem free."
"I’ve used Shiply twice now and have been really pleased with the result. It’s quick and easy to use. For both occasions the quotes were very competitive and the quality of the job was excellent. I highly recommend it."