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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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Fast and Easy

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Great Prices

As Shiply's shipping companies are already making similar trips, quotes are up to 75% cheaper than standard rates.



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How Shiply works

How Shiply Works

How Shiply Works

  • 1

    Request quotes from our 246,712 rated shipping companies.

  • 2

    Compare prices and read previous customer feedback to pick the right quote for you.

  • 3

    Sit back and relax while your item is safely moved by your chosen shipping company.

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