Moving Your Boat: Preparing Your Boat for Transportation

So you bought a boat a few years back and it’s been a good decision. You enjoy having it, you use it regularly, it’s only been requiring simply routine maintenance to keep it afloat.

But now you’re moving to another part of the country, too far to drive back to your current marina to use the boat. You’ll have to move it to a new location. Don’t worry! There are plenty of relatively easy ways to accomplish this task.

Paul Allen recording studio Octopus Yacht

One way to move a boat to a new location is by using your own vehicle to tow a boat trailer. This idea can be daunting if you aren’t familiar with towing large loads, but it’s not that difficult. If you don’t own a boat trailer, you’ll need to go out and select the correct one for the type of boat you own. The marina where you store your boat can probably help you with this.

Make sure that after you load the boat onto the trailer that you safely secure it before traveling on public roads. Generally this means using heavy duty nylon straps wrapped around the boat attaching to points on the trailer. You want at least five points of contact between the trailer and the boat in case of an accident.

If you don’t want to use a boat trailer to transport your boat (maybe your vehicle doesn’t have a tow hitch or the roads along your trip will make it hard to use a trailer), you can also hire the services of a professional boat transportation company. This is a more expensive option than towing it yourself, but can also be safer and less hassle for you as the owner. Depending on where you are traveling to, the boat transportation company might be your only option; some of them can ship boats internationally and overseas, which the general consumer cannot accomplish on their own.

The cost of shipping the boat is going to depend on its size. The shipping company will want an accurate measurement of your boat in order to give you a price. They will need the length from the front of the stern to the middle point of the bow, the height of the boat from the bottom of the keel to the highest point, and the width of the boat at its widest point including railings or other attachments.

Before you ship your boat with a professional company, there are a few simple things you need to do to prepare. First, you need to drain the fuel tank completely. They won’t ship a boat full of fuel. Secondly, you’ll need to disconnect any and all electronic components, including the theft alarm.

Once you have done that, you’ll need to safely secure or remove all loose items from on and inside the boat. This includes personal items, safety gear, antennae, propellers, anchors, and flag masts. You’ll also want to fully secure the windows and hatches throughout your boat.

Just because you’re moving doesn’t mean you have to leave your boat behind.

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