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All You Need To Know About Shipping A Personal Watercraft

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All You Need To Know About Shipping A Personal Watercraft
All You Need To Know About Shipping A Personal Watercraft

Things that All You Need To Know About Shipping A Personal Watercraft

There are many jet-propelled watercrafts, but the most common recreational boat is the personal watercraft. A PWC is a small boat that is designed to accommodate one person. It uses an inboard jet drive as its primary source of propulsion. Generally, personal water crafts have smaller, more delicate parts that need more caution when shipping. A little mishandling when shipping a personal watercraft and you lose your boats proper functionality.

Boat shipping methods

Shrink wrapping

If you decide to have your PWC boat wrapped for trucking, you need to know that shrink wrap failure is very likely to occur when going over the road. For this reason, ensure that your transporter wraps every cleat, sharp corner, windshield, etc. to minimize excessive chafing and rubbing of the boats wrap. As the truck goes down the highway, chances are that the wind velocity will tear the shrink wrap as a result of the rubbing that happens on the sharp edges.  If the shrink wrap tears, the transporter should remove it. Otherwise it will end up damaging the boat by beating itself against the boat. If well padded, shrink wrap can remain intact.

Roll-on / Roll-off boat shipping

This transport method is used if the trailer is secure for towing under strenuous conditions. The boats are rolled in their trailers and off the ship. In case the boat lacks a trailer, a custom build cradle is made. You can consider this method if the trailer is secure for towing under strenuous conditions.

Lo-Lo (Lift-on / Lift-off) shipping

This method is used for larger PWCs that are too large for the trailer to fit in the RoRo feeder door opening or in the container. Shipping apersonal watercraft requires the transporter to first shrink wrap the boat to prevent damage from the seas turbulence. The fees for this method are a little higher since there will be extra equipment used such as cranes, fork lifts, manpower and cradle costs.

Flat Racks boat shipping

This method entails loading the personal watercraft for shipping, then wrapping it to secure it to the ship. This method protects the boat from dirt, debris and possible damage. If you’re in the process of shipping a personal watercraft for the first time, you need some guidance. Here are some tips to keep in mind

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You must prepare the PWC for transit to avoid damaging it

Like with all other boats, you need to prepare your ski-jet accordingly. To avoid fire hazards when the jet ski is in transit, drain any gas. Also drain any water that may be hiding in the jets components, especially if the PWC was in water a few days before the shipping day. You will also need to disconnect the battery and pack it securely with the cargo.

Also, secure any cushions, lines, gear and fenders in a compartment. Just because the PWC will be shrinked wrapped doesn’t mean you should leave any items handly loosely in the boat. In a scenario where the wrap is exposed, everything will go flying off and this won’t be the transporters mistake. Further, take photographs of your PWC before dispatching it. This is one of the ways to have a prove of your PWC in good condition, just in case it gets damaged while in transit.

When to use crating

For the jet skis without trailers or for those lacking extra protection, crating is certainly a great option. Particularly if the jet ski is new, a sturdy wooden encasing is a solid, more secure option.  It’s important to note here that a special crating comes at an extra charge.  This option is more practical when shipping a single jet ski. If you need to ship more than one, the following option will be more practical.

When to use a shipping container

If you are shipping multiple PWCs all at once then using a shipping container is the practical option here. This method requires a professional industrial level packing. When loading thousands of dollars boats into a container, they need to be in perfect working condition upon arrival. If you ship your jets ski using this method, ensure the transporter follows the necessary procedure so that your boats arrive their destination undamaged.

When collecting your PWC, you have no time for inconveniencies. All you want to do is connect the batteries, gas it up and have it in the sea without hiccups. As you shop for a suitable transporter to ship your boat, do your homework and pick only the highly reputable one. Look at their past records and measure how many successful deliveries they have made in the past.

If you have more questions about shipping a personal watercraft, contact us, we will be happy to assist.

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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