Lift-on/lift-off boat transport via ship, semi-submersible or overland transport can bring those far-off destinations within reach. Boat transport by road is an efficient method for transporting oversized boats from one state to another. Even when shipping your boat via sea, you in many instances need to use road transport to move it from the seller to the port for sea transport.
One option for boat transportby road is to hire trailers. The cost is often dependent on the size of the boat. For example, if your craft is less than 12’ in width or 13’6” in height, you’ll pay close to $7,000 to transport the boat from Maine to Florida. By road, it will take about four days to move the boat from these two locations, and it will take a week or significantly more days to transport it by water. Just like when transporting by sea, boat transport by road cost goes up as the beam and height of the boat increase. For both sea and road transport, the price increases as the size of the boat increases. This is because, the larger the boat is, the more delicate and the more complicated the process of transportation.
When transporting your boat by road, keep in mind that preparing your boat for offshore transport is just as important as preparing it for sea transport.
Here are the necessary preparations to make when transporting your boat by road
Hire a boat transportation specialist
It's best to find a transporter who specializes in boat transport. Before you proceed to negotiate the transportation costs, ask the transporter for copies of DOT or cargo insurance. If the transporter looks hesitant to provide this information, start looking elsewhere for a legitimate transporter. You could also request to see the status of commercial carriers’ licenses, history of inspections and crashes, etc.
Read the contract word by word
All transportation agreements should be documented. The carrier should provide complete information about costs, tariffs, taxes, security, scheduling, and delivery locations. Also, go through their rules about cancellations and refunds. Most people loathe reading contracts, but you have no option here but to read the contract word by word before you sign that agreement. Failure to understand the contract may come back to bite you. When checking the insurance contract, find out if that insurance protects your boat from damage and theft. Many insurance companies only cover against the shipper’s negligence. When this is the case, if the driver runs a light and damages your boat in the process, you’ll end up shouldering the claim. Have your insurance provider coordinate with your transporter to ensure that you’re fully covered.
Document the boat’s condition before departure
Before the trucker leaves, make sure you document the boats’ condition, then share the copies with the transporter. This will act as proof of the boat’s condition before departure and upon arrival. You should also take photos before you dispatch it to the trucker so that if you notice any damage when unloading, you will have enough proof to present to your insurer.
Prepare the boat for overland shipping
Most insurance claims result from inadequate preparation of the boat. When preparing your boat for transport by road, you need to take into consideration that the trucker may be traveling down in hurricane force winds exposing it to vibration for days. To prevent damage, it is important that you hire an experienced boat prepper. The process of preparing the boat for road transport involves the following things:
- Removing all stays, shrouds external halyards and, spreaders. Then, marking them and packaging them in the boat. Also, duct taping all turnbuckles.
- Disconnecting any mast headlights, wind instruments, antennas, and the like. These contents are not built to withstand any vibration in a horizontal position.
- Removing any external halyards. Should you decide to leave them on, wrap them properly and tape them to the mast.
- If the mat is painted, wrap it properly with at least two layers of bubble wrap or carpet. Don’t use plastic as it is too thin to prevent chaffing. Also, don’t allow any objects such as wires and shrouds between the mast and the wrapping. Vibrations from the trucker can cause chaffing damage even when the masts are padded when you allow objects in between.
- Removing any exterior canvas such as dodger bows and storing them separately.
- Disconnecting any batteries and tying off any cables to prevent contact.
- Detaching any removable arches to reduce the boat’s height so that it can fit in the truck. The boat should fit well in the truck, and it should also be tied well to the truck. When all these things are complete, the boat is ready for transit
Feel free to contact us for more information about boat transport by road.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.