A boat is considered a prized possession. While there are well above 239.8 million cars in the U.S, there are only about 12.5 million boats in the U.S. That number does not even come close to an eighth of the number of cars in the country. Why? Boats are expensive. Really expensive. While few people can afford that luxury, even fewer have access to private lakes and public harbors along the coastline.
Boat owners know too well how delicate these floating vessels can be, making the whole process of shipping them from one location to another a stressing hassle. Professional automotive transporting firms like ours; A-1 Auto Transport Inc. exist to make your life easier. We have over two decades of experience in boat shipping to many locations around the globe.
There are several methods of shipping your boat, including:
- Flat Rack – Which involves transporting a boat on an openly sided rack.
- Roll-on/Roll-off – which involves transporting the boat in a ship while it’s on its trailer.
- Enclosed Container – Which involves transporting the boat inside a closed cargo container.
- Lift on/Lift off – Which involves using cranes to directly load the boat onto the transporting ship.
We are going to take a comprehensive look at Container Boat Shipping.
What exactly is it?
The use of intermodal containers to transport automotive and precious cargo is one of the earliest techniques used in sea transportation. In regards to boat shipping, we load your boat into an enclosed cargo container, then the entire cargo container is loaded onto the container ship by use of special cranes. The containers are rectangular in shape and enormous, some going as big as a store’s front parking yard. Picture three trailer tracks packed in a single file; yes, that long, then picture two trailer tracks packed beside each other; yes, that wide.
Universally, there are different sizes of shipping containers; the standard 20’, the standard 40’, the standard 45’ and a High cube 40’. However, the enclosed nature of them poses a restriction on the size and number of boats each can accommodate.
The containers are made of hardened stainless steel or other hardened metal that is resistant to oxidation or rusting, like corrugated weathering steel. The inside is made in a manner to accommodate precious cargo like boats with the most minimum possibility of scratching, denting or scrapping them. The floor is padded with plywood for the same reason.
How your boat is loaded onto a shipping container
Containers have a solid volume, dictating the surface area it offers. Therefore, the size of your boat matters. Boats measuring about 36’ in length and 2.59 meters in width are the most ideal to opt for while seeking container boat shipping. The shipping containers may differ in length, but the width is standard about 2.6 meters. A boat of about 18’ can be transported inside a 20’ container while 36’ boats are transported in 40’ ones.
For boats with a width larger than 2.59 meters in width prove to be slightly more difficult to load into the shipping container. This is not to mean that your boat shall be left out in the cold, no, not at all. On the contrary, we are always at your service for such reasons. Our qualified technical team has sufficient training to fit your boat into the limited space.
The standard height of intermodal shipping containers is 2.59 meters for the standard 20’ & 40’ and 2.87 meters for the cubed ones. That is more than sufficient space to accommodate a boat height-wise. We take advantage of this and use our custom-built shipping cradle to turn your boat on its side and load it into the container at an angle. It will fit perfectly and even leave room for any extras.
You may have concerns about the safety of your boat especially when it’s tilted. Worry not, we use special security techniques to strap and secure your boat onto the container and especially for tilted ones. The strapping is designed to guarantee the boat will remain in position all through the entire voyage.
Normal safety measures of preparing a boat for transportation apply, and especially for this boat tilting technique. All liquids including fuel and water are drained to the last drop to avoid unnecessary damages.
Advantages of opting for Container boat shipping
- Enclosed containers envelope your boat, protecting it from elements all through the journey.
- It eliminates the need to buy a shrink wrapper.
- If you own several small boats, you can use just one container to transport them at a go, saving you a lot of expenses.
- Extra space in the container can be utilized by shipping your extra belongings.
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.