Flat Rack Boat Shipping

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Flat Rack Boat Shipping
Flat Rack Boat Shipping

Boat shipping is one of the many services A-1 Auto Transport offers. Our transport company has over 25 years of experience in the field, shipping boats to various destinations both in the United States and internationally. Our trained and qualified personnel are equipped with world class technology, tools, and resources to offer our clients incomparable boat shipping services, second to none. We specialize in transporting all kinds of boats including fishing boats, houseboats, motorboats, hovercraft, jet skis, dinghies, and sailboats, just to name a few. No matter which boat you have in mind for shipping, we got you covered.

Having so many years of experience under our belt, we offer quality boat shipping services to you. Our staff work hand in hand with the clients, guiding them through the various boat shipping methods available for various shapes and sizes of boats.

The methods used to ship a boat to an inland location differ from the methods used to ship a boat to an international location. For inland shipping, we offer services including:

  • Overland transport.
  • Interstate Boat Shipping.

The basic necessities of these methods is having a road worthy boat trailer to move your boat safely.

For international boat shipping, we offer the following options.

  • Enclosed container option
  • Submersion option
  • Roll-on/Roll-off option
  • Flat Rack option
  • Lift on/Lift off option

We shall take a deeper look into flat rack boat shipping.

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What exactly is it?

Flat rack boat shipping explains itself from a literal view. In this method of boat shipping, the boat is loaded onto a large rack that is flat in nature. A rack is basically an open top shipping container. They are ideal for shipping large oversized boats. This is because, in general nature, American boats are wide in girth. Finding an enclosed container to fit in a specific large sized boat can be a costly endeavor. Sure, you can get a customized enormous closed top container to ship your large boat in, but of what use will the enclosed container be after shipping?

Moreover, getting your own customized closed container is expensive and comes with a lot of hassle including getting specialists to measure your boat so as to tailor make the enclosed container for it. Also, your ocean freight will double if not triple due to the enclosed container’s own weight.

The boat is loaded onto the flat rack using cranes. This is referred to as Lift on/Lift off. The boat is secured onto the flat rack using tight straps and then the entire flat rack is hoisted into the transporting vessel. Upon arrival at the destination, the entire flat rack is lifted off from the transporting vessel onto the dock at the harbor. The boat is then unstrapped and lifted off from the flat rack onto maybe a boat trailer depending on the transport arrangements made by the client.

Understanding a Flat Rack Shipping Container

Flat racks shipping containers are usually made of hard metal, the same material that cargo containers are made of. In most cases, this metal is normally hardened stainless steel that can withstand oxidation or rust during long voyages. They come in two standard sizes, 20feet and 40feet. The size of your boat will guide our personnel on the size to go for. This is why it is important to know how to measure your boat correctly. If you aren’t sure how to, our personnel will help you do that.

Flat racks usually have an open top, but the two ends on the width have flexible “walls” to secure your boat in. while the exterior is tough metal, the interior is customized to accommodate your boat in the most comfortable manner. Softwood padding makes up the interior. It reduces the chances of our boat getting scratched against the hardened metal.

  • 20ft Flat Rack: It measures a length of 19.2ft in length, 7.3ft in width and 7ft in height (the walls). It can support boats of up to 6,850lbs.
  • 40ft Flat Rack: It measures a length of 39.6ft in length, 7.2ft in width and 6.5ft in height (the walls). Boats of up to 12,450lbs can be supported on this.

Safety precautions

Opting for flat rack boat shipping means that your boat is transported in “open air”. It is therefore advised to invest in a high-quality shrink wrapper to protect your boat from possible damage, debris, and dirt. Weak shrink wrappers may tear, causing it to flap on your boat all throughout the journey thanks to the sea breeze. The flapping may cause tiny scratches, especially on the windows and windscreen. So, watch out for that.

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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