Any road trip requires adequate planning and preparation. Otherwise, a lot of things can go wrong. How good you prepare your boat for transport determines whether the vessel arrives in pristine condition or not. It’s the little things that count. A small crack or dent in the haul can grow into a larger problem due to the possible joggling and rocking that comes with transportation. You don’t want to “Blow off another Thousand”, do you now? First off, the entire transportation process is a hassle. Incurring more issues during and post-transit is an avoidable endeavor. At A-1 Auto Transport, we save our clients the trouble of going through such stress. We make the work easier for you by providing professional tips on how to prepare your boat for transport, free of charge. After all, to share is to care. Following these simple do-it-yourself steps can save you from denting your wallet.
Choose an ideal boat transport service
The first and foremost thing you ought to take care of is finding the best boat transport service provider for you. A good boat transporter has an MC Number, a USDOT Number, and is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the United States Department of Transportation. A-1 auto transport has a record that speaks for itself. With over 25 years of experience in the business, you can rest assured you are getting the best services available. We offer local & interstate boat transport, coast to coast boat transport, and international boat shipping.
Clean and inspect your boat
A thorough inspection of your vessel is of primal importance to assess any pre-transit adjustments you may have to make. Take note of the overall condition of your boat to the detail. This will keep you informed of any repairs that may worsen after transportation. Take pictures too as evidence in the event of damages after the transportation. If you cannot do this yourself, you are advised to have your vessel inspected by a marine surveyor licensed to operate in your state.
Get rid of hazardous substances like fuel
You need to drain the boat off the fuel in its tank. Do this to the last drop if possible. Although very unlikely, there is always that 1% chance of accidents and fires occurring during boat transportation. The presence of fuel may intensify the situation. Better safe than sorry.
Disconnect any connections
Unscrewing the propellers, flag masts, antennas, and disconnecting electronics from the boat makes the overall transportation easy, especially for the loading process, even if you are using the Roll-on/roll-off transport process. Batteries, too, should be disconnected, as well as anything else electrical. Also, anything higher than 13 feet should be lowered to avoid any inconveniences while in transit.
Check the wheel and tires
The tires on your boat trailer should be in proper condition. This is in regards to pressure and grip. The tires should be properly inflated in order to support the boat’s weight. An improperly inflated tire may blow up while in transit and can lead to a fatal accident. The pressure should not be too high nor too low. Allow room for expansion. Worn out tires with a loose grip on the road are also advised against. Reason being, dry rot weakens the tire exposing it to the risk of tearing out during transport. Also, make sure you have a spare tire for your boat trailer. Accidents happen all the time. It’s best to stay prepared. Inspect the wheels too, ensuring the bearings are properly greased and bolts tightened.
Get the boat load-ready
This involves performing any other activities needed to get the boat ready for loading onto the carrier. All windows, latches, and hatches should be properly fastened and taped down to avoid swinging during transit. Any loose cables and other gear on the deck or inside the boat should be secured. Water and any other liquids on board should be drained, especially if the transportation is taking place during winter. This is to; of course, avoid getting frost into the air conditioners and pumps.
Do not use shrink wraps, boat covers or canopy
Contrary to popular belief, boats are best transported as they are. One may argue that the boat needs to be covered to protect it from dust and potential damage. However, strong winds in most cases rip the covers, making it flap against the boat and especially the windshield causing scuff marks.
Secure the boat to the trailer
Lastly, load the boat onto the trailer and ensure all fasteners are in place to avoid any cases of the boat rolling off. Although the driver will double check this process, it’s best you make it a habit of doing so yourself.
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.