Shipping Your Watercraft Vehicle

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Shipping Your Watercraft Vehicle
Shipping Your Watercraft Vehicle

Shipping Your Watercraft Vehicle

If you are the owner of a personal watercraft vehicle, surely you understand how important it is to make sure that it's well-maintained and doesn't suffer from any unnecessary damage. Watercraft vehicles are expensive, and you want to avoid expensive repairs as much as you can, as well as to ensure that they're safe for operation.

Personal watercraft vehicles also present some unique challenges when transporting them over land, but the following tips will help to guide you if you need to ship your watercraft vehicle:

Be Aware of the Height of the Watercraft

The first thing to be aware when in the planning stages of transporting your watercraft is the height of the boat. If it's being shipped via ground transport, the maximum height that it can be is 13 feet 6 inches. In addition, you may be charged a freight surcharge if it's higher than 13 feet 6 inches.

If it's higher than that, other arrangements will have to be made, which a transport company, such as A-1 Auto Transport, can do for you. These special arrangements can consist of:

  • Oversize permits;
  • The need for specific transport equipment;
  • More logistical/routing planning.

Another thing to note regarding the height of the boat is the overhead clearance of the boatyard or marina that it's being transported to. It should have a overhead clearance height of at least 14 feet and must have a clear entrance that's devoid of any branches, wires, and other objects.

The height of your watercraft can be measured starting from the bottom of the keel all the way up to the highest part of the watercraft that isn't removable. If you do not have access to your watercraft in order to measure it, you must examine its model specifications, in which the draft and the clearance heights can be combined to determine its total height.

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The Width of the Watercraft Matters As Well

Besides the height of the watercraft, its width is another important measurement. The width of the watercraft should be measured in terms of its beam, which is how wide it is at its widest point. If your watercraft, such as your yacht or boat, is greater than 8 feet 6 inches in width, it's considered to be oversized. This means that the carrier may need to obtain certain state and/or city oversize permits in order to transport it.

Weight and Length May Be a Factor

In some instances, the watercraft's weight may also be a factor. This mainly pertains to boats or yachts that are extremely large or boats that are made out of metal. Regardless of the type of watercraft, always provide accurate weight information to the carrier, who will determine if it's overweight or not.

The length of your watercraft may also be a factor as well. The length of the watercraft can be measured from the tip of the bow to the middle of the stern. Once again, as with its weight, it's best to provide the carrier with an accurate length.

What to Remove and Secure

It's also important to know what to remove and/or secure in your watercraft before it's picked up for transport. Here's what you should do:

  • Make sure that all hatches are secured;
  • Unplug all batteries;
  • Try to remove all of the growth that may be present on the watercraft's bottom;
  • Remove all loose items in the cockpit;
  • Drain the water tanks and make sure that the fuel tanks are empty;
  • Remove safety harnesses, buoys, and anchors from the hand rails.

One last thing to note is that you should always take photos of your watercraft from multiple angles, including close up photos, before it's loaded up for transport. This will help in case of any damage that occurs during the transportation process.

If you need to ship a watercraft, such as a boat or a jet ski, A-1 Auto Transport has you covered! Make sure to contact us today for your free quote!

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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