How To Prepare Your Boat for Cross-Country Shipment

Boat Tranpsortation

Photo from uShip.

Moving your boat across the country can be a challenging ordeal. Thankfully, online resources make it easy to find competing quotes. Perhaps the easiest solution is to list your boat on and follow these simple steps for making sure your boat is prepared for transport.

Step 1: Prepare Your Boat Ahead of Time

First, measure all dimensions of your boat. Will you need to use a transporter’s trailer or will you use your own? If you don’t have access to an appropriate trailer, you’ll need to confirm that any potential transporters have access to the right trailer for your boat’s size. The maximum legal height of your boat, when loaded on its trailer, is 13’6”. The legal limit for its width is 8’6”. If your boat exceeds these limits, you will be required to obtain special permits or opt for a slower, non-interstate transport service that may take more time and money.

Before moving your boat, secure any loose gear, drain all fuel and water tanks and disconnect batteries. Secure cables, dinghies and any other superstructures. Clean your boat thoroughly, as boats are subject to inspections in some states. Any barnacles and other critters affixed to the hull will result in your boat being denied entry at some state lines. Lastly, make sure your transporter has proper access to load your boat at its storage site or marina, and to offload your boat at its final destination.

Step 2: Get Competing Quotes on uShip or through individual carriers

If you’re looking for boat transport services, be sure to solicit competing quotes from carriers. The easiest way to find quotes is to list your boat on, where many competing carriers can submit direct quotes. Regardless of how you find quotes, it’s worth your time to secure competing offers.

It’s also important to do your research and take into account transporters’ past feedback, online business verifications, and cargo insurance coverage when comparing prices. Lower quotes won’t always offer the same level of service– but if you can prepare and trailer your boat prior to pickup, your quote may be significantly lower.

Step 3: Choose the Perfect Transporter for Your Boat

Do your research and choose a reliable carrier. When comparing boat transport companies, the four most important considerations are:

  1. Authority – In the United States, the transporter should be authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the USDOT. If these numbers are not offered on your carrier’s website or uShip profile, inquire about them before making a decision.
  2. Insurance – Your standard boat insurance with liability coverage may not cover any claims resulting from its journey. Quality carriers should either include the cost of cargo insurance in your quote or help you obtain additional coverage.
  3. Communication and Tracking – Ask potential carriers about their tracking options. Some larger carriers offer online geo-tracking, while independent transporters may have a plan of communication while on the road. The best transporters will update customers on their estimated time of arrival prior to delivery.
  4. Feedback – It is important to check a carrier’s references and track record. Google is an excellent tool for finding reviews of transport businesses. Sites like uShip offer carrier profiles with first-hand reviews and feedback ratings from past customers that can help you select the best transporter for your boat.

This article was contributed by our friends at uShip. uShip is the world’s largest and most trusted transportation marketplace, primarily serving the freight, household goods and vehicle shipping markets.

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2 Responses to How To Prepare Your Boat for Cross-Country Shipment

  1. Lary says:

    I have been boating since I was 6 now I’m 66. I have encountered floating grass over the years by sometimes shutting down reversing the engine until the grass was removed or tilting up the motor and removing the grass. That said I have a 24 foot pontoon boat (2 tunes) and a 115 Yamaha. Under most conditions it runs fine but in heavy floating it gets hung up on the skag and cavatites. This requires removal of the grass simple enough but it collects grass again quickly so I spend a lot of time removing the grass I boat in the summer where a lot of other boaters go and it seems that pontoon boats seem to be plagued most often. I need help with a solution anyone go any ideas? I do try and steer to open areas to miss most of the grass but you have to stay in the channel. I didn’t mention this earlier I was running in 5 to 9 foot of water in the Gulf of Mexico off N Florida I may have to clean the prop 20 times in 35 minute run going out and coming in. It seems that with such a problem someone has thought of a solution that Iam not aware of, please help

  2. Pingback: How To Hire A Perfect Boat Transporter

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