Shipping a Boat

Shipping a boat requires planning and preparation. Give yourself at least a month to find the right transporter, arrange a shipping date, and prepare the boat for shipping. Careful preparation will prevent damage during transport and will ensure that the entire process of shipping a boat or yacht goes smoothly.

Secure Loose Items

Several days before shipping, walk through the vessel and secure any loose articles above and below deck. Look for curtains, cushions, galley utensils, and other items. Remove all personal items and any item of value from the boat.

Remove The Mast and Windshield Prior To Shipping

Any piece of equipment that extends above 13’ 6” or to the sides over 8’ 6” must be removed prior to transport. Wrap the mast in carpet to protect the paint. Wrap the windshield in an old blanket and secure it below deck.

Winterize The Boat

If you are shipping during the winter months, drain all water from the vessel. Winterize the engine, toilets, and any other sensitive systems. Disconnect the battery cables and store them below deck. Drain the fuel tank.

Decide Whether To Shrink Wrap

Your transporter will advise you whether to shrink-wrap the boat for shipping. Some carriers prefer boats to be shrink wrapped because it prevents damage from the elements. Others do not because if the shrink-wrap is not properly applied it could rip in the wind and damage the boat.

Have The Boat Inspected

Hire a licensed marine surveyor to do an inspection prior to transporting a boat. He will give you a report of his findings including any existing damage. Take detailed photographs of the boat from all sides and store these with the surveyor’s report.

Choose A Marina At Your Destination

Be sure the marina at its destination is large enough to accommodate a large truck. Ask your shipper for recommendations if you do not already have a marina selected at its destination.