Boat Transportation Tips

10 02 2012

General boat transportation suggestions:

While boat transportation companies carry commercial liability insurance, I recommend obtaining separate coverage (transportation insurance rider) from your insurance company.

If possible, empty fuel, water and holding tanks.

Prep vessel for a bumpy ride – loose gear stowed below will break or damage your cabinetry.

Sailboat rigs – secure and wrap standing and running rigging – commercial plastic wrap works great.

Shipping height – lower is safer and less expensive – remove lifelines and stanchions, wheels, pedestals, dorades, antennas, biminis, dodgers, etc.

Flybridge removal – label all wires and cables.

Vessels wider than 8’6” require permits.
Vessels wider than 12’ -13’ require escorts.
Vessels higher than 13’6” require escorts.
(Shipping requirements vary from state to state.)

For the best shipping rate – you’ll need to make lots of calls.

The goal is to find a qualified shipper who needs your load to avoid running ‘empty’.

Call all shippers, boatyards on both ends of the trip, even list your vessel on

Shipping brokers can help you obtain a lower shipping rate, but be very cautious about any who request or require a deposit.

Shippers will want to know the make and model of your vessel, weight, width, height, shipping to and from locations. If shipping on your own trailer – brake type and ball size.

If you can be flexible on shipping dates, you can save 15 – 25%. Working with a reputable shipping company is more important than getting the lowest price, of course. The purpose of shopping around is to avoid being overcharged, not necessarily to take the cheapest option.

Ballpark shipping costs: Fuel costs have a very direct relationship to the cost of vessel shipping. In general, medium sized boats, 30’ – 40’, which do not require escorts – average the price of a gallon of fuel per mile. Example: Diesel = $3.75 x 1000 miles = swag shipping cost of $3,750.

Vessels on their own trailers run less.
Vessels which require escorts cost more.
The larger the vessel, the more complicated and expensive the project.

Respect the rule of the 7 P’s with all shipping efforts – Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Projects.

Need help? Assisting and advising with all aspects of vessel prep, load and shipping is part of customer services you enjoy when you use Brilliant Yachts with your boat buying efforts.

Happy boating!

Jon Shattuck
Brilliant Yachts
843-276-0852 cell/text