According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) –
- There are nearly 17 million boats (registered and unregistered) in the United States
- Approximately one in ten families own one
- Nearly 80 million adults go boating at least once per year
Americans love being on the water, but as they say –
“The two best days in boat owners’ lives are when they buy and sell their boats.”
Powerboats and sailboats are great recreation options, but they can be unreliable money pits too, which is why many get used infrequently.
Either way, when moving to a new home you’ll need to take the “old tub” with you, which is where uShip comes in.
Before diving into our uShip boat shipping guide, check out these free household goods moving resources –
- Best interstate movers – The moving industry is full of shady players. With so much at stake, hiring a top-rated long-distance mover with verified customer reviews is imperative
- Best moving container companies – It’s simple. You load and unload, they drive, and you save big bucks
- Moving cost calculator – Just enter your move dates, origin and destination cities, and the estimated size of your move and the magic algorithms will do the rest
uShip marketplace at a glance
As an online transportation marketplace, uShip specializes in connecting people who need things shipped with service providers interested in shipping them.
Their services work for everything from motorcycles and pianos, to household goods and boats.
uShip features and services include –
- More than 40,000 service providers (not all transport boats)
- Domestic and international boat transportation
- Secure payment options
- Live customer support with experienced agents
- A Ship with Confidence Guarantee
Don’t forget insurance coverage when shipping a boat
Most boat moves go off without a hitch, but understanding your insurance options and choosing the one that best fits your situation is vital.
uShip vets service providers, but they don’t verify insurance credentials.
To ensure that they’re covered, customers can purchase cargo insurance –
- On their own
- Through the carrier (remember, you’re the “shipper”)
- Through one of uShip’s third-party partners
How uShip works when shipping a boat
Shipping a boat with uShip is a breeze.
Step 1 – Create a uShip account and post your listing
Before jumping in you’ll need to –
- Figure out your budget
- Decide on move dates
- Get the measurements of your boat (weight and dimensions)
- Know its age, make, model and approximate value
- Determine whether it’ll be transported on its own trailer or the carrier’s
Remember, the accuracy of the quotes you receive will depend on whether this information is correct, so make sure that it is.
Step 2 – Get quotes, compare them, and choose the best offer
One of the perks of using uShip’s website is that once you’ve posted your boat, transporters will review your information and send you quotes.
Competition keeps prices reasonable, and throughout the process, you’ll be able to ask potential boat haulers questions and view the following information on their profiles –
- Transport history (completed jobs)
- Safety record
- Reviews from previous customers
- Photos of their facilities, crews, and equipment
Step 3 – Book your move
Once you’re satisfied that you’re getting the best deal from a quality service provider there’s no reason to wait.
Like in the household goods moving industry, boat carriers experience a huge spike in business during the peak season between May and September, so early booking is key.
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you’ve addressed everything from insurance and services dates to boat size and equipment needs.
Don’t forget to inform third parties like marina staff and/or forklift operators if you’ll need their help during the moving process.
Factors that affect boat transport costs
Boat shipping isn’t rocket science.
Generally, costs are determined by –
- The size and weight of your boat
- It’s make, model, age, and value
- The type of vehicle and trailer needed for your job
- When and where you want it moved
- The distance between your pick up and delivery locations
- Which insurance option do you choose
- Whether special permits are needed
- Whether the carrier will need to take a special route due to your boat’s size
How much does it cost to transport a boat with uShip?
According to uShip, the average cost to ship a boat is between –
- $600 and $1,000 on “longer hauls”
- $150 and $350 for “shorter distance transport”
These figures seem unrealistically low, and what constitutes “longer hauls” and “shorter distance transport” isn’t specified.
In addition, no mention is made of boat size, value, or equipment requirements, so view these figures with skepticism.
The fact is that with so many variables, there’s really no such thing as an “average price” to ship a boat.
And remember, quotes are submitted by individual companies after they’ve reviewed your post, not generated by a computer.
Check out this link to see the prices that boats have been moved for recently.
uShip can ship your boat internationally too
Most folks ship boats domestically, but if you’re moving overseas and want to take yours with you, uShip has you covered.
Depending on boat size, destination, budget, and other factors, customers can choose to have their boats shipped –
- RO-RO (Roll-on/Roll-off)
- In an enclosed shipping container
- Secured to a custom cradle
When shipping a boat overseas there are lots of legal, insurance, and customs issues that need to be addressed.
Failure to jump through all the hoops can mean long delays and increased costs, so working with an experienced international boat transporter should be a priority.
However, if you’re moving a boat between Florida and Canada, the process should be a little easier.
How to prepare your boat for transport
Long before they arrive to pick up your boat, your transport company should provide you with a list detailing the things you’ll need to do to prepare your boat.
In a nutshell, pre-move boat prep involves –
- Securing or removing accessories like antennas and bimini tops
- Removing loose items like fishing gear, depth finders, and deck chairs
- Cleaning your boat inside and out and noting existing damage (taking photos is wise)
- Having your boat inspected by a qualified marine surveyor
- Make sure that the proposed loading area and delivery location have ample overhead clearance
- Draining fuel, water, and waste (yuck) tanks
- Securing windows and hatches
- Disconnecting batteries and securing the cables away from contact points
Giving your boat a healthy dose of shrinkwrap can also prevent transit damage, but on large boats, this may be best left to experienced marina staff.
Frequently asked questions (faqs)
Is there a weight limit for uShip when shipping a boat?
Though larger boats and yachts can be moved by trucking companies that specialize in oversize, overweight, and heavy equipment loads, due to USDOT regulations the weight limit for standard transportation is generally about 45,000 pounds.
What are the most popular ways to ship boats?
Most boats are moved on tractor-trailers or smaller “hotshot” rigs.
Does uShip offer insurance for boat shipping?
Yes, customers can buy cargo insurance on their own, through their carrier, or from one of uShip’s third-party insurers.
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