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Things To Know About Preparing Your Boat For Safe Transportation

Boats are expensive commodities. To make sure that your boat reaches its destination intact and without any damages, it is important to thoroughly prepare your boat for travel. You can also hire a qualified boatyard to prepare for boat transport. We also advise you to get it inspected by a licensed marine surveyor before you move it. Following are the things that you need to know to prepare your boat from your end so that your boat finishes its transportation and arrives in perfect conditions.

  • Many times the boat transport company arrives early to pick-up your boat due to weather conditions or other reasons. So make sure you prepare your boat long before your transporter arrives.
  • Take time-stamped photos of your boat before dismantling anything. Make a condition report of your boat with list and photos of any problems or damages you found. This will help not only help is an assessment of your boat post travel, but also with all the photos, you will have a reference when reassembling the boat after the transport.
  • You need to choose a boatyard that has a 14′ clearance as a loading spot. This will ensure that no branches and wires interfere with your boat at the beginning of its trip.
  • Check each tire on the boat trailer for proper air pressure. The tires can blow while in transport if they are not properly inflated. Check tires for dry rot if they are old or have been sitting in the area for a long time. Using a tire with a bad rot can be unsafe. And it is much better to just replace the tire before having a transporter come out to pick up the boat. In any case, it is always good to have a spare tire.
  • Grease all the bearings on every wheel on a boat trailer. If not properly greased, the bearings may get very hot and cause the bearings to go bad which may cause the wheel to come off of the axel.
  • Your boat trailers should have proper lights. If you don’t, make sure you inform the boat movers, so they can make arrangements before they arrive.
  • Clean the boat and remove all personal items from your boat.
  • Secure and store all loose gear above and below deck.
  • Lock the cabin and keep the key with you.
  • To avoid damage, make sure there is no water in the bilge. All water systems, pumps etc are drained properly. Don’t forget to drain the fuel.
  • Do not use shrink wraps or covers, as they are likely to tear or fly off during transport.
  • Secure hatches by tying or taping them on the outside of your boat. If they leak, seal them to avoid any possible water damage and from rainwater to enter.
  • Cabin windows must be latched and taped from the outside of the boat.
  • Disconnect and secure all batteries and cables.
  • Remove any valuable electronics like radars, antennas etc and anchors from the deck.  
  • Secure them with sufficient padding and store them in the cabin. Secure windshield or Plexiglass with cargo blankets that protrudes over the flying bridge.
  • Secure large items like a dinghy or any superstructure with sufficient padding and store them on board.
  • Make sure you secure your boat to the trailer properly. Also, ask the pick-up driver to double check it just in case.
  • If you have a wooden boat, apply a coat of linseed oil to avoid drying. It is also advisable to transport wooden boats in their own custom cradle.
  • If you have a sailboat, some disassembling and rearranging may be necessary for proper transport. Make sure the mast will be secured to the trailer and not on your boat.

You need to properly prepare your boat for shipping because transporters will not be held responsible for any damages caused by your negligence including damage caused by boat coverings or shrink wrap. Make sure you consult with your boat transport company before handing over the boat to them. Don’t forget that your boat will be experiencing stronger winds, so normal travel wear and dirt from the roads are to be expected.

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