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Boat Preparation 

Below are some helpful hints to assist you in the preparation of your vessel for delivery:

This boat preparation guide was compiled to assist the boat owner in properly preparing and securing their boat for transportation over the road. Please make every effort to prepare the boat according to these guidelines. Oversee the delivery preparation yourself or have a qualified yard do so. The transport carrier cannot be responsible for damage due to improper preparation or loading by the shipper, for faulty or defective cradles, trailers, chains, binders, or other equipment provided by the shipper to secure the cargo.


The legal loaded height (boat on the trailer) for transport over the road is 13′ 6″. If you choose a marina or boatyard to which there is no clear access, the carrier cannot accept responsibility for damage caused by branches or wires. We would strongly advise that you find an alternate location for loading or delivery. Unless previously discussed, the freight amount quoted is for the legal height of 13′ 6″ loaded on the carrier’s trailer. If your boat loads higher, additional charges will be incurred.

It is the customer’s responsibility to inform hauler of any structural or cosmetic issues prior to hauling.  The driver will look for any noticeable markings or damage on the vessel prior to shipping and will take pictures and notify the customer prior to departure.  A bill of lading will be provided upon delivery of the vessel.  If the customer cannot be at the time of delivery then it will be deemed the boat was delivered in good and acceptable condition.

1. Stow all loose gear and secure. All gear stored below must be well secured. The carrier will not accept responsibility for damage caused by loose gear. Lock the cabin. YOU keep the key. DO NOT give the key to the driver. Boat gear only: we cannot ship household goods.

2. Remove any drain plugs from the hull. There should not be any water in the bilge while it is being transported. During winter months, water should be drained from water systems, pumps, air conditioners, etc.

3. Disconnect batteries and secure. Remove anchors from the deck unless they can be well secured.

4. Wooden boats can be expected to dry out. A coat of linseed oil will help. Or the boat can be soaked before transporting which helps prevent loose boards on the trip.

5. All canvas covers must be removed as they will tear or fly off during transit. If they are not removed, the carrier cannot be responsible for damages. The carrier will ship boats that are shrink-wrapped boats. However, the shrink wrap may tear or fly off in transit. We do have extra shrink wrap tape and will make every effort to repair the shrink wrap. If the shrink wrap becomes unrepairable, it will be removed to avoid damage. The carrier will not be held responsible for any damage to the boat from the shrink wrap.

6. If your boat has its own cradle, please inspect it carefully for loose bolts or weakness of any kind. If your cradle breaks in transit, causing damage to your boat, the carrier cannot accept responsibility. If you are shipping your boat on its own trailer, the carrier cannot accept responsibility should the rollers or frame cause damage, or if the trailer breaks apart, causing damage.

7. If you are shipping a dinghy on board or if you have had to remove any superstructure, these items should be well padded. DO NOT leave dinghy on davits.

8. All electronics, radar, hailers, horns, antennas, propellers, flag masts, lights, anchor lights, etc., must be removed, packed securely and securely stored below. The carrier will not be responsible if they are damaged or if they vibrate off.

9. Tie and/or tape hatches from the outside. The carrier cannot be responsible for the damage they may cause if they blow off in transit or for damage to the boat caused by rainwater if a hatch blows off.

10. If the hatches leak, seal them. A boat will not sit in the same position on the carrier’s trailer as it does in the water and the carrier cannot be responsible for rainwater entering through a leaky hatch or deck.

11. Cabin windows should be latched and taped from the outside if large and unstable.

12. All windshields and/or Plexiglas that protrude over the flying bridge should be removed, packed with a cargo blanket and should be well secured below. The carrier will not be responsible for any damage that occurs if they are not removed and properly packed and secured.

13. All rigging, winches, wind indicators, and lights must be removed from the mast. Carpet should be provided for the mast at the points of tie down. The carrier will not pay to repaint masts if chafing occurs. Do not secure the mast to the boat, as the mast will be secured in a mast rack on the side of the carrier’s trailer.  Please read our full mast preparation tips by clicking here.

If when discussed with hauler the mast is to be secured on the top of the boat, it is the customer’s responsibility to make sure that the mast will not move.  It should be secured side to side and front and back. Hauler will make sure that the mast is tight before trucking. However, it is not hauler’s responsibility to lash it down entirely unless the customer has requested hauler to do so at an additional cost.

Lifelines, stanchions, bow and stern pulpits should be removed if they render the boat over height, generally over 12′ keel to the highest point not on the carrier’s trailer.

14. On centerboard sailboats, make sure the board is secured and will stay up in transit. Keel sailboats may expect some separation where the keel joins the hull. This is not structural damage, but rather is the paint or filler cracking at the joint. Light built or racing sailboats can expect some hull indentation from the support pads. These indentations generally disappear when the boat is returned to the water.

15. Remove all propellers, flag masts, lights, outriggers, antennas, etc.

16. If your powerboat is low enough to ship with the flying bridge on, remove all lights, wheels, masts, and windshields that protrude over the bridge. All Plexiglas should be removed and packed below with a cargo blanket. If your powerboat is not low enough to ship with the flying bridge on, you will have to have a cradle built for the bridge to be shipped in on the forward deck or cockpit area.

Every point touching the deck or rails must be sufficiently padded. Remove all electronics and valuable items from the bridge, pack securely, and store below.

If you have any questions, Please call us toll free at 1-800-513-2936 or email us here.

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