Boat Transportation

Post by: Dee White
02 October 2012

Access to a reliable transportation service is essential for private boat owners and boat businesses that need to deliver boats to new sailing areas, new owners, boat yards, docks and exhibitions. If you are trusting your precious boat and equipment to a company that are transporting it by sea, road or freight, you need to be sure that you are dealing with a specialist organisation. These companies need to be expert in managing all the logistics involved with boat transportation, including insurance, travel schedules, escorts and police or local authority permissions, while maintaining a tailor-made package which suits you and your boat at the same time. Capabilities should include several options to providing the safest, efficient and most cost effective way of moving your vessel.

What will you have to do to prepare your boat for transportation? Here are some of the many things to consider. Make sure you are aware of what the transport company will take care of and what you will be expected to do:-

  • Oversee the preparation of your boat yourself, or have a qualified yard do so. The carrier will not be responsible for damage caused by improper preparation. The condition of your boat will be noted at the start and end of its journey and you will normally be expected to sign this report.
  • Remove anything that is loose or hangs freely, both externally and internally, such as boat covers, spray hoods, fenders and warps.
  • Disconnect gas bottles and batteries.
  • Drain water and fuel tanks and make sure there is no water in the bilges. During winter months you will probably have to drain water from water systems pumps and air conditioners.
  • Windows and hatches should be secured, taped from the outside and sealed if they leak.
  • Find out about loaded height restrictions and check whether you need to remove things like aerials, lights, navigation masts etc.
  • Find out whether windscreens, props, rudders etc. need to be removed.
  • Find out about cranage of the vessel, on and off trailers, at collection and destination points; whether it should be arranged by you (the boat owner), or the transport company.
  • Make sure that all your paper work such as SSR insurance and VAT documentation, are given to the driver.
  • Discuss with your transport company the possibility of sheeting the vessel in order to protect it from spray, if it is going by road.
  • Make sure that the transport company is fully aware of rules and regulations in the other countries they are transporting to.

How do you choose?

There are many specialist boat transportation companies with comprehensive websites. Here you can provide details of your boat, its dimensions and details such as the start point and destination of its journey. They will then be able to provide you with a quotation. Not all transport companies are comprehensively insured with an All Risks Policy, so be sure that you find out exactly what the various insurances involve. Do make sure that you talk to the company, read carefully everything they claim to provide, including all the small print and don't necessarily go for the cheapest option. When you are trusting them with something as precious and valuable as your boat, you need to have complete confidence that your boat will arrive safely, in perfect condition and on time.

Here are a selection of Boat Transportation companies to help get you started.

Author – Dee White

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