The peaceful open sea. The exciting rush of waves. The vast blue expanse of water.
There are plenty of reasons why people like to get off dry land and go exploring in the waters of the world. That explains why more than 21 million Americans currently own a boat, and an additional 14 million are thinking about purchasing their first. Yachts, dinghies and even starter sailboats like Sunfish are popular picks among recreational boaters, and the smaller ones are easily transported atop your car or hitched to your bumper. The larger ones, however, require a bit more planning.
Imagine you’ve just purchased a brand new boat from a specialty dealer nearly 100 miles away. Once the initial excitement of the purchase has subsided, the important question pops up: Just how do you get that boat back to your home (or down to the docks where you store it)? For that, your best bet is likely to turn to a professional boat transport service.
But not all boat shipping companies are created equal. In fact, some are almost certainly better than others. So, how will you be able to tell the difference? Ask yourself these three questions.
What kinds of boats can be shipped through a transport company?
In short, all kinds. Sailboats, powerboats, catamarans and even some trimarans — as long as they’ll fit on the transport vessels. Certain shippers ship boats entirely, which allows a greater range of freedom in the type of vessel they’ll haul for you. Others are just general vehicle shipping services, meaning they move cars and trucks as well as boats, but don’t worry, never on the same carriers.
How does a boat shipping service actually move the boats?
It’s easy to ship a car, or at least easy in comparison. All you need to do is load it into the cargo bed or an enclosed carrier or drive it onto a highway vessel. With boats, however, it’s a bit of a different story. The most popular carriers are roll-on/roll-off vessels (known as ro-ros, for short). Ro-ro carriers use a system of ramps to load on the boats and other vehicles, and often these large carriers are meant to travel by water because it’s most convenient.
Car shippers always require insurance. Is marine insurance mandatory?
Boat moving is a little different than regular automobile shipping in that insurance isn’t always required — depending on the boat shipping company, of course. Some shippers are mandated to have it but others aren’t. Either way, it’s never a bad idea to protect your investment, and you should definitely be viewing a larger boat as an investment (in time, in entertainment, in future finances, etc.).
For more information on what you can expect to pay for shipping a boat, get a quote from a transport service in your area. Then, the hunt is on for the best deal around. Research more here.