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How to Choose the Right Boat Shipping Company

Surfing through boat transporters can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know what to look for when selecting a boat shipping company. After all, when every company claims to be the best, how can you be sure that any of them are reliable?

Ultimately, it’s about finding a partner who understands the value of your vessel, knows the importance of safe harboring, and has the ability to make it happen.

Here’s what you should look for in a shipping company and how to double-check them to find safe and reliable boat shipping options.


Because you care about your assets and need reliable transport for your boat, choosing the right transport company is a decision that goes beyond logistics. It’s about finding a service provider that meets specific criteria to ensure the safety, timeliness, and efficiency of transport.

So, how can you get started? Here are the essential characteristics that define a reputable boat transport company.

Licensing and compliance

Licensing and compliance are non-negotiable aspects of a professional boat transport company. They include:

Regulatory Adherence:

  • Legal Compliance: Adhering to legal requirements is fundamental. A reputable company will have all necessary licenses and comply with regulations at every level of government.
  • Certifications: Certifications from maritime authorities or industry organizations demonstrate the company’s alignment with recognized standards and best practices.

Upholding Standards:

  • Quality Assurance: A commitment to quality is vital. Look for companies with robust quality assurance processes to ensure consistent and high-level service.
  • Environmental Responsibility: A responsible company will also consider its environmental impact. Consider their commitment to sustainable practices and alignment with environmental standards to choose the best option.


In the nautical world of boat transport, selecting the right method is as crucial as knowing the right sails to hoist for a journey. Different boats and destinations require different approaches, and your choice of shipping service can significantly impact both boat shipping cost and safety.

Understanding the various shipping methods available is the key to a successful voyage, ensuring your boat arrives at its destination in the same condition it left without unnecessary expenses or delays.

Here’s an in-depth exploration of the primary types of boat shipping services, tailored to meet the unique needs of every boater:

  • Open Transport: Much like sailing under the open sky, open transport exposes your boat to the elements. It’s often the most economical option but may not be suitable for high-value or delicate vessels.
  • Enclosed Transport: Think of this as a protective cabin for your boat. Enclosed transport shields your vessel from weather and road debris, offering a higher level of security and care.
  • Flat-Rack Shipping: Flat-rack shipping provides a tailored solution for oversized or uniquely shaped boats. Your boat is secured on a flat rack, allowing for flexibility in size and shape.

boat shipping company hauling motor boat out of water


Boat transport isn’t just about moving from one place to another. Even for seasoned boat owners, it’s a financial journey that requires careful navigation.

Charting the financial course involves understanding various cost components, from size and distance to permits and insurance. Here’s a detailed look at the key factors influencing the cost of boat transport:

  • Transport Type: As discussed above, the method of transport can significantly impact the cost.
  • Distance: The nautical miles to be covered play a vital role in determining the price.
  • Boat Size & Weight: Larger and heavier boats require specialized equipment, adding to the cost.
  • Insurance: Ensuring proper protection can add to the overall expense but provides peace of mind.
  • Permits & Regulations: Compliance with legal requirements may necessitate additional fees.


Ensuring the safety of your boat during transport is essential. Whether you’re moving it across town or across the ocean, safeguarding your vessel requires careful planning and adherence to specific guidelines.

Here are some essential tips to make the journey smooth and your boat secure:

  • Proper Preparation: Secure all loose items, drain the fuel and water tanks, and disconnect batteries.
  • Insurance Verification: Ensure the transport company’s insurance covers potential damages.
  • Regular Updates: Request tracking and regular updates to monitor the journey.


International boat transport requires meticulous planning. Crossing international waters adds complexity involving customs, legal requirements, and logistical challenges, but understanding different regulations can help you navigate international boat shipping with ease.

Here’s some insight into essential considerations for a seamless and compliant experience when shipping a boat internationally:

  • Customs & Regulations: Research and compliance with relevant international laws is crucial.
  • Documentation: Prepare proper paperwork, including ownership and insurance documents.
  • Quarantine Considerations: Some countries may have specific quarantine requirements.


Choosing the right boat transport company is a critical decision that can impact the safety and integrity of your vessel. Here are essential questions to guide your choice and ensure a smooth transport experience:

  • What types of transport do you offer?
  • Can you provide references or testimonials?
  • What’s your insurance coverage?
  • How do you handle international shipping?


Choosing the right boat transport company is a voyage in itself—filled with decisions, considerations, and careful planning.

From understanding the various transport options to navigating boat shipping cost factors, count on uShip for a seamless boat shipping experience. Get Started Now!

boat shipping company with white truck hauling a boat on the road


How much does it cost to ship a boat?

The cost of boat shipping varies based on factors, including:

  • size and weight of the boat
  • distance of the shipment
  • type of trailer required
  • route

On average, shipping costs can range from a few hundred dollars for short distances to several thousand dollars for cross-country or international shipments.

How do I find a reliable boat transport company near me?

Start by creating a free listing on uShip to receive no-obligation quotes from feedback-rated boat haulers. Check reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Additionally, ask for recommendations from boat dealers, marinas, or fellow boat owners. Ensure the company is licensed, bonded, and insured.

Is boat transport covered by insurance?

Yes, reputable boat transport companies should have insurance that covers any damage during transit. However, it’s essential to verify the coverage details. Consider purchasing a uShip Protection Plan for total peace of mind.

What are the safety precautions for boat transport?

Safety precautions include:

  • Ensuring the boat is securely fastened to the trailer
  • Checking that all loose items are removed or secured inside the boat
  • Confirming the boat’s weight is within the trailer’s capacity
  • Using wide-load signs and flags if the boat’s width exceeds legal limits

Can I transport my boat internationally?

Yes, many companies specialize in international boat transport. However, it’s crucial to be aware of customs regulations, import/export duties, and other paperwork required for the destination country.

How long does it take to ship a boat?

The duration depends on the distance and route. For example, shipping a boat across the country might take a week or more, while short distances could be completed in a day.

What types of trailers are used for boat transport?

There are various trailers, including flatbed trailers, hydraulic boat trailers, and specialized boat transport trailers. The type of trailer used depends on the boat’s size and specifications.

Are there any size restrictions for boat transport?

Yes, each state or country has regulations regarding the maximum width, height, and length of loads on their roads. Oversized boats might require special permits and escorts.

How do I prepare my boat for transport?

Preparations include:

  • Removing or securing all loose items
  • Draining fuel and water tanks
  • Disconnecting batteries
  • Protecting delicate parts with padding or covers
  • Checking for and sealing any leaks

Are boat transport quotes free?

All boat shipping quotes on uShip are always free, and there’s never an obligation to book. Be sure to provide accurate details about the boat and the transport route for the most accurate estimates.

Interested in shipping a boat? Create a free listing today to explore our nationwide network of feedback-rated boat transporters.