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How to Measure Your Boat for Transport

The cost of boat and sailboat transportation is partially determined by the measurements of your boat loaded on the trailer, so it is very important that you provide accurate dimensions when hiring a transporter. It’s best to measure your boat even if you have the manufacturing information from the owner’s manual.

  • Overall Length is measured from the tip of the bow to the center of the stern. Include bow pulpits, swim platforms, motor brackets and the length of the motors, or out drives in the raised position.
  • Overall Height is measured from the bottom of the keel to the highest non-removable part of the boat.
  • Beam is measured from the widest point of the boat, including the rub-rail.

The legal loaded height of your boat is required to be at or under 13’6″. If this is not possible, expert transporters can offer alternative choices which will require travel on non-interstate routes. If your boat is over 8’6″ wide, it will require an oversize load permit to be transported. A boat sized over 12′ wide will require a certified escort which will also add to your hauling charges.

Measuring for Sailboat Transport

If you are looking into sailboat transport, know that sailboats are slightly more complicated to measure, because the sails and boom need to be disassembled to fit height requirements. Also, talk with your sailboat transportation service provider about loading, as the keel may conflict with the structure of their trailer.

Content updated March 26, 2019