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We know when it comes to shipping your boat, you want the safest transport at the best rate. With uShip, you can find just that! We'll help you figure out how to transport a boat, help you find reliable transporters at the best rates, and give you tips on preparing your boat for transport. If the waters get choppy, we're here to navigate you back on course with your boat transport.

Through uShip, you can talk to boat transporters directly, read ratings and reviews, see transport history, and get rates, all in one stop. Create your listing with the needs of your shipment, the make and model of your boat, and be as detailed as possible. Once you've completed your shipment listing, transporters who specialize in boat hauling will start sending you quotes as they compete for your business.

Contact us before, during, or after your shipment for support.

Pick up truck hauling a boat

How to Prepare a Boat for Shipping

There are a couple of things you can do to prepare your boat for shipping and ensure a successful boat transport. This includes securing any loose items and taking precautions to avoid travel damage. Before dismantling anything on your boat, take photos so that you have something to reference when reassembling the boat after the transport. Then, remove all personal items from your boat. Clean your boat’s exterior and inspect for any damages. It is also advised that you have it inspected by a licensed marine surveyor.

  • 1. Pick a loading spot that has a 14' clearance.
  • 2. Secure all loose gear above and below deck.
  • 3. Close and secure any hatches; seal them to avoid any possible water damage.
  • 4. Cabin windows also need to be latched and taped from the outside.
  • 5. Drain all fuel and water tanks and remove any drain plugs from the hull.
  • 6. Disconnect batteries, and secure the cables away from it to prevent any contact.
  • 7. Measure your boat accurately to ensure it is within the legal loaded height.

How to Measure Your Boat

Providing the correct measurements for your boat will ensure you get safe boat transportation. We advise manually measuring 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 slower 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.

Power boat in transport

How to Choose a Boat Trailer

Communicate with your service provider about boat transport trailer options, as they will need to know how you want your boat to be transported. You can have your boat transported on its own trailer, however most companies can provide one for you.

  • Your Own Trailer: If you use your own trailer or cradle, you must take full responsibility of any damage or mishaps that may occur as a result of your trailer not being fit for transport. Be sure to inspect your trailer thoroughly, checking the securing devices, lights and tires. Note: It is suggested that wooden boats be transported in their own custom cradle, because these are made to spread the boat’s weight properly.
  • The Carrier’s Trailer: If using one of the transporter’s boat trailers, discuss with them any specific details they may need you to comply with. Provide your transporter with accurate dimensions of your boat. The transporter will also inform you about how they will load and unload your boat. Research and inform yourself about the different options of boat trailers there are, as you may end up picking one company over another based on the boat trailer transport they offer.


Domestic boat shipping is the act of transporting a boat within the same nation. In regard to the U.S, this can be city to city or state to state transportation. Furthermore, when transporting a boat domestically, the most likely method will be through inland transportation. Depending on which state your shipment is coming from, there are a range of domestic boat shipping options available.

Below are several factors to keep in mind when deciding to ship your boat domestically:

  • Type of carrier needed for pickup and delivery.
  • The most effective route.
  • Required permits and insurance depending on state.
  • Equipment needed during pickup and delivery.
  • Weather during transportation
Boating competition

How to Ship Your Boat Internationally

When planning to ship your boat overseas, there are a couple different options to explore:

  • Roll-on/Roll-off: Also called “RO/RO”, your boat stays on a trailer (either your own or the carrier’s) for the entire trip. This is the most common option in international boat shipping. To reduce the overall height and volume of your boat remember to remove or lower booms, antennas, and radar towers. This will greatly reduce costs as the shipping companies will usually measure the overall height including the trailer.
  • Enclosed Container: Most large shipping vessels carry these containers. You may want to choose this option if your boat fits within the standard dimensions (40’ long, 7’10” high, 7’8” wide). Containerized services are usually much less expensive than RO/RO, but the height requirement includes any trailer height as well. Make sure to ask carriers about different containerized options available.
  • Flat Rack: Typically used for oversized boats. A boat is shipped in its own custom cradle, strapped into the flat rack, and secured to the vessel. It is highly recommended that items such as arches or the bridge be removed and safely secured. By removing bulking items you can save hundreds of dollars on your freight.
  • Submersion: Your boat is loaded and unloaded directly from the water.

Whenever shipping anything overseas, make sure to prepare any legal and customs documents ahead of time. A good place to start would be with the foreign embassies or consulates in the country to which you are transporting your boat for more information about proper documentation. By investigating and following the correct registration procedures you will save yourself from undue stress, wasted time and any potential hazards.

Winterizing your boat before shipping is highly recommended. Failure to do so can result in ruined engines and interior damage. Shrink wrapping is an option that is highly valued for keeping your boat clean and safe, and can also provide a level of deterrence and safety while your boat is in transit. It is also a good idea to ship your valuable electronic components separately so they do not get “lost” during shipping.

As always, make sure you are comfortable with your shipper. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about transporting your boat or asking for advice on how to best ship your boat internationally. Most carriers have decades of experience and can guide you to the cheapest, safest way to ship your boat overseas.

How to Transport a Boat on uShip

Navigating your boat shipment is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1 | Create Your Shipment Listing

When creating your listing, the first thing you'll want to know is your shipping needs and your budget. Consider your timeframe and communicate whether your boat will be on its own trailer or if it will need to go on the carrier's trailer. When you're listing your shipment, you will need to know the measurements of your boat. The needs of boat transportation are partially determined by the measurements of your boat, so it is very important that the dimensions are accurate in your shipment listing.

Boat in ocean with people on it and a raft behind it
Black SUV hauling a boat

2 | Get the Best Boat Transporting Company

After you've got your listing up in the uShip marketplace, boat haulers will start sending you quotes as they compete for your business. Get to know the carriers by asking them questions in response to their quote and reviewing their carrier profiles.

Each carrier on uShip has their carrier profile with transport history, safety records and customer-rated feedback. See the kinds of experiences previous customers have had with the transporters and review previous shipments completed through uShip. Most carriers also provide photos of their equipment. We encourage you to use these profiles to feel confident you're choosing the most reliable boat transportation.

3 | Boat Transport and Delivery

Once you have selected a transporter, you'll receive their contact information so you can reach out and discuss any additional details, questions or concerns directly with your boat hauler. Set up a good meeting place for pick up and delivery and share contact information for any third parties or marinas involved. Have payment ready at the agreed upon time and let us know if you run into any issues.

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Sailboats on the water

How Much Does Boat Transportation Cost?

The cost for boat transportation depends on the distance and the needs for your boat to be safely transported. The average cost is around $600 to $1,000 for longer hauls and $150 to $350 for shorter distance transport.

For a closer look at what it might cost to transport your boat, take a look at uShip's cost to ship boats index. There, you can view shipments like yours that have been completed through the uShip marketplace. This will also give you a good idea of how we work.

Boat Transportation Insurance

Review your chosen transporter's insurance coverage before you hand over your boat. We also recommend obtaining your own coverage for added protection for your boat. Visit the uShip Cargo Insurance page to learn more about how cargo insurance works to protect you.

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