Transporting a boat from one location to another can be a very tiring process, most especially for new buyers. Are you moving to a new location and looking for a way to move your boat to your new destination? Or you just acquired one and needed to be shipped to your preferred place? Hiring a reliable shipping company is the best option to ship a boat without having issues.
A boat is very expensive, and such valuable investment requires special attention during shipping, especially if the owner doesn’t have a trailer or truck that can be used to transport it. The purpose of designing boat transportation services is to help boat owners move their boats safely and effectively. All you need to do is to identify and choose the best company for your boat shipping.
However, deciding on which auto transport service to choose for your boat shipping is a very difficult task because there are many tensions associated with leaving your boat to the hands of someone you don’t know. Moving Feedback’s experts took their time to research the best boat shipping companies in the country and have come up with much-needed pieces of information on all you should know before you embark on the task. Let’s dive into it!
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Boat Shipping Company
It is important to carefully vet all the shipping companies that come your way while choosing the best for your shipment. The best company that will provide quality service at a reasonable cost should be figured out after your proper vetting. Remember, you can move your boat or yacht to the desired destination, either through the land, road, or sea.
Boat shipping companies offer transport services to ship boat from one location to another. Each shipping companies have their method of delivering satisfactory service. Some of these shipping companies may meet up with the standard requirement, while others may be struggling to meet up with the industry standard. Consider the tips discussed below to find the right shipping company for your boat and yacht shipping.
How Legitimate is the Company? Check its License Status
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reported an increase in fraudulent activities being perpetrated by small online-based auto transport brokerage firms. Both auto transport brokers and vehicle transport companies are required by law to register with and be authorized by the FMCSA.
The license of any company you are looking to hire can be verified using the USDOT number of the company on the Department of Transportation FMCSA Licensing and Insurance webpage. You can also confirm if the company is a member of any of the organization listed below:
- AHAA (Auto Haulers of America Association)
- NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies)
- State transportation authorities
- The auto transporters section of the American Trucking Association
Although being a member of a professional organization doesn’t guarantee that a company is offering quality service, however, most of these professional organizations mandate it for members to follow quality practices, laid down rules and as well as guidelines.
How reliable is the Company?
The ability of your prospective boat shipping company to deliver based on the agreement is very important. You want to avoid being trapped in the process before your watercraft is delivered to you. Go through the work history of the shipping companies.
Make sure you chose a company with consistency in service delivery for many years. Read other reviews from previous customers and confirm that you are with the right company for your job before you engage them with your needs.
How secure is your Boat? Check if the Company is insured
You can’t afford to take any risk considering how valuable the property to be shipped is to you. Research and determine the type of insurance the company has in place. There might be an accident or damage on the move. You have to prepare for such an occurrence.
It is better to be fully ready and covered for any unexpected event. The insurance provided by the company should be enough to handle any damages that might occur during the process. Make sure you find out the amount of insurance provided.
What about Delivery and Pick-up Arrangements?
When working with a boat shipping company, it is important to take note of the pick-up and delivery date. Any company that doesn’t keep to their words on these arrangements with previous customers should be avoided.
Pricing, Pricing, Pricing
Most people can’t wait to see what the prices look like. Most people generally look for less expensive and affordable service. In this wise, getting a suitable shipping quote should be prioritized. If the shipping company offers you an acceptable quote for the service, it should be checked if it would be perfect for your task.
Contact the company to get the quote and have an idea of how the service and the cost before you run out of time.
Estimated Transport Rates
Below are the questions you should ask after you might have evaluated your needs and get a shipping quote from a shipping company:
- Is there a guarantee on the price?
- Are the fees and insurance covered in the quote?
- What are the factors that could cause an increase in price?
- Who is accepting the payment, and what are the acceptable payment methods?
Compare Boat Shipping Quotes
You need to prepare your boat before you can transport it. To receive an accurate shipping quote, you will need to provide some info about your shipment. A critical factor of note for an accurate quote is to know the actual size of the boat.
The length, beam, and height of the boat must be measured appropriately to get an accurate quote. You will be asked by boat shipping companies to remove Snap-On canvas covers from your boat and store them away because it can come off or get damaged at any time while in transit.
Other Considerations for choosing Boat Shipping Companies
You generally want shipping company that:
- Has tracking services: You are certainly looking to track your boat without the help of a shipping company. Confirm the reliability of any shipping company’s tracking device before you decide to go with them. It would be advantageous to hire the service of a shipping company that has satellite tracking services due to the rise in technology. However, many companies have dedicated system that helps to track shipment.
- Communicates clearly: The steps required in shipping a boat are many. There must be clear and efficient communication between you and the shipping company, so you can understand the process.
- Good reviews: Research any shipping company you are looking to hire. Generally, one of the best ways to determine the reliability of a shipping company is by reading online reviews. Just be careful as customer’s words sometimes cannot be relied on. There are doctored online reviews — search online review sites for further information about any company of interest.
- Area of operation: A reliable shipping company will transport your boat to the specified destination comfortably. This will show that the shipping company is not difficult to be reached and they will work based on the information you supplied. It also implies that your watercraft will get to its destination without delay. Make sure your shipper offers international shipping if you are shipping to another country.
- Has shown its financial growth: Its financial stability can also determine the reliability of a company. Research the company’s financial reports to see if it indicates growth or not. Some companies become a leader in the shipping industry just after few years of operation. A stable and reliable company will not involve itself in any shady deals.
Top Boat Shipping Companies
Now that you have understood what it means for a company to be reliable, we have taken our time to prepare you a list of some best and top-rated shipping companies. You can get the data from the FMCSA. We hope this list guides you on your quest to hire a reliable boat shipper.
Below are our top picks for reliable boat shipping companies:
Overall Rating 4.9 / 5
This company is more than a regular car transporter. uShip is a marketplace for vehicle transporting. It helps customers to locate different types of carriers that will help them transport any of their items. uShip, unlike many other shipping companies on our list, is not a broker.
The marketplace will not handle the work of finding a shipper and scheduling shipping details for you. The only thing it will do for you is to post your shipping needs on its marketplace and fetch your carriers to start bidding for your job.
Some people think it is easier to use a broker than uShip. However, for people looking to ship on a slim budget, this shipping marketplace is the best option for you to make a comparison of price.
Although it sounds complicated, uShip is still a great option to use. All you need to do is supply your shipment details on the website, and you will get instant offers from different carriers. Booking can also be made immediately you decide on a carrier.
2. We Will Transport It
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
This company specializes majorly in shipping boats of different shapes and sizes anywhere within the United States (including Alaska, Costa Rica, Virgin Islands, and Hawaii). Transporting a boat requires information such as full measurement of its dimensions (length, height, weight, and widths), pickup, and delivery locations.
We Will Transport It will determine the exact carrier, best routes, equipment, and other requirements for the shipping if it is to be done by land.
The company is known since 2009 to providing heavy load transportation for customers. Their specialization is on transport services of such as RV Transport, Auto Transport, Boat Transport, Motorcycle Transport, and so on.
The company has many licensed and insured partners, which allow them to provide different quotes to customers so they can choose the one that perfectly suits their needs and budget.
Overall Rating 4.7 / 5
This company is also known as Showroom Transport and has been in the boat shipping business since 1994. It provides services across the country. The company is insured, licensed with the government, and bonded. Boatmovers.com provides consumers with a guide on how to prepare their boats for long-distance shipping.
How to check bearings, securing the shipment and removing any attachments on the boat are all included in the guide.
The company provides customers with a shipping quote after they might have supplied information like the distance, the routes, and the size of the boat. Boatmovers.com is ready to ship a boat on a trailer or provide a trailer for a boat that has no trailer.
Wave Runner, Jet Ski, trailers, and Sea-Doo are also part of what the company transports.
4. Boat Express
Overall Rating 4.7 / 5
This is one of the biggest water transportation companies available in the US, Canada, and Mexico. It is very easy to get an instant shipping quote. Boat Express only requires a short description of the consumer’s boat size and route, and then the company offers them an instant quote.
The shipping quotes can be requested either via the phone or online. The company also provides an online guide to the consumer on how to prepare boats for shipping.
The instruction is not only for the boat, but it also includes how to prepare sailboats and dinghies. Boat Express provides the consumer with custom cradles for their boats when required. Consumers can request cradles up to 80ft length, which is made of steel or wood.
There is also the availability of a complete guide on measurement, which helps customers to determine the amount of space that their boat will occupy during transportation.
5. Joule Yacht Transport
Overall Rating 4.7 / 5
This company has been in existence since 1954. Joule Yacht Transport specializes in shipping large-size boats within the country. Adaptable trailers are made to fit any transportation job are being used by the company.
Fabricators that can help modify a trailer or build a new trailer to fit the customer’s boat perfectly are also available on their payroll. To make sure there is protection on overland shipping, the company ensures it insures each job for $2,000,000.
They will provide you with their insurance certificate whenever you request. There are many useful links to shipyards, dealers, and manufacturers on the company’s website. The links are useful for first-time boat buyers that need a harbor or bay to pack their boat.
This company provides a complete guide and checklist for those looking to transport their boats. You can download the guides from Joule yacht Transport’s website.
6. Express Boat Transport
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
Express Boat Transport has been in the business since 1998, providing both overseas and land shipping services for boats and other related items. The company has international shipping partners that help them ship items overseas.
The company also provides consumers with free shipping quotes. The consumer will be sent a shipping quote for their boat after they might have submitted the required information online or via the company’s toll-free phone line.
Cradle might be required for shipping boats internationally. Custom cradle and shrink wrap services are also available with Express Boat Transport for consumers who are looking to protect their boats extensively. This company is best for people looking to ship their boats within or outside the company.
7. Peters & May Group
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
Call: 754 263 3001
This company has provided logistics solutions on transportation on land, sea, air, and railroad since 1988. The company has delivered more than 8,000 sailboats, powerboats, yachts, and other watercraft via different means of transportation.
Peters and May provides customers with different options to choose from when it comes to choosing the preferred transportation means for shipping their boat. The company uses any suitable means on the sea to ship large boats and yachts. Peters and May also has submersible vessels, liner vessels, and charter vessels available to help consumers ship their boats upon request.
The company has its location in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Turkey, China, and other countries, making the company grow every day internationally.
It provides updated advice on transportation and trade via its customs advisory team and Value-added tax (VAT) based on the many experiences they have on international trade. To ship highly expensive boats internationally, Peters & May is the best choice for you.
8. Sevenstar Yacht Transport
Overall Rating 4.7 / 5
Sevenstar Yacht Transport offers international service and has offices around the world. The company operates under Spliethoff Group that owns more than 120 shipping vessels of different sizes. Sevenstar can use the ships in this fleet. The international services offered by Sevenstar enables them to transport both used and new yachts from anywhere in the world.
The company understands the need for custom requirements to simplify international shipping for customers as the majority of best deals on boats and yachts are found in international markets.
All the quotes being offered to the consumer by Sevenstar contains All Risk insurance. The company has partnered with other companies like Hogan & Murray Inc., Pantaenius, and Naucsch to provide insurance and other extra-legal liability insurance. You can feel free to trust the Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics crew as your racing partner.
They provide consumers an effective plan for their needs and also support them fully amidst racing events. Yacht owners looking to ship their vessels over long distances are encouraged to proceed with Sevenstar Yacht Transport.
9. Interstate Haulers
Overall Rating 4.6 / 5
This company is owned by a family and has been in the business of shipping boats and other vehicles across the nation since 1997. Interstate Haulers are also into freight and RV transports aside its main specialization on boat shipping. The company transport sailboats, powerboats, small boats, and yachts.
The company’s website contains pages specially designed for each type of boat as well as a list of things consumers should consider when preparing for transport.
Interstate Haulers promises consumers that there will be no hidden fee provided that the information they provide while requesting for a shipping quote via the phone or online is correct.
The company centers its operation on customer service and directness, knowing how hard transporting boats can be. Their employees are professionals, and they are always available to provide you with answers. Consumers looking to ship their watercraft across the country are encouraged to do so with Interstate Haulers.
10. Dockwise Yacht Transportation
Overall Rating 4.6 / 5
Call: 954 525 8707
While the company’s headquarters is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dockwise Yacht Transportation was established in 1987. The company transports yachts to the south Pacific, Australia, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the US, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean inclusive. Customers must have the required custom forms in place before they can ship internationally.
The company’s reps meet with customers to ensure they have the requirements ready to kick-start the shipping process. Dockwise Yacht Transportation makes use of a float on/float off service to load watercraft in a carrier that is partially submerged in the water.
After loading the yachts on the carrier, the carrier then comes out of the water to ensure the yachts stay dry all through the move. Before unloading the cargo, the carrier will submerge again.
There is insurance coverage available against any loss or damage to the yachts during shipping. The liability insurance on the yachts is up to $10,000,000. The deductible for physical damage is $5,000. Free shipping quotes and schedules are available for potential consumers online. The company is perfect for yacht purchasers, vacationers, owners, and traders.
FAQs about Boat Shipping Companies
The process involved in deciding which shipping company to choose is very tedious, and we understand the fact that some questions require an answer before you make this important decision. You will find some answers provided to most questions asked by people like you looking to ship their boats.
For better understanding, the questions and answers are divided into three aspects, which include commercial boat transport, voyage insurance, and operational boat transport. We are always ready to provide you with adequate information to aid you in making the right choice for your shipping needs. Find answers to the following frequently asked questions:
When should I expect to be notified of the pickup of my boat?
A pick-up order containing the name of the trucking company that will pick up your boat will be sent to you by the shipping company. The harbor, date, and time will also be communicated to you.
What preparation should I make for my boat before pickup?
Make sure you prepare your boat very well, securing everything on it. Kindly check our article on how to prepare your boat for shipping for more information.
What is the required fuel level?
Make sure your fuel tank contains fuel but not to be filled up. Boat shippers do not allow fuel in jerry cans on the voyage. There is a need for the boat to be as light as possible while loading.
Can you help me find a captain to load or unload my boat?
No, kindly arrange for this personally if you are shipping your boat to ship side across the water.
What is the transit duration, and how will I get notified of my boat’s arrival?
The shipping company will notify you of your boat’s arrival a few days in advance and will provide you with the necessary shipping documents required for clearing your boat at the destination port if not door-to-door delivery.
Is there hidden cost not covered by the freight for boat shipping?
The shipping of your boat is included in the rate given to you by boat shipping company. However, you may be charged additional port fees and/or taxes at the destination port for customs. Kindly contact your customs agent for further information on this.
How much does it cost to ship a boat?
The actors that determine the shipping cost of a boat include the size and the distance to be traveled. Pricing is between $1 up and not more than $3 per mile. Shipping companies will provide you with instant shipping quotes after you supply accurate information. You can as well get an online or over-the-phone shipping quote if you have your boat’s accurate measurement.
Cost, reliability, and your personal needs are the major things to consider when deciding on which shipping company to hire. In actual sense, the cost of service will be determined by your shipping needs. The companies discussed in this guide are vetted thoroughly by our partners, and they also work with other experts to provide consumers with valuable information to help them make the right decisions. Have you used any of them before? Share your experience in the comment box!