How to Ship Boats - Customer Guide


Thanks to uShip, there are no limits to the adventures you can take with your trusty boat. Whether you're shipping a powerboat or a sailboat, we make booking transportation a breeze. Just follow these steps for a successful experience.

Before You Book

Start planning your boat shipment at least a month in advance. You'll need time to research and purchase a trailer, and prepare your boat for transport.

Choose the best carrier - not the cheapest. It's tempting to go with your lowest quote price, but when it comes to your boat, you really want to make sure the company you hire is specialized and experienced.

Provide accurate measurements for an accurate estimate. Your carrier will include all necessary equipment and fees within their quote. Incorrect measurements could lead to an increase in these fees at pickup, or a last minute cancellation.

Create a fully detailed listing. Mention any special requirements. Be sure to provide instructions for the pickup and delivery locations. Include plenty of photos. Take note of any pre-existing damages.

Choose a carrier with cargo insurance. In addition, uShip offers the uShip Protection Plan, available for purchase at checkout through our secure payments system. Read about how the uShip Protection Plan works to protect your boat shipment. It's important to note that the uShip Protection Plan will not cover damages caused to the trailer, or to the boat by the trailer. The quality of your trailer is of utmost importance.


After You Book

If dismantling anything on your boat, take photos. These will become a helpful reference when reassembling the boat after transport.

Clean your boat's exterior and inspect for damages. It's important to have dated photos of the boat's condition prior to pickup. These will come in handy, in the unlikely event of a damages dispute.

Protect your boat from the elements. Close and secure hatches by tying or taping them, and seal leaky hatches to avoid any possible water damage. Latch and tape cabin windows from the outside. Drain all fuel and water tanks, and remove any drain plugs from the hull. If transport is during the winter, all water systems, pumps, and air conditioners should be drained of water.

Secure all loose items. Most carriers don't allow loose items within the boat, as it's a safety hazard. By failing to secure your property, you are liable for damages. Remove any external accessories or anything protruding past the hull. These items must be securely padded, packed, and stored below.

Be mindful of height. Make sure your marina or boatyard has a loading spot with a 14' clearance. If your boat has a radar arch or fly-bridge causing it to load out higher than 13 ' and 6", they'll need to be removed, padded, and secured to the boat.

Know what to expect from your carrier. Get in contact with your carrier right away to hash out details of the trip.

Review your carrier's insurance coverage before handing over your boat. You may even request your own personal copy of the insurance certificate. Review the details of the policy, and ask any questions you may have prior to shipping.

Protect your boat against theft. It's reasonable to assume that if you you do your research and book with a quality carrier on our site, theft won't be an issue. However, we do live in an imperfect world, so it's important to know how to protect yourself. Most protection plans will cover theft. Double check to be sure.

Prepare your boat for transport. Consult your marina for specific instructions.  Disconnect batteries, and secure cables away to prevent contact. Remove valuable electronics and anchors from the deck. Pad and secure cabin items, dinghies, windshields, and all protruding plexiglass.  Lock the cabin and secure the key during travel. If you cannot prepare the boat yourself, you can have a qualified boat yard do so. It is also advised that you have it inspected by a licensed marine surveyor.

When preparing a sailboat, note that the keel will often give the appearance of some separation from the hull, but keep in mind this is just minor cracking in the paint or sealant. Secure your mast to the trailer, not on top of the boat. Pad with carpet to help avoid paint scratches caused by chafing from road vibrations.

When preparing a wooden boat, protect it against drying out by coating it with linseed oil. Consider transporting in a custom cradle to spread the weight properly.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to continue perusing our Help Center or contact our Member Support team by clicking here.

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