Boat Transport and Hauling
We understand that you may have some questions when you are shipping a boat. Check out Express Auto Transport’s frequently asked questions about boat transport and hauling. How far in advance should I schedule the transport of my boat?What is the height restriction on shipping a boat?How much will it cost to ship my boat?How long does it take to transport a boat?Is Express Auto Transport insured?Should covers be removed?What should happen with cradles and trailers?Can I ship Dinghies?How do I place my order?How do I pay for services?What happens after I place the order?What steps are involved in shipping my boat?Are there special requirements for sailboats?Are there special requirements for powerboats?What happens if I'm not available when the truck comes to pick up or deliver the boat?Where will my boat be picked up and delivered?
How far in advance should I schedule the transport of my boat?
If you are shipping a boat, we recommend that you schedule your move as soon as possible to insure that your boat is moved within the time frame which best meets your schedule. Traditionally, we are able to have a truck assigned and on its way to pick-up your boat 1 to 7 days from the date the boat is first available for pick-up.
If your boat is available for pick-up immediately, we will work with you on getting your boat scheduled as close to the preferred date as possible. It is helpful when orders are submitted 5 to10 days in advance of the available date. About 75% of our customers place orders with a first available date for pick-up of today. Scheduling your order in advance is helpful however not necessary for a successful relocation.
Pick-up dates and delivery times are not guaranteed. Guaranteed and immediate pick-ups are available at an additional cost.
What is the height restriction on shipping a boat?
The legal height for transporting boats on the road is 13'6" high. That means when we get the boat on our trailer that is what the overall height is. Usually, if the boat height is 12' we are within the legal height limitations. If you choose a marina or boatyard to which there is no clear access, the carrier cannot accept responsibility for damage caused by branches or wires. The larger the boat, the more clearance required. Boats that are over 8'6 wide are considered an "oversize load" and will require permits to be transported in every state. Boats that are over 12' wide may require a "certified escort". These permits will be obtained by us during transport and run from $20 to $60 per state that we haul through and are ordered the day of your transport (they expire after 7 days). Upon delivery our driver will provide you with the amount owed for obtaining the permits for reimbursement. If we are re-routed by the state when obtaining permits you will incur extra charges this ONLY happens when there are road construction detours that will not allow your boat to go on that particular road. When we are re-directed it adds additional mileage to the trip and you will be charged per mile over and above the mileage quoted in your contract.
How much will it cost to ship my boat?
Our Boat Transport Specialists are trained to ask the right questions which pertain to your move. They will review your quote request so we can accurately price your boat transport and hauling. Pricing your boat transport is determined by a few factors. The origin, destination, vehicle size, and the level of service desired. These all play a part in how your boat is quoted. Quoting a competitive price can be complicated. We need to make sure we have factored enough money in the move so the truck can be paid competitively. If two or more boats are in the same route the dispatchers will generally load the boat that pays the most first. So not paying enough for the move can be a factor in the length of time it takes to transport your boat.
In addition to making sure we quote enough for your move we don't want to charge you more than necessary to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. Generally, we run around 89 to 90% of our boats being assigned in 1 to 7 days. Of the 10 or 11% remaining many are assigned shortly after the 7day mark with some extra effort from the dispatch department. There are a small amount of orders, despite our best efforts, that will not dispatch for the initial quoted price. Your Customer Service Representative will work closely with you to discuss what may be needed if your boat has not been assigned to a truck in our standard time frames.
How long does it take to transport a boat?
There are two major factors in determining how long your boat transport will take for delivery. First is the distance between pick-up and delivery. Typically the longer the distance for the transport the longer it will take the driver to deliver the vehicle. In addition to the distance, the number of stops the driver will have to make will also play a factor in the delivery time. Unexpected delays can be caused by traffic conditions, weather conditions, and roadway conditions; rare mechanical problems can also add time to the delivery. There are many State and Federal regulations that our drivers must comply with. These regulations include restrictions on the amount of daily and weekly time the drivers can log as on duty and driving. Additionally the drivers are required to conduct daily truck safety inspections and do routine maintenance as needed.
On average, shipping a boat up to 500 miles will take 1 to 3 days - 1,000 miles will take 2 to 5 days - 2,000 miles will take 4 to 8 days, and coast to coast will range from 7 to 14 days with 10 days being close to the average. Please remember these are just estimated times for delivery. Our Dispatch Department will try to provide an accurate estimate of delivery as the truck assignment is made.
Pick-up dates and delivery times are not guaranteed. Guaranteed and immediate pick-ups are available at an additional cost.
Is Express Auto Transport insured?
Yes. Our insurance covers $1,000,000 trucking liability, a $1,000,000 general liability, and cargo insurance that will protect your boat up to the limit equal to the value of the vehicle. Standard insurance practices determine the value of your boat- just as if it were damaged in a accident. – is this applicable to boats?
If your boat is of unique value it is recommended that a reputable company appraise the craft prior to shipping it.
In the event we use an agent to assist with your boat transport and hauling, we verify that all agents have an active insurance policy with acceptable coverage. In addition to verification, it is our policy to have agents name Express Auto Transport to their trucking policy as a certificate holder. This ensures advance notice in the event an agent's insurance policy changes status. This certificate comes from the insurance agent's office, not from the independent contractor.
The amount of cargo insurance needed depends on the size and type of the equipment. The contractor pays any policy deductibles. Our customers will never have any deductible charges in the unlikely event of boat damage; assuming the claim has been validated. If boat damage is sustained, Express Auto Transport will protect the customer and their property. We will act as liaison during the settlement of any valid claim.
Should covers be removed?
All canvas covers, tops and side curtains must be removed as they will tear or fly off during transit this can cause cracks and scratches to the boat during shipment. If they are not removed, the carrier cannot be responsible for damages. The carrier will ship shrink-wrapped boats; however the shrink wrap may tear or fly off in transit. The carriers do carry extra shrink wrap tape and every effort will be made to repair the shrink wrap, however, if the shrink wrap becomes unrepairable, it will be removed to avoid damage from the shrink wrap beating against the boat. Please make sure the covers or tarps are removed, we will not assume responsibility for canvas covers, or tops which remain topside during shipment. The carrier will not be held responsible for any damage due to coverings or torn shrink wrappings.
What should happen with Cradles and Trailers?
If your boat has its own cradle, please inspect it carefully for loose bolts or weakness of any kind. If your cradle breaks in transit, causing damage to your boat, the carrier cannot accept responsibility. If you are shipping your boat on its own trailer service or replace the wheel bearings, check tires for proper inflation and make sure the tread is sufficient and that there are no cracks, bubbles or gouges in the rubber. Check the lighting system and make sure wires are in good condition. If repairs need to be made, have them done well in advance of the scheduled pick up date. The carrier cannot accept responsibility should the trailer rollers or frame cause damage, or if the trailer breaks apart, causing damage. We will not transport a boat on a trailer that is not fit for travel. We will not jeopardize our safety, equipment, or your boat. You will be responsible for any repairs, damage or problems cause by your trailer. Any time spent by carrier to maintain or repair a trailer will be billed to the customer at the carrier’s hourly rate.
Loading and unloading the boat on/off our trailer is the responsibility of the owner of the boat. Owners must make their own arrangements to pay for these services and or provide services.
Can I ship Dinghies?
If you are shipping a dinghy on board or if you have had to remove any superstructure, these items should be well padded. DO NOT leave dinghy on davits.
How do I place my order for boat transport and hauling?
We Have 3 Easy Ways to Place Your Order:
- If you have received an email quote, look for the online order link. "Click here to place your order ONLINE NOW."
- Call 1-877-835-2087 TODAY and give the customer service representative your customer ID number or ask for a transport specialist.
- Fill out an Order Form and fax it to 1-513-870-6674 TODAY.
How do I pay for services?
We only need a deposit to start your shipment. For your convenience we accept all major credit cards. The balance should be paid to the driver as they make the delivery. The remaining balance must be paid via Cash, Certified Check or Money Order (No Credit Card, Personal or Business checks, or any other form of payment will be accepted upon delivery). You may make payment in full, with a credit card; at the time the order is placed if necessary.
What happens after I place the order?
Once your Boat Transport Specialist enters the order, your transport is immediately assigned to a Customer Service Representative. You will be emailed after this assignment telling you who your CSR is and their work hours. Your Customer Service Representative will also contact you by phone to make an introduction and review your needs of transport. The CSR will work closely with the Dispatch Department ensuring your boat is picked up timely and delivered safely. Email notifications will keep you informed as to the status of your move. Your Customer Service Representative will be available to you for status, updates, or for any questions that may arise.
Once your order is placed and all paperwork submitted, the transport of your boat will be scheduled according to the available date you provide. After a truck has been assigned, you will receive an email with the estimated pickup date and time. We instruct the drivers to call the customer 12 to 24 hours in advance of pick up or delivery to establish a more accurate estimated time of arrival and to work out specific directions. When the driver picks up your boat he will perform a detailed inspection of your vehicle on a Bill of Lading. Both the person releasing the craft and the driver will sign this Bill of Lading and one copy is left at the boat point of origin. The same Bill of Lading will be present on delivery so that the vehicle can be re-inspected before released.
What steps are involved in shipping my boat?
Once your order is placed and all paperwork submitted, the transport of your boat will be scheduled according to the available date you provide. After a truck has been assigned, you will receive an email with the estimated pickup date and time. We instruct the drivers to call the customer 12 to 24 hours in advance of pick up or delivery to establish a more accurate estimated time of arrival and to work out specific directions. When the driver picks up your boat he will perform a detailed inspection of your vehicle on a Bill of Lading. Both the person releasing the vehicle and the driver will sign this Bill of Lading and one copy is left at the boat point of origin. The same Bill of Lading will be present on delivery so that the vehicle can be re-inspected before released.
Are there special requirements for sailboats? All standing rigging, turnbuckles, mastheads, antennas, spreaders, wires, winches, wind indicators, and lights must be removed from the mast after it is unstepped and prior to shipment. Carpet should be provided for the mast at the points of tie down. Expect some chafing at these points. If the mast is painted, it is almost impossible to keep the paint from chafing. The carrier will not pay to repaint masts if chafing occurs. Do not secure the mast to the boat unless it is discussed with the hauler the mast is to be secured on the top of the boat, it is the customer’s responsibility to make sure that the mast will not move. It should be secured side to side and front and back. Hauler will make sure that the mast is tight before trucking. However, it is not hauler’s responsibility to lash it down entirely unless customer has requested hauler to do so at an additional cost. Life lines, stanchions, bow and stern pulpits should be removed if they render the boat over height, generally over 12' keel to highest point not on the carrier’s trailer. On centerboard sailboats, make sure the board is secured and will stay up in transit. Keel sailboats may expect some separation where the keel joins the hull. This is not structural damage, but rather is the paint or filler cracking at the joint. Light built or racing sailboats can expect some hull indentation from the support pads. These indentations generally disappear when the boat is returned to the water.
Are there special requirements for Powerboats?
Remove all propellers, flag masts, lights, outriggers, antennas, etc. If your powerboat is low enough to ship with the flying bridge on, remove all lights, wheels, masts and windshields that protrude over the bridge. All Plexiglas should be removed and packed below with a cargo blanket. If your powerboat is not low enough to ship with the flying bridge on, you will have to have a cradle built for the bridge to be shipped in on the forward deck or cockpit area. Every point touching the deck or rails must be sufficiently padded. Remove all electronics and valuable items from the bridge, pack securely, and store below.
What happens if I'm not available when the truck comes to pick up or deliver the boat?
We try to keep each customer well informed during the entire boat shipping process. We instruct the drivers to call the customer 12 to 24 hours in advance of pick up or delivery to establish a more accurate estimated time of arrival and to work out specific directions. We ask that you make yourself as available as possible. Please do not take off work or hang around your home until you speak with the driver.
In the event you are not able to release or take possession of your boat, you may appoint anyone to do this task. We ask that you supply us with the proper information for contact in this situation.
Where will my boat be picked up and delivered? Door-to-Door Service
The boat will be picked up as close to your home as possible. In some cases we ask that you meet our truck at a mutually appealing location such as a supermarket or some other large parking lot. This is due to the typically large size of the trucks and the inability to maneuver through many streets, and under low bridges, wires, and branches.
To get your free quote on boat shipping, contact us either by phone or by filling out our online boat transport form.