F A Qs
You purchased your dream boat. You are relocating five states away. Your boat needs a new engine. You want to bring your boat from the shop to your marina. You would like to have your boat with you at your winter haven in Florida.
How are you going to move your boat? You are in unfamiliar waters. There is an Italian proverb, "After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how she might have been saved." Moving a boat on land does not have to be a sinking event. Finding an experienced, reputable and licensed boat Transporter before you make the transport will make your move worry free.
Where do I locate potential boat Transporters?
You can find boat Transporters by looking in the yellow pages, trade magazines, asking marine facilities, dock mates, the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and searching the internet via search engines like Google and Yahoo.
Should a Transporter have boat knowledge?
Absolutely! A professional Boat Transporter:
- Knows how to properly distribute the weight of the boat onto the trailer in relationship to the keel and the hull. Trailer support pads are placed as to not carry the weight of the boat but as to stabilize it. Failure to properly distribute the weight or incorrectly place a support pad could result in damage to your boat.
- Knows that a boat is specialty freight and needs to be secured to the trailer correctly. It must be secured to prevent shifting that can result in damage.
- Knows to double check for any loose items such as canvas, dock lines, buoys, antennas, etc. and secure them if necessary.
- Knows a situation could occur in which the outdrive or outboard sits too low for transport. The carrier would need to be familiar with boat’s operation so that he may raise the outdrive or outboard (with or without the use of batteries) so the lower unit is not damaged during transport.
- Knows that each boat and each transport is unique.
What type of trailer will the Transporter need?
This depends on your specific needs. Selecting the correct trailer can potentially save you money.
- Lowboy Trailer – These trailers are manufactured mainly for boats 40’ and over or for carrying multiple boats at one time. Most of these trailers are air-ride suspension, minimizing road shock. Boats are loaded and unloaded with the use of a crane or hoist, so don’t forget to consider the hoist or crane cost in your total transport expense.
- Bunk Trailer – These trailers are manufactured in various lengths and usually are custom fit to individual boats. Boats are loaded and unloaded with the use of a crane, hoist or ramp.
- Hydraulic Trailer – These versatile trailers are manufactured to carry various lengths and a variety of different boats. Some of these trailers are air-ride suspension, the same as the lowboy trailer, minimizing road shock. The hydraulic trailer is self-loading and unloading. Boats can be picked up and set down without the use of a hoist or crane in most situations, saving you the additional cost of paying for a hoist or crane. Boats may also be loaded and unloaded by crane, hoist or ramp.
- Your Own Trailer – Your trailer must be roadworthy and have a legal license plate. A Transporter will use his discretion to determine whether a trailer is suitable for over-the-road transport. You will be responsible for any breakdowns or damage that occurs as a result of the trailer during transit.
What types of Transporters are available?
- Intrastate Carrier is a Transporter licensed to transport within his home state only. The carrier will have a US DOT number and is "Authorized For Hire".
- Interstate Carrier is a Transporter licensed to transport across state borders. The carrier will have a US DOT number, an MC number and is "Authorized For Hire".
What type of insurance should the Transporter have?
- The professional Transporter will have a Commercial Insurance Policy. Do not accept a Personal Insurance Policy.
- The Commercial Policy should include both Liability and Broad Form Cargo insurance. It is the Cargo portion of the insurance that will cover your boat in the event of an unfortunate incident. The Cargo portion of the Transporter’s coverage should be of greater value than your boat.
- Some Commercial Policies have limited radius miles meaning the Transporter is not insured outside a certain distance of his place of business.
- If the Transporter will be transporting your boat on your trailer, he should have "any non-owned trailer" liability and "any non-owned trailer" physical coverage at a limit greater than the value of the trailer.
Should I check the Transporters credentials?
Most definitely! "Where there is a sea, there are pirates."
- Boats over 8’ 6" in width hauled over-the-road require an oversize load permit in all states. Oversize loads are required to stop at open weigh scales to show permits. Many times Department of Transportation officials will conduct inspections either at the scales or randomly on the side of the road. The detailed inspections can include driver’s hours, axle weights, vehicle maintenance logs, oversize permits, local licensing, proof of insurance, securement and much more. Non-compliance could find your boat delayed or impounded.
- Should an unfortunate accident occur at the fault of your Transporter, his cargo insurance would cover your boat. His insurance would also cover the cost of removing a wrecked or damaged vessel from the roadway. In the event he did not have cargo insurance or did not have adequate coverage, you may be faced with the possibility of the damage to your boat being uninsured. Most personal yacht policies have limitations concerning when the yacht is being transported over land beyond a certain radius from your home port. Many Marina Operators legal liability policies also have an over land radius limitation and will not reimburse for a referral to an improperly insured transporter. If uninsured, the recovery costs could be your responsibility.
Can I Ask to See the Boat Transporter's Credentials
It is recommended that you ask the transport company to provide you his US DOT number, MC Number (if he is interstate) and insurance declarations.
Be cautious of Transporters who:
- Licensing authority appears questionable.
- Safety violations and/or accidents are moderate.
- Provide low-ball quotes.
- Cannot give you a pick up date.
- Are brokers: they are merely middlemen.
- Ask for payment in full prior to delivery.
- Charges an additional fee for insurance.
Consider Transporters who:
- Meet the licensing authority guidelines prescribed.
- Carries minimum $1,000,000 Liability in addition to Broad Form Cargo insurance limits that exceeds the value of your boat and trailer.
- Safety violations and/or accidents are minimal.
- Answers your calls and questions timely.
- Engages in a transportation contract.
- Comes highly recommended.
I have decided on a Transporter. What happens next?
Relax. Your Transporter will navigate you through unfamiliar waters for a worry free over-the-road transport.