How to Move a Boat?

Full article 14 min read

Moving a boat is not as easy as it seems. Moving entails a lot of logistics and careful planning no matter what you’re moving, and a boat is no different. If you want to move a boat, you’ll need more than just muscle power. It’s not just a matter of loading it up on a truck and driving it to your new location.

Moving a boat is frightening because it’s not just an inanimate object. It’s an expensive piece of equipment, and if moving is not done correctly, it can cause clutter, wear and tear, and may even be dangerous. You can damage the boat if you’re not careful. So before you do anything, plan your move carefully and make sure you have everything you need.

But you can minimize this stress by being prepared and knowing what to expect ahead of time. This guide will help you understand the process of moving a boat so that you can be as prepared as possible.

There are three ways to move a boat:

  1. Hire a professional boat moving agency
  2. Do it yourself
  3. Hiring an experienced captain and crew to pilot it.

Choose from the option that best suits your needs, considering the size and type of your boat and your budget.


Hire a Professional Boat Moving Agency

Hiring a professional boat moving agency is often the best and easy option, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience moving boats. Professionals have the knowledge and equipment to move your boat safely and efficiently, and they can help you plan the move so that it goes as smoothly as possible. Professional boat moving service is secured with moving insurance so that in case of any accidents or damages during the move, you will be compensated.

Boat relocation services can ship your boat both domestically and internationally. Enclosed container shipping is the safest way to move a boat because it protects your boat from bad weather and road debris. You might ship your boat within an enclosed container like your personal belongings internationally. One of the most common methods is roll-on and roll-off, also called “Ro/Ro” service, in which your boat is driven onto and off the ship on its Trailer. Another common method is lift-on and lift-off or “Lo/Lo” service, in which a crane lifts your boat off its Trailer and onto the deck of the ship.

Your boat must be properly prepared for shipping. All loose items must be removed from the deck and stored below, and all hatches and portholes must be closed and secured. The mast must be lowered.

If you’re shipping your boat internationally, check with the country’s customs regulations to ensure that everything is in order before the ship arrives.

When hiring a professional boat moving agency, ask for references and read reviews online. Ask the agency about their experience moving boats of similar size and type to yours. Ask for recommendations from reputable agencies in your area. Get multiple quotes from different agencies to compare prices and services. Be sure to ask about hidden fees, such as packing and storage fees, to get an accurate estimate of the total cost of the move.

U-ship is a popular choice among consumers, and it’s easy to see why. U-ship has over 41,000 service providers throughout the United States, making them trustworthy and dependable. They also give customer support for inquiries and a secure payment option.

Hiring a professional boat moving agency is expensive, so be prepared to pay a significant amount for the service.


Hire an Experienced Captain and Crew to Pilot it

Trusting someone experienced in piloting a boat to relocate it for you is always a great idea. They have the experience and know-how to safely navigate the waters and get your boat to its destination. If you are a traveler and you love to explore new areas, you can use the services of a captain and crew to take your boat with you on your journey. This is an excellent option if you want to explore different areas without worrying about relocating your boat every time.

For example, you are moving from Santa Monica to Miami; you may want to consider hiring a captain and crew. The Captain will be responsible for the overall navigation of the boat, while the crew will assist in running the vessel and handling lines.

When hiring a captain and crew, be sure to ask for references and read reviews online. Ask the Captain about their experience piloting boats of similar size and type to yours. Get multiple quotes from different captains to compare prices. Be sure to ask about hidden fees, such as fuel costs, to get an accurate estimate of the total cost of the move. Make sure they have the proper licenses and insurance.

Moving it Yourself

If you’re moving a boat at small distances or moving a tiny boat and have a limited budget, you might be able to move it yourself. This can be a daunting and time-consuming task, but it can be done with careful planning and preparation.

Towing your Jet Ski or boat behind your vehicle is the easiest and most common way to move a small boat, but that boat must be shorter than 25 feet to be towed by a vehicle. Boats of more than 8 feet 6 inches long need a special permit to transit. For a boat of 12 feet, one pilot car is sufficient; two pilot cars are required for a 14-feet boat.

Moving can be accomplished on any heavy-duty pickup truck or single axle tractor. You can tow larger ships, but you’ll need powerful trucks with high torque engines. Examine customer feedback to be sure you have a qualified truck driver.

Due to the high risk of highway damage, careful route planning is required. If you have a boat more than 14 feet long, you’ll need to change your itinerary to avoid roadway destruction.

See Also: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving

How to Move a Boat by using Trailer

When moving a boat on a trailer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, make sure your boat is securely fastened to the Trailer. Use strong ropes or straps to attach it and make sure the straps are tight. If your boat is not secured correctly, it could fall off the Trailer while you’re driving, which could cause severe damage to both the boat and the Trailer.

Second, make sure your vehicle can handle the weight of the boat. Many cars can tow a small boat without any problems, but if you’re driving a large truck or SUV, check the manufacturer’s specifications to see how much weight it can safely tow.

Third, plan your route carefully. When you’re moving a boat, you need to consider that you’ll be driving slower than usual and that you’ll need to make wide turns. Avoid busy roads and highways whenever possible, and take your time when making turns.

Fourth, if you’re planning on stopping overnight, find a safe place to park your Trailer. Many campsites and RV parks have designated areas for boats, so look for one of those if possible. If you cannot find a safe place to park, ask a local police officer or firefighter for advice.

What is the Cost of Moving a Boat?

When moving a boat, several factors will affect the total cost. The size and weight of the boat being moved, the distance of the move, and the type of transportation used are essential factors to consider.

If you hire a professional agency to complete the task, expect to pay between $1.5 and $3.5 per mile. It is also affected by the region, direction, and pickup. If you’re traveling east or west, your costs will differ. You’ll pay more than $1 per mile to go east than west.

Hiring a Captain and crew may be costly, as you will have to shell out at least $350 per day for the Captain, and crew is paid at least $30 per day plus their food allowance. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for transportation, permits, gas, and other miscellaneous expenses.

If you’re moving a small boat yourself, you’ll need to purchase a tow hitch, tow rope, and Trailer if you don’t already have one. Towing a boat can also affect your gas mileage, so factor that into your calculations. Depending on your route, you may also need to pay for permits or hire a pilot car to help escort your boat.

See Also: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Moving Truck?


Last-Minute Tips for Moving a Boat

  • Make sure your boat is dry and clean.
  • Be aware of the gas mileage that will change depending on if you are going up or down.
  • Before towing your boat, make sure all shrinkwrap antennas, folding tops, hatches, and swivel chairs are in place.
  • Check the weather conditions and forecast before you leave.
  • Have a safety plan in place in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure you know how to hook up your boat to the Trailer properly.
  • Drive slowly and carefully, making wide turns when necessary.
  • Be prepared for unexpected expenses by budgeting extra money into your moving fund.
  • Relax and enjoy the ride! Moving a boat can be a fun and exciting adventure. Just be sure to plan carefully and drive safely, and you’ll be sure

See Also: How to Move a Hot Tub


Moving a boat can be a challenging task, but it can be done with careful planning and preparation. Be sure to hire an experienced captain and crew or a professional moving agency if you’re moving a large boat. They will have the knowledge and experience to relocate your vessel safely. If you’re moving a small boat, you may be able to do it yourself, but be sure to take your time and drive carefully to avoid damaging the boat or the Trailer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to move a boat from one place to another?

It depends on the size of the boat and the distance of the move. A small boat can be moved in a few hours, while a large boat may take several days.

How to prepare your boat for moving?

Move your boat to dry, clean the ground, and drain the water out. You’ll also need to remove or disconnect all of the equipment from the boat and pack it as securely as possible.


What is the best way to move a boat from one place to another?

The best way to move a boat depends on the size and distance of the move. For a small boat, you may be able to do it yourself using a tow hitch, tow rope, and Trailer. You’ll need to hire a professional moving agency or Captain and crew for a large boat. They will have the experience and equipment necessary to relocate your vessel safely.

What are some things I need to know before moving my boat?

Before moving your boat, be sure to check for any permits or licenses required in your destination state or country. You’ll also need to ensure the boat is adequately insured for transport. And finally, be sure to pack all of your boat’s equipment securely to avoid damage during the move.

How to measure your boat for moving?

Measure the length from bow to center of the stern and the height from keel to the highest non-removable part of the boat.

Which are some of the best companies who move a boat?

U-ship, We will transport it; boat movers are some of the best companies ranked by customers who move a boat.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.