By Ron Watson, Jr.
Are you considering shipping a small boat but uncertain about getting it to a distant location? Bass boats, skiffs, aluminum flat boats, canoes and similar craft are ideal cargo for online haulers.
Shipping small boats can be handled by a wide range of drivers because the craft can be delivered in the bed of a full-sized pickup or covered van. If a trailer is required, be sure to choose a driver that has one if you don’t have conveyance.
Selecting the Right Driver
It’s best to pick a driver with experience and who has earned positive feedback delivering the type of boat you need shipped. Their hauling equipment should be appropriate and they’ll ensure your craft is ready to go, whether it’s carried in a truck, van or on a trailer.
Be sure the driver is comfortable if a trailer is being used – navigating a trailer under full load can be tricky for a beginner.
Securing the Craft
Your boat’s motor should be trimmed to its highest point, especially outboard engines. Empty the fuel tank and make sure all fluid lines are secure and not compromised.
All rigging and tackle should be removed topside. Anything that could take wing, including seat cushions and fish hold hatches need to be secured. A fitted tarp or industrial plastic cover is ideal, keeping your boat clean from road debris and loose items from ejecting the craft during travel.
Hauling Without a Trailer
If your boat is small enough to fit in the bed of a pickup or inside or on top of a vehicle, you’re in luck because the pool of drivers that can manage this load is larger and you can likely get a lower bid. However, be cautious that the hauler you choose has done this type of work previously. Wind resistance and road stress can easily cause boats to shift and they should be checked often, particularly on long distance trips.
If You’re Using a Trailer
If your boat requires a trailer, first establish the driver has one if you don’t. If yours is carrying the boat, there are a few basics to follow to get it road ready.
The hitch should be doubly secured with a pair of chains connecting the trailer to the towing vehicle’s frame. The hitch should fit snugly over the towing ball and latch firmly. The latching mechanism should also be clean and rust-free to prevent jamming issues.
A trailer’s electrical connections are critical. Make sure the cord connecting the trailer and vehicle has enough slack to allow for tight turns but not so much as to drag the pavement. The electrical connecting pins must be clean and fit snugly, and all running and brake lights functional.
Your trailer tires and spare need to have plenty of tread and be in good condition. Dry rotted trailer tires often leave boats stranded on the highway. A prepped trailer can make a trip a breeze; one that’s not can add cost and time to the trip.
Do you need to ship a bass boat, canoe, aluminum or bay boat or all-purpose fishing boat? Considering selling one of these boats but bogged down with shipping concerns? CitizenShipper can help.
Click here to list your boat for shipping.