As summer vacation season winds down, owners of small to midsize boats are preparing to pull their craft out of the water before the cooler weather sets in. Some owners are even looking to transport their boats for the season or because they’re being sold. Small racing sailboats, bay cruisers and party barges can be easily transported – here are a few tips to help you get your boat out of the water and headed to its destination.
If you own a boat that can be put onto a trailer at a waterside launch, your job is much simpler. And if your craft requires the use of a marine crane and dry dock facilities, most of the grunt work will be done for you in the marina. Things get complicated, though, when it’s time get ready for travel.
Securing your boat is the first step. Motors should be trimmed to their highest points before emptying all fuel and inspecting hydraulic lines for small cracks and leaks. Next, everything should be removed from the exterior of the boat, including rigging, tackle, and electronic devices. Hatches and other permanent fixtures must be solidly fastened to the craft.
These guidelines apply to your boat whether your craft fits in the bed of a pickup truck, on a vehicle’s roof or onto a trailer. If you’re not using a trailer, an industrial tarp wrapped over the boat will prevent road debris from finding its way inside your vessel.
Additional safety measures should be taken if you’re using a trailer to transport a boat. Starting from the ground up, inspect the trailer’s tires for wear and be sure the spare is in good condition. The electrical system needs to be in working order and the connections to the towing vehicle should be clean and rust free. The trailer should be secured with two separate chains connected to the vehicle’s frame and the hitch and ball must be the same size. Finally, ensure a padlock is used to additionally fasten the ball and hitch.
Whether you are stowing it for the season or selling it, prepping a boat for transport after its been removed from the water is a task that must be done right. And once it’s ready to roll, CitizenShipper can help get it there safely, securely, and economically. CitizenShipper’s community of 52,000 independent drivers includes people who deliver boats like yours every day.