The Mistakes I Made With Boat Shipping, so You Don’t Have To

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When I had to have my yacht moved from Utah to New York, I didn’t know where to begin. Without having had any prior experience, I thought that I might have to get the big boat to the California coast, and then navigate it south, through the Panama Canal, and then back up the eastern seaboard. I couldn’t have been further off. Fortunately, someone tipped me off that car transport companies do specialized transportation services, like boat shipping. Even after getting this excellent tip I still managed to make some key mistakes. Here are the things that I did wrong, and the consequences, so that others don’t have to go through what I did.

All of the galley dishes got broken.

Boat shipping companies will tell you to make sure that everything is secure before your boat hits the road. I made sure to take all of my tchotchkes off of the tables and shelves, but somehow everything in the cabinets escaped my notice! Whether it was just one particular bump on the road, or the entire boat transport process, the result was that all of the dishes came tumbling out of their cabinets and broke. Serves me right for having breakable dishes, for one, but also for not securing things better.

My radar vibrated right out of the boat.

Boat moving can be hazardous to your boat only when you fail to follow instructions. Which I clearly did. You’re supposed to remove any horns, antennas, propellers, anchor lights, windshields, flag masts, and electronics that have a potential to vibrate out of their settings. Of course, this is exactly what happened to the radar that I forgot to remove, pack, and stow. It’s gone now. Probably sitting by the side of the road somewhere in Oklahoma.

My boat was seized.

You probably didn’t think it could get any worse, but you’re wrong. Some of the Utah rivers and lakes have a problem with zebra mussels. Now, I checked the outside of the boat, but I forgot to look at the out-drive and the drain scuppers. The Department of Transportation regularly inspects boats coming out of infected states, and before the boat shipping process was complete, my boat was seized. Always arrange for hot-water removal and a thorough inspection, or learn the hard way, like I did.

Boat transport doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. That is, as long as you carefully follow the preparation instructions and make sure that everything is in order before the hired company loads your boat for transport. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Thoroughly inspect for zebra mussels, remove anything that is breakable, and make sure to secure or remove anything that might come loose during transport.

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