SW Florida Transporter Corp


Boat Transport Checklist

Your Moving Resource

Boat Transport Checklist

  • Boat Transport Checklist. We provided a checklist as a common-sense guide to what the owner will be responsible for in preparing a boat for transport. A marina operator should be able to offer assistance in most, if not all, of the areas. View
  • Safe Passage. For the safety of our drivers and the boats being transported, we ensure fuel, water and holding tanks are empty, battery cables are disconnected, and hazardous materials (paint, paint thinner and others) are not on board.
  • Special Concerns for Sailboats. There are many different types of equipment on board a sailboat that could cause damage from rubbing or chafing during transport. We require all standing rigging, turnbuckles, mastheads and bow lights, antennas, spreaders, wind indicators, wires and mast winches be removed from the mast (after it is UN-stepped and prior to transport).
  • A Ship-Shape Cabin. Similar to a car's inspection, we take a close look at the boat's cabin with the owner (or agent) before shipping. Then we encourage the shipper or his agent to lock and secure the cabin, and to seal the keys in an envelope kept by the shipper or agent. This ensures the cabin will arrive in the same condition as when it left port.

  • All items inside your boat such as galley utensils, plates, cups and personal gear MUST be stored and properly secured.
  • All ports, hatches and windows MUST be locked and the locking device taped over. Cabinet doors, drawers and all lockers within the craft MUST be closed and secured.
  • Personal items and equipment MUST be itemized and verified by our driver prior to shipment. We cannot assume responsibility for missing items not fully accounted for in writing.
  • Safety considerations dictate that all fuel, water and holding tanks MUST be empty or as nearly empty as possible. Paint, paint thinner and other hazardous materials CANNOT be shipped. The battery cables MUST be disconnected from the battery.
  • If mounted in any way that exposes them to damage or theft, equipment such as radios, antennas, depth finders, compasses and other electronic gear MUST be removed. Tops and side curtains should be removed prior to transport to prevent water damage to vinyl or canvas covers. We are not responsible for canvas covers or tops that remain topside during shipment.
  • A cradle (if used to transport) should fit the exact contour of your hull and be in good condition. Your craft MUST also be well secured to the cradle. We do not assume responsibility for damage attributed to carrying devices such as cradles or boat trailers when they a refurnished on behalf of the shipper.
  • Plastic and Plexiglas flying bridge windshields and windscreens should be removed and stored inside the craft.
  • SAILBOATS: Standing rigging, turnbuckles, mastheads and bow lights, antennas, spreaders, wind indicators, wires and mast winches should all be removed from the mast (after it is UN stepped and prior to transport). We are not liable for damage attributable to rubbing or chafing by equipment left on the mast during transport.
  • Deposits of road dirt/film will most likely occur during the transport of your boat. We are not responsible for the cleaning of the craft to remove dirt/film, snow or ice.
  • Boats MUST be completely winterized when moving from one climate to another. (including engines, toilets and water systems). Masts MUST be completely wrapped.
  • After a joint inspection of the cabin, we encourage the shipper or his agent to lock and secure the cabin. The keys may be sealed in an envelope and kept by the shipper or agent. If the cabin is secure at delivery, we are not responsible for interior damage or shortages.
  • Shrink-wrap may keep the boat protected from the elements, but is also prevents a proper inspection. The carrier is not responsible for damage and shortages under the shrink-wrap if it is intact at destination. Shrink-wrap may tear while transporting the boat. If this occurs in transit, the torn material may cause beating and chafing damage to the boat. We are not responsible for shrink-wrap damage
your Home work


Check each tire. You are looking for proper air pressure. The pressure should be located on each tire. If a tire on a boat trailer is not properly inflated, it can blow while in transport. When the temperature gets hot from driving on the tire while the tire pressure is low, the tire has a chance to instant expand air pressure causing the tire to burst. Look for dry rot. If a tire is old or has been sitting in area for a long time it may have dry rot causing the tire to be unsafe. If the tire has bad dry rot on it, then it is much safer to just replace the tire before having a transporter come out to pick up boat. In any case, it is always good to have a spare tire with the boat. If a tire goes bad a long the way, the driver will put your spare on. If no spare, we will buy a tire and put it on. You would only have to reimburse the driver for the tire.




Every wheel on a boat trailer will have bearings. If the bearings are not properly greased, then the bearings may get very hot and cause the bearings to go bad. If that happens, the wheel can come off of axle. Most bearings have grease fittings where you can pump grease easily into the the bearing. Our drivers are trained to look out for that in transport yet preparing it before shipment will reduce any risk.




All trailers should have proper lights. If your boat trailer has no lights, please let us know in advance so we can bring with us a light bar that attaches to the back of your boat trailer. If you have no way to check to see if all lights are working, please let us know in advance so we do send a driver out there with a light bar.



Boat cover, Canopy or Shrink Wrap

We always recommend that no boat cover be on a boat while we are in transport. As though it may seem that it will protect your boat, in a lot of cases the wind from transport causes rips in cover in turn the cover flaps against the boat causing scuff marks. Also, shrink wrap, as good as it sounds, in most cases it is not worth the cost. It does have a high chance of coming off in wind while in motion.



Secure boat to Trailer

We do check the boat to make sure it is secured to your trailer yet it is your responsibility it is already done. Of course no driver wants to drive down the road with a boat not secure; the driver will make sure it is anyway.



Over wide Boats

Is your boat over 8ft 6in wide? If so, we will need permits in each state we move the boat. We will handle getting the permits. Our drivers are very experienced with moving over wide boats. There are a lot of things to look out for when moving an oversize boat. Each state has a restriction on what time of day we can not be on the highway towing the boat. Most states will not let us drive after dark. Also, our drivers will be aware of what is ahead. In some cases certain roads do not allow over wides to pass through. In certain cities in the country, an escort may be required to drive through if boat is over 10 ft wide. Generally, escorts are not required unless over 12 ft wide.



Choosing the right Boat Transporter

Of course we will say choose us. If you do want to look around for others, here is what to look for.Make sure the shipping company has insurance. Make sure the company is licensed with the federal government. If the company has an MC Number, that number shows that they can operate in all US States and Canada. Some companies just have a DOT number which only allows them to operate in their own state. We have BOTH. Next, be sure they are a legitimate company. There are some companies online that you go on a website and trucking companies bid on your transport. Be careful! A lot of those companies are not real companies. You may save some money going with those companies yet the service may be non existent, horrible, or worse, you end up never seeing your boat again.

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