[by Madison Capps, uShip]
It’s here! Summertime (unofficially) has arrived. You’ve made it through a three-hour graduation ceremony and you’re heading to the lake with 10 friends, sharing a houseboat and bringing Dad’s pontoon. You’ve gotten the 20-foot water barge out of storage and cleaned it up, but your hoopty Mazda doesn’t have a trailer hitch. How are you getting Dad’s boat to the lake? Ship it ahead of time!
1. Measure the Boat
The first step in getting Dad’s boat to the lake is to measure it. The size and weight of the boat partially determine the overall cost of shipping. Calculate overall length by measuring from the front tip of the pontoon deck to the back of the pontoon. Measure from the bottom of the highest non-removable part of the boat to get the overall height. Be as accurate as possible to better inform your transporter of exactly what’s being shipped.
2. Find a Transporter
Authority: Legal carriers are authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. If proof of this can’t be found on a carrier’s website or uShip profile, question the carrier.
Insurance: Quality transporters offer cargo insurance to cover your boat during its journey. If the transporter’s insurance does not fully cover Dad’s boat, ask about buying more coverage.
Tracking: Stay in contact with your transporter during the entire journey. Unforeseen circumstances sometimes cause delays in travel. Your best dude-bro is going to be pissed if the lake party is postponed because your boat hasn’t arrived yet and you have no idea what the ETA is.
Feedback: Check the carrier’s references and track record. Make sure the transporter you pick has a great history with other customers. If the transporter has positive feedback, it almost can be guaranteed that the carrier will take care of your boat.
3. Accept a Bid
Sift through several boat transport quotes after you decide to ship your boat. Make your decision based on the carrier that has the most of what you’re looking for. The lowest bid isn’t necessarily the best choice. After all, you want to have a great boat-shipping experience, not a cheap, poorly executed one.
Images courtesy of RC Jennings