How to Get the Correct Boat Measurement for Transport

Cagri Sarigoz Cagri Sarigoz · Updated: July 13, 2023 / Published: August 18, 2021
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Do you remember the film “Romancing the Stone” from 1984?  Michael Douglas’s character is obsessed with buying a sailboat and traveling the seas.

He carries a picture of the vessel in his bag.  It’s all he talks about to costar Kathleen Turner.  It’s what he’s dedicated his life to.

At the end [spoiler alert!], he gets the boat and the girl, and they sail off into the sunset.

Actually, they sail off down West End Avenue in Manhattan, New York.  With the mast up.  And the sails out.

Hmmm…that doesn’t seem…legitimate.

Transporting a boat like that is not only unfeasible, it’s also illegal!

There are many steps you must to ensure your boat is transported safely, efficiently, and follows all rules and regulations.

Are you planning to ship your ship, but don’t know the ins and outs of boat measurement? Here at CitizenShipper, our vetted boat transporters will not only walk you through the process, but they’ll get you started on the paperwork and even give you a free quote.

Everything you want to know about boat measurement, boat shipping, and boat transport is right here for you, so avast, me hearties!  Let’s set sail!

How to Measure Length

The three measurements that you’ll need to know are the length, the beam (width), and the height of the boat.

The boat’s manual or reference guide will tell you the dimensions, but these can sometimes be inaccurate.  It’s always best to measure it yourself.

The length of any vessel is measured the same:  from the tip of the bow down to the stern and centered right down the middle.

You may be tempted to walk around the boat with a tape measure.  Don’t!  This will give you an incorrect length.

Simply start at the bow by taping or anchoring down the tape measure and go back to the stern.  You can also have someone help you by holding one end.

Once you reach the transom or the center of the stern, you have your measurement.  If you have an outboard motor, do not include it.

If you have any extensions like swimming platforms, measure those separately and add the length to the overall measurements.

How to Measure Width

Measuring the beam of your boat is actually quite simple.  All you need to do is measure it from port to starboard at the widest part.  If you’re having trouble locating it, taking a few different measurements will help you find it. Try looking at the boat from the bow or stern to scope out the widest part.

How to Measure Height

To get the height measurement of your boat, you must measure from the bottom of the keel, all the way to the highest point of the ship.  This is very important because the height can determine what streets or bridges the transportation service can use.

An oversize vessel may even require a special permit if it’s too large, so bear this in mind.

Sailboats can be especially tricky, as they may need their mast and sails disassembled before shipment.

Getting Ready For Transport

Now that you’ve properly measured your boat, it’s time to set up transport.  When filling out paperwork, you’re going to need vital information on hand about the vessel.

This will make it easier for the transporter to give you the most accurate quote.

Making a checklist in advance is a good way to make sure you hit every category:

  • Know the make, model, and year of your boat
  • Get all of the measurements before you inquire about shipping
  • Know the weight
  • Take pictures of the boat.  You may be asked for them
  • Have all the details handy, like destination, a time frame for pickup and delivery, if you have your own trailer or need one provided, etc.

Boat Measurement, Shipping, and Transport

Having your boat transported across a long distance can seem daunting. But with the right tips and tools, it can be a very simple process.

Anything that can be folded up or detached should be.  If you have a cover for the boat, make sure to have it handy when delivery day arrives.

Also, attachments like deck extensions or bowsprits shouldn’t need to be measured, so don’t worry about those unless your transporter asks you to.

In addition to the schematics, simply cleaning your boat and giving it a quick inspection will help ease the moving process. CitizenShipper has all of your bases covered and is here to answer all of your boat measurement, boat shipping, and boat transport needs.

If you’ve got the measurements and all of the information, then let us help you get started with a free boat transport quote. Happy sailing!