The Ultimate Guide to Boat Transport Rates: What You Need to Know

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated April 10, 2023

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If you’re a boat owner, you know that transporting your vessel from one location to another can be quite a task. It’s not just about hitching it up to a trailer and driving off into the sunset. Several factors go into determining boat transport rates. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying a pretty penny.

But fear not! In this ultimate guide to boat transport rates, we’ll break down everything you need to know about how much you should expect to pay and how to get the best deal.

Factors that Affect Boat Transport Rates

While the cost of transporting your boat may seem like a mystery, a few key factors play a role in determining the price tag.

#1. Distance

The distance between the pickup and delivery locations is a significant factor in determining the transport cost. It’s simple math – the farther the destination, the higher the cost, and the carrier incurs more fuel, labor and maintenance costs, ultimately impacting shipping rates.

#2. Size of Vessel

The size of your boat is another crucial factor that determines the shipping rates. The bigger the boat, the higher the cost. It is because larger vessels require more equipment and personnel to handle and transport them safely, which increases the shipping cost.

#3. Type of Transport

Boat transport rates vary depending on the type of transport you choose. Land transportation is usually less expensive than sea transportation, but the cost may vary depending on the distance and other factors. Shipping by sea involves loading the vessel onto a bigger vessel for transportation, while shipping by land involves transporting the boat on a trailer through a truck.

#4. Season

The season in which you plan to ship your boat can also affect the shipping rates. During the high season, typically summer, boat transport rates is higher as the demand for services is higher. More people use their boats during the summer and need them transported to different locations, driving the cost.

#5. Condition of the Vessel

The condition of your boat can also impact the shipping rates. It could add to the shipping cost if your boat requires special handling during transportation, such as extra care to avoid damage to delicate parts or protection against saltwater exposure. Similarly, if your vessel is not in good condition, it may require extra preparation and packaging before transport, increasing the shipping cost.

Average Boat Transport Rates

Now that we’ve explored the primary factors that determine boat transport rates let’s dive into the numbers and see what you can expect to pay.

If you’re transporting your boat by land, the average rate is around $4 per mile, with a minimum charge of roughly $600. For smaller boats that are 10 feet long or less, you might pay as little as $350. For boats up to 30 feet in length, the cost typically ranges from $600 to $1,500.

Shipping your boat by sea is a bit more complex, as rates vary depending on the distance traveled and the size of your vessel. For instance, if you’re shipping your boat on a 40-foot carrier between the US and Asia, you might expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. If you’re shipping your boat from California to Hawaii, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500.

How to Get the Best Deal on Boat Transport

If you’re looking to transport your boat, you’ll want to get the best deal possible. Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your buck:

#1. Shop around

Don’t settle for the first boat transport company you find. Take the time to research and compare the prices and services offered by different companies, and choose the most reliable one.

#2. Negotiate the Rates

Transport companies don’t always provide fixed prices for boat transport, and they may be willing to negotiate the rates based on your needs and the current market trends.

#3. Plan Ahead 

Booking your boat transport well in advance can help you get the best deal. Many companies offer early bird discounts or are more available for their services when booked.

#4. Consider Multiple Transport Options

Consider different modes of transport, such as by sea or by land, which can help you find the best deal on boat transport rates. Being more flexible with the shipping mode increases your chances of finding the best deal.


Boat transport rates vary based on distance, vessel size, transport type, season, and vessel condition. Researching and getting quotes from multiple carriers is important to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Start your search today and take the first step towards hassle-free boat shipping. Post a listing now on CitizenShipper to get started.