How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Boat? A Complete Guide

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated February 23, 2024

Set Sail Sooner!

  • Fast and easy
  • Only pay when you book

Shipping a boat can be very expensive as it requires more equipment and planning than moving furniture or even a car. And you’re not alone on this, according to the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, boat and marine sales went up to $59.3 billion in 2022. This means, having a boat is quite popular. So, this article will give you an idea about how much it costs to ship a boat and which factors are relevant in determining the price.

A boat is being towed by a truck in a parking lot.

Step 1: Measure Your Boat

The first step in estimating the cost to ship a boat is taking measurements. Generally speaking, the larger the boat, the more you’ll pay per mile.

  • Measure from the bow’s tip in a straight line to the stern center to get the overall length.
  • The height is measured from the base of the keel to the highest non-removable point of the boat.
  • You can measure the width from the widest points of the vessel, which includes the rub rail.
  • In the rare case that your vessel is higher than 13’ 6’’, you should contact a professional about specialized shipping options.
  • A vast over 8’6’’ demands an oversized load permit.

Calculate an Estimate

The price of transport will vary based on the size of your boat but also depend on other factors, like the season, additional needs, or the destination; the chart below indicates estimated shipping rates for standard road transport:

Beam Width Estimated Price
Over 12’ $2.75-$3.75 per mile
12’ $2.50-$3.50 per mile
11’ $2.25-$3.25 per mile
10’ $2-$3 per mile
9’ $1.75-$.75 per mile
Smaller sizes $1.50-$2.50 per mile


A CitizenShipper boat parked in front of a house.

Calculating the Cost to Ship a Boat

Now you can use this chart, the size of your boat and the distance of the transport to arrive at boat shipping cost estimate. It’s all fairly simple math:

  • Multiply the estimated price for your boat size by the mileage of the transport.
  • This will give you an idea of how much your boat shipping might cost.
  • Knowing the estimated price can be a useful negotiation point when you start discussions with boat shipping companies.
  • It can also give you a clearer idea of the cost of a professional shipping company compared to doing the move yourself.

According to CitizenShipper’s data, the estimated price for boat transport averages around $1.65 per mile.

Plan Ahead and Stay Flexible

Boat hauling prices change depending on the demand and the season. Being flexible about the time of the year you have your boat shipped can save you money. Here are some tips:

  • Contact different shipping companies ahead of your preferred shipping time; find out how their rates change seasonally.
  • The shoulder seasons (i.e., just before summer and just after) are much more popular times and can cause prices to increase.
  • If you can work with shipping company’s schedule, you might be able to get a discount on your boat transport.
  • Moving your boat outside of these times will likely be cheaper.

Boat Transport

Finding the Right Shipper

The price of boat transport varies significantly from company to company. To get the best price possible, we recommend getting quotes from several shipping companies. You could also ask around in the local boating community for recommendations on a high-quality transporter. Use the different quoted prices to negotiate with your preferred transporter.

But cost is only one factor to consider before hiring a boat shipper. Sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for a more experienced boat transport professional.

  • You should also put up the details of your shipping on the platform of a marketplace provider like CitizenShipper.
  • After posting about your boat, the route and the time frame, available professional drivers will contact you with offers.
  • You can check out each profile and compare the quality of their services and their expertise in shipping your kind of boat and relate it to your offer’s price.
  • This model is a fast and easy way to get a sense of what a reasonable price for your specific transport job is and to find the right professional hauler for your boat.
  • The competition between the different drivers keeps the price down.

Make a Binding Contract

It is essential that you have a clear contract with your boat shipping company to ensure peace of mind about the deal. Before signing anything, you read the fine print carefully because many hauling providers include additional fees for circumstances like bad weather – don’t get caught out by unexpected fees and charges!

A boat on a trailer with mountains in the background.

Other Factors to Consider

Besides the price, there are some central factors you should keep in mind in choosing the right transporter:

  • Experience: You should only work with transporters who know their job and demonstrated experience with shipping your kind of boat. If their web page or profile doesn’t show this, ask them directly about it, they may have more knowledge that is first seen.
  • Reviews: Reviews are a great method of determining the quality of shipping services work. Ask within your local boating community for good experiences. Alternatively, check online for reviews from independent places such as Yelp, Google Reviews and Trust Pilot. Marketplace based providers usually include review systems in their platforms; this is helpful to see exactly when and where the latest jobs were completed.
  • Insurance coverage: It doesn’t matter how fair the price is in the first place – Without the right insurance, a great offer can turn into a very pricey transport if anything happens to your boat. Ask each potential shipper about how they insure your boat on the road as well as get advice from your regular boat insurance company for how your policy works while your vessel is on the road.


It is impossible to give one answer to the question: “How much does boat hauling cost in the USA?” as the final price depends on the size of your boat, the distance, the season, and your schedule. However, by following the advice given above, you should be able to find a reliable and fair-priced boat hauler that can get your precious boat to its new destination safely.