Whether it’s for a seasonal change, to take it somewhere for maintenance, or as part of a sale, hauling a boat is a major decision and comes with expense and stress. If you are unable to haul your boat yourself you will need to engage a reliable boat hauling professional to do the job. This requires some serious research to enable you to find a hauler that you trust with your precious boat.
This article will take you through the steps on how to find a reliable boat hauling company that will get your boat from A to B.
1. Authorization and certification
The first step in finding a reliable boat hauling company is to check the company’s authorization. Most states require boat transport companies to comply with legal requirements to operate.
Ideally, your shipping company will have authority from the Federal DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Authority to provide boat shipping services. You can check their website for certification or visit the website SAFER to verify the carrier’s MC and DOT license numbers.
2. Experience of the shipping company
In the boat shipping industry, experience is everything. Ask your potential hauler how long they have been moving boats and how many boats they transport per year. If you have an unusual boat or special requirements for your vessel, check if they have experience in this too.
This is not to say new companies don’t know what they are doing, but ask the right questions to understand just how experienced the staff are and if you feel confident they can handle the job.
First, you should know and understand the value of your boat. Find this out by either looking for similar boats online for sale or get an evaluation from a professional. Next ask your shipping service what sort of insurance they provide and if this will cover the full cost of your boat in case of an accident. Their standard policy might not be enough. Gather all the information about what their policies are, the overheads and fees before signing any contract. You should also check with your own insurance company to see what sort of insurance you have when the boat is out of water as this can change policy to policy.
4. Clear payment terms
Is the transporter asking for the full amount upfront? Are they providing any guarantee of delivery? Make sure you feel the payment terms work for both of you to make for a pleasant and trustworthy deal.
Once you have agreed on a price and the payment method, go over the terms and condition so fthe contract just to check for anything you may have missed. Even better, have a friend check it to ensure there is nothing obvious that you will regret later. One great way to secure a good price is to use a marketplace provider such as CitizenShipper. The online platform allwos you to post the shipping details of your boat and receive competitive quotes back from professional boat haulers quickly and easily. You can negotiate the price, ask to see photos of their equipment, and read other customer reviews.
5. The right equipment
What does it take to successfully transport your boat from one area to another? Moving a boat isn’t a simple task but the right equipment makes the job straightforward and safe. The firm you pick should have the right equipment to move your boat. This may be an adequate trailer, straps, and towing vehicle. Perhaps your boat also needs additional care or in areas with bad weather a covered towing option. Ask these questions upfront so you aren’t surprised later. You may also like to ask to see the equipment first. What is their condition? Consider this before making your choice.
6. Can you track your boat?
Your boat is likely one of your most valuable assets. It makes sense for peace of mind to be able to know exactly where it is at all times. Reliable boat haulers will give you the option for either on-line tracking or regular updates about your boat on its journey. With CitizenShipper you can stay in direct communication with your driver for the whole journey so you can maintain peace of mind your boat is going to arrive safely.
7. Positive customer reviews
In today’s online dominated world, reviews are everything. Make sure you read reviews from multiple sources (for example both Google reviews and Yelp) so ensure the company you are working for has a strong public opinion. If there are some bad reviews check the comments to see how they dealt with that or ask them directly. If possible get a recommendation from a fellow boater or yacht owner for a hauler in your area. A sailing club or similar may also be able to help recommend a good service.
Make your choice
After your big research period is over it’s time to make a choice. Doing due diligence when selecting a boat transport company is the most important step when it comes to moving your boat. You need to work with an authorized firm that has a proven track record of doing a fine job and providing excellent customer service. Interested in shipping your boat with CitizenShipper? Simply post the details of your boat today and receive quotes shortly after.
Good luck with moving your boat!