The Ultimate Guide to Move a Boat to Another State

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated: April 12, 2023 / Published: April 10, 2023

As a boat owner, you may find yourself needing to move your vessel from one state to another at some point. Whether you’ve sold your boat and need to transport it to the new owner or simply want to take your boat on a cross-country adventure, moving a boat to another state is a process that requires planning and preparation.

In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about moving a boat to another state. From selecting a boat shipping method to preparing your boat for departure, we’ll cover it all.

Selecting a Boat Transport Method

When it comes to the need to move a boat to another state, there are several transport methods to choose from. The most common methods include:

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  1. Boat Trailer Transport: This option involves towing your boat on a trailer attached to a vehicle. It’s the most cost-effective option, but it’s also the most time-consuming and requires a lot of preparation.
  2. Flatbed Transport: This method involves using a flatbed truck for boat shipping. It’s a great option for larger vessels that can’t be transported on a trailer.
  3. Yacht or Boat Transporter: This method involves hiring a professional boat shipping company to move your boat for you. It’s the most expensive option, but it’s also the most convenient and reliable.

Preparing For Boat Transport

Once you’ve selected a boat transport method, you’ll need to prepare the boat move. Here are some steps you should take to ensure your boat arrives safely:

  1. Clean and Inspect Your Boat: Before transporting your boat, give it a thorough cleaning and inspection. This will help you identify any damages or issues that need to be addressed before transportation.
  2. Remove Personal Belongings: Make sure to remove all personal belongings from your boat before transport. This includes electronics, fishing equipment and any other loose items.
  3. Secure Loose Items: Any loose items that can’t be removed, such as anchor chains or rigging, should be secured to prevent them from shifting or causing damage during transport.
  4. Drain Fluids: If your boat has an engine, make sure to drain all fluids before transport. This includes fuel, oil and coolant.
  5. Disconnect Batteries: To prevent the battery from draining during transport, disconnect it and store it in a safe, secure location.

Insurance and Licensing

Before starting your boat transportation to another state, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper insurance and licensing in place. This includes:

  1. Insurance: Check with your insurance provider to make sure your policy covers transport. If not, you may need to purchase additional insurance for the transport period.
  2. Licensing: Depending on the size and type of your boat, you may need to obtain a special license for transport. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.

Choosing a Transporter

If you’re planning on hiring a boat moving company, there are a few things you should consider before making a decision:

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  1. Reputation: Look for a boat transporter with a strong reputation and positive reviews from previous customers.
  2. Experience: Choose a boat transporter with experience transporting boats similar to yours.
  3. Insurance: Make sure the boat transporter has the proper insurance in place to cover any damages during transport.
  4. Costs: Get quotes from several transporters and choose one that offers a reasonable price for their services.

Boat Shipping Cost Factors

When trying to figure out the costs, there are several factors. Let’s take a look at them below.


The size of the boat will determine how much the final price of the transport will be. A small boat will cost less than transporting a larger boat. The weight, width and length are all factored in to determine the cost.


Boat transport costs are determined per mile, which means that a larger distance will increase the overall cost of your boat shipping.


If the destination is remote and hard to get to, then it will cost more. If the port that you are putting the boat in has costly fees, then this will increase the cost more, as well.


The summer months end up being more expensive. The spring and autumn months are usually the cheapest. The winter months end up being more expensive because of the weather conditions that could impact transport.

Final Thoughts

Moving your boat to another state can be a daunting task, but with the right planning and preparation, it can be done safely and efficiently. Whether you choose to haul your boat on your own or hire a professional boat transporter, make sure to take the necessary steps to ensure your vessel arrives safely and securely.

And when you’re ready to ship your boat, consider using CitizenShipper, the leading transportation marketplace connecting individuals and businesses with reliable transporters. With CitizenShipper, you can find a transporter that meets your specific needs and budget, ensuring a smooth and stress-free transport experience.