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Preparing Your Boat For Its Cross-Country Trip

Moving across the country is never easy, but when you have a boat to ship, it is even more of a challenge. Hiring a good shipping company is the top way to make sure your boat arrives at your new home in one piece and in good shape. However, you'll also have to make sure you do a good job of preparing that boat for the trip. Here are a few steps to complete in the days leading up to your boat's road trip.

Use up the Gas.

Shipping the boat with gas in the tank is not a good choice. The gas could congeal if the boat goes through changing temperatures, and it could spill if the boat rocks about a lot during shipping. In the worst-case scenario, if there is a crash while the boat is being shipped, having gas in the tank increases the risk of an explosion upon impact. While you could siphon the gas out of the tank, you may also want to go for one last ride to burn most of it up and then drain the rest

Disconnect the Battery

Just as you would disconnect the battery in a car before storing it, you should do the same before shipping a boat. Unhook all of the electrical connections. (Make sure you do this with both batteries if your boat has a separate one to power accessories.) You can remove the battery and ship it separately if you like, but this is not really necessary.

While you're unhooking things, you may also want to disconnect other electrical items like speakers, navigation units, and so forth. This prevents the cables from getting yanked, damaging the outlets and wiring, if the boat shifts during shipping.

Take Down Antennae

If there are any biminis or antennae projecting from the boat, remove them. You would not want them to get caught on the side of a trailer while the boat is being loaded or to scrape when the boat is taken under a bridge. Store these items in a drawer or cubby inside the boat so they're readily accessible when you put the boat back into the water.

Latch the Doors

You do not want a door to swing open when the boat is being shipped. Latch all of the doors, and lock any that lock. Wiggle the doors around to make sure they are stable. If a door seems loose, you may want to secure it with a bungee cord for the trip. (A strip of duct tape could also work if there is nothing to hook the bungee cord to.)

Drain the Water

Once you have the boat up on land, make sure you drain all of the water pumps, tanks, and the air conditioner condensate pan (if your boat has one). If you ship your boat with water in any of these compartments, mold and algae will develop and may lead to odors and clogs later on.

Remove Barnacles and Algae

Finally, give the exterior of the boat a good cleaning. Scrape off any barnacles, and then power wash the entire outside surface. Giving the boat a good cleaning keeps this debris from getting "baked on," as the boat is exposed to sunshine and heat during shipping. If you have a larger boat, you may want to hire a boat cleaning service to give it a once-over a few days before it makes its journey. 

Having your boat professionally shipped is the easiest way to move it to your new home. All you'll need to do is complete the tasks about to prepare your boat. Reach out to a boat transport company to learn more.