PREPARING yourself and YOUR BOAT FOR TRANSPORT

PART I - SELECTING A CARRIER

  • Moving your boat to many is very similar to moving a member of the family. Yet, many people don't take the time to do their proper due diligence in selecting a transport company. Furthermore, never has the saying "you get what you paid for" held more water then in this business. In the end, you are the one spending the money. Still, here are a few tips and ideas we'd like to share with you about selecting who will move your boat for you.
  • If you buy a boat from a marina or boat broker, they may know of a local carrier in the area who could transport your boat. HMT gets many referrals this way. However, keep in mind that the boat broker or marina and the carrier MAY have an "agreement" where the broker gets a "kick back" from the recommended carrier if you agree to use them. HMT does not participate in any agreements such as this. Instead, we work to give our customers a positive experience from start to finish and believe that a satisfied customer is the best way to attract new business.
  • When checking out potential carriers, ask each one for their US DOT number. Ask them for their safety rating, and ask for a copy of their insurance certificate. Even more importantly, ask them how much CARGO INSURANCE they carry and the phone number to their insurance company. Call them! If your boat is worth $250,000 but the potential carrier only has cargo insurance coverage up to $100,000, that is a red flag! If your boat is destroyed during transport, you will pay the difference! Go to www.safersys.org and plug in the DOT number in the "Company Snapshot" link. See if the information the carrier provided to you is confirmed here.
  • Ask a potential carrier to share some pictures of their equipment. As you can see on our gallery page, HMT takes a great deal of pride in keeping our equipment looking in top shape. Top-notch equipment is safe equipment, and helps us to keep moving instead of being harassed by DOT officers during the trip. If a carrier sends you a photo of their equipment and you're not sure you like what you see, trust your instincts.
  • Finally, while HMT abides by the laws of each state we travel through while transporting your vessel, not all carriers do. If you receive two quotes from two carriers and there is a large discrepancy between them, find out why. Perhaps one carrier is going to try to move your boat without the required escort cars. Escorts are not cheap, but may be required by law. Furthermore, they serve as an "extra set of eyes" and see things the truck driver cannot. An escort could help to prevent damage to your boat before it occurs. Other carriers also may tack on costs to the quote AFTER your boat is loaded, and you have no choice but to pay these extra costs. HMT gives you the best rate possible, the first time and we stick to it.

While we hope you will always select Hurricane Marine Transport, Inc to move your boat, we nevertheless hope you have a positive experience and that these free tips have been beneficial to you in selecting a carrier.

PART II - PREPARING YOUR BOAT FOR TRANSPORT

Proper preparation of your boat for transport requires careful planning and attention to detail. Keep this in mind: If your boat is being moved at 60 miles per hour into a 14 mile per hour head wind, it is experiencing hurricane force conditions.

Some of the preparation information below may not apply to your boat. Please call if you have any questions. CALL US ANY TIME 1-877-657-9049

REMEMBER: PREPARATION FOR TRANSPORT IS NOT THE CARRIER'S RESPONSIBILITY.
PLEASE BE SURE THE BOAT IS READY TO GO WHEN WE ARRIVE TO PICK IT UP.

Besides having to pay the driver for unnecessary delay, this also causes us to get behind on the pick up and delivery of other boats we have scheduled for transport.

Your cooperation is appreciated.

We will not be responsible for damage that is the result of improper preparation nor will we be responsible for damage to or caused by any item that shakes loose, becomes unattached, drops, falls or breaks. Please see examples that are listed below:

Please review them while bearing in mind that these things are not the result of driver negligence. Instead, they result from road vibration and wind that are a normal part of boat transport and would happen no matter who was transporting your boat. The best protection is to totally secure your boat and make sure you thoroughly check for any loose items or anything that might become loose.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. Hatches should be tightly secured and sealed with tape to prevent damage from wind-driven water. The latches should also be taped securely to prevent the hatch from coming open while in transit.
  2. All items in the cabin should be packed securely and all locker doors should be well secured. Loose items will cause damage. Under no circumstances will our drivers enter the cabin.
  3. The batteries should be disconnected and the cables tied off to prevent contact. If the engine hatch covers are battery operated, they should be secured to prevent opening while in transit.
  4. The boat should be winterized if cold weather is a possibility.
  5. The dinghy cannot be transported on its davits. It should be stored in the cabin or securely lashed and padded in the cockpit.
  6. Shrink-wrap can protect the boat from engine exhaust, road tar and dirt. However, it can, and does also tear and can cause considerable damage. We carry tape, and we will try to repair it if possible. If we can't, we will have to remove it. Keep in mind that the driver's view is often obstructed, and at night he can't always see that the shrink-wrap has torn. Nor can the driver hear the shrink-wrap flapping or "wind-milling". We are not responsible for damage caused by shrink-wrap, canvas covering or any other cover.
  7. If you have a cradle for transporting you boat, please inspect it carefully for fit, strength and structural integrity. We will not assume liability for any damage that results from the failure of your boat's cradle.
  8. The same applies if we transport your boat on your trailer and your trailer fails.
  9. If you are moving a sailboat with a centerboard, please be sure that the board is strongly secure so that it will stay in the “up” position.
  10. After transport, the keel on sailboats will often appear to show signs of separation at the hull. This is not structural damage, but rather cracks in the paint or sealant.
  11. For wooden boats, we recommend that they be transported on their own custom cradle. This is suggested because there may be inherent structural weaknesses that are not readily visible or detectable. A well-designed cradle will spread the weight of the boat over a much wider contact area.
  12. We transport boats. We do not prepare boats for transport. Marinas and boat yards will only allow their employees to prepare boats. Any boat that is not properly prepared for transport will be shipped on an “AS IS” basis only. We will not be responsible for any resulting damage.
  13. The driver will prepare a condition report noting any obvious damage which you or your designee will be asked to sign before he leaves with the boat and again when he delivers it.

ITEMS TO BE REMOVED

It is important to remove and properly store the following items:

  1. All valuables.
  2. All exterior electronics.
  3. Anchors.
  4. Antennas.
  5. Propellers.
  6. Fuel (as much as possible) be sure the tank is no more than ¼ full.
  7. Water.
  8. Flagstaffs.
  9. Outriggers and fishing gear.
  10. Any item that extends beyond the stated length, width or height of you vessel.
  11. All canvas, screens, weatherboards and Eisenglass.
  12. Drain plugs.
  13. Radar transmitters and arches.
  14. Hailers.
  15. Dinghies.
  16. For sailboats, all rigging, lights, spreaders, wind-measuring instruments and antennas must be removed form the mast(s).
  17. The masts should normally be transported on our trailer, not on your boat. Please note that no matter how well padded, painted masts may be expected to sustain some chafing due to the vibrations of a long road trip, and we cannot be responsible for this.
  18. Zebra Mussels. If you are moving your boat from an infected State, thoroughly inspect your boat. Check engine intake strainers and all other through-hull fittings. Check drain scuppers, outdrives and all possible areas of attachment. DOT officers are checking boats for Zebra Mussels at weigh stations. If found, your boat will be seized. You will have to arrange for hot water removal, and you may also be required to have your boat launched first in salt water if your intended destination was freshwater. You will be responsible for 100% of any fines levied, delays, extra costs, and additional mileage due to Zebra Mussel violations.

We will do our best to deliver the boat at the estimated time. However, this is an approximation only due to the many factors beyond our control such as daylight, weather, traffic and marina operations.

Our drivers are instructed not to move the load in any circumstance if they regard it as unsafe. At the sole discretion of the driver, he may decline to accept any load, which he believes to be inherently unsafe for any reason.

EXAMPLES OF DAMAGE TO OR FROM ITEMS FOR WHICH WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE:

  • Hatches, windows or doors that become loose or open
  • Radio speakers, lights or electronics that fall from their mounts
  • Radio or other antennas
  • Seat cushions that blow out
  • Plastic trim pieces of any kind
  • Engine covers that come open
  • Locker or cabinet drawers that come open
  • Shrink wrap or canvas that tears or blows off
  • Windshields that fail
  • Drink holders
  • Anchors
  • Motor brackets

Trust your boat to HMT, we will treat your boat as if it were our own!