FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below are some frequently asked questions. We feel the only bad question is the one not asked. If you can’t find the answer below to a question you might have, please feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.
DOES MY BOAT NEED TO BE SHRINK-WRAPPED?
This is the most frequently asked question, and we don’t mean to hedge our answer, but it’s really about owner preference. However, here are some thoughts for you to consider. You should be aware that there are two types of shrink-wrapping. There is wrap for transport and there is wrap for winter storage. The material is quite different for each application and so is how it is secured to your boat. The two techniques are not the same and if a winterization shrink-wrap goes down the highway, the chances are high that it will fail before arriving at the destination, or that the material will damage your boat. Here are a few more factors for you to consider. First, how far are you transporting your boat? If you’re going over 600 miles, perhaps wrapping the boat will be a good idea. If the distance is shorter than 600 miles, wrapping is not cost effective. Second, what is the time of year? If you’re transport is in late fall or winter, with frequent rainstorms causing water on the roadway, we think wrap would be a good idea. If it is late summer, when sunshine is more abundant and rain is less frequent, then maybe forgo the wrap. Third, consider who is doing the wrap? If your boat is originating in the Northern part of the country, chances are the wrapping company will know how to wrap for transport and use the proper material. In the South, where the use of shrink-wrap is less common, perhaps the company won’t do as good of a job or won’t use the proper material thickness or technique, which could cause the wrap to fail or cause damage to your boat. Finally, take into consideration the status of your vessel now. Is it in pristine, spotless condition or does it need a little TLC to get it cleaned up when you get it home? If it is the latter, we might recommend putting the money that you would have spent on shrink-wrap into a higher-level detailing job once you get the boat to your location. If you still have questions about shrink-wrap, please ask on of our transportation specialists.
WHY DO YOU TRANSPORT BOATS BACKWARD ON THE TRAILER?
The number one cost driver in the transport of boat is height. A standard box truck-trailer that you might see on the road is 13’ 6” high. This is the maximum legal height allowed in any state. Can we move your boat down the road if it is higher than 13’ 6” from the ground to the highest point? Yes, we can but it will require a special permit and possibly a special escort car and route scouting. Additionally, we will probably not be able to take the most direct route from origin to destination due to height obstructions like low bridges. In short, there is a direct link between the height of your boat on our equipment and the cost to transport it. The higher the boat, the more expensive it will be to move. Therefore, we try to save our customers money by getting your boat as low as we possibly can on our trailers. To do this, we load them backward because the shape of your boat's hull and the shape of our trailers from front to back is very similar. We nestle your boat very low on our trailer to save every inch we possibly can up top. When you see our trailers in person, you’ll understand this concept, but this is why we transport boats backward.
CAN I BE AN ESCORT CAR FOR MY BOAT TO SAVE MONEY?
Unfortunately, you can NOT be an escort car driver. Our escorts are certified drivers who have passed various tests required by many of the states we travel in. They are also fully insured. Finally, if we allowed you to be an escort, it would create a conflict of interest that would create an insurance nightmare. For example, if our truck driver radioed you, acting as his escort, and asked if he was clear to make a maneuver and you answered YES, but it was in fact not clear to maneuver and damage occurred to your boat, who would be at fault? Our driver who was driving or would it be you who told our driver it was clear to make the move? For this reason alone, it is not permissible for the owner of the boat to be an escort car driver while we are in transport.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY BOAT TO ARRIVE AT MY MARINA?
There are several factors that contribute to the length of time it takes for your boat to go from origin to destination. Distance, size of boat, routing and hours of daylight are all factors to consider. Most obvious is transport time, which varies by the distance we are going to travel. Our drivers can drive 11 hours each day before they are required to take a break. However, those 11 hours may be limited due to the size of your boat. For example, many large municipalities put travel restrictions or curfews on large loads. In general, a large boat can’t travel from 6 AM – 9 AM or from 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM in the vicinity of most major cities. In our home state of Ohio, entire counties are restricted during these times each day. Additionally, if we are close to a major holiday, such as Memorial Day Weekend, a large boat must be off the road by 12 Noon on the Friday prior to the Holiday. As a rule of thumb, any boat with a beam over 12’ is subject to a state’s curfew regulations. There are a few states that allow night travel, but the majority of states we travel though only allow a boat being transported to operate from Sunrise to Sunset. As you can see, in the winter months, there is less than 11 hours of daylight, and when you add this to curfew times, it is hard to get a full day’s work in. This contributes to how long it will take your boat to arrive at its new home. Finally, we do not pick the routes we travel. Each individual state assigns us a route that we must adhere to. These routes are affected by factors such as vertical clearances, weight restrictions, and seasonal construction just to name a few. We are not allowed to deviate from an assigned route, even if there is an accident ahead, or some other obstruction, without fear of a violation. Despite all of obstructions to our travel, please know that we will get your boat to you as soon as we can without any unnecessary delays.
I WANT YOU TO TRANSPORT MY BOAT IN THE FUTURE. CAN I GET A ROUND-TRIP PRICE?
If we are able to match up transport in the area of destination for your boat, thereby eliminating any empty miles traveled, we can certainly offer a discount for such an occurrence. This is considered a round trip and is immediate. However, when we transport a boat to a location in the Spring and the owner says I would like you to bring my boat back in the Fall, this is considered repeat business which we very much appreciate, but this is not considered a round trip and therefore, we cannot offer a discount. If you are uncertain about this explanation, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our transportation specialists.
WHEN DOES YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE START? DO I NEED TO GET MY OWN POLICY?
Our insurance policy that covers your boat starts when the boat is lowered onto our equipment and the straps of the lift are disconnected, in effect tendering the boat from the marina’s control to ours. Conversely, our policy ends once the destination marina’s straps are in place and the boat begins to be lifted from our equipment. Currently, we have $900,000 of cargo insurance coverage. This means if your boat is less than $900,000 in value, our policy covers it in total and there would be no need for you to secure an additional policy. However, if your boat is valued at more than $900,000, we can get an additional rider to our policy on your behalf, which we will invoice to you or you may secure coverage over and above our policy on your own. Remember your boat will be valued not at the amount of the purchase price, but at a fair market value determined by a third-party adjuster. Still, insurance is paramount to our business, and we make sure that we have all the proper coverage needed at all times. We can not say the same for our competition and we encourage all boat owners to ask for proof of insurance coverage from all possible transporters before you make your decision.
WHY DO THE PROPELLERS AND OTHER ITEMS NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM THE BOAT PRIOR TO TRANSPORT?
We ask that propellers be removed from inboard or pod drive boats to protect the blades from damage during loading and unloading. Further, removing the props and in some instances the rudders or the pod drive altogether, allow us to lower the boat as much as possible on our trailer, reducing the overall height. Remember, height drives cost. The same is true for components on the top of the hard top or arch. Removing these items protects them from tree branches or low hanging power lines, but it also lowers the overall height of the boat on our trailer, reducing the cost of transport. Last, all states require that a load be reduced to its lowest possible dimensions. This means that it is required by state law that items that can be removed prior to transport are removed, to lower the profile of the load.
CAN YOU UNLOAD MY BOAT IN MY DRIVEWAY OR LAUNCH IT IN THE WATER?
Our large marine transport trailers are not self-loading (hydraulic) and therefore we must be loaded and unloaded by a Travel-Lift or similar piece of equipment. Additionally, our trailers also can’t go into the water to launch or load your boat. We have a few small trailers that are submersible, but in general, boats over 34’ in length will not be able to be launched in the water by our drivers. Our company policy prohibits the submersion of our small trailers in salt or brackish water.