Shipping a boat

Boat Ship

I’ve move up to the north east and need to get my boat up from Mexico. It’s currently in Ensenada and was looking at all the options on getting it up here. The boat is too large for a standard trailer since it’s a catamaran (14 feet wide) so boat shipping will be expensive considering it’s an oversized load. Thought I would share some of my experiences and thoughts with this shipping effort and below are some words of advice from a shipping broker.

My Boat Shipping Options


  • Cargo Ship, limited schedules, limited on pickup drop off locations. Viable for very large boats.
  • Boat hauling on a truck –the most viable option for smaller boats and my case.
  • Delivery – too expensive for such a long distance, would be viable for shorter distances.
  • Sailing it round myself – would love too, but just don’t have the time.

So I settled on trucking the boat up and searched for and called many companies but have not had a very good experience overall, companies found on the web tend to be brokers using independent shippers/haulers, and getting quotes out of them for a non-standard load is slow going. DAS never returned a quote after six or so phone calls, so I gave up on them.  Uship is a good option since the independent shipper compete against each other but I’ve had some bad experiences with shippers on Uship that just didn’t show so take the time to check their feedback. UShips quotes take a while to bid down and you should definitely get a couple competing offers and make it known to the bidders to compete with them, the will of course try for the higher price. To give you an example bidding settled at 10K after a few days and took a couple of weeks and some encouragement to get it down to 6K, that’s a 40% difference so worth the effort.


The boat is due to ship this month, I’m in the process of getting all the logistics lined up and will keep you updated with any relevant information….


Disclaimer; the following text was provided by Uship:

Tips For Boat Transporting

When you decide to pick up your life and move from Miami to Los Angeles, the process can be a long, slow and stressful one. The financial cost can hit your wallet just as hard as the stress hits your body. Moving across the country is a tough task, but when you take bulky items like boats or cars into the equation, moving can be a downright hassle. Fortunately the convenience and low boat transport cost of a few well respected companies makes the process a lot simpler. If you're getting ready to move your skiff across the states, keep a few things in mind.


Any transport company worth their salt is going to have a proof of insurance form. Make sure you get a look at it. Try your best to get a copy of the form for your records. If the company denies your request, this should raise a red flag that you are not dealing with a trustworthy company.

Walk Arounds

Ask the companies who are competing for your business if they do walk around forms. This should is an extremely important part of the moving process and it occurs before the boat is ever loaded onto the transporter. Take inventory with someone from the company of every scratch and dent on the boat. One of the most common issues that arises during the boat transport process is that someone will claim a scratch appeared on their boat during the shipping process. If the company can confirm that the scratch was not there when the boat was loaded up, you can be reimbursed for the damage, otherwise you're up the creek–in a dented boat–without a paddle.

Communicate With The Marina

Make sure that the marina or dock where your boat is going to end up knows to expect you. Chances are that they will need to help you or the transport company unload the boat so make sure they know the time and place.

Arrange Return Freight

If you're looking to get the best price for your transport job (and these days, who isn't?) do your best to book the transport on return freight. If you live in Miami and you're trying to get your boat shipped to Los Angeles, try to book the job through a company that has a transporter returning from Miami in the direction of Los Angeles. You can ask companies what their return freight policy is and if they have any jobs coming up that fit your route. The only drawback of this type of shipping is that your scheduling now falls into the hands of the shipping company.