So you've bought your houseboat, and you're excited to get it into the water to sail around in it. But how do you transport a houseboat? Let's find out.
There are a few things you have to take into consideration when transporting a houseboat. First and foremost, you’ll need to hire the right movers for the job. Then, before they begin the job, you’ll need to prepare your houseboat - stowing loose gear, disconnecting the batteries, and so on.
That being said, the price is the main factor that many folks consider when it comes to transporting a houseboat, mainly because while smaller houseboats can be moved smoothly, larger houseboats may cost you thousands of dollars.
So, as houseboat owners ourselves, who better to guide you through the process? We'll talk about all that goes into transporting a houseboat – from hiring professional movers to preparing for the move, and finally, the costs involved.
Transporting a Houseboat
Moving your houseboat may be difficult and expensive due to its large size and weight, which results in increased charges to transfer the boat from one waterway to another – moving it across the state or across the nation is even more expensive. Due to this, you must hire a professional to conduct the task since this is the only way to ensure that your boat is not destroyed if it is too large to be carried on a boat trailer.
You should not be concerned with saving a few dollars; instead, you should be concerned with the quality of their services. It goes without saying that moving a houseboat is going to be a big decision, so make sure you look into all of the firms that provide these services in your region before settling on one.
Hiring Professional Houseboat Movers
Making sure that you hire a professional houseboat moving service will ensure that your boat reaches its destination in one piece. It's critical to hire a professional so that you receive the finest service possible and don't have to worry about your houseboat being damaged. Choosing a professional will likely cost more than hiring someone with little or no expertise, but it will ensure that your houseboat is transported safely.
When hiring someone to transfer your houseboat, be sure to ask for all of the pertinent information so you can make an informed decision. Price is one of the most important aspects to consider, but it should not be the only one. When hiring someone or a firm, be sure to look into their background to learn everything there is to know about the services they offer and the previous work they have completed in the past.
This will also give you a good sense of their success record and whether or not these movers have damaged a client's property in the past. In this scenario, customer evaluations and ratings are an excellent guide.
Preparing a houseboat for safe transportation is crucial in ensuring a hassle-free delivery. The following pointers can help you discover areas that require your attention. Keep in mind that the usual height restriction is 13'6." While you're at it, let the houseboat transportation firm know about your vessel's specifications.
Make sure your measurements are correct since they will allocate room for your boat based on the information you provide. Keep in mind that they're only interested in the actual weight of your boat, not its tonnage. Search for Displacement in your boat's stability book if you don't know where else to look.
Preparing for the Move
It's critical to secure everything when prepping your boat for shipment. You should secure your boat as if it were traversing an ocean, regardless of how far it is traveling. Anything that extends outside the hull, as well as anything loose that may cause damage during the journey, should be secured. To eliminate leaks and probable water damage, tape hatches and close any cabin windows. Remember to tape all internal cabinet doors shut, latch the cabin doors firmly, and lock all outdoor doors.
Because you'll most likely require a travel lift or hydraulic trailer to load and unload the houseboat, choose the correct marina to start and terminate the cargo. Factor in the marina's road access since the truck will have to reverse in to launch her. If the height of the fly bridge and radar arch exceeds 13'6", they must be disassembled.
This also goes for antennas or flagpoles. Any loose gear, anchors, or other equipment should be stowed safely. The dinghy and PWC should be housed on board rather than in their davits. Drain as much water and fuel as possible, and remember to winterize as well if needed.
To avoid any unnecessary damage to your houseboat, turn everything off, unhook your batteries, and store your cords. When your vessel is offloaded at its destination, you don't want dead batteries.
Shrinkwrap protects the outside of your boat from soot, salt, and other contaminants. If your vessel is too big to cover entirely, focus on the most susceptible portions, such as teak and non-skid surfaces. Cover all stainless steel and chrome fittings as well, or use an insulator wax to protect the exposed metal. Remove and store the windshields if at all feasible.
Also, make sure to remove any personal belongings from the cabin and secure any breakables. Even if your boat is towed by another boat, it will still be subjected to the power of the ocean. Remember to empty your vessel's lockers of any forbidden things, especially if you'll be passing through customs. Remember that state laws vary when it comes to carrying prohibited items, so make sure you do not have anything unusual onboard during the transportation process.
These firms will charge you a quite high fee for obvious reasons, but you don't have to worry since you can chat to them about possible discount offers and other discounts they may have going on. Before you sign a contract with a firm, be sure that all of the rates are clear and that there are no hidden fees. Do your homework thoroughly so that you obtain a good deal and there are no unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay the final amount. Also, if your houseboat is unusually large or if you think you can do most of the work on your own but need a little help, you may also browse online for additional movers.
It is also important to keep in mind that different firms will charge different costs, so go over the procedure with each one to get the best bargain. You may also speak with someone from your local marina to learn more about these firms and which ones are the finest. Whatever the situation may be, don't hurry into making a decision and take your time before settling on one houseboat transportation service provider. The good news is that it is easy to find a houseboat transport service these days.
All you have to do is go online to find and compare the cost and services of various houseboat transportation services in your area. Before hiring a houseboat transport service, make sure you get all the details, along with the company's refund policy, just in case your boat is damaged during its relocation.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson