Being informed is the best way to choose the correct boat hauler for your vessel.


For some boat hauling companies, responsibility begins when they load the boat and ends once the boat is safely dropped at the customers location.  Contractually that may be true, however at Lighthouse Boat Hauling, we believe that we owe it to our customers to listen first and then propose a solution that exceeds their expectations.  Whether a one-time move, or long-term relationship we are here to serve.  Information on various aspects helps everyone understand and be on the same page.  With that in mind, we provide information as a first step.  We hope to help inform, with the knowledge it will help the process if we work together or choose to work with another.


When choosing someone for boat transporting, did you know that many companies are transport brokers or agents rather than boat transport companies? Over the road boat transporting requires proper preparation, careful planning and coordination between the owner, boatyard, and transporter.  It includes a lot of moving parts, and success depends on communication and attention to detail.  Adding a Broker or Agent in the mix can result in a loss in these critical areas, and definitely adds costs to your move.

Broker or Agent

A Transport Brokers / Agents do not have the operational and logistic capabilities transport companies have. They do not have trucks or yacht transport trailers, professional drivers, proper transport equipment, and in many cases not much transport experience at all. Transport brokers /agents are sales teams that book your transport and attempt to sell it to the lowest bidder. Then they markup and sell the transport to you at ADDITIONAL cost. Many times they broker /agent is not able to find a transporter and you can get stuck without a transporter on the day of your move.  

Boat Transport Company

Boat transport companies differ from owner / operators by employing salespeople who book your transport then schedule it with one of their hired drivers. The driver dispatched to your boat could be a veteran boat transport driver, a career driver who has very limited experience loading, supporting, securing, or transporting boats, or a new hire.

Owner / Operator

Owner / operators are boat transporting companies that do it all. They are lone individuals or sometimes small teams. They operate their own truck equipment, answer their own calls and emails, and do their own scheduling. They are specialized haulers of boats only. You can feel confident that they will personally be the one showing up and transporting your boat.  However, an owner/operator schedule is typically much tighter than the transport companies and the good ones can be booked 2 to 4 months in advance. You can enjoy a higher level of service and early planning is wise.


Measuring Your Boat For Transport:

When requesting a quote to transport your boat, the dimensions are extremely important. To get the best possible price and avoid shipping and damage issues, these dimensions need to be very accurate and include every part of the vessel as it will be shipped.  If you have questions, ask as necessary prior to agreeing to a move.  Changes after a quote may result in added charges if significant.  

LENGTH OVERALL (LOA): Include bow pulpits, swim platforms, outboard motor brackets, outboard motors themselves including the length of the motors or out drives in the raised and supported position. If on a trailer, include from the tip of the tongue to the end of the motor.

OVERALL HEIGHT: It is critical to measure from the bottom of the keel to the highest non-removable part of the boat. It is recommended to have the boat out of the water for measuring the height as it is very difficult to obtain an accurate measurement otherwise. The maximum legal height is 13 feet 6 inches without permits. Many oversized yachts require wide-belly low-boy trailers for the keel to set down low. Using these type trailers for tall yachts can sometimes be low enough to avoid using a pole car and added expenses.  Boats with an overall height greater than 13.6′ loaded on the trailer require special handling and routing. Again, it is critical to measure from the bottom of the keel to the highest non-removable part of the boat.

The fly bridge may need to be removed. If it is, it is important to measure the vessel without the bridge and provide bridge dimensions to ensure appropriate transport space. The bridge should be placed somewhere suitable on the boat and make certain it is safely secured using material to protect it. If it must be placed on the trailer, prepare a frame for secure transport. If your radar arch is removed, it should be secured against your boat. You might consider using carpet to protect areas where surfaces may “touch”.

OVERALL BEAM/WIDTH: The beam of your boat is measured at the widest point of the boat including anything attached to the boat. Boats wider than 8 feet 6 inches are regarded as oversize permitted loads and require state permits as well as special routing.  Having exact widths is important prior to quoting.

DRAFT: The distance between the lowest part of the boat in the water and the water line.  This can be important if you need your boat to be placed in the water at destination.  If so, this information is important prior to quoting.


It is important to inform your transporter of any additional items to be transported with your boat that are not stored aboard the boat itself. There may not be enough room on the trailer if these items are not considered and discussed prior to quoting. You also need to be careful not to increase any dimension (length, width, or height) of your boat by attaching additional items to it as the Department of Transportation considers this a divisible load and is not allowed as they expect it to be disassembled. Again, if your bridge, hardtop, arch, or any other item has been removed for transport and cannot be placed somewhere suitable on the boat and safely secured remember to provide the dimensions to ensure appropriate transport space on the trailer. If it must be placed on the trailer, a frame should be prepared for it to be secured on and the entire assembly can then be properly supported and secured to the trailer for transport. Electronics such as radios, Loran Systems, etc., should be shipped separately or securely stowed in your cabin, with all cabin doors, windows, and any other access points locked.  Do not give the keys to the driver, he may not remember to return them upon delivery.


If your boat is not considered oversize, then mapping software like MapQuest can be a good estimate of the mileage. Keep in mind that most trucks are restricted to travel on the highways, so please check that option on your routing program. If your boat is listed as oversize, then the general rule of thumb is to add an extra 25% onto the above listed approach for estimating the trip length. States require that oversize vehicles stay on the routing they list on the permit which always adds extra miles onto the move.


Here are some important questions to ask when choosing a marina for your transport.  Calling them will help you understand as well how customer focused they are which is a consideration as well.

Do they have a travel lift, crane, or fork-lift to load or offload your boat?

If they load or unload using a fork-lift, are they capable of doing so from the side of the trailer?

If necessary, can they shrink-wrap your boat for transport?  

Please see the comments on the down side of shrink wrap damage and evluate cost/benefit of having it shrink warpped

Do they provide disassembly or reassembly of any part required for transport?

Can they provide or assist with the preparation of the boat for transport?  See specifics on prep prior to calling to ensure you can ask detailed questions if needed.

Does the facility have enough overhead clearance, free from low-lying trees, branches, and wires?  A clear path is required to get to where the boat needs to go.

Does the facility accept low boy type long haul boat transport trailers with 6” of ground clearance?  Steep drives, hills and such can cause trailers to get stuck on high ground.


By law, all boat transportation companies are required to carry cargo insurance. Be sure the carrier’s maximum insurance coverage is greater than your boats value. If there is a loss, you are only entitled to the lessor of the cost of repair or the boats actual value. Best practice is to have a Transportation Rider attached to your yacht policy. The shipper needs to be aware that the carrier does not warrant the condition, integrity, craftsmanship, or packing of any part of the boat. Damage attributed to the above items as well as wind and weather damage is not covered by the carrier.


I hope the information Lighthouse Boat Haulers provided has helped get you to this important point in a successful move.  A few things to further consider before making a selection include the following;  

NEVER SELECT SOLELY ON PRICE.  However, do not be afraid to do your due diligence and make a selection that happens to be more cost effective than another.  If you ask informed questions and get good answers do not exclude them.  Your experience, good upfront communication and reposefulness should be a factor as well.




Transporting boats is not simple, but Lighthouse works to ensure the process from contact to completion feels simple and easy to our customers.

  1. Please take the time to read the information on our site pages first to fully understand the process and steps to a successful boat haul.  Gather all the pertinent information, call and ask any pertinent questions, then simply fill out the details on our site to complete the quote request form.
  2. I will reply promptly with a quote for transport.
  3. The next step is a final Agreement. This outlines the important details of your vessel transport including final confirmation of the items presented on the quote request form: Pick-Up location address, Drop-off location, Dimensions of the vessel after preparation for transport, Date move to be commenced, and cost of services. 
  4. Once you have received your Certificate of Insurance and Contract, send me a 20% deposit and I secure the spot in the schedule. Please note I book on a first come first serve basis upon receipt of a 20% deposit and signed contract. I keep my schedule of booked loads current and communicate with the customers, but I cannot finalize a move on the schedule until a deposit is received and agreement received.
  5. After receipt of above, I contact your chosen marinas to introduce myself and ensure they are aware of the timing and agree it works.  If there are changes in the schedule between the time of booking and pick-up I will contact both marinas to inform them of the changes if you haven’t already.
  6. As your pick-up date nears I will again contact the pick-up marina to confirm everything is all-set on their end and ready to go. Typical loading times are 1-1.5 hours for power boats and 3-4 hours for sail boats. Once your boat is loaded and secured, I typically send you a picture and depart. Most boats I transport are oversized loads and limited to daylight hours with few exceptions. You can estimate our travel to 500 – 600 miles per day.  Limits such as daylight hours for oversize loads, DOT limits of 11 hours per day driving time, speed limits, weather/traffic condition, non-direct oversize routing requirements all limit travel distances daily. 
  7. I will contact the drop off marina once underway to confirm we are on their schedule.  I generally capture a photo with your boat to send to you along the way with updates via text as to my location to keep you updated if you like.  I am also available via phone, text or email as well while underway.  Text take longer to reply, as I cannot communicate via text or email while driving.
  8. I typically call both you and the destination marina the day before arrival to give an estimated time of arrival. When I arrive at the marina final payment is due before the boat is unloaded from the trailer. I will then unstrap the boat and assist the marina with the unloading. I typically take under 1 hour to remove all the straps and bunks and stow them away to head out to the next boat.


Select the right boat hauler for your needs.


Contact us to request a free quote.


Download a hard copy of the Quote Request Form.

Download a document outlining the Lighthouse Boat Haulers Simple Process steps. All the boat hauling steps from connecting to completion made simple.

Download a document outlining the detailed vessel prep and miscellaneous steps required for a successful haul of your prized vessel.

Download the lighthouse hauling agreement. Simply print, sign, and return to get started.

Let us help you with all of your boat hauling needs

Call us (989) 763-9227