If you have an oversized boat, hiring professionals to transport it is certainly the easiest way to get it to the marina (or into storage). Not having to hitch up and pull the boat yourself is definitely a relief. However, you will need to do a little work in preparing the boat for its voyage. The following tasks must be completed before your boat is picked up by the transportation company.
Venture inside the boat, and make note of any items that are loose or moving around. Secure them so they do not fall or cause damage while the boat is being shipped. Put them inside drawers (and tape the drawers shut, if needed), and use bungee cords to hold larger items, like loose furniture, in place.
Most shipping companies will reimburse you if any damage happens to be done to your boat during shipping. However, in order to seek such reimbursement, you will want proof that the damage was not there before. Take photos of any existing damage to the boat, and also take photos that show the parts of the boat that are in good condition. This will come in really handy if you ever have to file an insurance claim, too. If your camera can place a date on each photo, use that feature so that nobody can argue about when the photos were taken.
Secure the Hatches
After you close the hatches, apply some tape (painter's tape works well) as an extra measure to keep them closed. If your hatches are leaky, you might want to apply a coat of marine sealant to them before storage. Latch and tape the windows in a similar manner. It's best to tape the windows closed from inside the boat so the tape does not get wet. If you have any windows that don't seal properly, you can tape a layer of plastic over them to keep wind and rain from entering while the boat is being moved.
Drain the Water
This is especially important if you are shipping your boat during hot or cold weather. You do not want water in the pump or water system to freeze and crack the tank, and you do not want it to get too warm and cause the tank material to soften, either.
Don't forget to drain the freshwater tank if your boat has one. Many a boat owner has removed their boat from storage to find that their tank now contains contaminated water and that it needs to be fully disassembled and sanitized before they can drink or otherwise use it.
Apply Linseed Oil to Any Wood
If your boat has any wooden components, you want to prevent them from cracking while the boat is being transported. Sometimes this can happen if the wood is too dry, due to the bouncing and jostling of the boat. Applying a generous coating of linseed oil to any wood prior to transport will help prevent this problem. You can also use a dedicated wood conditioner made for boat wood. In either case, make sure you apply the conditioner or oil at least a week before transportation so it has ample time to fully penetrate the wood.
If you follow the steps above, your boat should be adequately prepared for its trip with a boat transportation company. For additional tips and information, reach out to the company that is going to be hauling your boat. They may have an informational sheet they can provide that specifies what needs to be done to various types of boats before they pick them up.
For more information, reach out to a company like Safe Harbor Haulers.