Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Coastal Living: How to Move Your Boats and Other Watercraft

Moving can be a daunting experience, especially when you have a boat. Whether you’re moving to Maine for the first time or simply moving from Portland to York or Camden, you’ll need to know what it takes to move your watercraft. First, decide if you want to do the heavy lifting yourself or hire professionals to move your boat for you. Most boat owners who have moved in the past will probably recommend hiring out to avoid damaging your property. Whichever way you go, it’s important to prepare your boats and other watercraft before transit by doing the following:

·         Remove or secure loose items. The last thing you want is personal or boat-related property to be lost in transit! Place everything from seat cushions to ladders, personal items, toys, antennae, and more, below deck or in a separate location.

·         Empty the gas tank. Having a full tank of gas is an absolute “no-no” when moving your boat and other watercraft. Some shipping companies will okay a tank that’s one-fourth full, but that’s it. In addition to emptying the tank, remember to remove drain plugs from the hull.

·         Disconnect the battery. Also, be sure to store battery cables elsewhere so they don’t accidentally reconnect in transit.

·         Tape all latches down and windows shut. Even if you think they won’t open, guess again. Weather could play a role in the unexpected. In addition, some shipping companies turn boats upside down for transport.

·         Note any prior damage. When you hire a company, there’s still a risk for damage to your watercraft – albeit much less than if you transport it yourself. Most companies have insurance or valuation policies in place if they damage your boat, but you must be able to prove the damage. Take date-stamped pictures before turning your boat over to the shipping company. If you’re really worried about potential damage, hire a licensed marine surveyor to inspect your boat before transit.

Whether you choose to hire a shipping company to take your watercraft from Point A to Point B or do it yourself, take every precaution to protect your stuff before moving. You’ll want a fully functioning boat once you reach your new home in Maine!

Written by David Shapiro, a marketing specialist for moving companies such as North American Van Lines, enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, and traveling.



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