People driving boat on the sea

Owning a boat opens up a world of adventure and leisure, but what happens when you need to transport it overseas? International boat shipping requires careful planning, knowledge of regulations, and understanding of logistics to ensure a smooth and successful journey. In this post, we will explore the key factors you need to know when it comes to sending boats abroad. Or, if you’re a car aficionado, you can read our four tips for shipping classic cars here.

Research Boat Shipping Options and Services

The first step in shipping your boat internationally is to research the available shipping options and services. There are several methods to consider, such as roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) and container shipping. Each method has its own advantages and considerations, such as cost, size limitations, and shipping routes. It is essential to compare these options to find the one that best suits your boat’s specifications and your budget. Some shipping companies also offer collection from private addresses and UK dealerships, and delivery to the port of departure.

Choose a Reputable Boat Shipping Company

Selecting a reliable and experienced international boat shipping company is crucial for a successful transport. Look for companies that offer a dedicated boat shipping service, and have a proven track record of safe and efficient deliveries. Check for their licensing, insurance coverage, and customer reviews to ensure they meet your requirements. It’s worth doing your research before you confirm a quote, and thoroughly check services before making a final decision.

What Might Affect Boat Shipping Costs

It’s worth being aware of the following factors that may affect the cost of boat shipping – size and distance usually influence cost the most:

  • Size: This includes beam size, length, and weight
  • Distance: The number of miles that the boat travels and the type of miles
  • Destination: Some ports may levy extra changes, and if the port isn’t in demand, you may be charged more
  • Season: Prices tend to rise in summer, which is the prime boating season. Remember that embarkation and destination ports may not always have the same seasons.
Shipping boat being loaded with containers

Prepare Your Boat for Shipping

Before your boat can be shipped, it must be properly prepared. Follow these steps:

  1. Start by cleaning the interior and exterior of the vessel, removing any personal items, and securing loose items to prevent damage during transit
  2. Secure the engines, and remove antennae, satellite dishes and radar units
  3. Close the boat’s lock, or latch the windows and doors
  4. Drain all water tanks, including the bilge, to prevent leakage or mould growth
  5. Drain the fuel down to a quarter of the tank (or as specified by your boat shipping company)
  6. Disconnect batteries and remove any hazardous materials as per shipping regulations
  7. Secure or remove all lines, and ensure that all keys are available
  8. Lastly, take detailed photographs of your boat’s condition as evidence in case of any disputes regarding damage during transportation.

Understand Customs and Documentation

International boat shipping involves navigating customs regulations and documentation requirements. Ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork in order, including the boat’s title, registration, ownership documents, and purchase invoice. Research the specific customs requirements of the destination country to ensure compliance and avoid delays or penalties. It is advisable to work with a shipping company or customs broker experienced in international boat shipping to assist with the necessary paperwork and procedures.

Boat Shipping Insurance Coverage

Protecting your investment is vital when shipping a boat internationally. Verify that your boat is adequately insured for transport and inquire about additional coverage options during transit. Consult with your shipping company about insurance policies on offer, to understand the extent of coverage and any exclusions that may apply during the shipping process. Policies can vary from being fully comprehensive for boats under 10 years old (covering all eventualities such as loss or damage to the boat), to covering loss of the boat only (i.e., in the unlikely chance that it was to be destroyed or stolen).

Timeframe and Tracking

International boat shipping involves a considerable distance and potential variables, such as weather conditions and customs clearance procedures. Discuss the estimated timeframe with your shipping company, which could be days or weeks, and keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances may cause delays. Some shipping companies provide real-time tracking updates through GPS, so you can monitor the progress of your boat’s journey and stay informed about any possible changes or delays.

Boats at harbour

International boat shipping can be a complex process, but with careful planning and research, you can successfully transport your boat to any destination around the globe. Andrews Shipping will handle and transport your boat with the utmost care – contact us today for a quote.