Boat Shipping vs. DIY Transport: Making the Right Choice for Your Vessel

Posted on July 25, 2023

When it comes to transporting your precious vessel, picking the right method can feel as tricky as navigating through a tempest. This all-American guide slices through the fog, providing you with an honest comparison of professional boat shipping services and DIY transport. You'll get the lowdown on costs, logistics, and how to make the smartest choice for your boat — all while revealing why True Carrier has become the trusted go-to for countless U.S. boat owners.


1. Boat shipping vs. DIY transport: A comparison
2. A step-by-step guide to boat shipping
3. Understanding boat shipping costs
4. Making the right choice
5. FAQs

Boat Shipping vs. DIY Transport: A Comparison

The transport of a boat, akin to navigating unknown waters, requires careful planning and execution. Whether you’re plotting a course across state lines or simply to the local marina, you primarily have two routes: the do-it-yourself (DIY) journey or hiring professional boat shipping services. Both have their fair share of winds and currents, with distinct advantages and challenges. Choosing the right one can be the game-changer that ensures your boat arrives safe, sound, and seaworthy at its new destination.

Boat Shipping vs. DIY Transport

DIY Transport

Going the DIY route means you’re the captain, crew, and deckhand – handling everything yourself. Here’s the lowdown on DIY transport:


Can potentially be a cheaper option for short-distance travel.
Provides a sense of autonomy and control over every aspect of the transportation process.


Can be a massive drain on your time and energy, becoming stressful.
Often requires specialized equipment or trailers that you might not readily have.
Potential for mishaps due to lack of professional training – it can get risky if not done right.

Professional Boat Shipping

On the other hand, opting for professional boat shipping is like hiring an experienced crew to do the hard work. True Carrier, for example, is a company with a seasoned crew that knows the ropes. Here’s what you can expect:


Provides a hassle-free, convenient solution. You can sit back and relax, leaving the hard work to the professionals.
Offers specialized equipment and trailers designed to transport boats securely, mitigating risks.
Can be surprisingly cost-effective for long-distance travel, especially when considering the hidden costs of DIY transport.


Might be more expensive upfront than DIY, particularly for short-distance travel.
Requires coordination and some preparation on your part, such as preparing the boat for transport and planning pickup and drop-off times.

When charting your course between DIY transport and professional boat shipping, you’ll want to consider the voyage’s distance, your boat’s size and weight, and your budget. DIY might seem appealing for shorter jaunts or if you like to be hands-on, but professional boat shipping delivers a worry-free, streamlined experience perfect for those wanting to ensure their boat’s safe and secure voyage. With a company like True Carrier, you’re entrusting your boat to the best in the business, ensuring it arrives ready for its next adventure.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Boat Shipping

Opting for professional boat shipping? Here’s a user-friendly guide to help you traverse the process without breaking a sweat:

step-by-step guide to boat shipping
Choose on a Reliable Boat Transportation Company: First things first, ensure the company you choose knows its nautical knots. Look for one that’s a veteran in boat transportation with a sea of positive reviews on platforms like BBB and Transport Reviews. Crucially, confirm they have the necessary licensing from FMCSA. True Carrier, for example, checks all these boxes and then some!
Get a Quote: Reach out to your chosen company with specifics about your boat – its size, weight, model, and destination. They’ll then be able to provide you with a quote, giving you a clear picture of the transportation costs.
Ready Your Boat: Next, it’s time to prep your boat for the journey. You’ll need to drain all fuel and water from the boat, secure any loose items, and protect it with a cover to prevent potential damage during transportation.
Chart the Pickup: Sync up with the transportation company to schedule the pickup of your boat. Be sure to provide all necessary details about the pickup and delivery locations to avoid any confusion.
Keep a Weather Eye on the Shipment: A feature of top-notch boat transportation companies like True Carrier is the provision of real-time tracking for your shipment. It means you can keep tabs on your boat’s journey and have a clear ETA.
Receive Your Boat: When your boat finally arrives at its destination, don’t rush to pop the champagne yet! Take the time to inspect it thoroughly for any potential damage before signing off on the delivery.

By following these steps and choosing a reputable boat transportation company, you can ensure that your boat arrives at its destination safely and on time.

Understanding Boat Shipping Costs

Boat shipping costs can be as varied as the vessels themselves, influenced by a host of factors like the boat’s size and weight, the journey’s distance, and any extra services you might need. It’s advisable to request a quote from a trusted boat transportation company, such as True Carrier, to get a precise cost estimate.

understanding boat shipping costs

Here’s a brief overview of some key elements that can sway the cost of boat shipping:

Size and Weight of Your Boat: The larger and heavier your boat, the more likely it is that it’ll need specialized equipment and trailers for transport. Naturally, these additional resources can inflate the cost.
Distance of the Shipment: As with any form of shipping, distance plays a critical role. The further your boat has to travel, the steeper the bill is likely to be.
Additional Services: Beyond the basic transport, you might need extra services such as expedited shipping, storage, or assistance with preparing your boat for transit. Each of these will add to the total cost.
Timing: Much like air travel, boat shipping also has peak seasons where demand spikes. If your boat needs to be shipped during such a busy period, be prepared to shell out a bit more for the service.

When assessing boat shipping costs, it’s crucial not to fall into the trap of automatically going for the cheapest option. While budget is always a factor, remember that ensuring your boat’s safe and secure transport should be your top priority. An experienced and reputable boat transportation company might cost a bit more, but the peace of mind and potential savings from avoiding damage can be well worth the investment. Always get quotes from several companies, compare their services and costs, and then make an informed decision. With True Carrier, you’re not just getting competitive pricing but also superior service and a stellar track record.

Making the Right Choice: DIY Transport or Professional Boat Shipping

Choosing between DIY transport and professional boat shipping? Well, it boils down to a few things: your boat’s size, the distance it needs to travel, your budget, and just how hands-on you want to be.

If you’re the hands-on type, you’ve got a small boat, and it’s not going far, DIY might be right up your alley. You’ll save some cash, and you’ll be in total control. But, remember, it’s not all smooth sailing. You’ll be burning through a lot of your time, and there’s always a risk of damage to your boat. Don’t forget about hidden costs too, like equipment rentals and unforeseen repairs.

Now, if you’d rather sit back and let the pros handle things, professional boat shipping is the way to go. You’ll get to relax while companies like True Carrier, with their experience and specialized equipment, ensure your boat gets to its destination safe and sound. It might cost you a bit more upfront, but for longer trips, it can actually save you money. Plus, there’s a lot to be said for peace of mind, and knowing your boat is in good hands.

In the end, the choice is yours. Think about what’s most important to you, weigh the pros and cons, and make the call. No matter what, your boat’s journey should be smooth sailing.

Choosing between DIY transport and professional boat shipping isn’t always a straightforward decision. It’s a balancing act between cost, time, distance, and the peace of mind you’re seeking. While DIY can provide control and potentially lower costs for short hauls, it also demands a significant time investment and carries risks. On the flip side, professional shipping offers convenience and security, particularly for longer journeys. Companies like True Carrier add value with expertise, specialized equipment, and outstanding service, ensuring your boat arrives safe, sound, and on time. The ultimate choice, as always, rests in your hands. By being informed, you can make the decision that best fits your needs and ensures a smooth voyage for your vessel.


How long does boat shipping take?

The length of time it takes to ship a boat will depend on the distance of the shipment, the transportation company, and any additional services you may require. Many transportation companies offer estimated delivery times based on the distance of the shipment.

How much does boat shipping cost?

The cost of boat shipping can vary depending on the size and weight of your boat, the distance of the shipment, and any additional services you may require. To get an accurate estimate of the costs involved, it’s best to request a quote from a reputable boat transportation company.

Is it safe to transport a boat?

Yes, transporting a boat can be safe if done properly. Hiring a reputable boat transportation company with experience in boat transportation can help ensure that your boat is transported safely and securely.

Do I need to drain fuel and water from my boat before shipping?

Yes, it’s important to drain all fuel and water from your boat before shipping to comply with transportation regulations and ensure safe transportation.

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United Car Transport
9 months ago

Thanks for giving us the right information about boat shipping. It will be useful.

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