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When inspecting your potential boat-have your smart phone charged and ready to take pictures and to take notes with, and most important bring a flashlight and a mirror helps for those hard to see spots.

After inspecting the vessel you will have your pictures and notes handy to ask the seller questions.

Survey the fit and finish of the boat. If it is a used boat does it seems to be cared for? Are there maintenance records available?

Start in the cockpit. Then the cabin/berth if there is one- what is the condition of the equipment and amenities? Good or poor? Hatches, doors, hardware and gaskets working properly? Having items refurbished &/or purchasing the materials for a watercraft is expensive. Then go on top. Side decks wide enough to walk? Are there hand hold? Are rails secure? Is the non-skid areas still satisfactory? At the helm, is your vision obstructed? Are you comfortable and happy at the wheel in the Captain’s chair? Is everything to operate the boat safely within easy reach? Is the wiring in good shape and neatly held out of the way? Are cushion there and in good shape? Sometimes they just need a good bath but this can be a clue as to how the boat in general was maintained!?! Breaker box easily accessible?

The hull can be tricky. No boat owner or captain wants you checking the hull with probes. But what is the general appearance and feel. Is it solid? Or if soft and spongy? Maybe you should walk away from this one.

Is the engine accessible? Or do you need to be a 125# gymnast? Items like oil and fuel filters should be easily accessible to change as well as being able to get to the raw-water pump. Or does the engine or parts of it have to be removed? Can you get to and inspect the fuel tank? If you cannot get to these items for inspection, more than likely the boat will be more expensive to maintain than one that you can get into for inspection and maintenance.

Have a clear understanding from the owner or captain as to what extras come with the boat or don’t. Such as fenders, lines, safety gear, cabin amenities, etc.

The exterior gel coating - is it in good shape without too many dents, dings and bumps? Can you see and ready the hull identification# (usually it is on the Starboard side imprinted in the gel at the rear)?

Obviously, you are going to take her on a sea trail with the Boat Owner, its Captain or Mechanic. Sometimes vessels must have the Captain drive due to the size or insurance purposes, but you should be allowed to get behind the wheel for a period of time to handle her with their immediate assistance. If the boat has a Head, use the potty while you are out on the water…

If it is a trailered boat, the trailer needs to be inspected too. Age of tires? Does it have rust spots? Have the wheels/bearings been serviced recently? Do the brakes, if it has brakes work? Lights all working? Safety strips in place? Can you read the VIN#?

Consider having a professional survey completed, your surveyor that you pay directly.

And of course is the significant other and/or the family in agreement? Does it meet their “want to have fun” expectations, too?

Things to consider and think about. Then we will be happy to assist you with your Small Boat Transport or your Yacht Transport for your new boat to her new home.

Lex Carroll
Flagship Boat Transport
252 445 1480
www.boattransportpros.com

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If you are looking for a boat to live on, take the family for long weekend vacations on or want get in one spot and just enjoy what’s around on a day trip and head back to the docks…the beam should be as wide as you like and can afford. The wider the more room and comfort.

If not, go sleeker. If you like speed or it’s just you or one more and don’t need the space choose a slimmer vessel. Small Boat Transport is easier and faster for your Boat Movers and less expensive for you.

Whether you are a sail boater or a power boater it works the same way.

Just a few reasons to purchase a slimmer model.

  1. Easier and less expensive to transport
  2. Less expensive at the dock
  3. Sleeker is usually faster

Boat Transport can be expensive. If you want to reduce cost height and width are issues to think about.  You can reduce the height but you cannot reduce the beam. 

Look for a vessel that is 8.5’ wide if you are looking at runabouts and fast/fun boats.

If you need a large vessel stay at 12’ wide or less. Manystates don’t require an escorts or just 1 in a few.

Need something even bigger?  Try to keep the beam at 14’ or less. Yes even 1” makes a difference. This keeps double escorts away in almost every state.

Boat Transporters will be paying each escort cost roughly $2 a mile. This varies of course depending on your sector of the US. 

If the boat is wider than 14’ you may want to consider transporting by water or at least stay on the same coast.

Whatever you decide, talk with professionals for Boat Transport, not car haulers or online auction style websites.  Start with www.boattransportpros.com

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So your boat transport cost much more than you thought…here are some things that can reduce that cost. During this hopefully very short fuel crisis in the South this past week, cost of fuel has become a concern for us all with a southern drawl and those headed in that direction.

One way you can reduce some of those costs and potential surprise charges is to drain water and sewage from the boat. Admit it, there is already enough crap moving along the highways. Let’s not add to it.

It is not a good idea to transport your personal belongings in your boat. This not only adds weight but puts stress on your boat. Your boat is meant to float not be jarred along the highway loaded down with “stuff”. If you have a cabin with kitchen facilities you may want to box up dishes, pans, glasses, etc. and carry them by car if possible. (Don’t ask your driver to carry them in his truck this does not decrease the weight of the rig and space in a truck is already limited.) Don’t load the boat down with furniture and clothing or worse.

A boat loaded down with fuel can cost you money. If you are buying a new boat tell your broker to not fill it full of fuel, only enough to get you to a marina or where you can fill her up yourself at your dock or home. This adds to the weight which is costly to the driver in his/her fuel costs and can cause problems at weigh stations for the driver if the permits call for one weight and the rig and cargo is heavier than it should be. Excessive fuel can also be dangerous and could require a hazmat permit. But more important, safety first, not a good idea for anyone on the highway for the fuel tanks to be full.

Unnecessary weight can get the driver a ticket which is passed on to you or fuel surcharges by some transport companies.

Another safety issue is the truck/trailer sent to load your vessel is usually determined by the max the boat should weigh. One rig may not be adequate to accommodate your vessel and all the extras which can cause delays, extra charges and/or safety issues along the road.

Weight can be estimated by the published “dry weight” of your vessel and then adding the weight of equipment, attachments, fuel and personal belongings and a few extra hundred pounds for good luck. If you are not certain of the weight, if we have the year, make, and exact model we can help you determine the boats weight. If there are major concerns regarding the weight a weight ticket can be obtained along the road at the nearest facility, which is not the best situation but can avoid weight tickets and delays.

Height - another issue that increases the cost of boat transport. If a boat can be reduced that is being hauled on a transport trailer it is best to keep the height if possible to 12’ or less. Not only is it cost effective but legal height is 13.5’ in height including the transport trailer. If you can reduce the height of the boat you must and this will save you money on transport cost. So often we are told by boat owners that they do not want to reduce the height, well it not only in your best interest monetarily but is required to 13.5’ in height if at all possible. If the railing or arch or bridge or the radar dome can dome down then it must. “But that cost me to do that “, well it is going to cost you if you don’t by either the transport company, the states your boat passes through or both. These expenses vary greatly state to state, but they usually are quite expensive.

If your small boat transport is being towed on its own trailer – service it before your boat hauler arrives. Make sure the lights and brakes work (if brakes are required). Make sure you have a spare tire. One expensive repair and/or tow along the highway could have paid for new tires and service to your trailer. Also there is the delay that will cost your driver time and that will cost you money.

If Flagship Specialized Shippers - Boat Transport, may assist you with your questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at 252-445-1480 or find us at www.boattransportpros.com

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I sometimes like to give a shout out to marinas we visit. This time it’s for the mid-west. Folks often speak of Southern hospitality and in most places except Florida in the winter and spring it is a “real thing”.  However, in our travels this spring headed to St Joseph Michigan with a small boat transport we came upon a truly hospitable marina.

Eagle Pointe Harbor, www.discovereaglepointe.com, with easy access from I-94 and US Highways 31 & 33, is the name of this sweet Michigan marina.  Nestled in just east of Lake Michigan and on St Joseph River the scenery is lovely and the marina is up to date and well kept. There is a sprinkling of some nice homes around the marina, but not a tremendous amount, just enough. Eagle Pointe is a full service marina, welcoming their marina residents and visiting boaters as well. We will let them tell you about rates and/or check out their nice website.  However, they have more than adequate slips for different size vessels and parkingfor your vehicle if you must have one. Service Technicians and staff are available to assist you with any boating needs. 

A Fisherman’s paradise for walleye and salmon fishing on the lake or on Michigan 2nd largest river.  Day trips to the shore of Lake Michigan are another great adventure for boaters other than just fishing from Eagle Pointe Harbor. Skiing and tubing are also a great activity on the river.

Just to name a few amenities are swimming pool, outdoor pavilion, children’s playground, fish cleaning gazebo, modern restrooms and showers, nature trails, basketball and volleyball (sand) courts and on and on…

The city of St Joseph it is big enough to find and do just about whatever you need or want.  Shopping, restaurants, golf, movies, places of worship, etc. but not so big that schools and community activities are not prevalent for the year round resident. So sounds like a great place to visit, spend the summer or live.

The staff of Eagle Pointe Harbor were personable and accommodating. Most marinas don’t welcome us boat transporters. After all we are just truck drivers, right? Wrong.  We love boats and enjoy visiting all areas of the US where boating is common.  I would venture to say that I have never ran into a nicer group than at this St Joseph marina, Eagle Pointe Harbor, not even in the “Olde South”.

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After the terrorist attacks of 2016 in Brussels and San Bernardino, in boat transport,safety is ever present on my mind. Especially as boat transporters, always on the roads and in public places, such as busy truck stops, ports, rest areas and marinas, where there are all kinds of people from all over.

I have always tried to consider all people as equals and good people until they prove otherwise. And I still do. However, I have become much more aware of my surroundings and the people around me and what they are doing and carrying. People carrying items that don’t look normal for where they are and heavy coats in warmer weather, people wearing items that disguise their faces, hostile people, etc. all could be a threat to you and others around you.

As a woman it has always been a practice to notice who is around me and make eye contact with a small smile to people I pass. A smile and eye contact says, I see you and I am not a threat and I see you and I am aware of you and what you look like. I think this is a good practice for men, women, and children. The person who is walking along not noticing their surroundings, obsessed with their phone, packages, etc. could be a target for someone wanting to do them harm. I think the best alarm is the alarm on your key remote if you have one. Those things are obnoxious and loud. Also yelling fire when you are in trouble. Folks may not want to intervene in an attack but most everyone wants to see what is on fire! And most times all you need to stop an attack is an audience, right?

As a law abiding people we need to do our part and take action when needed. If someone in trouble either notifying authorities or intervening only if it is clear the person needs help and a first responder authority is not available. Asking the question, “Is there anything I can help you with?” to someone you think may need help can be a lifesaver.

On the road last year at a truck stop, we saw another trucker driver lose his life by being run over by a truck. Safety concerns are not just an intentional threat but accidents as well. In parking lots be aware of vehicles. Make sure they are stopping before you step out, make eye contact with the driver.

Danger can be on the road as well. Truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs, with the amount of time they spend on the road and the amount of traffic they endure. Too many fellow drivers don’t realize they are creating road hazards by pulling in front of trucks to close when passing, stopping to quickly without warning in front of big trucks. Drivers who make constant lane changes in heavy traffic are a threat to everyone on the road. But big trucks loaded down heavy, are at more of a risk in these situations because of the extended stopping time required.

So drive safely and consider others on the road with you and around you in those public places.

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