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The Ultimate Guide to Moving a Boat without a Truck

Moving a boat is a difficult task even when you have a truck or trailer to help you out. Without it, it can be even tougher to figure out. However, there are several options available to you. You can go through the following steps and methods to figure out how to move a boat without a truck.

Determine the Distance

Firstly, it is important for you to figure out the distance that you need to move your boat through. If it is a short distance from your house to a nearby lake, then you might not need to carry about any extra steps involved while moving your boat.

However, if the distance is a bit longer, then the process can be a bit longer. For example, if you are moving to a new place in a new state or city, then there are several other steps that you might need to carry out and look into.

In the case of the latter, the kind of method that you use to move your boat will also be different since your boat needs sturdier options to survive the journey.

For this reason, you should plan your trip and establish the exact distance so that no issues can arise later on.

Measure Your Boat

Next, it is essential for you to measure the size of your boat and figure out all the dimensions. This is important not only for you to figure out how to move a boat without a truck but also to know the costs involved for you in transporting your boat.

Author Note: To measure your boat as accurately as possible, you should first detach all the extra parts that are removable. Make sure you keep them aside safely so that you can easily access them later to reattach them back on the boat.

You can now take a measuring tape and measure one end of the boat to another. Do this until you have the height, width and depth of the boat. Note this all down so that you can refer to it again while figuring out the costs and method.

Prepare Your Boat

Truck towing boat

Once you have accurately measured your boat, the next step is to prepare it well so that you can get it ready for transporting it. It is a better idea to keep the removable parts detached so that the boat can be easier to move around.

You can keep these extra parts safely inside a bag. You can also wrap them up with plastic sheets. Check the boat thoroughly so that you do not have any valuable items inside it.

When it comes to the boat, you should disconnect all the wires in the boat and take them out. Similarly, you should also drain out any fuel and other fluids that might be present in your boat to prevent any leaks, damage or explosions while moving the boat.

This is particularly important for longer distances and might not be necessary if you want to take the boat to a nearby lake.

Clean the boat up well so that no issues can arise later. It might also be a good idea to cover the boat up with a plastic sheet or the original boat cover.

Get a Permit

You might need to get a permit if you want to move your boat across long distances, particularly if your boat is large in size and has some features that require extra care. Make sure you gather all necessary documents while making an application.

Different states will also have different laws and insurance policies in place, so it is important that you figure that out first. For instance, while most states might allow certain small heights of boats to pass through without a permit, some states might need one regardless.

Top Tip: If you think you need a permit to transport your boat, then it might be better to hire a professional to help you out instead of moving it yourself.

We can now move on to seeing exactly how to move a boat without a truck.

Move It in Water

A simple solution for larger boats is to move them in the water itself. This method is only effective if you want to move your boat across multiple cities or states on a permanent basis.

It is likely that you will need a permit for this kind of transportation. Additionally, you should also see if this is possible in the first place, that is, if there are sufficient water bodies in between the cities to allow this method.

You will also need a permit for this kind of movement. If your boat can be driven, you have the option of hiring a driver or captain for this purpose. However, this can be an expensive option to carry out, but if you can afford it, then this might make the moving process much easier.

Use a Dolly

Semi-truck towing a boat

Using a dolly can be a simple way if you want to know how to move a boat without a truck. This method is more appropriate if you want to move your boat across small distances. For example, if you want to carry it to a nearby lake, then this might be a good way to do it.

You can use any barebones dolly that you have at home. It might also be a good investment in case you need to buy one.

This dolly will come with wheels attached to it as well as a flat surface that you can place your boat on. Make sure you buy one that can fit your boat in well.

To move your boat onto the dolly, you might need a ramp or multiple people to lift up the boat and carefully place it onto the dolly. Once you manage to do so, you can cover the boat up with a sheet and secure it firmly to the edges of the dolly.

You can then attach your dolly to your small vehicle or simply push the dolly to the desired location if it is quite close.

Attach Boat Wheels

Another method that you can try out for short distances is to attach wheels to your boat itself. Your boat might either come with some wheels beforehand or you might need to buy them separately. Make sure you do enough research about the compatibility of these wheels with your boat before you buy them.

Author Note: The manual will contain instructions about how you can attach these boat wheels to the boat. Once you succeed in doing this, you can simply secure your boat to your car, motorbike or even your bicycle.

All you need to do then is drive to the spot and carefully detach the boat and the wheels.

You should ideally take a route that does not have too much traffic for this.

Hire a Mover

motor boat standing on steel semi trailer

If none of these methods can help you figure out how to move a boat without a truck or if you simply do not have the time or confidence to carry them out, then you can consider hiring a professional mover to help you out.

This will make it easier for you to leave the entire process to them. Make sure you look into different movers and compare quotes from them to pick a reliable and affordable moving company.

Since this can be an expensive option, depending on the size of your boat as well as the distance, planning things in advance can help you out so that you can reduce some costs and budget accordingly.

This method is the easiest and safest if you need to move your boat across long distances.


Can You Move a Boat across Several States?

It is possible to move a boat across several states provided that the boat meets the size requirements of all the states that you will be traveling through. If not, then you will need to buy a permit to allow you to move the boat.

Make sure you also buy insurance for all the states that you plan on moving the boat through. You will also need to pass several checks in this case.

Which Is the Best Method to Move a Boat without a Truck?

If you want to know how to move a boat without a truck in the best possible way, you should figure out the distance first. For extremely small distances, attaching boat wheels might be the simplest and most effective option to carry out.

For longer distances, however, the best method that you can opt for is to hire a professional mover so that you can ensure safety without any major issues arising throughout the process.

Final Thoughts

We have now taken you through all the steps and methods involved when it comes to figuring out how to move a boat without a truck.

To sum up, you should first take some necessary steps to prepare you for your move, following which you can pick a method based on your requirements and convenience.

Happy Hunting!


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