The following guidelines should be considered in the preparation of a powerboat for transportation. The bottom of the boat needs to be clean with all growth, etc having been removed, preferably by pressure washing.
Windshields, Windows, Hatches
Make sure that the windshield is strong enough to withstand the rigors of travel and that it is attached securely. When in doubt then remove it prior to transport. Frameless plexiglass windshields should be removed due to possibility of breaking. Venturi's with solid frames should be removed to prevent cracking around the fastening holes. Close all windows and hatches and lock down so that they will not come open during the trip.
Preferably the water tanks should be drained and ideally the holding tank pumped out prior to the trip. The fuel tank(s) can be left with fuel in it in the smaller boats. If the boat exceeds 30,000 35,000 lbs, the fuel tanks need to be drained.
Anchors should be secured so they can withstand the rigors of travel and do not cause damage during transit. This can be on the anchor roller on the bow of the boat when feasible.
Canvas and Covers
Dodger, biminis, awnings, etc need to be removed and stowed in the cabin. The frames should be tied and secured such that there is no movement and no scratching of the metal. Any other canvas on deck such as hatch covers should be removed and stowed. All instrument covers need to be removed and stowed.
Secure everything in the cabin so there would not be any damage during transit.
Any inboard/outboard motors should be raised and locked in position. A further safety measure would be to securely attach a 2x 4 between the out-drive and bracket. Outboard motors should be raised and locked securely so there will not be any extraneous movement during transportation.
The allowable height in most states is 13.5' for transit without a special permit and the need for a pole car. Things that will decrease the height of a powerboat would be radar arches being removed, removal of flybridge, radar, propeller(s) and running gear. Occasionally removal of the shaft is necessary. Transportation cost is significantly less if the boat can travel without requiring a pole car.
Lock the entry access to the boat on exiting so that it remains closed during the trip. Remove any items from the rails and on deck that could vibrate loose, blow around and be damaged or damage the boat. Shut the propane tank off at the tank. Pump out the bilge so that it is dry. If the boat is being transported during the winter the engine and the air conditioning systems need to be winterized.
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