How to Prepare Your Boat to Move It to a New Home

Boat's stern in the water

Before you move your boat, there are some steps you should take to properly prepare it to ensure your boat arrives without damage.

Remove all loose items from the boat, such as personal items, cups, water toys, etc.. If you prefer to leave them on the boat, make sure they are completely secure and won't move around during travel. If you can, it is best to remove them and move them with the rest of your household items.

Remove or secure items such as seat cushions, curtains, ladders, windshields, etc..

Remove items that jut-out from the boat, such as antennas, depth sounders.

Disconnect battery cables.

Drain all water and holding tanks.

Try to use any remaining fuel that's in the tanks. It is best to move without a full tank so make sure you don't fill up before you move.

If moving during cold winter, winterize any items that are sensitive to the cold. This may include water pipes and the engine.

Remove the plug.

Many boat manufacturers, like the gentleman I spoke with, recommend shrink-wrapping your boat before moving it. If you decide to pursue shrink-wrapping, speak to your boat dealership for tips and advice. Shrink-wrapping a boat is not easy and could lead to further damage if not done correctly.

If you're moving a sailboat, follow the same precautions by removing everything that is not part of the vessel. Remove the masts and secure them so they don't shift during transport.