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Boat Transport Prep Guide

A safe, secure and on-time boat delivery and transport starts with meticulous planning and preparation.

We've included some tips on how to prepare your boat for transport with Pelican Trucking.

We do not prep boats for transport. This responsibility rests on you the owner and not the transport company. Please have the vessel completely prepped prior to our drivers coming to pick it up. (If you do not have your vessel properly prepared to ship at the time of pickup then a fee could be imposed for unnecessary delays.)

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMOVE AND PROPERLY STORE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: All valuables, exterior electronics, Anchors, Antennas, Propellers, Flagstaffs, Outriggers, any item that extends beyond the stated length, width or height of your vessel. All canvas, screens, weatherboards and Isinglass. Drain plugs (There should not be any water in the bilge while in transport.), radar transmitters, hailers, and dinghies. Drain fuel and water tanks. Be sure the tank is no more than ¼ full. During winter months, water systems should be drained, as should pumps, and air conditioners.

The batteries should be disconnected and the cables tied off to prevent contact. If engine hatch covers are battery operated, they should be secured to prevent their opening while in transit. Check for any loose items or items that could become loose.

OUTSIDE YOUR BOAT: Please remove, securely pack and stow below decks all electronics, radar, hailers, horns, antennas, propellers, flag masts, lights, anchor lights, etc.. The carrier will not be responsible if they are damaged or if they vibrate off.

INSIDE YOUR BOAT: All items in the cabin, such as doors and hatches, should be battened down securely and locked. All items on deck should be lashed down. Once you have inspected the cabin to ensure that there are no items which can cause damage, we recommend you lock the cabin and YOU keep the key.

COVERS & SHRINK WRAP: Life jackets, cushions, grills, deck chairs, or hatch doors can suffer or cause considerable damage if not properly secured. Canvas covers MUST be removed as they will tear or fly off during transport

Despite its ability to keep a boat clean during transport, we DO NOT RECOMMEND shrink wrap. Wind-torn shrink wrap can cause significant harm as it whips against the boat. If we notice a tear, we will repair it with tape if feasible, or if necessary, remove the shrink wrap entirely. It is possible that the driver may not hear or see torn shrink wrap due to driving conditions, dark of night or line of sight impediments. We accept no blame for harm caused by shrink-wrap or any other covers. In some instances, we may even have to charge for the time it takes to remove covers or shrink wrap in the event of a tear or broken lashing.

WOODEN BOATS: We suggest that wood boats be hauled on custom cradles due to the difficulty in detecting structural vulnerabilities in wood boats. Custom cradles diffuse the boat's load over a wider area, thus decreasing the likelihood of structural compromise. A coat of linseed oil can help prevent wooden boats from drying out.

DINGHIES: Dinghies CANNOT be transported on their davits. They should be stored in the cabin or securely lashed and padded in the cockpit.

HATCHES: Tightly secure and seal all hatches with tape to prevent damage from wind and driving rain. The latches should also be taped to prevent the hatch from popping open in transit and to prevent damage to the boat caused by rain water thru an absent or poorly sealed hatch or deck. Boats do not rest at the same angle on the trailer as on the water.

WINDOWS/WINDSHIELDS: Latch and tape all cabin windows from the outside, and remove, pack with a cargo blanket, and stow, all windshields and/or Plexiglas that protrudes over the flying bridge.

ZEBRA MUSSELS: If moving your boat from an infected state, thoroughly inspect engine intake strainers, all through-hull fittings, drain scuppers, out-drives and all possible areas of attachment. DOT officers check boats for Zebra mussels at weigh stations. If Zebra Mussels are found, they will impound your boat. You will have to schedule hot water removal, and may also be required to have your boat launched first in salt water if your intended destination was fresh water.

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: Overseas shipping requires either your boat to be on its own trailer or on a cradle. We have extensive experience with all requirements regarding international boat shipment. We must receive all appropriate contact information and documentation should you decide to employ a different carrier for overseas delivery.

CRADLES/TRAILERS: Please inspect cradles carefully for fit snugness, bolt tightness, sturdiness and structural integrity. Should your cradle breaks in transit, Pelican Trucking will not accept responsibility for resultant damages. If shipping your boat overseas, we can provide a quote for cradling your boat.

If transporting your boat on its own trailer, please read our requirements to confirm the roadworthiness of your trailer.

SAILBOAT TRANSPORT: Rigging, winches, wind indicators, and lights must be removed from the mast. Mast Poles should be de-rigged, and all cables and spreaders, lashed to the pole. The strong side of the mast should be left "clean" to rest on our trailer. We suggest, but don't require wrapping poles. Though some chafing is unavoidable, particularly if the mast is painted, padding such as carpet should be provided to cushion the mast at the points of tie down. Pelican Trucking is not responsible for costs associated with repainting masts in the event of chafing. Do not secure masts to the boat, as our trailers feature a special area to accommodate the mast. In the event that the mast is secured to the boat, Pelican Trucking is to be held harmless for any consequent damage.

If their inclusion causes the boat to exceed maximum height limits, life lines, stanchions, bow and stern pulpits should be taken off. On center board sailboats, make sure the board is secured and will stay up in transit. Keel sailboats may expect some separation where the keel joins the hull. This is not structural damage, but rather is the paint or filler cracking at the joint. Light built or racing sailboats can expect some hull indentation from the support pads. These indentations generally disappear when the boat is returned to water.

Rudders, sticks, ladders, outboards, and anything else that can turn or flap in the wind, should be removed and/or well secured.

POWER BOAT TRANSPORT - ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS: Make certain that your windshield is strong enough to withstand the rigors and wind of travel. Confirm the seal is tight and screws holding it in place are not corroded. In some cases, oversize yachts are hauled backwards creating an even greater force of wind pressure. When in the least doubt, REMOVE and SAFELY SECURE IT. Please NOTE: If not removed, frameless Plexiglas windshields WILL BREAK!!! We will not be responsible if this happens. Take precautionary measures! Any inboard/outboard or outboard motors should be raised and locked. It is sometimes prudent to place a 2 x 4 securely between your out-drive and bracket. Whenever possible, you should consider removing the props and safely storing them.

LIST OF ITEMS FOR WHICH CARRIER IS NOT RESPONSIBLE: Hatches, windows or doors that become loose or open, radio speakers, lights or electronics that fall from their mounts, Radio or other antennas, seat cushions that blow out, engine covers that come open, loose items inside or outside of the cabin, locker or cabinet drawers that come open, shrink wrap or canvas that tears or blows off, windshields that fail, drink holders, anchors, and motor brackets, boats shipped on their own faulty trailer, improperly prepared vessels.

USING YOUR OWN TRAILER? PLEASE ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING: To make a trailer ROADWORTHY for a long Interstate trip, please do the following:

1. Tires should be inspected for wear, damage, and dry rot, and should be replaced if necessary. A spare tire is manditory, and all tires should be inspected to ensure that they are inflated to the appropriate tire pressure.

2. Remove wheels and hubs; inspect hubs for wear and rough surfaces, turn drums if necessary.

3. Wheel bearings that have been poorly maintained or exposed to salt water regularly overheat and fail. If your trailer's bearings have not recently been installed or inspected, please have them professionally serviced or replaced prior to ship date. Remove bearings; inspect bearing races for wear. If you replace bearings, also replace races and seals. If bearings are OK, repack and install new seals.

4. Trailers with surge breaks: inspect brakes and hubs for wear, replace brakes and turn hubs if necessary, also check brake fluid level.

5. Check springs, shackles and bushings for wear and corrosion, replace as necessary.

6. Remember to rinse off salt water, as it will ruin trailer wheels, springs and axles.

7. Check to ensure that all lights, wires, plugs, turn signals, brake lights, and marker lights are in good condition and working properly. All necessary repairs should be completed well in advance of the ship date.

8. This work should be done by a professional or someone very knowledgeable on trailers.

Do be sure to properly inspect and prep your trailer. On the Interstate, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, particularly when those ounces and pounds are translated into dollars. Pelican Trucking accepts no liability for damages caused by a faulty trailer, and may at our discretion refuse transport if the trailer is not deemed road worthy. We cannot afford to put our equipment, your boat, or the health of our employees at unnecessary risk. Thank you for using Pelican Trucking. If you have questions, please call 228-396-8668.

Pelican Trucking

6532 St. Martin Rd
Biloxi, Mississippi 39532
228-396-8668

Pelican Trucing Boat Hauling Biloxi Mississippi

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Pelican Trucking
6532 St. Martin Rd · Biloxi · MS 39532 · United States 228-396-8668