Skip to content

A Trucking Question

Latitude Nation — A few months ago, we received a query from Ben Shaw, the host of the Out The Gate Sailing podcast and East Coast transplant:

“I’m looking for advice from Latitude 38 readers — that learned, well-informed, enlightened, and competent community — about trucking boats. Specifically, I’m looking to truck a 15k-lb, 35-ft Hallberg-Rassy from Annapolis to San Francisco sometime next year. If you’ve done this before, what advice do you have? Who did you use and would you recommend them? What pitfalls should I be aware of? Yes, I know sailboats are meant to be sailed. And believe me, I’d much prefer to sail her around. But unfortunately, that’s not an option. So I welcome thoughts and advice.”

Sometimes you just have to say, “Truck it!” When transiting the Panama Canal, Webb Chiles’ most feasible option was to truck his Moore 24 Gannet the relatively short distance across the Isthmus of Panama. Mind you, most feasible was not at all the most cheap.
© 2019 Webb Chiles

We’re taking Ben’s question as an opportunity to learn just how easy — or difficult — it is to move boats around the country. If you have any information, or further questions, please comment below, or write us here. And, if applicable, please be sure to include your Boat name, Make and Port of Call, or just tell us where you’re from.


  1. Jeffrey Jorgensen 2 years ago

    Previously as Commercial Product Specialist for Jeanneau America, based in Annapolis Maryland, I have shipped hundreds of boats around North America. Here are my two cents worth: to get the best price be flexible with your shipping date(s). This is to avoid the additional cost of a trucker having to move your boat and either return empty, having to wait for their next return load, or dead-head to the next pick-up location empty. Make sure your trucker is FULLY insured for the value of the vessel you are entrusting them to move. For bigger boats (bargain truckers) often forgo required permits and/or lead and lag vehicles that might be required. If stopped and caught without these your delivery may be greatly delayed and or you hit up for additional costs. Handling the rig is also important, not just how it may be prepared for shipping but how it will be handled loading and offloading by the trucker as well as cradling during the move. Get references for similar size and distance moves. One trucker I often used of 60’+ boats even went out of his way to find protected parking between other trucks for the boat during wind and sand storms.

  2. Robin vv 2 years ago

    Related question – if the boat has a decent trailer, it is better to find someone to tow it or to find a trucker for coast to coast? (24ft in my case)

  3. David Pressley 2 years ago

    We have trucked our cold molded Frers 33 three times now; from Richmond to Anacortes and the return trip in 2017 and more recently from San Carlos, Mex to Richmond in June of this year. We have used Associated Boat Transport for all three US transits and Marina Seca San Carlos to get from San Carlos up to Tucson, Az. Associated uses very good equipment and has been a good carrier with no boat or mast damage and mostly on-time scheduling. Marina Seca San Carlos was unfortunately not as happy of a story with some minor boat damage occurring, disappointing petty theft of a couple of items below, and most frustrating their complete failure to perform their contract obligations to cancel our TIP and provide Zarpe copies from the border crossing. Note that our sailboat, PINOCCHIO, does not require a lead or trail car when trucking which greatly reduces the shipping cost and complications. We are DYI’ers and carefully do all packing and preparation for trucking. We stow the boat as if heading offshore and carefully pad and secure all loose gear as vibration and bouncing definitely occurs. Must say, going uphill at 55mph beats the alternative.

  4. Mike Bennett 2 years ago

    I have also used Associated Boat Transport of Marysville WA. Very professional in all respects…firm, fair quotes, excellent experienced drivers, good equipment. Be aware that every state has different regulations, so the more states you cross, the more expensive it gets. Pack the boat yourself as much as possible, and especially cushion anything that might ‘rub’–highway vibration is the big enemy. Good luck!

  5. Dan Ancona 2 years ago

    Hey Ben/Latitude. I want to know more about this HR! Curious if it’s a 352 or a Rasmus. We have one of a handful of Rasmii on the West Coast, Resolute is hull 117, out of Berkeley. (More at Good luck with the move, it’s a great boat.

Leave a Comment

Early Arrivals in Hawaii
The festivities surrounding the 50th edition of the Transpac race have kicked into high gear with the arrival of the first four yachts into Honolulu.
Inland Cruising Rally
Sailors from Stewball, Jackie-Oh, Toucan, Hat Trick and Stink Eye represented the Delta Doo Dah at Saturday's Doo Dah Bach & Delta Artfest, hosted by Delta Bay Marina off the San Joaquin River on Isleton's Delta Loop.
Race to Benicia
Downwind sailing at its best. A 26-mile race from SF to Benicia on August 31. Enjoy warm weather and great wind.
College Admissions Scandal
What’s going on at the Stanford boathouse? It’s a question that the New York Times recently asked in the wake of the college admissions scandal that led to the firing of Stanford’s 11-year head coach John Vandemoer.