How to Ship a Houseboat

Do you need to know how to ship a houseboat in Canada, but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help guide you through the process of shipping a houseboat in Canada.

You can have a pleasant, hassle-free transport experience by following these simple steps.

Read on for some helpful hints to prepare for the houseboat shipping process, avoiding any unexpected surprises whenever possible, and allowing for a seamless shipment.

Ready to ship your houseboat? Request a Houseboat Shipping Quote from Red Foot Haulers and get all  the answers to your transport questions. We look forward to speaking with you. Thank you!

Clean and Prep Your Boat

In order to best prepare your boat for the most seamless transport possible, make sure it is clean ahead of time.

Cleaning Tips:

  • Remove any growth, such as algae and/or barnacles
  • Clean the boat’s hull
  • Remove any invasive species that may be apparent

Prepare for Shipping

  • Secure all hatches, entrances, and equipment on the boat to prevent them from becoming loose during transport.
  • Remove any items secured to safety rails, including BBQ grills, safety buoys, and anchors. Stow all equipment safely and securely to avoid becoming loose during the shipment.
  • Unplug all batteries
  • Remove fuel
  • Remove any excess equipment that would increase the height, width, or length to the boat—this could interfere with the loading process.
  • Secure and stow the engine

Know Your Boat’s Size Specifications

The first thing you will need to do when preparing to ship your houseboat is to obtain all dimensions and information about the size of your boat to share with the transport company.

The dimensions need to be thorough and accurate—you’ll need to know the exact length, width, and height of the houseboat.

We will need to know the full dimensions: Length, Height, and Width of your houseboat or houseboat and trailer, if shipping together.

Size estimates can be useful when formulating a quote but we will need the exact dimensions to confirm and book your order.

Is your houseboat currently on a trailer? We will need to know the full dimensions of the houseboat while it is loaded on the trailer as well.

Shipping an Oversized Houseboat

If your houseboat is oversized, special preparations will need to be made by the transport company, including obtaining the proper permits. Permits for oversized transport will be required for each province the unit travels through.

If the unit is extremely oversized, pilot trucks will need to be hired to assist with a successful transport. Pilot trucks signal to surrounding traffic that the unit is oversized.

The transport may also need to be re-routed to avoid low bridges or other height restrictions.

For these reasons, the size of your boat may cause increased costs associated with the shipment.

Ready to ship your houseboat? Call Red Foot Haulers at 1-800-492-7713 for a quick quote and all of the answers to your transport questions. We look forward to speaking with you. Thank you!

Photograph the Moving Process

Another incredibly helpful part of the shipment planning process is to take photos of the actual boat you would like to ship.

This allows Red Foot Haulers to analyze and determine what equipment will be necessary for transport.

The pictures you take don’t have to be professional — you can take them with your smartphone. They just need to be clear enough for us to assess the current condition, size, and anticipate any potential hazards or problems that may arise.

Consider the Pickup and Delivery Locations

The location of your houseboat is an important factor to evaluate when planning the pickup and delivery.

You need to clearly communicate where it will be located for the truck driver to pick it up, in addition to ensuring that location is easily accessible for the loading process.

This also applies to the unloading process/delivery location. We will need to make sure that the boat has a delivery spot that is readily accessible by the truck that will be transporting your boat to its final destination.

Include the pickup and delivery locations (when possible) in the photographs you share with us of your boat. This helps to see what kind of surface the boat is currently on, as well as the surroundings that may or may not pose a potential problem.

Including the surroundings in your houseboat photos so we can be sure we have enough room to maneuver. If it takes a long time to position the boat for loading, or to prepare the boat for transport, this would increase the cost for shipping.

Providing this valuable information beforehand will allow us to deliver the most accurate quote and prevent common issues before they become a problem.

Houseboats on a Trailer

Having a houseboat on a road-worthy trailer is the simplest method for transporting a boat. If your houseboat is currently on a trailer, determine whether or not the trailer is “road-worthy.” A good piece of advice is to prepare your trailer for the cross-country trip by having it serviced by a professional mechanic prior to transport time.

On the other hand, if your houseboat is not on a trailer, it will have to be loaded on a flat-deck trailer. Red Foot Haulers will need to make sure we have the properly-sized trailer for your specific houseboat.

This is another time when having a photo and full dimensions will be highly useful in helping us determine how to transport your boat.

Houseboats at a Marina

If your houseboat is currently located at a marina, the necessary equipment to load and unload the boat may already be available, including a crane or forklift for this purpose.

If the crew members at the marina are unable or unwilling to assist with loading and unloading the watercraft, separate help will need to be hired in order to do so. Hiring additional movers is one factor that will potentially increase the cost of transport.

There you have it! Figuring out how to ship a houseboat doesn’t have to be rocket science—and when you go with the unbeatable shipping services provided by Canada’s own Red Foot Haulers, the process is simple.

Visit for your free, quick transport quote today.

Ready to ship your houseboat? Call Red Foot Haulers at 1-800-492-7713 for a quick quote and all the answers to your transport questions. We look forward to speaking with you. Thank you!