International Moving Blog
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Boat Moving Services and Terminology
There are specific words, terms and phrases associated with moving and shipping your boat, yacht or other maritime vehicle.
We have included a list of the most generally used boat shipping services terms.
Ro/Ro (Roll on/Roll off):
This service is the most common and the most recommended way to transport your boat. They actually tow your boat on a trailer or cradle into the ship and park the boat on the lower deck. This is safe, secure and eliminates any potential damage while the ship is at sea. When the ship arrives at the port of destination it is easy to tow the boat off the ship and to its final destination.
In a Ro/Ro operation, the cargo moves as one piece on a specialized trailer from port to port and in some cases on flatbed trailers or lowboys from origin to destination. There is less handling because the cargo is not lifted on and off the vessel, but driven on, parked, and then driven off. There is no danger of water damage because the cargo is always secured in the vessel's garage decks for the entire voyage. In general, the Ro/Ro mode is the safest and cheapest way to handle oversize boats.
Enclosed Boat Container:
Most liner vessels around the world today are full container vessels. If your boat fits the dimensions of a standard container (40' long, 7'8" wide and 7'10" high) boat transporters will ship it in a container.
These vessels are perfect for cargo that fits neatly into a standard 20'or 40' container. However, when shipping an oversized boat, we recommend that the manufacturer will disassemble certain parts from the boat such as engines in smaller boats, upper cockpits, bimini top, etc.
For oversized boats, transporters use a flat rack and strap to secure your boat to the vessel. We recommend shrink-wrapping the boat to protect it from damage or debris getting into your boat.
Water to ship moves:
Boat movers load and unload your boat directly from the water.
Barge to ship moves:
Boat movers load and unload your boat directly from a barge in the water to the ship.