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Thread: Shipping a boat from WA

  1. #1
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    Default Shipping a boat from WA

    Last time I bought a boat I drove down to WA and hauled it back. This time, time is not on my side and I suspect I am right on the break even point as to what my expenses would be vs what the freight charge would cost.
    Has anyone here recently shipped up a boat/trailer?
    Who did you find had the best prices?
    Tennessee

  2. #2
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    Try the Alaska State Ferry system.

    Or...go to U-Ship on the net and get bids.

  3. #3

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    I'm planning on trailering my boat up to Alaska next summer, do you have some suggestions on what to do and what Not to do? My trailer is new, the boat is 8'6" wide, 11' tall, my truck is adequate for the trip, but I've never towed through Canada or Alaska. I'm planning on shrink wrapping the boat (good idea?). I'm thinking 2 spare trailer tires (tandem axle trailer), lots of tools. I would appreciate advice. How are the roads? All paved? What kind of speed limit is there? As far as shipping, in the past we used Totem Ocean Express out of Tacoma to get our boats to Alaska. Thanks!

    Brian

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Will the boat fit in a container? Check with Span Alaska if it can be fit in a container. If not, I'll check with a co-worker that had a 28' bayliner shipped up last year, which as I recall was $5k to Anchorage from WA.

    As far as the driving the question, it's been a few years since I've been on the Alcan, but it is pretty good shape. There will definately be areas of gravel and construction. It's been in the process of straightening and upgrading since the day it was built. It also seems that the road is in better shape on the Canadian side. You should have little problems and two spares is a good idea, though hopefully not needed. There are quite a few tire shops along the way. We made it up 10 years ago with a Mazda RX-7 towing a 4X8 overloaded trailer, and if that can make it, there is no problem with a truck.

    I believe the speed limit is 55. When planning how many miles you'll make per day, assume you'll average 50 mph. This is a resaonble number that allows for construction delays, bad road areas, and stopping to rest, take a picture etc. Try and keep a 1/2 tank in your vehicle at all times, there aren't that many gas stations, and some of them go out of business.

    There are some narrow winding sections of road, so try and tackle them early in the day. After driving all day, with the sunlet fading, is no time to head through those sections. Much better to take an extra day and enjoy the trip then be stressed out the whole time trying to make an unrealistic schedule.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the tips on U Ship. I submitted a bid and will wait to see what the companies are offering.

    As far as the Alcan, it is generally better than the highways in Alaska. I generally drive it every year and it keeps on getting better and better. Totally paved except where the latest construction crews are removing curves or resurfacing. Worse section is usually the last 75 miles before you reenter the US and the first 100 miles inside the US. Lots of frost heaves, just slow down when you see a red flag indicating a bump in the road cause they really do mean it! Gas or diesel is running anywhere from $5 to $6.50 a gallon right now so carry as much as you can and plan to arrive empty in Alaska becuase it is cheaper within the state than Canada.
    I would take a tire plug kit and carry a portable compressor and a grease gun for the trailer axles. Other than that I would do a safety check on the nuts and bolts on the trailer once a day or so as things tend to vibrate loose.
    Tennessee

  6. #6

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    I'm not sure of their service to Anchorage area, but I might contact Alaska Marine Lines, Boyer Barge Lines, or Northland Services. Those are the 3 companies that operate between Seattle and SE Alaska. I thinks they would be cheaper than using the State Ferry. Good luck

  7. #7
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    Default shipping

    keep us posted on what you find for shipping if you would. I am looking in the Pacific NW for a good used boat (24-32') and have not got as far as looking into transporters or costs (just beginning to look in that area for boats).

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    Default Easy Tow

    I towed up a new boat that was 23' by 9' wide last march and had no problems. The boat was shrink wrapped in WA for me and that was really nice to have since it got really nasty by the time we made it to AK. I have a fuel tank in the bed wich saved my butt on the price of fuel, I think the total cost of the round trip was around $1300 from Fairbanks to Clarckston Wa and back. The driving was pretty good until you get near the Ak boarder where there seems to be no maint. I only got 1 flat tire the whole way and hed that repaired right away in the next town.

  9. #9
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    So far the best price is with the Alaska state ferry. They want just under $1,700 to ship a 26 foot boat/trailer from Bellingham to Haines. Thats about what it will cost me to drive down and back with hotels and such. Then add $500 to drive to Haines and back. But my wife still wants to turn it into a mini vacation and fly to Wa and drive back with me so we will see.
    But the U Ship web site was a total waste. Only two companies responded with quotes and the lowest was $3,500
    Tennessee

  10. #10
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    Have you considered having someone that is heading to Alaska haul it for you for a fee? Know a couple that did that several times and worked for them.

  11. #11
    Member russiarulez's Avatar
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    I had really good time shipping my car with northland about a year ago, they actually shipped it faster than promised, and very good customer service.

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    Shipped a 17'5' (21' overall w/ trailer) earlier this year with AML and it was just under $1500. Got what I would expect from them, my product arrived when it was supposed to with no damage. I just bought a new boat and I think I am going to check with Northland this time (forgot about em last time) but I have heard rumor that they are handling all the WAL-MART and Home Depot product transfer through southeast, so that may translate to lower cost, who knows. Sounds like AML or Northland will be comprable to the Ferries as well.

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