How to buy a boat from another state and get it delivered

Get a boat transported interstate after you buy it

How to buy a boat from another state and get it delivered

The internet has made it easy to find new or used boats for sale in any state of Australia. With several websites listing hundreds of ads from private sellers or dealers like Boatsonline, Yachthub, Trade A Boat, or even online auctions like Grays Boats, buyers have limitless options in any state of Australia. 

However, a recent trend is the use of boat brokers who have a network of clients ready to buy a specific model, size, or type of marine vessel. They can buy used boats for cash and provide payment within 24 hours, making it one of the easiest ways to swap or upgrade your boat with very little hassle.

Buyers are using the internet to find an available vessel and negotiate with the seller before moving it to where they need to use it. Even if the boat is located far away, buyers use boat moving services that can handle all types of vessels. For the past 18 months, thousands of quotes have been requested to find out the cost of interstate boat transport. All types of vessels are collected, even those that are not on a trailer already that are between 20 to 60 feet long, no matter the hull shape or construction type. Our heavy duty boat transportation equipment can carry loads that are 5 tonnes or more across Australia on most major roads.

Buying a boat interstate can be an overwhelming process, before choosing a boat, buyers should consider;

  • The primary purpose it will be used for
  • Who will use it
  • Where it will be used
  • How it will be stored
  • Where is it located & therefore how much will it cost to get it transported after the purchase is finalised 

It’s important to evaluate the general condition, servicing history, and warranty of the boat, and even have it inspected using a local expert if you can’t physically see it yourself because it is located interstate. While online listings are the easiest way to find a boat, there are also boat shows or dealers you might be able to visit but be wary of taking photos at face value because they can hide lots of details like damage or cracks.

Once a boat is chosen, it’s best to test drive it to ensure it’s suitable for you if you can or at least hire a captain to do it for you. Payment is important to consider, read the contract carefully, and check what is or isn’t included in the purchase, most private sales don’t include a warranty of any kind. 

Insurance is crucial; ensure the coverage of the boat while in storage, in transit, or in the water. Once you know the locations to and from, it’s easy to get quotations to transport the boat. Some dealers may include the cost of delivery in the purchase price, but it’s important to check who is offering the service. It could save you some money and let you choose your preferred provider.

In the last 18 months we have been asked for thousands of quotes to find out the cost of interstate boat transport because buyers are using the internet to find an available vessel, negotiate with the seller & then have it moved where they need to use it. Even if it is located far away & you need to move a large boat from Sydney to Brisbane it is very easy & our boat transport service can handle all types of vessels. We specialise in collecting boats that are not on a trailer and are 20 to 60 foot long.

We are fully insured and we are able to eliminate all the frustrations of trying to relocate a boat you have just bought yourself. So this broadens the possible choices you have because you can pick from so many more locations, either private sellers or dealers. These are the steps to take when thinking about buying interstate;

  1. Choose your boat type; The most obvious ones are sailboats and fishing boats, but you should also consider the primary purpose you want it to serve, like who will use it, where will it be used, and how it will be stored.

  2. New vs used boats, there are pros and cons to both, but you should also evaluate its general condition, its servicing history, and any warranty it may have. Considering the fact that you can use one of our mobile slip cradles to have your boat inspected, please keep that in mind.

  3. Find your boat; online listings are the easiest but there are also lots of boat shows or dealers you can visit. A clever way is to use a boat broker like Luxury Marine who will find a specific type for you.

  4. Try and test drive it; looking at photos are one thing but experiencing it is another. Although it is more difficult to test drive a boat than a car, it should be attempted to ensure it is suitable for you. You can evaluate things like the controls, storage, safety items, visibility, noise and close up details like erosion etc. Obviously trying to do this when you are in another state is a bit trickier but you could fly there & have the boat moved later or alternatively seek out a boat inspection service.

  5. Payment; when it comes to payment, it’s important to read the fine print in a formal purchase agreement and look over all the inclusions to make sure they are clearly stipulated in the contract of sale. Also get photos of everything to be 100% sure.

  6. Insurance; again it is critical to check when and how your boat will be insured and who’s responsibility it is while it is in storage, in transit or in the water etc.

  7. Transport your boat; once you know the locations to & from it is easy to get quotations to then sort out the logistics of moving it. Some dealers may include the cost of delivery in the purchase price, but be careful, it may not actually be their company offering the service, instead it may be contracted & they are taking a margin. Be sure to check as it could save you some money & you can choose the provider you prefer to use.

What choices are available to get a boat moved interstate?

Boat transport Riviera 3350 Flybridge relocated interstate
  • Boat ramp pick up; some boat transporters have a trailer that can go into the water to lift the boat out for you at a ramp like Slip Away
  • Backload transporter; your boat goes with other goods either by road or by rail & you pick it up at a depot.
  • Shipping container; your boat is packed into a container to be moved by sea.
  • Tow truck; they hitch your trailer up to their vehicle and drive it.
  • Heavy haulage company; they put it on their trailers with other cargo and drive it by road.
  • Boat transportation by road; they will use specialise marine vessel towing equipment to move your boat safely by road.
  • Drive it by water; you can hire a skipper (and crew if it is a large motor yacht) and they can drive it by water. 


There are many different ways you can get a boat moved, there are inexperienced operators who use their 4WD so any owner needs to be wary of who they choose. Like any professional service you are paying for expertise, knowledge & to have someone look after your new possession. Big Boat Transport has been providing specialist marine transport solutions to boat owners Australia wide for some time now, and has a strong focus on providing a personal service where you deal with the owner operator directly. Our services are not offered through depots, 3rd party storage facilities or marinas. Instead, we provide a door-to-door service that’s available to you, wherever your boat is based.

We have developed and designed a fleet of specialised boat trailers that are designed and built so that transporting your boat becomes as easy as possible and as safe as possible. The movement of your boat from one marina to another can be accomplished in Sydney, as well as a relocation of your boat interstate or even the purchase of a used boat and delivery to other states as needed. 

The boat transport service we offer is capable of accommodating any situation that occurs when transporting a boat. Big Boat Transport has services that are more cost-effective than hauling your boat by trailer or driving it across the water, therefore, you will save more money by choosing to transport your boat by us. The engine hours, fuel, and time can be saved.

Do you have to own a trailer to get your boat transported if you buy it interstate?

Boat Transport interstate

We have a fleet of towing vehicles and trailers that we use for different situations. So depending on the size of your boat, its weight & the pick up or drop off locations we will use an appropriate combination that suits your needs. This means you don’t need to buy, hire or own your own trailer, you can contract us to pick up your boat at the location you purchased it from and we will deliver it to where you want to use it.

What if you buy a boat interstate but don't have a local mooring?

Interstate boat transport for a Grand Banks 39 from Fenwicks Marina Sydney to The Boat Works Brisbane

It might be hard to secure a mooring at your destination, so while you wait (and you don’t want to rent or buy a trailer) you can rent one of our mobile slip cradles for less than $100 a week which is cheaper than marina storage costs. Even if you did intend to keep it out of the water after the purchase, hiring a mobile slip cradle is more cost effective, affordable & easy to do vs renting or purchasing a trailer, plus you get better access to your hull. 

It’s not difficult to have your boat out of the water for a few dollars a week so you can service it, upgrade it, or store it just about anywhere until it is ready for use. It is possible to pick up your boat, either at your residence or a marina, or even at a local boat ramp if you prefer. Even when using our cradles you will be able to do things like antifouling services due to our cradle’s incredible hull access vs a typical trailer. 

The other option is to organise to have boat storage booked at a nearby marina or storage facility. 

What is the cost to transport a boat you have bought interstate?

The costs of transporting a boat from one state to the other in Australia will vary for every particular job. Costs will vary depending on several factors and it is a combination of these things that will determine the final costs to move your boat interstate;

  • Distance and Route The distance and route of the transport can significantly impact the cost of boat transport. Longer distances and more complicated routes can increase the cost of transport.
  • Timing during the year Depending on the timing during the year or how urgent it is to transport your boat the costs will vary as there will be seasonal considerations and other times when oversize loads can’t be driven by road.
  • Boat Size and Weight The size and weight of your boat can also impact the price of transport. Larger and heavier boats require specialised trailers and equipment, which can increase the cost.
  • Transport Method The transport method you choose can also affect the cost of transport. Air transport is often the most expensive, while overland transport is usually the cheapest.
  • Pilot safety vehicles Depending on the size, weight and dimensions of your boat we may need to use one or multiple pilot vehicles to clear the route to safely drive your boat by road while it is on our trailer. The cost of the pilot vehicles will vary depending on the length of time they are required, distance they travel & their starting/finishing locations.
  • Additional Services and Fees Additional services such as storage, insurance, and craning can also add to the overall cost of boat transport. Make sure to get a detailed quote from the boat transport company or your local marina before choosing one.tran


Buying a boat is a big decision, but it can be even more daunting if you’re buying one interstate. Not only do you have to factor in the cost of the boat itself, but you also have to consider the cost of transporting it to your home. That’s where Big Boat Transport comes in. We are a leading provider of interstate boat transport in Australia. We have the experience, expertise, and equipment to get your boat safely and efficiently to its destination, no matter how far away it is.

The size of the boat is also an important consideration. If you’re only planning to use the boat on small lakes or rivers, you won’t need a large boat. However, if you’re planning to go offshore or on long trips, you’ll need a larger boat. Once you’ve found the right boat, it’s time to get a quote for transportation. This is where Big Boat Transport can help. We will assess the size and weight of your boat, as well as the distance it needs to travel, to give you an accurate quote.

Once you’ve booked your transportation, Big Boat Transport will take care of everything else. We will pick up your boat from the seller and deliver it to your home safely and securely. We understand that transporting a boat can be a stressful experience. That’s why we take the time to explain the entire process to you and answer any questions you may have. We also offer a variety of insurance options to protect your boat during transportation. This way, you can rest assured knowing that your boat is in good hands.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when buying a boat interstate and getting it transported by road:
  • Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork, such as the boat’s registration and title.
  • Get the boat inspected by a qualified marine surveyor before you buy it.
  • Negotiate the price of the boat before you agree to purchase it.
  • Be sure to factor in the cost of transportation when setting your budget.
  • Get a written quote from Big Boat Transport before you book your transportation.
  • Ask Big Boat Transport about their insurance options.


By following these tips, you can make the process of buying a boat interstate and getting it transported by road a smooth and stress-free experience.

Other things to remember when buying a boat interstate

  • Get the transfer of ownership signed – The general rule is you have 14 days from the purchase date to transfer ownership. Make sure the receipt is in the form of a statutory declaration and it states no monies are owing on the boat, check that it is owned by the person making this declaration and that the amount you pay is the entire amount required for the sale. You have to make sure it is signed by the person, see his photo license and put those details on the declaration as well. You should also try get a person to take a few photos of doing the deal including cars , rego etc so you have evidence to be sure.

    Make sure you check your state’s website to learn more about their transferring rules and to find the correct forms:

  • Avoid buying from a complete stranger – We don’t want to scare you by saying this, because 99% of the boating community are great people, but there are some horror stories out there and we feel like you ought to be warned. Moral of the story? Don’t trust a complete stranger and make sure there are documents and proof before you accidentally roll away with a stolen boat. We recommend ensuring you have a copy of the rego papers, the HIN number and the person’s license (or at the very least a name and address) before handing over any money.

  • Don’t make a spontaneous purchase – Buying a boat after a few beers with your mates may seem like a good idea at the time. Although we can promise you that the cost to your back pocket (and the disapproving stares coming from your partner) says that it probably is not such a great idea.
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Peter has been operating his boat transportation company for many years, moving boats by road locally or interstate. He can provide a free quotation to calculate your costs with cost-effective pricing dealing directly with the owner.