What is the cost to transport a boat across the country
The cost to transport a boat across country depends on how big your boat is & will be between $1,000 and $30,000. We explain how you can save money
Outline

The costs to transport a boat across Australia

get a quote to work out the cost to transport a boat across country
  • Boat transport costs in Australia will vary based on size of boat and distance to travel
 
  • Different methods of boat transport will suit different vessel sizes
 
  • There is no single fixed cost or price to transport a boat because of all the variables
 
  • Not all boat transporters are professional transportation companies
 
  • You can transport a boat by road, sea, air, train or container ship
 
  • It is easy to transport a boat locally, interstate or across Australia
 
  • Be wary of hidden costs like marina fees, lifting fees, pilot vehicle charges.
 
 

Have you been thinking about moving your boat across to another bay or harbour or to a completely different region in Australia to get more use out of it?

Maybe you can see an amazing boat of your dreams for sale in a dealer in another state but are wondering what the total cost will be to buy the boat and have it transported to you? 

If you want information about boat transport prices and the process for getting a marine vessel moved from the other side of the Australia we are here to help, we do it every day. Our company regularly transports boats across Australia with thousands of people having their boats moved or relocated every week. 

Unlike countries in Europe, Asia or the Americas, Australia has huge distances between each state or city which means local boat transportation companies will travel huge distances to get a boat taken across from one place to another by road.  One of the most popular boat transportation routes that we service is between Sydney and the Gold Coast because so many people buy or sell boats to then use them in these popular waterway locations. Both locations offer a huge range of choice when it comes to buying new or used boats from a dealer, marina or storage facility. 

You might be living in Sydney but buy a boat that is stored at a boat dealer like Gold Coast City Marina. We can transport it down as soon as the purchase is completed, it is a regular cross country trip that we do several times a week. There have been other clients we have helped that were moving from Perth to Sydney so they had all their belongings put into a shipping container from their house, but then contracted us to haul their boat across the country by road so they could use it in the harbour here.

The costs will vary depending on;
  • the size and weight of your boat
  • how far it needs to travel
  • whether it is oversize and requires pilot vehicles
  • what route needs to be taken to accomodate suitable roads
  • the time of year
  • how complex the pick up and drop off locations are
  • how much time will be required
 
It is literally impossible to provide a price estimate for boat transport around Australia without knowing those things, that’s why we provide a free quotation that you can get in minutes once we have a few details.

Getting boats transported across country by road

Mustang 430 sports coupe interstate boat transport from Sydney to Melbourne

Our company moves boats around the country using road transportation. We have a semi-trailer and a custom built boat trailer that can carry boats that are up to 60 foot long, yes huge, big, large boats can go onto our trailer to be taken to another destination anywhere in the country.

Just like any other type of cargo getting moved once it is loaded onto our trailer we can take it nearly anywhere you like even if that means going across Australia from Sydney to Perth. Relocating a boat by road is cost effective, relatively fast & best of all you know exactly where it is without other people driving it or waiting for it to come out of a container somewhere.

Our transportation routes travel between all the major cities in Australia so we regularly take boats from say Sydney to Brisbane as these two cities have some of the best waterways & the most boat owners. Some of our customers even move their boat up north during the winter so they can enjoy the warmer climate or go wherever the fishing seasons take them.

Hiring a skipper drive your boat around the country

contract a skipper to relocate your boat in australia

The other option that people explore is using a boat relocation company that will have their own full time staff or sub contract the relocation work as it comes up. For large boats that are maybe 30, 40 or 50 foot this might be a viable option because you might go along for the journey and travel around the country to enjoy some time away. 

Although it can be very costly because of all the staff required including a skipper, crew, petrol, insurance, food etc. Professional yacht or boat delivery skippering can end up costing a fortune compared to other options available in Australia and take a long time.

If you choose to have your boat moved this way it is important to read the fine print to make sure what is or isn’t covered with insurance or even simple things like proving damage was caused while on a voyage. So if it is a newly purchased boat that needs to get relocated to its new home or simply getting it moved north for the winter you can avoid the cost of hiring a Master V or IV skipper or even avoid deck hand costs by using a boat transporter who does it all by road.

Dealing with a company like ours means you pay for the labour and skill of one person not a whole team.

Can a large boat get moved across the country by road?

Boat transport Mustang 430 sports coupe from Sydney to Melbourne

Abso-blo@&y-lutely we can relocate large boats anywhere across the country in Australia, it is what Peter does every day of the week. Some say he has a fetish for reading road signs and counting the dividing strip markets, but he just loves being out on the open road moving heavy loads between states. 

aMost marinas will have travel lifts that literally pull any type of big boat out of the water so that it can be placed onto a trailer and relocated. They will charge a fee for this because of the time and labour involved to pull it out of the water, but it means you get the option of leaving it there or getting it taken somewhere else when you need it.

The biggest thing you have to consider is the legality and safety of moving a marine vessel by road across country because it could be oversize, your vehicle might not be capable or you don’t have the right equipment to even get it out of the water. We resolve all of those issues and do everything for you.

How much does cross country transport cost?

37 Foot cruiser picked up from White Bay Marina NSW relocated interstate to O'Neill Shipwrights Gold Coast

Like any skilled professional service when you get a quote for boat transport costs across country the calculation is more than just looking at the distance to be travelled. Some larger boats could mean it’s a job that takes many days to complete with great difficulty if it requires pilot vehicles, permits & lots of route planning.

For some people transporting a boat by road might seem an unusual thing to do compared to moving it by water. Although nearly all boats at some point need to be out of the water for maintenance or to be sold to a new owner. Moving it by road is often the fastest & simplest way to achieve this whether it has to travel a few kilometres or be moved interstate. This is usually the cheaper cost option compared to sailing or motoring it by sea. Using a boat transport company means you can save time, fuel, engine hours, plus wear and tear.

Our focus as a boat transportation company is to provide a specialist transport service for large boats. So when you hire us, you get access to many years of knowledge about how to properly lift a boat, where and how to secure it a trailer & how to safely tow such a heavy load over large distances. Our attention to detail will ensure your asset has a safe trip by road (which is fully insured as well)

Most states of Australia also require oversize transportation permits from the relevant state roads authority to ensure each company adheres to the correct requirements. We can collaborate with other marine companies to help you with storage, crane lifts, maintenance or other services needed for your boat.

We always make sure to explain all the costs up front with our fixed price quotes & we don’t hide any extra fees or charges. 

The costs for boats getting moved across Australia have lots of variables to consider. Relocating a small boat might cost less than $1,000 INC GST if you use a local towing company or someone from Gumtree. Our company specialises in handling larger boats that are 25 foot or longer that could cost up to $30,000 INC GST to get it moved. The key factors that will contribute to relocation costs are;

  • What is the cost of getting it out of the water & onto a transportation trailer
  • How long, wide and heigh is the vessel
  • How heavy is the load going to be
  • What is the exact location of the pick up
  • What is the delivery location
  • The total distance that has to get travelled. This may not be a straight line depending on the boat’s size.
  • The total time it might take from loading, transport and unloading
  • Will pilot vehicles need to be required
  • Will permits or other approvals be needed
  • What is the value of the vessel to ensure there is adequate insurance
  • What seasonal period or how quickly it needs to be relocated
 
You can contact a number of relocating services and they will generally all ask you the same questions to then work out the costs involved and their availability. You might be lucky and they have a truck going one way with an empty load so you’ll get a great deal. At other times like summer season the transporters are so busy they can’t deal with the volume of relocations being done.

How long does moving a boat across the country take?

15 meter long river boat transported from Port Maquarie NSW to Fenwicks Marina NSW_

You can take a look at Google Maps to work out the distance and time it might take to travel between two locations across Australia. Although that is just a really simple indication without any assumptions at all, it is based on a vehicle travelling on its own so it isn’t very accurate. These are the things that have to be considered when we calculate the time it takes to move a boat across Australia from the east coast to west coast or just interstate between NSW, VIC or QLD;

  • How long will it take to lift the boat out of the water and onto our haulage trailer
  • The time it takes to secure the boat to the trailer
  • What route do we have to take if the boat is an oversize load, can we use all the main roads or not
  • Do we need pilot cars
  • Does different timing have to be considered to adhere to local heavy load road rules
  • What time do we have to allocate to rest breaks and fuel stops
  • How long will it take to unload the boat at the delivery location
 
What might look like an eight hour drive can actually be a two day transportation project when everything is considered. It’s important to understand this because the costs quoted will reflect this. You aren’t just paying for the fuel being used by the transport vehicle, there are tolls, permits and the skills of the transport vehicle operator to consider too.

 

Steber 38 foot long cruiser interstate boat transport from Broken Bay NSW to Airlie Beach un QLD

How long does it take to haul a boat across Australia?

For the sake of the discussion, Perth is located around 3291 KM away from Sydney so if you travel at the consistent speed of 50 KM per hour you can reach Sydney in 78 hours and 33 minutes. Each state or territory will have its own rules and regulations for long distance heavy load hauling with distance and driving hours governed by Fair Work Australia to keep drivers and motorists safe. 

Long distance or cross country transport means any interstate operation, or any return journey where the distance travelled exceeds 500 kilometres and the operation involves a vehicle moving cargo whether in a raw or manufactured state from a principal point of commencement to a principal point of destination. An area within a radius of 32 kilometres from the GPO of a capital city will be deemed to be the capital city. 

An example is illustrated in the table below where the distances include rest breaks and average speed requirements without things like loading/unloading times, traffic or other delays factored.

From / ToRouteKilometersDriving Hours
Sydney / BrisbaneNew England Highway95011.6
Sydney / MelbourneHume Highway85810.5
Sydney / AdelaideBathurst/Stuart Highway136716.7
Sydney / PerthBroken Hill404447.6
Sydney / DarwinCharleville / Dubbo398746.8
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Learn more about transporting your boat

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.