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How to Move Your “Toys” Safely Across the Country

You may be excited about your cross-country move. Perhaps you’re moving for a new job or to be closer to family. In any case, one of your top priorities should be getting all your belongings to your new home safely. 

This is easier said than done, though, especially if you need to move large “toys,” such as boats, canoes, kayaks, and other water machines. Hauling these across several states can sound like a challenge, but it’s not too difficult. You just need to know the proper steps so you can avoid damage. Here are some moving ideas for kayaks, canoes, boats, and other toys. 

Canoe and Kayak Moving Ideas

When hauling your kayak or canoe, it is usually best to do it yourself. Avoid using common carriers, such as UPS or FedEx, since they aren’t properly trained to haul water toys. Many use forklifts, and this can puncture your canoe or kayak. There is also the possibility of your water toy getting lost on loading docks. The cost is also something to consider—plan on it costing at least several hundred dollars to move your canoe or kayak.

When packing and moving your water toys yourself, follow these canoe moving ideas:

  1. Place the canoe or kayak on the ground and fill it with peanuts, foam, or other packing material. Don’t forget around the struts and under the seats.
  2. Cover the entire kayak or canoe with three or more layers of bubble wrap. 
  3. Use duct tape on the ends of the bubble wrap to keep everything in place. 
  4. Next, bind the canoe or kayak with three layers of shrink wrap or plastic sheeting. Apply it in the same manner as you did the bubble wrap. 
  5. Add a few layers of tape around the kayak or canoe. 
  6. Use bungee cords or heavy-duty rope to secure the canoe or kayak to the roof of your vehicle. You can loop the rope or bungee cords around your roof rack if you have one. Do this several times to ensure the kayak or canoe is in place. 

Boat Moving Ideas

Moving a boat is a lot different from the kayak moving ideas listed above because you can’t haul it on the roof rack of your vehicle. How you move it to your new location will depend on its current location, the type and size of the boat, and whether or not you have a trailer.

If You Have a Trailer

Moving a boat is easiest if you have a trailer because you can simply haul it behind your vehicle. However, there are a couple of things you’ll need to do to prepare your boat for an out-of-state move:

  • Drain the gas from the boat. You can drain it manually or go for one last ride in your boat. 
  • Drain all the water. Be sure to check the bilge, AC unit, and water systems for any water that needs to be removed. 
  • Disconnect the cables. The battery and electrical systems need to be disconnected before the move.
  • Remove everything from the boat. Get life jackets, buckets, ladders, and anything else out of the boat before moving. Otherwise, these items can fall out of the boat while you’re driving and cause an accident. 
  • Take the final steps. Remove antennas and anything else that’s protruding from the boat. As a final step, make sure all the doors are latched securely.

If You Don’t Have a Trailer

If your boat is kept in the water all the time and you don’t have a trailer, you’ll need to hire a boat moving company. Before you move, in addition to the steps above, be sure to thoroughly clean your boat and find a place to keep it once you move to your new location.

If You Have a Sailboat

Things are a lot more complicated if you have a sailboat. If the new location is along a river or coast, it’s possible to avoid the roadways altogether and sail to the destination. However, it requires some logistics. If you can sail the boat yourself, it could be a fun journey. If you can’t, you’ll need to hire someone to do so, and this can get very expensive.

If sailing to your new location isn’t an option, you’ll need to have your boat transported. This is not something you should do yourself. The process is very complicated and should be done only by professionals. 

A big part of the process is making a cradle for the boat. This is how the boat will stay on the trailer during the move. Before the cradle is made, the sailboat will need to be partially disassembled. 

Keep in mind all the costs involved. There is the cost of decommissioning the sailboat, removing it from the water, moving the boat, and then setting it back up at its new location. This can cost thousands of dollars.

Contact Us Today

Moving can be a hassle, especially if you have to move your toys with you. You can use these boat, kayak, and canoe moving ideas or discuss your moving needs with Colonial Van Lines. We can help reduce your stress with our various packing and moving services. We also offer vehicle transportation services. Contact Colonial Van Lines today for help with your next big move.

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