Florida Boat Transportation Regulations

Oversized boats are just like oversized vehicles in that they require special shipping. Smaller boats (small boat transportation) are easy to hook up to the back of a truck and drive from place to place. However, the regulations for shipping bigger boats in Florida are much stricter and clearly defined. It is important to consider these regulations before shipping a large boat in Florida.

The bottom line is that all types of transports are subject to the rules and regulations of the Florida Department of Transportation. The same is especially true for boat transportations. Depending on the size of the boat, as outlined by the Department of Transportation, there may be a requirement for permits, route surveys, and additional escorts.

The Department of Transportation is the governing authority and they are very strict when it comes to boat transportation regulations in the State of Florida. If you have ever dealt with or currently dealing with a company that is inexperienced then you are well aware of the headaches that come with a company that is not qualified to safely handle your boat transport.

Legal Oversized Shipping Dimensions In Florida For Boats

Shipping companies and boat owners are in luck when they want to determine if a boat is oversized or not. The State of Florida has a very clear set of dimensions that determine whether a boat is oversized or not. There is no wiggle room within the rules for transporting a boat in the State of Florida. This is why exact and precise measurements are required when finalizing the paperwork for your boat transport.

Here are the Florida State dimensions for an oversized boat:

  • Height – Any boat over 13 feet 6 inches tall loaded is considered oversized.
  • Width – Any boat over 8 feet 6 inches wide is considered oversized.
  • Front Overhang – The front overhang describes how far the boat protrudes from the front wheel of the trailer. Any front overhang over 3 feet is considered oversized.
  • Rear Overhang – Just like with the front overhang, the rear overhang is the distance from the rear wheel to the end of the boat. Any rear overhang over 3 feet is considered oversized.
  • Weight – Any boat over 80,000 lbs. is considered oversized unless the boat is specifically licensed for more weight. It is rare, however, for a boat to weigh more than 75,000 pounds. This is even true for boats that are fully loaded.

It is important to understand that the height and width of the boat is calculated after the boat is loaded onto the transport trailer. These measurements are used to obtain all necessary permits. Permits will always include not just the specs of the boat itself, but also must include additional factors that include the trailer.

For instance, the height of the boat is not important, what is used for the paperwork is the height of the boat, once it is sitting on the trailer. The same for the weight, the total weight must include the weight of the boat, the trailer, and the truck that is being used to pull the both of them.

Escorts And Boat Transportation In Florida

There are some sizes and conditions that require the use of an escort or multiple escorts for boat transportation in Florida. Yet, again the rules are fairly clear and any high-quality transport service will be able to foresee all escort needs. If the measurements of your boat require escorts then you have to have escorts before the boat can be transported. Failure to have the proper permitting or escorts for boat transport in Florida can result in multiple fines and even the impounding of your boat.

Regulations for Escort Use for Florida Boat Transportation:

Multiple Lane Highways

  • Width – If the width of the boat exceeds 12 feet, one escort is needed in the rear. If the width of the boat exceeds 14 feet, two escorts are needed: one for the front and one for the rear. A police escort may be required if the boat’s width is greater than 15 feet.
  • Height – If the height of the loaded boat is greater than 14 feet 6 inches, one escort is needed. If the height exceeds 16 feet, two escorts are needed. Also, if the loaded height of the boat is greater than 15 feet, a site survey may need to be taken to determine a safe route of travel.

Two-Lane Highways and Secondary Roads

Additional escorts may be required by the DOT to safely move a boat along two-lane highways or secondary roads. Once again, you will need to make sure that you are using a company that is familiar with the rules and regulations as outlined by the Florida Department of Transportation.

It becomes the responsibility of the transport company that you choose to transport your boat to make sure that they are meeting all of the necessary transport requirements as outlined by the Department of Transportation.

Length: When the transporting truck, trailer, and boat combined are longer than 95 feet, an escort car is needed. This is especially common with sailboat masts. Once again, you will need to make sure that you are using a company that is familiar with the rules and regulations as outlined by the Florida Department of Transportation. It becomes the responsibility of the transport company that you choose to transport your boat to make sure that they are meeting all of the necessary transport requirements as outlined by the Department of Transportation.

We Will Transport It has the professionals you need to transport your boat safely in Florida. We know the regulations and can acquire the needed permits quickly. We will get your boat to its destination quickly and safely. The worst thing you want to do is think that a couple of hundred dollars in savings is worth the risk of your boat.

At the end of the day, a fair price is what the basic customer is concerned with. Honestly, although pricing is important, it should not be the only consideration you consider when making a decision on a boat transport company. Contact us for a free quote or if you have any questions.