MOVING IN SUMMER: TIPS AND GUIDE | 2023

Don’t Delay — Book Your Move Early

Our agents are working hard to meet your needs during this year’s peak moving season. We also want to help you navigate the process so it’s easy and stress-free.  

Have extra time or flexibility? Book early — as far in advance as possible is best. Not an option? Read on for expert tips and advice from our pros.  Get a Quote

  • How Early Should I Book My Move? Booking your move well in advance lets us more efficiently plan and manage everything around your relocation and helps us put time on your side. Learn more about booking your specific move type. When To Book Movers Guideline
  • What If My Preferred Move Date is Not Available?During this year’s summer moving season, booking early is recommended. If that’s simply not an option and you know you want a full-service move, consider this advice from our experts. Read More
How To Spot A Moving Scam - Moving company worker packing cardboard boxes, quality delivery services - Mayflower

Real Movers Versus Fake Movers: How to Spot the Difference

Regardless of who you move with, we want to help ensure you’re not the victim of a moving scam. Get tips on what to look for. Spot Rogue Movers

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The Ultimate Moving Checklist

We can help you get organized for your move eight weeks in advance. Check out our comprehensive checklist to streamline and simplify the tasks at hand.Stay Organized with Our Moving Checklists

Pack a car for a move

How to Pack Your Car and What to Put in It When You Move

So much more than a road trip, packing your car for a cross-country move can be daunting. Get advice and how to pack it and what goes inside. Pack Your Car Tips

What to Do While Waiting for Your Belongings to Arrive

Sometimes there will still be a lag between when your valuables are scheduled to arrive and when you cross the threshold of your new front door. We have some tips for you to make the most out of this waiting time.Get Tips

7 Ways to Manage Moving Stress

Moving isn’t easy. Read about ways to manage the process while maintaining your well-being — even in the midst of challenging times. Manage Moving Stress

HOW TO SPOT MOVING SCAMS

Fly-by-night operations and tricky bait and switch tactics scam consumers out of thousands of dollars every day and are an unfortunate part of the moving industry. So how do you know your moving company is the real deal? Being a well-informed, educated consumer is key, so it’s important to do some detective work before you commit. 

Watch Out for These Common Moving Scams 

Hidden Moving Fees 

Rogue movers are notorious for tacking on unplanned and/or undisclosed fees for packing, climbing stairs, heavy moving, or additional weight at the last minute. You should insist on signing a completed moving contract before you let movers take possession of your belongings.  

Deposits for Moving Services 

A reputable moving company will never ask for a deposit to hold your move date. Generally, a credit card is requested closer to your load date. At Mayflower, we don’t require an upfront down payment or deposit to book a move. 

Suspicious Moving Quotes 

The Low-Ball Bid. A suspiciously low bid is likely missing some crucial details – and unexpected costs start adding up once the company has your belongings. Be sure to go over the full scope of your final costs before choosing a low-cost moving agreement. 

The One-Price-Fits-All Bid. Offering one price for every move is a huge red flag! A reputable mover will calculate your estimate not only by ZIP Code and number of rooms, but also weight of goods and the amount of space required on a truck to move your things.  

The In-and-Out Bid. This type of bid does not gather enough information to accurately cost-out a long-distance move. Rogue movers will try and hurry the conversation past pricing and neglect to discuss the complete terms of service until your entire household is packed onto their truck. Reputable estimators will inspect every room in your home (including closets) and ask important questions about your moving plans. 

The Volume-Based Bid. Be cautious of movers who quote your long-distance move by cubic footage of truck space. Interstate moves based on volume are illegal without a weight conversion factor and should be reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) . 

Protect Yourself from Moving Scams

With a little due diligence, you can avoid moving scams and stop fake movers in their tracks. 

Ask Friends and Family. They can recommend a moving company they have recently used and provide you with reviews based on their real-life experiences. 

Check with ATA. The American Trucking Associations Moving and Storage Conference keep an up-to-date list of Pro-Mover certified local and long-distance movers on file. Check with them to find a moving service or to screen a company you’ve already contacted. 

Research Companies Thoroughly. Check online for reviews with the BBB and Google to be sure that they have a history of customer service success.  

Document Everything. After delivery, you have nine months to report any problems to the moving company and file a written claim for loss or damage to your belongings. Note any problems on the mover’s copy of the inventory before signing it. Your mover has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, they must make an offer to pay or deny your claim. It’s a lot easier for them to deny it if you don’t have before-and-after proof or if they don’t see the damage before leaving your home. 

Know Your Moving Rights and ResponsibilitiesFederal law requires that every licensed mover provide consumers with an informational packet titled, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” during the planning stage of your move. Most legitimate moving companies will direct you online to their website to access this information or possibly provide you with a 25-page booklet on fair practices, industry regulations and consumer rights. 

With nearly 100 years as a trusted moving company, coupled with modern technology designed to deliver you a smooth, worry-free experience, you can count on Mayflower. Start a free online moving quote today. 

WHEN TO BOOK YOUR MOVE

The summer months are always a busy time for Americans on the move. The guidelines below offer ways we can work together and get you where you want to move to. 

How Far in Advance Should I Hire Movers? 

The availability of professional movers depends on many factors, including market availability; where you are moving from and to; and the time of the year you move. 

Especially during the summer moving season — May through September — we suggest booking as far in advance as possible.  

Why is It Important to Book Movers Early? 

Both you and your mover need time to carefully plan and carry out your move, so everything goes smoothly. As soon as you can, begin researching different moving companies and the types of services that best fit your needs. The more time and preparation you can give yourself, your loved ones and the moving companies, the less stress you’ll experience throughout the entire moving journey.  

Flexibility is important, especially during summer season. If you can’t get your preferred move date, check out these tips. 

When Should I Book My Mover? 

This depends a lot upon where you’re planning to move. Some areas of the country are not affected by capacity and logistical challenges at all, while others are. Our best advice?  Book your move date in advance. Have flexibility? Please book early anyway. This will ensure we deliver the level of service you’ve come to expect. 

That said, here are some general guidelines based on the various move types: 

Interstate Moves 

If you’re moving to a different state or cross-country during the summer season, you’ll want to book well in advance of your move date. Even during less busy times of year, booking your move date in advance is always a good idea.

Spend some time doing research online to find a trusted and experienced interstate mover.  Local moving companies can’t always perform interstate moves. This is because any move that involves crossing a state line must follow the U.S. federal laws and regulations — including licensing requirements — to help protect consumers before, during and after their relocations. 

Intrastate Moves 

If you’re moving to a different city within your state, book well ahead of time during the summer season. As with other types of moves, securing a move date with a prospective intrastate mover as far ahead of time as possible is best. 

Local Moves 

Moving a short distance and within the same state still needs a good amount of advance planning. Ideally — and especially in the summer season — we recommend contacting prospective local movers well in advance.  

International Moves 

Moving abroad can be a challenging and complex process involving special documentation, shipping logistics, the continued back-up of ocean freight, customs paperwork and clearances. If your move is job-related, talk to your employer, as they may have relocation specialists on staff. If it is a self-move, you’ll want to find a qualified, trusted international moving company as far in advance as you can.

We hope you find these guidelines to be useful as we navigate the peak moving season together. We will provide updates about conditions and timelines as they evolve. In the meantime, our blog is filled with helpful moving checklists and advice to streamline and de-stress the moving experience. 

YOUR GUIDE TO ESTIMATING MOVING COSTS

Whether local or long-distance, moving can be complex. You may decide to do the move yourself; however, hiring a professional moving company like Mayflower will help alleviate much of the stress of moving and let you focus on your personal and professional needs throughout the moving process.

Knowing how a moving cost estimate is put together reduces stress because it helps you gauge the actual financial impact of relocating. A moving cost estimate also gives you valuable insights into how the potential moving company conducts business and potentially identifies any obstacles associated with completing your move. 

When estimating your moving costs, be sure to get a quote from more than one moving company. This will allow you to see the average price range for the specifics of your move including the size and distance, and whether hiring a professional makes sense.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Moving

How do you decide whether to hire a professional moving company or do it yourself? Start with these questions:

  • When do I want to move?
  • What large or bulky items need to be moved?
  • Am I physically able to move myself?
  • How far will I be moving?
  • What type(s) of vehicle will I use for the move?
  • How many trips will it take to move my belongings to my new home?
  • What’s my timeline for the move?
  • What’s my budget?

A DIY move can be difficult, especially if you have a large number of belongings or an inflexible timeframe. Hiring a professional moving company takes more planning upfront but can simplify your move later on. 

How are Moving Costs Calculated?

When determining the cost of a move, every moving company has its own way of calculating the costs of a move. 

Typically, local movers or labor-only movers will create estimates based on an hourly rate, which considers how much time the move will take to complete. 

Long-distance moving companies consider factors such as the amount and weight of your belongings and the distance to be covered. To get an idea of the number of belongings that need to be transported, they may also ask you questions about the size of your current home and the size of your new home. 

Your move-out and move-in dates often impact the cost of the move. Most moving companies experience their busy season during the summer months and prices will often be higher. 

The cost of your move is also dependent on whether you want other moving services such as packing, unpackingstorage and custom crafting.

Always be sure to request information about how your costs are determined and what type of moving estimates you receive before picking which moving company to hire. 

full-service moving quote from Mayflower gives you a detailed view of your moving costs with and without added services. We take our cost estimating process seriously so that we can give every family our assurance that experienced and caring professionals are handling their move.

Why are Moving Cost Estimates Important?

A moving cost estimate provides more than just an idea of what you can expect to pay. It also allows you to compare hiring professional movers to DIY move options, such as renting a moving truck. 

You can use the estimate process to evaluate other aspects of the moving company such as the level of customer service and cost transparency that they offer.

When trying to decide on a moving company, it’s a good idea to get more than one moving cost estimate. This will help you understand each of your options and make the right decision for your move.

Choose Mayflower for Your Move

Over nearly 100 years, Mayflower has encountered moves of all shapes and sizes. We know that the moving process can seem overwhelming, and we’re here to help. That’s why we strive to provide a seamless moving experience for each move, guiding you Every Step of the Way(R) to your new home. 

Mayflower has many other valuable moving resources available to assist with your move. Whether you need packing tips or moving checklists, you can find them on the Mayflower Moving blog.

Learn more about your move and request a free online quote today.

5 Must-See Historical Sites in Lowell, MA

Are you considering a trip or possible relocation to Lowell, Massachusetts? Great choice; this scenic New England town has much to offer visitors and residents alike.

But Lowell, MA, is an exceptional destination for anyone interested in history. The past comes to life here through the town’s many fascinating museums. So whether planning a vacation to Lowell or considering moving, here are a few favorite historical sites.

1. Lowell National Historical Park, 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA

As a textile manufacturing center, the Lowell area was instrumental in New England’s industrialization. Learn about this pivotal era at the Lowell National Historical Park. Stroll through the once-bustling textile mills, float down the canals, or take a guided tour of Lowell’s historical sites.

2. National Streetcar Museum at Lowell, 25 Shattuck Street, Lowell, MA

If you love trains, public transportation, railroads, or all of the above, stop by the National Streetcar Museum at Lowell. Here you’ll find interactive activities and exhibits for all ages, with plenty of hands-on experiences for the younger set.

In 1864, the first trolley ran from the city center to more distant Lowell neighborhoods; horses pulled this early streetcar. Time your visit between May and October, and you can even take a free ride on the downtown Lowell streetcar — it’s named “Desire,” of course!

3. Boott Cotton Mills, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA

Travel back to Lowell’s industrial past at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum. For 120 years, the site was a center for textile production in the region. Today, the museum memorializes the engineers and workers who transformed the region’s economy in the 19th century.

Exhibits include the weave room, which still produces cotton cloth, and photos, videos, and interactive exhibits that bring the industrial revolution to life. Stop by the Boott Theater to watch a movie about this era of rapid change, and take advantage of the gift store on the way out for a selection of educational souvenirs and books.

4. New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St, Lowell, MA 

There’s nothing quite as cozy as snuggling up in a hand-sewn quilt. Explore the art of this homespun craft at the New England Quilt Museum. You can see stunning examples of quilting across the generations, including antique pieces. If you have quilting questions, the on-site library may have the answers.

5. Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center, 40 French Street, Lowell, MA

At the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center, you’ll get an up-close look at the everyday life of people who lived and worked in Lowell during the industrial revolution. Take advantage of the Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit to learn about the workers who ran Lowell’s mills. The Center also hosts a series of performances, such as the Angkor Dance Troupe.

There’s so much for history buffs to see, do and learn in Lowell.

Are you moving to the Lowell, MA, area soon? Contact us today to learn how we can help make your move smooth and stress-free.

5 Fascinating Museums Near Concord, NH

Whether planning a visit or moving to Concord, NH, this New England area has much to offer. There’s always something happening in New Hampshire’s capital city, whether you enjoy festivals, sporting events, shopping, or dining.

But history buffs will especially love the many museums and historical sites in and around Concord, NH  — here, the region’s rich past comes to life. Read on to learn about the top places to explore Concord’s history.

Canterbury Shaker Village

Canterbury Shaker Village has stood for over two centuries since its founding in 1792. Today, the Village encompasses almost 700 acres of land and has 30 preserved historic buildings. Experience daily life from days past as you tour the Meeting House, Spin Shop, Carpenter’s House, Schoolhouse, Syrup Shop, and more. Marvel at the Shakers’ famous woodworking craftsmanship and explore the gardens and walking trails that crisscross the property.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

This education center, located in Concord, NH,  is dedicated to the memory of space pioneers Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard. At the McAulifee-Shepart Discovery Center, you can uncover the history of U.S. space exploration through exhibits like the “Mount Washington Shaky Shack,” a replica of an early 20th-century mountain cabin that allowed for early wind speed observations. In addition, see artifacts from the early life of astronaut Alan Sheppard, relive the excitement of the space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., and learn about New Hampshire’s contributions to the moon landing in the “To The Moon!” exhibit. You’ll also find modern-day displays here, focusing on engineering and technology.

Longyear Museum

Explore the life and times of Mary Baker Eddy, founder, and leader of the Christian Scientists, at the Longyear Museum in Chestnut Hill, NH. Housed in a historic home, the museum documents Eddy’s activities through artifacts, artworks, documents, photographs, and more. It’s a fascinating glimpse into an early 20th-century movement that spread across the globe.

Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum

Learn about the culture of New Hampshire’s first inhabitants, as well as Native peoples from around North America, at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner, NH. Marvel at galleries filled with traditional art, such as the 100 Years of Hopi Katsina Carvings exhibit and artifacts from indigenous peoples around the country. Walk the grounds at the museum and explore the Medicine Woods and the Janeway Arboretum. Educational tours are available upon request.

New England Racing Museum

Located onsite at the New England Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH, the New England Racing Museum is a don’t-miss attraction for anyone who loves cars, motorcycles, and racing. Here you’ll find a collection of racecars and motorbikes connected to New England racing. Round out your visit by checking out photographs, trophies, engines, racing attire, and other artifacts on display. Highlights include a restored Edmunds sprint car from the mid-1960s and a Talladega winner from 1981.

Old North Cemetery

Though it’s not technically a museum, history enthusiasts will want to stroll through Concord’s oldest cemetery. Old North Cemetery was established in 1730 before Concord, NH, was the state capital. Many prominent historical figures, including President Franklin Pierce, lie at rest in this picturesque setting.

Are you relocating in the Concord, NH, area? We can help with your move! Contact us to learn how we can make your Concord move smooth and stress-free.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PREFERRED MOVE DATE IS UNAVAILABLE

We can’t stress enough how important it is to book early to secure your preferred move date.

Rather than take on a DIY move, hiring a trusted moving company still makes sense, as it limits stress, saves time and allows an expert to coordinate the intricacies of your move on your behalf. Plus, you can rest assured knowing moving professionals are handling your life’s possessions. 

Can’t get the moving date you want? Here are some options when you know a full-service move is what you want.  

Push Back Your Closing Date 

If you’re in the process of selling your home and are unable to get your moving date of choice, it may be possible to work with your realtor to push out the closing date. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), you wouldn’t be alone since closing delays can occur for multiple reasons and coming to a compromise with a buyer is commonplace. 

Consider Renting Back 

Provided you’re still in the negotiation phase of your home sale and need to arrange a later move date, renting back the property from the buyer may be an option. That way, you can keep possession of the home for a longer period and, typically, pay the buyer the sum of their mortgage payment, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance (PITI). Please note that this should not be considered financial advice; every person’s situation, and/or different states’ laws and regulations, are different. Be sure to speak to your own legal/financial advisor for guidance. 

Ask About a Short-term Apartment Lease 

Negotiating an apartment lease is bit of an art. That’s particularly true when approaching your landlord or leasing agent about extending your living arrangements on a month-to-month basis, or for less than a full year.  

Admittedly, this can be a hard sell. So, it may help to emphasize what a reliable, responsible tenant you’ve been, reinforcing your commitment to paying rent on time, being a conscientious neighbor and treating the property with respect. 

Ask About Alternative Work Arrangements 

In the event you’re moving for work, it may be possible to contact HR to see if modified working arrangements — such as a remote start or a delayed start date — are possible. Knowing that life happens, employers are often willing to be flexible.  

Do you still want to book a move? Get a free online quote today. Need additional moving tips? Be sure to check out our blog, which features helpful moving checklists and advice, from booking to unboxing. 

Is It the Place or the Space: Deciding What Matters in a Move

Sometimes things just resonate with you. Whether it’s that cozy bungalow that reminds you of your childhood home or a destination that provides a lifestyle you crave, there are all sorts of reasons people find a home. 

Admittedly, though, moving is a major life decision, one that’s often filled with complex — even conflicting — emotions. Depending on the circumstances, its prospect can feel joyous, exciting, paralyzing or sad. All these reactions are fair. It’s also perfectly normal if you’re feeling a mix of all of them at once.  

Perhaps it’s hard to leave a place where many of life’s momentous occasions occurred. Maybe your neighborhood or school district changed, leaving you disconnected from a location that once felt like home. Then again, you may simply feel you’re “done” and need a fresh start. 

The Mayflower 2022 Finding Home Study identified a noticeableshift in priorities when it came to why people did — or didn’t — move. Of the 1,100 surveyed U.S. respondents — 550 of which moved to a new state in the last two years and another 550 of which plan to move soon — there were revelations aplenty. 

Whatever your reasons for considering a move, it’s a time to be kind to yourself and give yourself grace as you work through decisions shaping the next phase in your life. Here are some things to ask yourself, and consider, while you do. 

What Stirs Your Soul? 

Ask anyone who’s moved and searched for a home: When you find it, you just know. Risks, change and scariness of the unknown aside, you straight-up know when it feels right. Sometimes that happens on vacation, when you’re in a beautiful place you never want to leave — and don’t. Other times, it’s being immersed in a community that feels supportive, architecturally inspiring, family-oriented or professionally or politically likeminded. (Interestingly, 13% of those surveyed actually prioritized political views.)  

Many of the best things in life happen when you go out of your comfort zone to embrace change, provided it makes sense in the context of your life. That idealized vision of a white-picket-fenced home is still a baseline and life goal for many people. Understandably though, between the pandemic, whacked-out job market, housing market and recession concerns, a lot of people did find themselves reevaluating what matters most. Still, 18% of survey respondents admitted to having compromised on a less-than-ideal location (be it city, state or property size). 

What’s Important from a Resale Perspective? 

From a resale perspective, your home’s location is one of — if not the — most important factors in determining the long-term appreciation of a home. Are you expecting to stay in a location long-term? To sell your home in a few years? Either way, your home’s location should be a strong consideration.  

Of course, climate cannot be overlooked. What may have seemed like a dream location years back may be a reason to take a pause from a property ownership perspective today. Whether you dreamed of living by the coast, settling into the mountains or seeking solace in the American heartland, things like the flora, fauna, proximity to water and potential for natural disasters are important to weigh — especially since lenders typically won’t commit to a mortgage they deem is a risk.  

How About Taxes? And Rent? 

One unpleasant reality for those purchasing a home is the fact that property taxes are always on the rise. Renting instead? Well, that increases at a regular clip, too. If you’re considering staying where you move for a period of time, it’s wise to consider not just a location’s cost of living, but also the potential for the cost of living to increase. 

Come to terms with whether you’re willing to pay more to live in the place (hello, ever-present sunshine!) or if what matters most is truly the space, in which case you’re not alone. In fact, 36% of those who plan on moving or recently moved leaned into finding their “forever home”. 

What’s the Educational System Like? 

As homeowners know, a significant portion of property taxes goes to the local school district. That’s a fact that not only impacts home prices in the neighborhood — it also can significantly impact a home’s resale value. 

Regardless of whether you’re buying or renting, those with school-age children would be wise to consider the quality of schools. After all, a good education opens doors for the future, while setting kids up for success.  Not surprisingly, 25% or those surveyed considered schools a key component in their moving decision. 

Are You Close to Family and Friends? 

Your proximity to loved ones is always a consideration. Depending on your reason for moving, you may want to be closer to family (32% of our survey respondents do). Then again, proximity to outdoor recreation may matter more (as is the case with 21%). If it’s the amenities that have you beginning anew, is that something you’re comfortable with for the long haul? Many seem to think so — 13% say the ability to work remotely has opened up doors. 

Then again, it doesn’t have to be one or the other — outdoor recreation and closeness to family can exist in tandem. As a past mover noted, “I want to see new places and be able to be close to my family.” 

Take time to weigh the pros and cons of your destination and its potential to bring you long-term happiness or the happiness you need right now. In either case, it may be one of the best decisions you’ve made. 

8 Benefits of Hiring Full-Service Movers

Full-service movers can make relocating a breeze! From box packing to moving furniture, full-service movers have the experience and know-how to handle almost everything. 

Here are eight reasons to work with a full-service moving company.

1. Less Stress and Worry

Moving is stressful because it’s so much work, and there’s often a limited time to finish it. When you hire a full-service moving company, your movers can handle a significant portion of your relocation, and they’ll know how to do it right. In addition, the right relocation experts are trained to complete the work efficiently and safely. This means there’s much less to worry about when hiring full-service movers.

2. More Time to Focus on Your Relocation

Packing can take many hours if you’re doing it yourself. If you’re packing without the assistance of movers, give yourself a lot of time. That’s less time to focus on other aspects of your relocation, like finding a job, a new house, setting up utilities, settling in your new community, and more. When you have full-service movers working for you, you’ll have far more time to dedicate to the other aspects of moving.

3. Everything Is Packed Properly

Full-service movers use all the suitable packing materials, from bubble wrap to furniture pads and moving blankets, to complete the job. With everything packed correctly, you know our possessions will be safe and arrive at their destination in good condition.

4. Cost Efficient

Full-service moving may be more cost-efficient than you imagine. Full-service moving companies keep their prices affordable by getting the work done quickly, much faster than it would take untrained professionals to get the job done. Given how much time it will save, full-service moving is surprisingly cost-effective!

5. Safety

Moving can be dangerous for someone untrained. It’s easy to lift a box incorrectly and hurt your back, and it’s easy to fall while carrying piles of heavy boxes. Falls, overheating, pulled muscles – all these problems can happen during relocation.

6. Move Coordination

 A personal move coordinator is invaluable and can help guide you through every step of your move and answer any questions. With so many other things going on during your move, having one point of contact from start to finish lets you rest easier.

7. Add-On Services 

Full-service movers are often able to tailor a moving plan to your needs. Make sure your full-service movers can provide you with these services

  • Storage
  • Packing services
  • Unpacking
  • Custom crating
  • Debris removal

8. Customizable Solutions

Professional moving companies offer customized services to enhance your move experience. Every move is unique, so finding movers that meet your timeline and needs is essential. Whether you need partial or full packing or help packaging fragile or specialty items, your full-service mover can help with custom crating, car shipping, and more.

Hire a Full-Service Moving Company Today

Moving is better when you hire a full-service moving company. Find out why working with a full-service moving company can transform your relocation experience. Contact us to schedule a quote on your upcoming relocation. 

8 Tips and Tricks for Moving a Smaller Boat

If you’re a weekend boating or sailing enthusiast, your vessel is something you’ll likely want to take along with you. But moving your boat securely over a long distance will take some prep and planning to make sure it’s shipshape upon arrival.  

Small, easily portable craft such as a kayak or canoe can usually ride along in the moving van. For this blog, we’ll focus on moving trailer-able vessels that fall within a particular set of parameters. Use this checklist as a guideline for a self-move scenario. 

The Boat You’re Planning to Move  

  • Is approximately 22 feet or less 
  • Has a beam width of 8’ 6″ or less 
  • Is less than 12 ½ feet tall when on the trailer 
  • Has a trailer and hitch rated to safely tow the boat based on weight and dimensions 
  • Has a centerboard, dagger board or an outboard motor versus a keel or inboard engine 
  • Has an easily steppable (removable) mast if it’s a sailboat 
  • Has been regularly towed by you or the designated driver before 
  • Has an up-to-date license and plates on the trailer 

If you’re planning to move a larger boat, reach out to an experienced mover like Mayflower for assistance. 

1. Plan Your Route  

It’s no surprise that the longer and wider your boat is, the trickier it will be to haul. Add in some winding stretches or mountains, and it soon becomes clear that you can’t always just take the route with the shortest distance. Things you’ll want to consider include the terrain on which you will be hauling, the tow vehicle weight, the trailer weight and the stops (rest and otherwise) you plan on making during your journey.  

Keep in mind that towing any heavy load affects a vehicle’s acceleration, braking distance and maneuverability. No matter what route you decide upon, braking, reversing, parking and navigating underneath overpasses and power lines are skills you and any other designated drivers will need to master. The more you practice these maneuvers beforehand, the better. 

2. Determine the GCVW 

Knowing the gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCVR), in other words, the total weight of the boat, trailer and the vehicle hauling them, is key to ensuring a safe journey. 

Your vehicle’s approximate weight can usually be found in the owner’s manual. The best way to determine trailer weight is to take the boat and trailer to a scale at a truck stop. Be sure to weigh your trailer when it’s off the vehicle hitch, it has all the gear you want to keep aboard, and if applicable, when the boat’s fuel tank is full.  

Also, be sure to check the info on the trailer’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) sticker to make sure that the axles and tires on your trailer are capable of carrying the load.  

3. Prep Your Vehicle 

This is the perfect time to give your vehicle a thorough once-over —or, even better, a tune-up. Make sure the tires are in good shape and that your brakes, headlights, wipers and turn signals are in working order.

Double-check that your vehicle can tow your boat over a long distance. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have a chart showing the maximum trailer weight your vehicle can tow, but don’t forget to consider the weight of spare tires, tools, outboard engines and other things you want to bring. As a rule, you don’t want to exceed 80% of the vehicle’s maximum towing weight.  

4. Batten Down the Hatches 

Carefully securing your boat to the trailer is a must, especially for any long-distance haul. Some weekend warriors make do with their own ad hoc combination of shock cords, straps and cushions even if it’s not best; however, securing a boat for a longer journey requires a certain degree of planning and attention to ensure that the boat rides without swaying, jostling or — in the worst-case scenario— falling off.  

There are three points where a boat should be tied down: The stern on both sides of the boat and at the point of the bow. Use ratchet straps — not rope — to snugly attach your boat to the trailer. Cut up pieces of old foam or, alternately, use rubber mats to pad between the boat and strap to protect the vessel’s finish. 

And one last thing: If your cockpit is uncovered, be sure the drain plug at the bottom of the boat is open and free of any debris. 

5. Check the Trailer’s Electrical System 

If your boat has been stored for a long time in your yard or at a boat storage area, chances are the electrical system will need some attention before you embark. Start out by determining whether the plug-in connection between your vehicle and the trailer is in good condition. If necessary, repair or replace it. Next, have someone stationed at the back of your trailer to check that the brake lights and turn signals function properly and walk around the entire trailer to see if any reflectors or reflecting tape need replacing.  

One thing that’s often overlooked is the small light on your trailer’s license plate: — it needs to work, both for safety reasons and to avoid getting a ticket. 

6. Don’t Forget the Brakes and Tires 

For a smaller boat, your vehicle’s brakes should be adequate. However, if the total weight of your boat and trailer exceeds 3000 pounds, your trailer will need its own brake system. Any trailer so equipped will also have breakaway brakes that will automatically activate and bring it to a stop if the trailer becomes disconnected from your vehicle.  

Remember to check the condition of your trailer tires —especially if the trailer’s been sitting in one place for an extended period of time. In addition to making sure the tires are in good shape and at the recommended pressure, check that your spare tire/wheel is ready, and that all wheels turn freely without any friction. 

7. Follow the Rules of the Road 

Some states have a lower speed limit for vehicles towing a trailer, often varying by its height or weight. For example, in Alaska, the maximum towing speed is 45 miles per hour, while Arizona sets a 66 mile-per-hour limit. 

When trailering a boat across multiple states, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the different compliance regulations in each state. If you are moving to a new state, you may end up needing to buy a new trailer so you’re compliant with local laws.  

Can passengers ride in a boat that’s being towed? In short, no. It’s illegal to ride in anything that is being trailered, boats included. 

8. Keep Your Craft Secure 

If you’re spending more than one night on the road, make sure your accommodations allow boat and trailer parking, and that it’s secure and preferably not adjacent to traffic.  

If you don’t already have one, consider buying a lockable trailer hitch, which prevents someone from making off with your boat during the night. Another item well worth owning is a trailer-tracking GPS, which can be magnetically attached to an out-of-the-way place on your boat’s hull. 

In addition to a canvas or plastic cover, you may want to consider shrink-wrapping your boat. Not only will this keep everything out of sight, but it also offers protection from the elements. Professional shrink wrappers use the boat’s size to figure out the final amount, though you can plan on spending $15-$25 per square foot.