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Old    flyhigh (lyle)      Join Date: May 2004       07-09-2012, 7:58 PM Reply   
Hey guys, looking for some advice on trying to get a boat home. Living in the southeast, there isnt near the options on used boats as there are in the west. I know that the option to have one shipped is always an option, but that seems like it would end up being costly after flying to look at the boat then flying home. I wouldnt want to buy a boat, site unseen, so that isnt an option. I guess my only other option would be to fly, and if the deal worked out, to rent a truck and tow it back. Has anyone ever done this? Any tips on companys to use? I cant really find a rental company with just a truck to rent to drive one way across the country. Thanks for any input.....
Old    Sean Griswold (seangriswold)      Join Date: Apr 2006       07-10-2012, 5:50 AM Reply   
I would imagine this would end up being pretty expensive. Renting a truck and dropping it off when you get home may be more pricey than paying someone to tow it for you. I am not sure though. What kind of used boat are you in the market for? There should be lots of options on the east coast...
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-10-2012, 6:10 AM Reply   
You are not going to find a rental truck that will have a tow hitch....it has been discussed on here before.

The only way around this is to set up and corporate account but very unlikely any rental company will do that.

I'd just suck it up and drive. One way rental cars plus gas plus a plane ticket will be more expensive then takeing your truck and paying for gas.
Old    Jay (ironj32)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-10-2012, 6:13 AM Reply   
Check out Uship http://www.uship.com/

You can get multiple bids on having someone ship/tow your boat for you. I had a guy quote me at $1600 to deliver a boat to me in Minnesota, coming from Orlando.
Old    dave byer (dave_the_wave)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-10-2012, 6:46 AM Reply   
I looked into this recently. Like mentioned before, it gets pricey very quick. The most economical option I found is to rent the smallest Uhaul box / moving truck. These usually have a standard hitch. I was quoted approx $800 from Texas back home to PA which was about 1100 miles. I told them I was towing a boat, and they didn't seem to have a problem with it.

For me, rental, plus airfare, plus fuel, plus my time, it made more sense to go with Uship.
But that doesn't solve the problem of buying site unseen.

I also looked into the business / corporate rentals, they have a variety of full size pickups that can tow. But they're more for weekly/monthly rentals.
Old    flyhigh (lyle)      Join Date: May 2004       07-10-2012, 7:17 AM Reply   
Thanks for the ideas guys. I looked at that uship as well, They estimated around 1400. Thats probably going to be the cheapest route, vs renting a truck & gas. I figure I could fly round trip for around $6-700. The only concern would be the logistics of timing for the uship etc. Seeing how I would probably have to wait to try to schedule it after buying the boat. So I guess for around 2k ish I can go that route. Sean, I said South East, but still a long way from East. Im in south Ark, so I have a long drive to either coast. There are alot of boats in Texas, but Im seeing more of what I am looking for elsewhere..
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-10-2012, 8:17 AM Reply   
I have a buddy that is a pilot and he has done it a few times. Disclaimer... it is not me and I don't necessarily condone his actions.

Here is what he has done. Flies in to look at the boat (free or close to that since he is a pilot). When he arrives he goes to the rental car area and looks through the SUVs on the lot. He typically finds a particular model with a hitch receiver installed and rents this model. If he likes the boat and decides to buy it he buys a receiver, ball, and wiring adapter at the local auto parts store and trailers the boat home.

He has a boat and his insurance covers new purchases so the new boat is covered by insurance. His auto policy also has rental coverage since he uses so many rentals. Not sure how they would handle an accident if he had one since he is clearly in violation of the rental contract? He lives on the edge. His out of pocket expenses for this are typically less than $500 including the one way rental.

I recently rented a Dodge crew cab 1500 for $25/day, it was the cheapest National rental vehicle on the list. It didn't have a receiver hitch but it had a ball mount on the bumper and probably could have towed anything if I needed.

Of course this is wakeworld and there are those that will claim you cannot tow over 3000lbs unless you have a big diesel.
Old    Todd (antoddio)      Join Date: Dec 2006       07-10-2012, 8:33 AM Reply   
I saved at least 15K buying a boat in CA. Flew in to San Fran, made a weekend of it and bought the boat. Shipping was $1200 back to WI, 2400 miles.

I wouldn't try to drive it yourself...takes way too much time.
Old    Jay (ironj32)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-10-2012, 10:27 AM Reply   
You can always try to line up a shipper on Uship, but let them know that it is tentative...let him know that you are flying out to look at it, and if you like it you'd need him to haul it on such and such date. The guy I was working with was fine with it...we had the pricing figured out, and I was to let him know within 3 days of when it was to be shipped.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-10-2012, 10:36 AM Reply   
Just thought of this - You could rent a uhual moving truck....they have hitches
Old    M-Dizzle (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       07-10-2012, 10:56 AM Reply   
I have done this. Bought my boat in Texas...live in CA. I rented a Uhual with a trailer hitch. I packed some additional tie downs, hitches, tools, wiring harnesses and connectors, etc. in my luggage to address any potential issues. In addition I packed a few small blocks of 2x4's in case I got a flat in the middle of nowhere I could three wheel tow (tandem trailer) to a tire shop.

My overall experience was a good one. I saved probably $5k plus going this route (factoring in all the costs, time lost, etc.). Plus I was able to go with my dad so it was a good bonding experience. Looking back here are some things I would change...

Try to rent something other than a box van that is more comfortable (no cruise control or a tilt seat or steering sucks!). I would also try to make a vacation out of it and stop along the way...probably cable parks and some other places. Having two drivers is a HUGE help since each one can knock out 6-10 hours of driving at a sitting helping you put some serious distance in a day. Also, if you are NOT going to be using the boat, consider pulling as much out of the boat as possible before the big tow back so you dont have to drag that crap out at 2am in a motel parking lot while you are drained from driving a 14hr day. I would also do things like disconnect the battery so if kids or punks try to screw with it in a parking lot they cannot hotwire or fire the motor. In addition, the 5-10 bucks+ for valet (if staying in a nice hotel) is a GREAT peace of mind for sleeping and enjoying your evenings.

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