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How to Transport a Catamaran (4 Ways)

Have you ever considered how many catamaran owners around the world transport their vessels? I used to wonder how they get the vessel to each destination, especially when they vacation all over the world.

Also, you might be considering the purchase of a catamaran far from home and wonder the same thing too. Well, here’s the answer!

Transporting your boat from point A to point B is a simple and common process. There are ships, trailers, and haulers designed for that purpose: transporting other vessels anywhere safely and on time. Therefore, if you’ve seen a cat you’d like to buy from a distant manufacturer or boat event, you’re fine.

Now you know that you won’t have to worry about treacherous conditions, as there’s a means to transport your cat to you. Here’s a full guide on how to transport your vessel from Marina A to Marina B, so you can feel comfortable moving ahead with your purchase. 


What are The Means of Transporting a Catamaran?

You ship a catamaran based on its size on land or sea. There are two water options and two land options as well for shipping your vessel:

  • Transporting a catamaran on its own
  • Transporting a catamaran on a boat transport ship
  • Transporting a catamaran via a competent boat hauler 
  • Transporting a catamaran on a trailer 

Below, we break down each mode of transportation for your cat to help you make a decision that best suits your boat’s shipping needs.

Transporting Your Catamaran by Yourself or a Crew


In the situation relating to large catamarans, the best way to ship them might be to drive the vessel itself. Furthermore, this is an undertaking you might wish to pursue yourself as an adventure.  

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There are things to contemplate if you’d like:

  • Distance
  • Weather
  • Time
  • Fuel
  • Food
  • Your skills or abilities 
  • Getting a captain and crew
  • Insurance
  • Crew expenses (flying to and from) 

The Intracoastal Waterway or a long trip from the country where the boat was made are common ways for new boat owners to get their new boats. 

Even if you’re only a few miles away, it can be prohibitively time-consuming. Most of the time, a qualified transport captain is hired to move boats that are moved on their hulls.

The extra crew might well be critical in terms of large vessels, including catamarans. When transporting a catamaran in this manner, some factors must be kept in mind. 

The captain as well as the crew might have special requests, including lodging preferences for the journey, which might also necessitate purchasing additional insurance, and you may be required to pay to fly them home once transportation is finished. 

You must also be ready for unexpected weather, equipment failures, or other variables that may create setbacks in this type of delivery. If the boat and crew are stranded at a distant harbor for several days due to a storm, for example, you’ll need a backup plan.

Transporting a Catamaran via a Transport Ship

Transport ship

A catamaran transport ship is perhaps the most cost-effective choice for transporting extremely big boats, as well as catamarans over long distances or internationally. As one might guess, these cases are extremely unusual and, as a result, quite pricey (costs commonly run into the tens of thousands of dollars). 

You’ll need to engage with a “freight forwarding” business (known as OTI, Ocean Transport Intermediary, or an NVOCC, Non-vessel Operating Common Carrier) to secure a spot on a ship. 

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There are places on ships that these companies reserve for them, and they also take care of the paperwork and other things that go with it. 

Boat transport alternatives are available regardless of the size or shape of your vessel. As soon as your new boat arrives at your new house, you’ll be a delighted boater for sure.

Transporting Your Catamaran Overland (Pro Hauler)


Land transport is the most common mode of transportation when it comes to shipping boats, and even those that come with their trailers are often transported in the same manner. However, transporting a catamaran down an interstate is subject to certain very precise restrictions. 

Each vessel carried via land must not have a height exceeding 13’6″ (although in numerous situations, you can remove sections including masts, towers, bridges, and related components before transporting the vessel). 

Do not have a width beyond 12’0″. Be all set to get picked up and ensure the arrival area has an overhead clearance of no less than 14’0″ for unloading the vessel. 

An expert can transport your boat overland if it satisfies all of these conditions. This will cost more than hauling the boat back on your own, but the prices aren’t prohibitive in this case. 

A vessel’s land transportation expenses can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on a variety of factors.

The overall price will vary according to the size of the catamaran, the number of miles it needs to be shipped, and the valuation of the boat itself. Consequently, the value of your cat might impact the cost of insurance.

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Using a Trailer to Transport a Catamaran

using a trailer to transport a catamaran

If you purchased a boat-motor-trailer kit, you might also be capable of managing the delivery alone for the fuel price as well as your own time. As a result, you’ll need a tow truck that can handle the weight. If you don’t have your pickup, renting one is also an alternative.

When it comes to trailering a boat, if you do not have enough time or skills, we recommend contacting a professional. While you’re waiting for the rig to come, brush up on your knowledge of boat hauling and towing a trailer.

Regulations for Transporting Boats on a Trailer

boat on trailer

Get familiar with all related laws and regulations about trailers before attempting to tow the catamaran down the interstate. 

States set their own rules for the personal use of trailers, such as allowing watercraft on trailers, and there are significant variations from one state to the next. 

The first thing you should do is find out what the rules are in your state and whatever other states that you plan to haul the catamaran through. The state’s department of transportation will provide these details.

Speed Limitations

In some states, cars hauling any trailer are subject to a lower maximum speed that might differ based on the length or tonnage of the trailer.  

It’s never a bad idea to slow down, as you’ll have additional time to anticipate likely issues. You’ll also do less braking, plus reduce your fuel use by lowering your speed. 


In certain states, the overall length of a trailer is 30 feet, whereas, in others, the overall limit is 60 feet. The towing truck plus trailer must be between 50 and 85 feet in length, depending on the state. It’s possible to tow a longer car with an oversized load authorization, but there are some restrictions.

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Many US states consider a trailer wider than 8 feet 6 inches as a “wide load”. Therefore, they require extra banners, flags, and licenses, as well as restrictions on how long you can have the trailer on the road. In some states, for instance, weekend towing of oversized loads isn’t allowed.


tow truck

For your protection, ensure that the tow truck can haul the boat. Towing restrictions in several states also take into look at the catamaran and trailer weight together. Charts in the boat’s owner’s manual will show how much the trailer can carry, as well as how much the total weight of both vehicles is.

To find out how much your boat and trailer weigh together, head to a truck stop and have them weighed. You can get your trailer weighed for a nominal fee. Make certain you weigh the catamaran with the trailer, including a full tank of fuel as well as all of your typical supplies in the vessel.

To be on the safe side, don’t tow more than 80% of your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. GCVW is the total weight of the truck, its passengers, and any other equipment. You must put the whole load on the scale to figure out the total weight.

Using the weight of your boat trailer, you can inspect the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the trailer to see if the trailer, as well as its tires, have all been approved to bear the weight.

If you’re hauling a lot of gear, you may not be able to fit your boat on the trailer that most manufacturers supply. Before purchasing a used boat, you should check the trailer’s capacity.

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Vessel trailers are outfitted with lighting that complies with regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Always check the tail, brake, and signal lights before each trip because it is your responsibility to make sure they are all working. 


However, some jurisdictions do not require the use of brakes on any trailer, while others require the use of brakes on any trailer weighing more than 3,000 pounds. Some jurisdictions require brakes on all axles for trailers with more than one axle, whereas other states only require brakes on one axle.