Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:41 am
Location: Rhode Island

Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Jubilee » Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:40 am

First of all, the background: I am in the Navy and moving from California to Rhode Island. The Navy (thankfully) arranged for the movement of my household goods (HHG), but it was up to me to get quotes for and arrange for the shipment of my 35’ sailboat. I am now in Rhode Island awaiting the arrival of my boat, engaging in heated discussions with the shipper almost every day, and seeking legal counsel.

My specific question is whether or not the shipment of a single chunk of non-HHG (e.g., a boat) falls under the same regulations as HHG. I have received some legal assistance from the Navy and they gave me the publication “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. This excellent publication answers many questions, but also defines HHG as those items that you use within a dwelling (roughly). I do not consider my boat HHG and am wondering if the regulations cited in the publication are relevant. If not, is there a more appropriate publication? The bottom line is this: I contracted a boat hauling company to move my boat and I believe I am being scammed. Is this the appropriate forum? If you know of a better one, I would appreciate it.

You can skip the rest of this too lengthy post unless you want to hear about my dispute. When I submitted a quote request for cross-country shipment, I estimated the weight of my boat at 16,000 pounds. The company loaded my boat and another (estimated at 3,500 pounds) on a flatbed for cross-country shipment. The agent I received the quote from promised no additional charges (verbally, in advertisements, and in a personal e-mail). After a LOT of (unrelated) drama with the shipper, the boat was finally loaded and began its journey. After I arrived on the east coast, I got a phone call that the truck was stuck at a weigh station in California because it was 4,000 pounds over-weight (it weighed a total of 28,500 pounds). The shippers said that the driver was going to enter my boat and pitch 4,000 pounds of gear onto the road so that the truck could leave the weigh station. They said that they hoped I had a friend in California who could drive by and pick up the gear! Obviously, that was unacceptable (and, I believe, illegal), so I used some fuzzy logic and convinced them to install upgraded tires on their truck (without agreeing to pay for them) to the tune of $2,300. So now they are demanding that I wire their company the original fee plus $2,300 before I even see the boat on the east coast. Even if my boat was over the 16,000 pounds I estimated, I believe they are in the wrong because: 1. the agent promised no additional fees, 2. according to the HHG pub, the shipper is supposed to notify me of any possible additional fees prior to loading the boat (and they did not), 3. wiring money to them violates the contract agreement to present a certified check after satisfactory inspection of the boat upon arrival, 4. I really doubt that my boat was 4,000 pounds over my estimate and therefore, at most, I would be responsible for only a portion of the extra fees. It’s my belief that this company was looking for a chump to pay for new truck tires.

By the way, if anyone out there knows details about weigh station regulations, truck/tire weight limitations, or any similar technical details in relation to the above story, I’d love to hear from you. I’m not going to call my dispute a “scam” until I can prove my point.

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby hardatwork » Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:55 am

Do you know what type of unit they used to move the boat? What kind of power unit and the lenght of the trailer.

Also did they give you proof the unit was actually stop at a weigh station? Being overweight they would have received a ticket, even after they arranged to upgrade their tires? Also if they were 4000 pounds overweight they would be looking at a hefty fine that they would be requried to pay, it seems strange they are not holding you responsible for that too? Maybe the next call is the "by the way now you owe $ ???? for the overweight please see wire transfer instructions to follow."

I would suggest on Monday you contact the FMCSA at 800-832-5660 they should be able to verify the correct process for getting your boat to you.

Good luck

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Rick » Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:10 pm

I smell something real fishy – from a sailor no less. Unless the company transporting your boat is a licensed HHG carrier, you’re not going to find much recourse under the new consumer protection regulations.

The boat (and attendant gear) is likely being transported under General Freight or Motor Vehicle operating authority. Depending on the terms of your transportation agreement, you may or may not be liable for any overweight penalties or charges. Most boat haulers charge by linear foot on the boat and trailer; their quote usually includes any unique handling fees.

If the unit was overweight at 28,500 lbs, the truck/trailer providing the transportation is small. Here is a link to the CADOT website for Size and Weight Standards ... weight.htm and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facilities I’m not sure what difference “upgraded tires” would make unless the carrier added another axle to their truck. Most road side inspection facilities (especially in California) would prohibit a driver from lightening his load at the inspection site. Normally, they would issue him a ticket and red tag him (shut’em down) until arrangements were made to get the truck legal to operate. That may include purchasing an overweight permit. In any event, there would be a record of the traffic stop, the citation and how the situation was resolved.

If the driver did enter your boat and “pitch 4,000 pounds of gear onto the road”, you could consider it trespassing but, without an itemized description of the contents, it would be hard to make a case that a theft was involved. You might contact JPPSO Northeast or NETC Newport for guidence or direction in how to proceed. Here is a link for the SDDC regulations concerning the transportation of boats .

If you won’t call it a scam, I will!

Good Luck!

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Ruges » Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:13 pm

Ask them whats the weight of each axle is. Now they might claim they do not have this. If so ask them what portion of the truck is over weight and how much it weigh's.


Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:01 pm

You should be able to get the weight of your boat by contacting the manufacture of it or google the actual one. Also what class is your boat registered under which could clue to the weight and a state cerificate with proof of registered weight? These numbers should be able to ID if they 28k/lbs is accurate or over which I highly doubt they are telling the truth.

Having a 31 foot boat moved means that it has to be on either a boat trailer or a long-bed, not a flat bed. If they are also stuck at the weigh station, get them to tell you which one it is and call the state and verify this. ... ourner.htm

I did a google and this boat lists at 8 tons gross weight.

Another screen print;

Cabo 31 Sport Express
LOD 31'0" Year 1996
Beam 12'5" Fuel Cap 280 gallons
Draft 3'2" Engines Cat 3208, 320 hp
Weight 15,500 lbs Top speed 26 knots

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Doug » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:18 pm

Added info to my above post,

Performance Comparison

Bavaria 40 40.94
Bavaria 47 48.16

Bavaria 40 36.58
Bavaria 47 40.12

Bavaria 40 13.09
Bavaria 47 14.6

Bavaria 40 17415.5
Bavaria 47 25300

Sail Area
Bavaria 40 836.36
Bavaria 47 1167

This would indicate that you actually own a 47 foot boat. It grew overnight :roll: :oops: or :D

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby MusicMom » Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:06 pm

Wow, this an unusual and interesting situation. I for one am looking forward to theresolution of it.

But given the issues that have arisen already, and the resulting comments from the professionals, I have to wonder if the comapny you are using is less-than-good, and may have even been one previously mentioned here. Can I ask who it was? You can even send it to me in a private message. Scammers have been known to make us "problems" in order to get more money wired to them or paid at delivery. If they are demanding full payment NOW by wire tranfer, instead of at delivery, I am immediately suspicious. I am not sure they can make such demands for money stand up in court.

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Location: Rhode Island

Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Jubilee » Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:20 pm

Thanks for the responses!

As to the weight of the boat, I have reliable literature from the manufacturer that it weighs 13,000 pounds. I added 3,000 to my estimate based on the gear that was onboard. There is no way that there could be 7,000 pounds of stuff in that boat.

I will check out the websites that you all have posted here and use them in my correspondence with the shipping company. And for those of you curious as to what the power unit and trailer look like, take a look at this link:

I'll keep you posted...

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby twalker » Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:41 pm

This isn't anything that I'm an expert at (moving a boat HHG vs standard freight) but I'd assume that it's sent via standard freight. I'm curious, however, about how the boat was shipped...

I assume that they picked the boat up out of the water and loaded it onto the flatbed trailer? If so, what was the maximum weight that the boat is licensed for? I'd have a hard time believing that a 35 ft sail boat is licensed to hold 2 1/2 tons and still be seaworthy.

My other questions are about the manufacturer weight. Is the boat wood or fiberglass? Is that with or without sails, lines, (optional) motor, (optional) generator, (optional) head, and any other accessories that were added at the sale but aren't part of the basic boat package? I'm a boater but I really don't know the answer to that, so I really am curious.

Really, I just want a ride on the boat once you get it into port. :wink:

Tim Walker

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Jubilee » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:40 am

First, as to the weight: the 13,000 pounds figure came from manufacturer's literature which I don't have in front of me right now (because it's with my HHG!). But, I believe the figure includes all rigging, the mast, boom, etc. The broker I worked with also looked up the boat's weight in the ABOS Marine Blue Book (a book I have not seen nor can find online, but which I gather contains not only price information, but specifications for boats) and came up with 13,000 pounds. When I told him that I would have extra gear onboard he said that there would be no additional charge for extra weight, but he would put 16,000 pounds on the contract.

The broker works for PK Boat Transport (the company that advertises for no additional charges on their website):

Second, to describe for the curious how you transport a large boat, it begins when you take the boat to a marina that agrees to haul your boat out of the water and put it on a truck. My hauling fee was $10/foot (boat length). Then they put the boat on a low-riding trailer, such as pictured in the upper-right-hand corner of this gallery: The travellift is pictured on the bottom row, second from the left. Once on the truck, they strap everything down, including the mast, and perform an inspection before the customer signs for release. Once the truck reaches its destination, the process is reversed AFTER the customer hands a certified check to the driver for services rendered.

BTW, 360 Boat Transport is the shipper who has my boat right now.

In the last conversation I had with the shipper, the rep said that the boat would arrive around the 1st of March. After that conversation he left a message demanding the monies wired to their bank account. I then left a very detailed message with both the broker and shipper stating that I believed that they were attempting strong-arm tactics to excise a fraudulent claim, that I had sought legal counsel, that my lawyer had advised me not to pay for the tires, that I expected my boat to be delivered promptly, undamaged, and without additional charge, that if they continued to claim excess fees then they would need to provide proof (weight tickets, receipts, etc.) of the services rendered to their trailer, and that I expected all further communication from them to be in writing.

I have not heard back from either party, but I plan to e-mail both tomorrow and call the broker (who seems far more reasonable).

And, if the boat makes it here, then you're all invited out for a sail once the weather warms up!

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Doug » Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:38 am

Since being a native NJ'ite you should get a 2 month window when you are able to comfortably sail. I have a SeaDoo PWC and I wear 2 full dry suits plus to ride around NY/NJ.

Accoding to the 360 site they state that you are to lock the cabin and keep the key, this wouild imply to me that if they were to go into your cabin to remove items they are performing a breaking and entering of a vehicle/boat.

What is 360's DOT/MC number?

What type of sailboat do you have. I might be able to help locate info for you as well.


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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Rick » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:30 pm


I’ve been doing some digging and I don’t like what I’m finding.

360 Boat Transport is also advertised as A-1 Boat Transport Incorporated, Boattransport.Com, A-1 Boat Transport, and Power Boat Transport.

Robert J. Griffith is the registered agent for 360/A-1 but James W. Finger Jr. is the registered agent for Power Boat Transport. The DOT # 879392 is under Power Boat Transport, LLC but they don’t have a motor carrier number to operate their one (1) truck. SAFER is acting up again so I couldn’t verify anything. They have addresses all over Texas under various names. Most are near Austin, although Griffith has an address in Houston.

A 1 Boat Transport Incorporated
3996 E Hwy 290
Austin, TX 78737
(512) 858-0345

AUSTIN, TX 78734-1112

4626 W HIGHWAY 290
DRIPPING SPGS, TX 78620-3558
Robert Griffith
14101 W Hwy 290 1100B
Austin, TX 78737

WOODWAY, TX 76712-3808
2006 Registered Agent: DEBORAH ANN ADAMS

A-1 Boat Transport
4626 W. HWY 290
Dripping Springs, Texas 78737
Tollfree: 800-792-1118
Tel: 512-858-2701 Different from above

A-1 boat transport
14101 w. hwy 290 1100B
Austin, TX, 78737, USA,
(tel) 800-792-1118,
(fax) 512-858-0686

US DOT #: 879392 Carrier Name: POWER BOAT TRANSPORT
Address 16708 FORESTWAY
AUSTIN, TX 78734 Mailing Address 16708 FORESTWAY
AUSTIN, TX 78734
Telephone/Fax (512) 266-0221 / Email
Number of Power Units 1 Number of Drivers 1 Transports HM No
Date of Last MCS-150 Update 01/27/2000

AUSTIN, TX 78734-1112
AUSTIN, TX 78734 Registered Agent Resignation Date: State of Incorporation: TX File Number: 0706760922 Charter/COA Date: May 1, 2000 Charter/COA Type: Charter Taxpayer Number: 32002390840

You might want to buy your attorney a large cup of coffee.

Good Luck!

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Location: Rhode Island

Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Jubilee » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:02 pm

Wow, thanks for the company info digging. I'm sure that will come in handy.

The latest update: I sent a lengthy e-mail to boat PK Boat Transport and 360 Boat Transport detailing my complaint and intentions to take legal action if I deemed their claims fraudulent. I also requested that the trailer be re-weighed and that I be present for the weighing.

The good news: 360 Boat Transport responded, saying that they intend to weigh the trailer before delivery and after the boat is offloaded to determine net weight (I'm sure they will forget to tell me where the gross weight will be taken). The sticking point will be their requirement to receive payment in full before offloading the boat and my demand to have proof of services prior to any payment. I intend to offer them 110% of the original contract price upon delivery with the remainder of the $2300 tire change fee held in abeyance until proven necessary (even though I'm not shipping HHG). The bad part about this plan is that even if they prove that the boat was 4,000 pounds over my contract estimate, I blame the agent for the whole mess. (It was the agent who told me there would be no additional charges.) Therefore, the shipper may have a (somewhat) legitimate claim for the fee, but I would protest paying it due to the agent's misrepresentation of contract.

The bad news: the agent ("Kenny" at PK Boat Transport) has not responded to my calls or e-mails. I just sent him another, more menacing one.

I also got in touch with the FMCSA and they put me through to a transportation specialist, but she was not in -- I left a message.

For the detail-oriented: an interesting question arises if my boat is over my contracted weight of 16,000 pounds but under 20,000 pounds. That would mean that even if my boat had weighed 16,000 pounds the trailer would've been overweight.

On Tuesday I expect to hear when and where to meet the trailer. I'll keep you all posted.

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby Rick » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:21 pm


I'm afraid your operating under the wrong set of rules. The Transportation of Household Goods Consumer Protections Regulations do not apply in your situation. You need to read your transportation agreement or contract.

The carrier may agree to reweigh the boat and may let you witness the weigh and the broker may agree that he was negligent, however, the carrier has your boat and likely won't release it unless you meet their terms. They are not obligated under FMCSA rules to release their cargo for the estimate plus 10%.

Their website states that their equipped for "Specialized Needs- experienced in over-dimensional loads up to 35,000 lbs and 14'+ wide". If that's the case, their Gross Vehicle Licensing Weight (GVW) should be over 28K lbs.

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Re: Trouble With Moving a Large Boat

Postby 23 » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:02 pm

Could the boat be loaded down with water???

This could easily add the 4000 lbs.

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