Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Arkansas USA
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Owner hauled 32', 9wide mission accomplished or: Single handing Maine to Arkansas
Last fall I bought a Nantucket Clipper and have been planning the move ever since. First I got quotes from pros, ($7000) from Maine to Arkansas. Then I bought an old diesel truck, a big trailer and started to weld.
I converted the trailer to a gooseneck and shortened it to a 28' bed then built a cradle from excess parts of the trailer.
Being 9' wide I needed oversize load permits for every state I passed through. First I called a permit service for a quote, ($750). Then I called the oversize hauling permit office for every state and got them myself. Missouri was impossible to work with so I bypassed them. N.Y., Penn and Tenn required that I get the permit in person so I got a permit service to get them and it turned out at the last minute that the service was too busy to mess with me so he refused my job. This happened on a Friday when I was planning to leave the next day. That is ARETE Permit service. Be sure to hire them if you want to get left high and dry. As it turns out most states permits are about $20, some are more some less. I ended up walking in to get permits in Tn, Pa and the NY office made an exception and gave me one by fax to a truck stop in route. As it turned out my permit was checked in Maine and Arkansas, no place else. Insurance is another thing to work out. I have had GEICO since I was in the military and they wrote a liability policy
for $1mil personal injury and $250K property damage and that was enough for everybody except Misery which like I said, I bypassed. Ky and Tn were much nicer. If I were a trucker with a DOT # I could have done Misery but to get their insurance you have to have a DOT, you have to be a commercial hauler to get a DOT# so there was no way I could do it and they would not make an exception. Also my insurance company is letting me use the policy then cancell it only paying for the prorated amount I used. I think they took good care of me.
I loaded my boat out of a barn which didn't have head room to jack to trailer level until I drug it out first. Now I know how the stones were moved to the pyramids. Mine moved 1/4" at a time and took 2 days to get 32' out and 2' up on the trailer. More money could have gotten better tools to make the job faster but slow has its advantages too. I did drop the boat off one end once but I was moving everything so slowly that nothing bad happened and it taught me what not to do again. After that I knew the warning signs and kept everything in balance and under control.
Maine coastal roads get destroyed over winter. I didn't know that until I was bouncing the 3 hours which became 4 before I reached I95. It did a great job of shaking down my load and the boat never moved a bit from loading to parking in my driveway. Pa and Ar made me stop when it got dark. I came close to being stuck over the holiday weekend but made it home my last day to be able to drive.
To everybody who is considering hauling your own boat, I did it on a shoestring and consider it one of the epic challanges that I have faced alone. The job itself was physically hard but if I had electric winches and better lifting devices would have been easier. Most moves will be much easier than mine and if you pay attention to loading and plan ahead for stops and turns and hills and wind and idiots, it is a great thing to accomplish. I figure this is my first single handed crossing with this boat and while I have a lot of work left in her restoration, we have a good start on many more travels.
Thanks for the advice from this forum which helped me along the way.