How to transport a boat bigger than 20 foot in australia

Transporting large boats in Australia by road is possible to do if you use a transportation expert like Slip Away.


Boat Transport Brisbane to Sydney Moving a 895 Merry Fisher boat from Queensland to New South Wales to be put in the water by Slip Away interstate Boat Transport company at a marina in the Hawksbury

Get a specialist haulage transport service to move your large boat

You can learn how to transport a boat that is larger than 20 foot in Australia by reading through the Boating Handbook from Service NSW or the information available from Transport NSW and what you will find is that it is an extremely complex topic. The information we just mentioned is just for NSW and each State has its own interpretation of how they want people to manage large boat transportation. Needless to say, if you have a large boat that is 20 foot in length and you’d like to move it then you are better off hiring a specialist boat transport company to do it for you. Slip Away has the equipment needed to tow a large boat across Sydney or interstate into Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast or even upt o Port Douglas.

Some examples of large boats we can move;

  • Sea Ray 250 27 foot v-hull
  • Four Winns Vista 278 29 foot v-hull
  • Sea Ray 205 Sport bowrider v-hull 21 foot
  • Sea Ray 275 Sundancer sports cruiser 29 foot v-hull
  • Whittley Cruisemaster 700 23 foot sports cruiser v-hull
and many other types of large boats.

How do you tow a large boat?

How to transport a boat bigger than 20 foot overwidth in nsw diagram

It is critical to understand the latest towing requirements for large boats in Australia. This is why you hire a transportation company like Slip Away who have the exerience and knowledge to safely move your boat. Driving your boat on water is completely different to trying to move a large boat on the main roads of Sydney. Towing an oversized trailer has all types of safety and insurance requirements that have to be considered. So getting your large boat to a boat ramp or to another location isn’t as easy as it may initially seem.


One of the first things to understand is the towing terminology that is used & you have to know this just to work out if you have the right vehicle and trailer to tow your boat. 

  • Tare mass (TM) is the mass of the trailer unladen, as it leaves the factory, ready to be registered and used. TM does not include the boat or options fitted (except factory-fitted options).
  • Gross trailer mass (GTM) is the mass that can be carried by the trailer’s wheels, with everything on the trailer (the boat, outboards, fuel, your gear etc).
  • Tow ball mass (TBM) is the amount of the trailer’s mass imposed on the tow ball of your tow vehicle.
  • Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) is the combination of GTM and TBM. Imagine your trailer boat, all loaded up but sitting on its jockey wheel — that mass sitting on the road is ATM.
This is just the beginning of what you need to understand and why for many boat owners it is more sensible and less stressful to hire a professional boat moving company to do it for you. 


What vehicle do you need to tow a large boat?

Slip Away Boat Transport Company in Australia that can move large boats or tiny homes quickly

Slip Away has a custom built towing vehicle that has been specifically engineered and designed to safely tow large boats in Sydney or interstate. We spent the time and effort to ensure we had a towing vehicle that could safely tow all types of large boats. Most typical family vehicles will not be suitable for towing large boats. You need the right tow vehicle and towbar. If you are going to try do it yourself you have to make sure both your vehicle and the towbar have a plate or sticker noting maximum permitted towing mass figures, both for total towing mass and TBM (the vehicle towing capacities are usually on a sticker fitted to the trailing edge of the driver’s door.) You have to be very careful here because for example a Holden VFII Commodore can tow 2100kg but Holden offers a choice of 1200kg, 1600kg or 2100kg towbars so if you try to tow 3500kg then a 2000kg-rated towball is no use to you and can be extremely unsafe.


You also have to look at things like the vehicle’s weight and these maximums include kerb mass, axle mass, gross vehicle mass and gross combined mass. Towing speed limits are also critical to understand, before you worry about State limits the vehicle manufacturers cap maximum speeds when towing. So your vehicle may only be able to travel 80km/h, while our equipment may be able to achieve the prevailing speed limit of up to 110km/h in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, NT, SA and the ACT. Doesn’t sound like a big difference but if you are towing from Brisbane to Sydney that can add hours to your trip.  Then you have to consider things like trailer brakes as they are necessary especially for a GTM of between 2000kg-4500kg,  In all jurisdictions, for boats no more than 2.90m wide, you’ll need ‘Oversize’ signs on the front of the tow vehicle and the rear of the trailer, and four flags on the trailer, all of which need to be to Australian Standards specifications.


The list goes on and on, even little things like a tow vehicle’s low-beam headlights must be on during the day (except NSW, where Daytime Running Lights – where fitted – are acceptable).You can’t travel in poor-visibility conditions (fog, heavy rain, smoke) or other conditions where visibility is less than 250m. You can’t tow closer than 200m behind another oversize vehicle except when overtaking or in an urban area. In NSW, oversize trailer boats up to 2.70m width cannot travel between sunset and midnight and can only travel between midnight and sunrise in certain areas.


So towing a big or oversized boat across borders and interstate does require a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations, that is why hiring Slip Away becomes the simple choice to move your large boat quickly and safely.

How to move a large boat from a boat ramp or a marina

Slip Away boat transport can move a large boat from a marina to a boat ramp. We can meet you at any type of location you need to pick up your large boat and transport it where you need. So you might be getting your boat  restored and it needs to be out of the water, so we can pull it out of the water at a boat ramp then take it to a marine service company like Gelcoat Fibreglass Boat Repairers

Or maybe you have your boat docked at a marina, you can have them lift the boat out of the water with a crane onto one of our trailers to then move it to another marina or interstate. Our transportation services can cater to lots of different scenarios

Other questions about boat transportation


Yes, Slip Away can do interstate boat transport from Sydney to Brisbane or Melbourne to all the popular marinas on the east coast of Australia. Our interstate transportation service is available 7 days a week and is fully insured.



Yes we can transport boats by road from a marina, house, storage facility or garage, it doesn’t matter. We have the equipment to make moving boats around Australia very easy.


We can provide you boat transport in NSW or from Sydney to say Brisbane or Melbourne with or without a trailer. So for example we can pick your boat up from a Marina or a Boat Ramp then take it to where you need it to be moved to. We have specialist boat trailer equipment to make it easy to haul your boat by road quickly and easily.


We can pick your boat up from the water at a boat ramp using our specialist boat trailer equipment. So if you want to transport your boat but don’t have a trailer that is fine, we can meet you at the water to pick you up.


Well boat shipping is the same as boat transport. We can move a small, big or large boat as well as yachts either in Sydney or interstate. We specialise in east coast boat transport.

can you do sailboat transport?

This is one of those random questions about boat transport we get asked from time to time. Yes we can do transport and shipping for all types of boats including sailboats, yachts and houseboats. 

Is my boat insured while it is being transported?

Yes we have full Marine Transit Cover Insurance which insures your boat while it is being transported to give you peace of mind. This is not an additional charge or hidden expense, we included it in our pricing.


Yes we can pick up and transport a boat from interstate with our specialist trailers. It makes buying a boat really simple and easy as we do all the work for you.

how long does it take to transport my boat?

This will depend on the type of boat and the distance it needs to travel. Transporting a boat can take a day or a week it just depends on the circumstances but we can advise you at the time of getting a quote or making a booking.

is it worth buying a boat trailer?

We think buying a boat trailer is a waste of time and money. They can cost over ten thousand dollars and sit around most of the time not doing anything. You can hire a mobile slip cradle for as little as $66 per week.

is the transport price cheaper if i help?

No unfortunately, if you get involved it can actually make the process slower and add risk. Our team of professionals are fully qualified and have been handling boat transport situations for many years. You could provide a cup of coffee or a beer afterwards though. 🙂

Who makes your boat transport trailers?

We manufacture, design and service all our boat trailers in house using our expert knowledge and experience moving boats from all kinds of locations.

Does the boat have to run to use a slip cradle?

As long as you can get it to a jetty or boat ramp we can pick it up. So if your boat isn’t running, then getting it towed is the easiest solution as our trucks or mobile slip cradle can’t float unfortunately (although we have contemplated getting them converted)

How long can I hire a mobile slip cradle for?

You can hire a mobile slip cradle for as long as you like as long as your account is paid in full. You can also extend your existing agreement, just contact us.

how much notice do you need to transport my boat?

The earlier we know, the more flexible we can be with dates and times to transport your boat. If our week fills up then the transport dates available will be reduced as we have to manage trucks going up and down the coast.

can i antifoul my boat on your mobile slip cradle

Yes you can antifoul your boat while it is on our cradle, that’s how we designed it. You also have better access to your hull vs it being on a trailer.

what is a mobile slip cradle for a boat?

It’s a mobile platform that can hold your boat in place and give you nearly complete access to the hull for things like antifouling, engine servicing and more. It’s a simple and effective solution that is cheaper than either buying or hiring a boat trailer.

Who is sydney boat transport?

This is our company just operating on a different website which has been in operation for a number of years. Although you have come to the right website and the one we love more. 


This is obviously one of the most asked questions about boat transport. Costs range from $900 to $8000 and will vary depending on where the boat is being picked up from, the distance it has to travel and the type of boat it is. The cost isn’t just for the time it is in transit, there is also the loading and unloading time, administration time, logistics management time etc that is required and forms part of the cost. 


Yes with our specialist trailer we can transport your trailer boat to nearly any location you like. Trailer boat transport costs range from $900 to $8000 and will vary depending on where the boat is being picked up from, the distance it has to travel and the type of boat it is. The cost isn’t just for the time it is in transit, there is also the loading and unloading time, administration time, logistics management time etc that is required and forms part of the cost. 

Read the reviews about our boat transportation service from clients who have had their boat moved, relocated or transported by Slip Away.