Boat transport is much more expensive than vehicle transport. Oversize permits and loading are the two biggest expenses carriers have when shipping a boat. Depending on your situation you might be able to escape both.
Oversize permits are only necessary for larger boats. Each state has its own rules but if your boat is more than 102 inches wide or more than 13 feet and 6 inches high or longer than 60 feet your carrier will definitely need a permit in every state he enters. The permits aren’t expensive themselves but they include very strict restrictions on driving times. Larger shipments may even require a pilot car (a regular size pick up truck that tails or leads the transport truck).
Smaller boats won’t need to worry about loading either. Usually these boats aren’t docked but are kept at home on a trailer. The driver will just hitch up the trailer and get going (larger trucks might even load the boat and trailer onto a larger trailer). All you need to do is make sure the brakes, tires, lights and, hitch are in good condition. If you have a yacht (or similar size boat) that isn’t on a trailer already then it will have to be lifted with a crane onto a trailer. This is set up by the transport company and is factored into your cost.
The larger the boat the more expensive the shipping will be.
Whatever size boat you are shipping will have to be prepared it for transport. All loose items will need to be removed or secured. This includes electronics, anchors, cushions, antennas, flagstaffs, outriggers, and propellers. Electronics should be removed or secured below deck where they will be locked away and secure from impact if the boat moves as well as to prevent theft. Fuel needs to be removed from the boat to lower weight and to prevent the liquid from sloshing around and making the boat shift while in transit. The boat can also be shrink wrapped for added protection from road debris. If you decided to take this extra step the most secure way is to have a professional do it. A poor shrink wrapping job can cause more harm than good.
Another option is to have someone pilot the boat to your destination for you. This wouldn’t make sense if you are moving cross country but if you are moving down the east coast or something similar then it may be cheaper for you. Of course this will involve wear and tear on your boat but it may be the cheaper option.
Talk with a boat transport company. They will let you know exactly what YOU need to prepare for and what kind of costs you are looking at.