Is it a power boat, sail boat, houseboat, catamaran or bass boat? Different type of boats must be handled in different ways! Does the boat have it's own trailer or not? If you have your own trailer you can choose a tow truck (make sure the trailer is roadworthy) or, your boat can be placed on a flatbed, lowboy or similar trailer. Either way, make sure the boat is prepared for shipping. Because there are many other things to consider, I will try to write down the most important things to prepare the boat:
It will be always more expensive if it does not have it's own trailer, because the actual carrier will have to use his trailer to transport your boat.
Boat size: the second important factor
Different states have different laws and conditions for an oversize load. If your boat exceeds the legal size limit, they will charge you for oversize load permits. The overall legal height limit (including the boat trailer) to transport your boat on the road is 13'6'. The legal width (beam) is 8'6'. Anything over 8'6' is considered a wide load and it needs oversize load permits. Anything over 12' beam besides the oversize load permit would need an escort vehicle. Besides that, you will have to buy signs, flags etc. So, most of the times, it is just easier to let a professional company do the job.
If you find a reliable one, they will buy the permits, would provide the eventual escort vehicle(s).
Third, it is always a good idea to shrink-wrap the boat before it is going to be transported. It would protect the boat from rock-chips, eventual send storm(if you go trough Texas or Arizona), mud etc.
If you are going to choose to transport your boat and trailer on a low-boy or similar trailer, you might save a couple of hundred bucks! Sources: All Coastst Transport Tel: 818-924-2217 Email:email@example.com