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UK & European Boat Transport - UK Boat Shift - European Boat Moves - Specialist Transport

  • CONVOI EXCEPTIONNEL

UK Boat Transport Information

Boat Moves within the UK

Modern road transport is governed by so much 'red-tape', mainly for safety reasons. We always keep within the law and have a “clean” history.This can be tedious but we have to work around problems the same as any other business.

Membership of the Road Haulage Association means we are kept up to date with all legislation as it happens. We have a good working relationship with all the various forces, and service providers to ensure your transport day goes without a hitch.

How big is your boat?

In the UK, loads up to 2.9m wide are classed as a normal load.
Over 2.9m wide are classified as wide-loads.

If your boat is wider than this, then by law, we are required to notify the Police force in each county through which the route will pass. The Police require two clear working days notice together with the exact dimensions of the vehicle and load, the collection and delivery addresses, the date(s) of the move, and the route. The Police may delay the movement times in the interest of road safety or if it may hold up other road users. Providing accurate details to the Police not only ensures that there are no issues during transit but also that adequate Insurance cover is provided.

Sometimes we need to provide an escort vehicle for the load if the police require it, and boats over 3.5m wide require an assistant to travel with the load, either in the cab or in an escort vehicle. We have our own 'Pilot' or Escort Vehicle service for Wide loads that require escorting.

Height limits in the UK vary depending on the route taken. There is no legal limit, but the maximum overall 'Safe' height is 16'6" (5M). Most motorway bridges are at least this height. The maximum height will be measured once the boat is loaded onto the trailer. If any items that can be removed or lowered from the roof this will ensure that your travelling height is as low as possible, making routes easier to plan and keeping distance travelled lower. Depending on the type of boat, the maximum height available will vary.

France & Spain Boat Transportation

Boat moves within France and Spain

In France

The loads are classified by size. A 'normal' load is up to the standard width of a trailer (2.5mtrs wide and no more than 4mtrs high).

Anything over 2.5mtrs wide and/or more than 4mtrs high is classed as 'Convoi Exceptionnel'

 Boats from 2.5m up to 3m wide are classed as Category 1.

These loads require a special permit and can only use certain roads. Some motorways can be used, but only within certain times and some junctions may be prohibited due to narrow toll booths. Maximum loaded height of 4.5m if auto routes are used.

 Loads 3m to 4m wide are classed Category 2.

Cat 2 loads require escort vehicles to travel with them all the time, and are subject to specific routes and times. The vehicle and load cannot travel on any auto routes, and depending on height the route can have hundreds of miles added, to bypass bridges that are too low etc.

For both Cat 1 and Cat 2 loads in France, certain areas will not permit driving at night, whilst there are also a whole host of different 'bans', meaning we cannot transit towns and villages during certain hours. This can add considerable time and mileage to journeys.


In Spain

The only routes we can use are specified on our permits, and we have a whole itinerary of permits that link up allowing us to make various journeys.

The standard width for a Cat 2 permit in Spain is 4.5m wide, still requiring the full use of a pilot vehicle.


Generally in France and Spain, the bridge heights are lower. This requires the boat or yacht to sit as low as possible on the trailer, and any item that can be removed may need to be removed to allow a safe trip. (Flybridge screens, rails etc)

When filling out the enquiry form it is important that we have as much information and as many dimensions as possible, so we can calculate the correct route, and to enable the paperwork to be filed in order that we can operate on the day without any problems.