Are Pack Canoes delicate?

They are extremely light weight and one builder told me they won’t ship them for fear of it getting broken.

The question is better asked of the material and layup, not type of canoe. there are pack canoes made of carbon, kevlar, fiberglass, and plastic. Some with and without gelcoat.

my take
And this is for pack canoes meant for hull bottom sitting… like the ones discussed in other recent threads.

The sides are not as strong as a “standard” canoe but that’s because they don’t need to be.

Could that mean the could fold in easier if you got pinned against a tree in a strong current? Maybem ,maybe not. Thwarts and gunwales will have more to do with that.

It seems the bottoms would have to be every bit as strong as other canoes.

I wouldn’t want to take one on a long expedition trip. But I wouldn’t want to portage a heavier canoe all the time either.

The hull in discusssion was Kevlar or

Shipping Pack canoes
We’ve shipped pack canoes both by Common Carrier (Yellow Freight) and K. A. S. Transport (Steve Skinner) with no more than normal shipping problems. It is true however that Kevlar or Kevlar/Carbon hulls are better able to withstand normal shipping abuse than fiberglass.


Pack canoes delicate?

You got off on the wrong path reading my aside in another thread on a possible entry method for a Rapidfire. It was an aside on entry methods and was stated as a possibility with cautions and not recommended. Wish I never mentioned it----- My Rapidfire has a strong stiff hull.

Pack canoes are built with a wide range of materials and quality. A composite pack canoe can be light in weight due to both build quality and smaller size reducing the amount of materials used. They are not inherently delicate and can be quite strong, as mine is at 15’ and under 30 lbs…

Don’t know what builder and model you are considering or weight you think is extremely light weight. Sounds like you’re looking at Hornbeck canoes. He makes good canoes, light weight at a good price for what you get. Most of his hull designs are easy to paddle (low effort) but have a low hull speed when compared with more modern DY designs. My Rapidfire and the Rob Roy I used to own are much faster than the Hauthaway (similar to Hornbeck) pack canoes I have.

Shipping a composite canoe or kayak (including pack canoes) is a risky proposition if it is going to be transported by trucks with possible loading on and off a few trucks on the way. Same caution with air freight. Can work with careful protective wrapping and luck on handling, but risk is always present. Some folks have had successful experiences and some not. It’s not the nature of pack canoes, it’s the risk of shipping any composite canoe or kayak. I can understand a small builder not wanting to shoot craps with shipping.

There are at least two businesses that transport canoes and kayaks on towed racks. They are safer and more expensive.


4 dedicated canoe shippers.

4 dedicated canoe shippers.

John B. Keller, JMA Enterprises in Pennsylvania: (610) 413-0828

# Terry McAvoy, Maine Portage: (207) 848-9991

# Affordable Boat Carriers in Florida: (321) 724-8960

# Steve Skinner, KAS Transport in upstate New York: (585) 313-9467 or (315) 538-9627

Does this help?

Plus: There is another one out of WV, I believe, but can not find the info right now.



Dave it wasn’t your comments at all.
I was just really surprised to be told they would not ship because of concerns about damage. The first builder I talked to said they ship all the time.

Anyway , I need to get up to canoe shop country and put my hands on some of these.

Is a passport required for southerners to come up there?

No but…
you will have to leave your muskets at home,or be searched at the Mason Dixon line. Just watch out for the blue coats with the cannons at the border. Trigger happy souls.

Happy Paddling billinpa

Southerner up North
Hey String,

I was in Mississippi in March with a church group doing some reconstruction work. The guy who’s property we were working at saw my sunburned neck and said he had to make me a “honorary red neck.” He then spent about a half hour teaching me to say “get it done” with the correct speech pattern and gesture. Four months later I still passed the test in a phone call.

You will be welcome in Yankee land, no passport required.

It is a little knon fact that I am 1/4
yankee and 1/4 Canadian.Eh!