mail ordering a kayak

has anyone order a kayak over the internet and had it sent to them? Some sites offer free shipping but for those that don’t I could imagine the shipping costs. I am not talking about a kevlar or fiberglass but more like a composite. How was your expierence when the kayak was shipped to you? I know that sometimes local dealers have many advantages but the sometimes over the internet theres so much more to chose from and you can find better prices by shopping around.

More research needed.
If you do not know that kevlar and glass boats ARE composite boats, as opposed to plastic (rotomolded or thermoformed) you need to read a book or two before you buy a boat.

Perhaps one fron Derek hutchinson, or Seidman’s “the essential sea kayaker”. Or one of hte many other good books out there.

Peter makes a good point

– Last Updated: Sep-02-04 9:35 PM EST –

If you're talking about plastic, I've ordered two through mail order. One from LL Bean and the other from an out-of-state dealer. Bean charged $55 (I think that's right) to ship it; it arrived in perfect shape. The dealer charged me $70 (but got a good deal on the boat) and again, it arrived in perfect shape.

I've heard the composites (fiberglass and kevlar) often don't fare so well in transit.

Done both.
If there is a local dealer and they have what I want I always buy from them. If they don’t have what I want I order on the net (or telephone). However, some boats are only available on the net. So when we bought my wife’s QCC we called them. It is important to support local dealers. The worst thing is to go to a local shop, try out the boat, and then order it off the net from someone else at a cheaper price. Bad, bad, bad.

3 boats purchased over the internet
All Feathercrafts from 3 different dealers. I purchased a used K2 from Piragis and my Khatsalano from Ocean River Sports. I was in Okinawa then and if I purchased locally, I would have paid almost double. I supported the local shops by providing pizza and beer to the shop and clients. The Kahuna was purchased when I was in the Northern Arabian Gulf from Klepper West. That is now a local shop. Had good experiences with all, but KlepperWest was one of the best retail experiences I have ever had.

I bought a QCC through the net
First rate dealings with Phil and company. I bought this one site unseen and luckily I love it! I also bought my Dagger through the net at Trailhead in Ottawa and can say the same about my dealings with them! Not everyone has such luck with this method of kayak purchasing-it is still best to try before you buy.

Why not Dr. Disco? Thats saving money. If I find that boat I like on the internet for a good price I am going to buy it from them. I don’t give a crap about the local store because if they priced their boat so high then they aren’t going to get my business.

You will need advice, tips,
help with finding the good put ins, etc etc. shops help provide this. Without support they cannot exist.

Ods are the guy selling tubs at wal mart and the mail order shop cannot tell you about the tricky currents in your area.

As far as trying out a boat in one place when you know you will shop for the cheapest price even if it is not with a local competator you are using the stock and employees time of the local shop and doing so under questionable pretenses.

Self interest
It is in your self-interest to support your local outfitter. There is knowledge and connections as well as odds and ends items that only your local outfitter can supply.

It is also likely that your local outfitter is an enthusiast, just like you.

If your local outfitter does not have suitable or the desired boat and or gear, then feel free to go elsewhere.

still no…
all of these things are not worth sometimes hundreds of dollars extra just by buying a boat from a dealer. For example there is a dealer in Cocoa which charges an extra 150 for hatches and 150 for a rudder (not sure of exact prices but around there). The Carolina from them with hatches and rudder cost over a 1000 but there is a website which offers free shipping and a rudder included for 850 and that is the 16 footer. I am still going to go with the website.

If your local outfitter is gouging and is a jerk, then of course you shouldn’t deal with him.

I’ve never heard of charging extra for hatches.

Not Necessarily High Priced
When I was shopping for my boat I didn’t find the local dealers to be high priced and I did plenty of research. I did have to pay tax but not shipping.

Now for the fair price at my local outfitter I get a free (nice) place to put in, help with my boat if I need it, facility to wash down my boat an gear, a dressing room, a lavatory, a low dock where I can practice “pool edge” type things. I’ll never forget on a cool windy day late last fall, they had hot chocolate waiting when we got back! That’s just some of the stuff for free. For a modest amount, there’s tours, dinner outtings, and skills clinics.

My experience has been that there’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain. There’s more to it than just a boat.

Check it out…Lou

I had
A few boats shipped from QCC they all came in great shape. I would not think twice about ordering another kayak from them. I also try to support my local dealers and give them as much business as I can. But they don’t sell QCC’s so I have them shipped.

It seems pretty obvious to me.
Assuming the local shop is a good one and that they have what you want (rather than what they want to sell you), then are a lot of benefits to shopping there. First is the ability to try out a boat. I know a number of people who bought a boat without trial and regretted it. For a store to keep a decent stock of boats for trial costs money and that cost is recovered in the price. Second, there is the matter of warrantees. Dealing with a local dealer is generally easier than dealing with an internet company or the manufacturer (remember, I am assuming a good shop). Third is the convenience, not only for buying boats but for buying accessories. Fourth is advice. A good shop has knowledgable people who can answer questions and make recommendations. Fifth is lessons. Many good local shops offer paddling lessons at various levels. That has a kind of side benefit of making paddling safer in your community because more people have had at least basic training. Sixth, paddling shops are often a center for paddlers to get to know each other, arrange trips together, and bulk purchase items together. Enough?

don’t go there
unless you have to. if you are looking for a rare or unique boat consider having it shipped. but it is expensive and very risky as others have said.

but to go online and screw the small business people who open stores to serve a region just to buy a hunk of plastic is absurd.

new/old carolina
the hulls are a different shape, the new one has some arch to the bottom,the old one is more of a platform than a kayak.

right on!
Right on jvb thats exactly what I am trying to say. These people on here just don’t understand and want to spend more money for the same thing they are buying online.

one of the benifits of
supporting your local outfitter is when you need a $2.00 part he is there for you otherwise you have $2.+$4.99 Shipping and handling. Yes you can save money on many items but you lose on many others, besides i would rather support home town guys

I think we can agree on that. It is much less trouble to order a part or accessories from a dealer. But thats not what we are talking about. I titled this mail ordering a kayak. I want to know about ordering a boat online. It seems that there are some many places to buy a yak from and their prices vary so much that you are bound to find a good deal and what your looking for. Still no one has changed my mind. I still feel buying a boat online after you tried it out and decided on purchasing it that it is worth buying it on an internet site. End of story

Seems odd that you asked your…
original question, when you already had your mind made up ???