Seriously, how does this happen?

Uhg…so, I ordered my lovely bride a new boat for her birthday. A brand-spankin’-new Point 65 N Whisky 16 in 3L plastic. Ordered on 11/26 with an estimated delivery date of 12/8. All good so far. I won’t get into details, but multiple days pass and getting answers out of the freight company was futile. The retailer was able to get some information and finally got something done. The boat arrived on 12/15. I’ve received enough boats over the years to expect some wear from shipping, so I always unpackage them before accepting delivery. This one is like nothing I’ve ever seen! Fortunately, the retailer has already shipped out a replacement, but I still wonder what the heck would do this to a plastic boat:

I have seen canoes that were completely crushed by fork lifts during delivery.

A guess. A hard object was pressed hard against the hull in a warm environment.

Yeah, it’s interesting for sure. I’ve seen impacts, cuts, scuffs/scrapes/scratches, but nothing like this. I’m just glad another was available as the Wife really likes the boat.

Looks to me like it left the factory that way. Probably on a Friday afternoon.

Having spent a little time on loading docks in my past lives, I’ve seen and heard a bit about package handling. Heard a story of a package that arrived with tire tread marks on it from a forklift. Ordered a pair of binoculars from a company that did not use UPS; when asked why was told “Too much breakage.” Also heard that UPS makes their reputation for ontime delivery, regardless of condition. Was told by a UPS driver himself that, “As long as we can still read the shipping label, we ship it.”

Every item on a delivery truck gets picked up and thrown multiple times on its way to its destination, starting with its trip through the sorting facility.

This is probably the most common complaint i hear about purchasing a paddlecraft online. It is a huge reason to buy locally from a dedicated paddlesports dealer. Trucking companies HATE shipping boats! They want heavy palletized freight, easy to handle and more money to transport. Bubble wrapped long canoes and kayaks take up too much floor space so they get put on top of things. OK if its pallets of boxes that are flat and smooth. Not good if its pallets of machinery that has irregular shapes and assorted sizes. Your kayak look like it rode many miles on top of pallet, bouncing against a rigid object that left its imprint in the soft plastic, having crushed the foam inner layer. From time to time I transport canoes and kayaks for friends at Oak Orchard Canoe. They actively try to convince customers from shipping boats as truck freight. The percentage getting damaged or destroyed is over 70%. No canoe company ships canoes or kayaks by truck freight. They use their own trucks or dedicated boat transport. Pick your boat up at the dealer, its the best way to prevent what happened to you, both in damage and delay.

I hear you on buying locally, and I’ve done that some over the years. Unfortunately, if I want a boat locally it better be a Perception or a Hurricane. This was the right boat, but none available within a ‘reasonable’ distance (and I’ve driven up to 9+ hours to get a boat in the past). 2 of my last 3 have been shipped in and suffered minor bumps/bruises. The 3rd I drove 13 hours round trip for. I just haven’t seen anything like this. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on the replacement.

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That is a common problem with the demise of many local paddle sport retailers. In my town every retailer that specialized in outdoor equipment (other than bicycles) and boats has closed. The last remaining one did not survive the covid pandemic.

The only retailer that sold boats closed years ago. It is very difficult for a small retailer to inventory boats. If a boat didn’t sell for a couple of years it often had to be sold at discount as an “old model”. Only place you can go look at a boat and buy it isto get a cheap, plastic rec kayak at Dick’s or Academy Sports.

Looks like heat plus pressure to me. How it would be that pattern no idea.

Yes, finding shops that carry sea kayaks can be difficult in many areas. I ordered a Whiskey 16 Rocker about a year ago. It was delivered in A1 condition, and is a really nice playful kayak. I hope your replacement is good, and you enjoy it as much as I do.

As a follow-up to what is now known as the ‘New Kayak Saga,’ my wife finally has a boat. In this case, the 4th time was a charm.

The first kayak is pictured above.
The second kayak was caved in and cracked open under the cockpit.
The third kayak had a break in the side from what looked like a forklift fork.
The fourth boat arrived and only suffered one semi-deep scratch about 2" long so we accepted it. This one was packaged better and shipped by a completely different carrier who obviously cares about their freight.

My advice is to never buy a kayak if it will be shipped by Pilot.

This reaffirms what was my greatest fear and why I am traveling from DC area to Saratoga Springs to pick up and transport home with love the boats we have on order. Going on a “Road Trip” in March!

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Mountain Man? Enjoy the trip! Saratoga Lake should be open by then, state launch at Fish Creek, if you want to get them wet. Probably by Stafford’s Bridge as well.

Yes, it will be nice to get back there. I would love to go into the Adirondacks. That is where we were first introduced to touring kayaks on a family vacation maybe 8 years ago. We were staying on Long Lake and a little Kayak shop there kept renting us nicer boats and paddles each time we rented from them. The last time we rented there (4th time in a week) were the nicest Kayaks we have ever used.
It it is enticing to try to get the new boats wet but as a first time Kayak owner I have already broke the bank for now and we do not have appropriate cold water gear yet. Can’t wait for warmer wait for warmer weather!

You are being prudent. Water temps up here in March are not safe without cold weather gear.

I am unsure of how open the restaurants are for indoor. But aside from the bump in the road from this last storm, vaccinations are going well up here so that may be eased up. Druthers has IMO the best, even if highly calorific, mac and cheese. Beer OK too of course. I think the Thai food at Sushi Thai Garden is decent. Or the chicken at Hattie’s for classic. Check out the history of Hattie’s Chicken Shack.

I love hearing good restaurant recommendations. It is an 800 mile round trip. I am sure it will be drive up, one night layover then back. Any good recommendations for hotels? Nothing over the top just safe, clean and convenient.
I hurts doing it this way with not spending time in the Dax.

If you will be picking up a boat at Mountain Man, they share their paddling shop location and parking lot on Fish Creek (at the boat launch) with Harvest and Hearth restaurant, which has the best stone-fired pizza I have ever had (and I live in Pittsburgh, PA, which has a great pizza joint on nearly every block). My brother lives in Saratoga Springs and I usually visit several times a year – nearly every trip includes taking our kayaks to Fish Creek and EVERY visit includes H & H pizza and salad for dinner. You likely would not be able to kayak there this year – too cold and snowy. But it’s worth the trip for the pizza!

For snacks for the road on your drive back, stop at the Fresh Market off Route 5 just south exit 15 of the Northway and for deli sandwiches and pastries, Putnam Market on the west side of Broadway in downtown Saratoga.

If it wasn’t for them having to suspend rentals due to Covid for now, I would have suggested you could book your overnight there in my brother and sister in law’s 19 foot heated and luxuriously furnished Mongolian yurt in their backyard on the north edge of 'Toga.

But if you make a return trip to the 'Dacks, you could keep it in mind as a stopover – lots of driveway and yard room for safely parking kayaks overnight. It’s “The Luminous Yurt” on AirBnB listings for Saratoga.


Holiday Inn is moderate price on Travelocity, clean, conveniently located and happily predictable. Not seeing anything until March 5 so call them. Not seeing any huge restrictions re CoVid but call.

The big question is Mineo’s or Aiello’s, do you know the history? I grew up a few doors from Highland Park.
The boats will not be in until early April, (fingers crossed) will have to check then. The Yurt looks incredible and would definitely add to the adventure!

Thank you, I am not going to be able to make any reservations until I get the firm date from Mountain Man.

Best regards,