Shipping a Canoe

Need to know if anyone has shipped a canoe via UPS or some other company.

I’m in the military currently in Germany and will go to Alaska this summer.

I have my Old Town 160K stored at my father’s house in Syracuse, NY and want to ship it to Anchorage, AK this June when I return home. I emailed UPS and haven’t received a response. Please help…I don’t want to sell it and the government won’t ship it because it is too large (16’ and ~89 lbs.).

Shipping canoes
Shipping canoes is a reasonably costly proposition in the lower 48. Shipping to Alaska is surely even more pricey. I had a canoe shipped from New Hampsire to Michigan that I bought via the I called, Roadway, and several other shipping companies. Costs were between $225 and $400 for a 39 pound 15’ kevlar solo. In addition, these items are handled as other items (i.e.: with fork lifts, and the such) by dock workers, so a reasonably fragile thing like a canoe is very easily damaged depite that most companies will require you to crate your boat in atleast cardboard.

I’ve not talked with UPS, Fed-Ex and other companies, butI’m gonna bet that it will cost you half as much as buying a new Old Town Discobery for $600 in Alaska when you get there.


Very difficult to ship canoe undamaged
My experience - and discussions with kayak shops support - is that it seems highly likely that damage will occur to any boat that is shipped. For example - “professionally” shipped new boats from Impex/Formula (both made by scott canoes) have a roughly 50% chance of being damaged in some way in shipping. This is based on looking closely at many Impex/Formula boats and personally finding shipping damage on 50%. Discussions with dealers of other brands bears out this high rate of damage in transit - so it is not just an impex/formula anamoly. I can only imagine how much worse it may be to privately ship a boat.

I personally would NEVER ship a boat, for any reason. Rent, buy used, borrow, but don’t ship.

shipping boats
i’ve shipped an outrigger canoe from cali to florida with no problems. it cost about $400 though. as to rent and whatever, couldn’t rent a boat like that here. hell, can’t even BUY a huki here.

Even so
I personally still wouldn’t do it. Not sure if they sell shipping insurance for items this size, but I would buy some.

Just talked to another dealer/owner today. His experience was about a 50% damage rate on kayaks that are shipped. Shipping is risky.

anyone going that way?
You may be able to find people who are traveling and are willing to haul your boat. You will probably need to find several to go the whole distance. If you could get it to WA state, you might be able to drive down and pick it up. I’ve known folks who moved boats this way. They paid the people. Try contacting some paddling clubs.

The advice about buying a boat in AK is good. You can probably find one you will like for near to what you will pay to move yours.

in West Virginia has a rig in which he hauls canoes and kayaks, he could likely get it to Southern California for you , anyway. Email me if you want, and I’ll let you know how to get hold of him.

Going to Alaska
Here’s a guy from another Board who’s planning a trip to Alaska later in the summer. He’ll probably pass thru Syracuse. Maybe you can hook up with him. Who knows?

You could build a crate
As so many others have said, shipping your boat is very risky. But considering the cost of buying another boat in Alaska and the inconvenience of needing to sell it in a limited time frame when you leave, you might want to buy some lumber and build a really nice shipping crate. Provide interior padding on all the contact points and make it sturdy enough to be tossed around, and it will do the job. You could even provide forklift sleaves at each end, so it can be lifted from the end, rather than the middle. I don’t know if this is the best solution for you, but it might be one option to consider.