Shipping a fiberglass kayak?

I’m sure this is a common question but I did a search and couldn’t find it. Anyone know a low-cost AND safe method of shipping a fiberglass touring kayak / race kayak from CT to North Carolina? I know many suppliers will ship boats but is there anyway for us guys who like to buy boats off craigslist? Probably not worth the nightmare, right?

“Kaz” of millbrookboats ships new
composite boats wrapped only in bubblewrap with certain shippers. Mine came through unscathed.

Putting a boat in a closed carton can have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind effect on shipping handlers. Evidently when they can see and feel what they’re handling, they may do better.

KAS Transport
Great reputation for transporting composite kayaks throughout the U.S.

Contact information:

KAS Transport

33 Crest Ave.

Macedon, NY


Anybody but…

Actually, I think mine came on Roadway

in person
Don’t buy a boat from any site that you don’t go to look at personally. Once you’re there, put it on the roof and drive home.

Bill H.

I’ve used both
KAS Transport (I sent two surf skis cross country) and regular freight carriers (4 times -twice I shipped and twice I received)

Both worked great!

I’ve also driven about 5 hours+/- each way to pick up boats (twice).

All methods have worked fine for me. That’s not proof it’ll work for you but…

Here’s the thing
The chance of success or failure has almost nothing to do with the shipping company.

It has everything to do with individual persons who handle the package along the way.

What you really need to find is a shipping company that will not give you too much of a run-around on the insurance claim if the boat is damaged.

Make sure that you read and understand all the forms and rules before you pack up the boat and hand it over.

Take pictures when you hand it over. Make sure that they see you taking pictures.

Take pictures of the package on the truck at delivery. If the crate is damaged don’t even let the driver unload it.

Take pictures after it’s unloaded.

Inspect the crate for damage. If you find any, take pictures. Note the damage on the delivery slip. Have the driver sign next to your notes.

Open the package and carefully inspect. Do not sign acceptance of delivery until you are satisfied that the boat is not damaged.

KAS specializes in transporting canoes and kayaks. They haul them on specialized trailers made for these boats. They have their own drivers and equipment. Steve the owner is great to work with. Valley, Impex and other high end kayak distributors use them. You may pay a little more than Forward Air but you kayak or canoe will arrive in fine condition.

KAS Transport new Email address

Foward Air
"Forward Air" doesn’t transport by air. They transport by truck, with a number of truck changes along the way. Fork lift’s are used to load and unload at each change. Then they are used to move the carton around the loading dock and then to load it on the next truck. This sequence is repeated a number of times.

I have had two kayaks shipped from the West coast to the East coast by Forward Air in the last year. Each was boxed in dense 1 1/2 inch thick cardboard. The first carton had shallow fork lift penetration. I could put my hand in the hole and felt no damage. There was none. The second carton had substantial fork lift penetration. They wanted me to sign the papers before opening the cartons. I adamantly refused to sign before inspection. On the second carton, this lead to a 5 minute discussion/arguement with the dock worker, followed a tense discussion with a supervisor before I was allowed to inspect prior to signing. Fortunately, the deep fork lift tong penetration passed just under the upswept stern of the kayak and there was no damage.

I’ve read accounts of kayaks being damaged by Forward Air and the insurance payment offered was chicken feed per pound, with no consideration of the former value of the damaged boat. I’ve gambled twice and had two close calls. "You pays y’r money (much less) and you take y’r chances.