shipping a kayak across country

Does anyone have any ideas of how I can get a kayak shipped from New Jersey to California?

K.A.S. Transport
Steve Skinner, 585-313-9467, is a reliable, reasonable, and above all, damage-free private kayak/canoe shipper. Based on the East Coast, he makes frequent trips to the West. We wouldn’t ship any other way.

shipping a kayak across country
Thanks for the replies, I’ll check them out.

whatever you do,
If you like your boat (even a little) don’t use Forward Air.

Do a search of archives. Listed many
times, good shippers and bad.

I would not do it unless there is just no other way.

I waited a year to have one boat hauled my an actual canoe carrier as truckers seem to delite in crushing canoes and kayaks!!!

Good Luck!



Commercial Trucker
Such as Old Dominion Freight lines or other cross country trucking firm.

Check your yellow pages



I did fine with Forward Air
Shipped an 18’ 3" 44 lb Kevlar SOT from Miami to Sacramento. It was not crated - just bubble wrap ($50 worth - a few inches thick), plastic tarp (big enough to go around a few times), and tape (along all edges and wrapped around about every foot).

Packing matters!!! The receiving terminal commented on the quality of the wrapping job,and I suspect it could have taken a forklift hit on an open floor and just bounced/rolled off. Would have had to be pinned against something to hole or crush.

All the trucking outfits seem to have similar risks/issues. Pack well, GET THE INSURANCE for full replacement value - and FULLY INSPECT - unpacked BEFORE accepting. Insist on it - but find a spot that doesn’t disrupt their operations. They are pushing millions in freight for regular commercial customers and it’s understandable they are not really set up to spend a lot of time with an individual one time shipper with an odd item (who probably didn’t pack sufficiently for trucking in the first place). Knowing what you’re dealing with makes it easier on both sides.

If money is no object - CRATE! These shippers normally charge “dimensional weight” rather than actual weight on items like this since a long kayak takes up a lot more space and handling effort than a typical shipment of same actual weight. A crate can add significantly to the dimensions, and so the cost. What’s piece of mind worth?

Even though I had a good experience - it was a hassle and a bit nerve wracking. I’ve managed to avoid shipping kayaks since, holding out for a local buyer when I sell one.

Second this:
Steve is terrific. email address is

C-Boats ride forum?
I saw this and was a bit surprised. I’m not sure I would trust it. However, it appears people are using it.

Does anybody on Pnet know about the Ride Forum on ?

how much $$, greyak et. al?
let’s hear some prices, eveyone. I priced coast to coast on Yellow Freight, NO discounting. Around $700, for 15 footer. Five to seven days, business to business. You’d really have to love your boat to do that, huh?

FYI, discounting is a way of life in the freight business. Good to know someone on the loading dock. Use a commercial account.

Not Forward Air!
Do a search, this has been brought up before. I only wish that I had looked into it further before I used Forward Air.

$275 for AZ to PA ($100 OVER quote), arrived late, bashed up front end, made a mistake and didn’t look close enough while at their depot, so the EXTRA insurance meant nothing. Now have a scratched/gouged/abused brand new boat, courtesy of the fine folks at Forward Air…

"didn’t look close enough"
So has no ground for claim. Still blames shipper. Go figure.

Follow everyone’s advise on insurance, inspection, packing, and understanding how these shippers/terminal/handlers operate and you should come out OK. Money wise at least. Don’t ship one of a kind treasures this way.

QCC uses Conway (I think) and they are not perfect either but seem pretty good. I had my QCC delivered to me at work for no extra charge as we have a dock - and the driver insisted I unpack and inspect while he waited. There was a hole a the bow end of the box where it had clearly taken a good hit and he wanted to be sure.

I can’t recall Forward Air cost - think it was around $200 including insurance. I spent $80-90 on packing materials.

Yes I do
"Still blames shipper"

They still bashed it, regardless.

Did you read the initial thread on this, where I explain a little more in-depth? I said I didn’t look close enough, and regret it.

So does that mean that their service was acceptable? That because I missed it initially that somehow my kayak is “cured” and suddenly unscratched? That they didn’t screw up and drop it on it’s end? That I should say it’s my fault, and happily use them again?

You are right, I do blame them for the damage. They caused it. I just messed up as far as getting them to do anything about it.

Where in NJ?
Are you near Mays Landing? If so contact George at the Paddle Shack. about shipping a kayak. I was looking at doing this to and he had some options for getting it shipped.


For what it’s worth
I had an 18’ kevlar SOT shipped from Denver to Boston via Forward Air. It was wrapped very well - cheese cloth, plastic, bubble wrap, plastic, extra cardboard protection for the ends and amidships, and the whole thing crated in thick cardboard.

From the looks of things the crate did what it was supposed to do and took all the punishment. The boat came thru fine.

Cost was less than $150.