Shipping a Kayak - success story

Just wanted to report this for the record, because i searched this board extensively for info prior to shipping a kayak. Hopefully it will help others in the future.

I purchased a kayak from a very nice person in Tennessee. The kayak was posted here on the classifieds. A Carolina 12, 12 feet long x 21 inches wide, 35 lbs. I needed to get it shipped from TN to WA.

I tried first, and received a couple high bids. I had great luck with this about 2 years ago when i had a Wenonah Advantage shipped from Kansas to Washington. In that case i found a family who was travelling through, and put the canoe on top of their rig and covered some of their gas costs. I think it cost me $90.

I also contacted DHL and KAS Transport. Both were very high ($250 - $300). The best quote i received was from Jason Zuba at, for $140. Jason was great to work with, and i would check with him again if i was shipping a boat. I also tried Sports Express, and they said they couldn’t ship a boat of this size. I believe they were the ones who referred me to Jason Zuba.

However, i finally settled on Forward Air. They shipped the boat for about $85, including $400 in insurance. The boat was well packaged by the owner (she went to REI and was able to get some of their old kayak packing materials). Forward Air had the boat from TN to WA in 4 days, and in perfect condition.

The catch is that Forward Air only ships from terminal to terminal. So if there isn’t a terminal near either the seller or buyer, then you’re out of luck.

I’ve heard varying reports about Forward Air, but my experience was good. Also figure, if they are going to wreck your boat, insurance is only $1 per $100 value. So for $10 you’ve got $1000 of insurance. Pretty cheap.

I shipped an Umiak
The predecessor to the Carolina 12 from San Diego to NC with Forward Air a few years back. Plastic fares much better than composites in shipping.

Just Have To Be Careful With
packing (bubble wrap and cardboard–good). Have had 4 waveskis and two composite surf kayaks shipped by Forward Air with no problems.


i have bought 2 different kayaks off of the net, and both have been shipped forward air. $90 was the most i had payed. Very fast shipping, no damage at all. There is a terminal at my local airport and was no hassle for me to pick it up.

I would consider no one else for shipping a boat, especially for the price. I was very satisfied. / Jason good to work
with … another Foward Air success story.

Just gotta pack it right .

Donsatnothin’ wonbenothin’

so let’s take a guess at the odds of
the Mirage being undamaged…supposed to pick it up in Knoxville next Monday…it came from just north of Sidney via ocean freighter to NYC, as i type on a truck somewhere between New York and TN…so who says its cracked and who says its pristine?