Shipping a Kayak

I am looking for the best way to get a kayak from Santa Barbara, California to Daytona Beach, FL. Anybody got a suggestion? Thanks

FedEx Freight or craigslist
I’ve used FedEx Freight. You can call them and they’ll give you a quote for shipping costs (have weight & dimensions ready) You’ll have to package it up good first, though!

Your other option is to find a local trucking company, which I tried too, but was more expensive.

Or hey, maybe you could post on craigslist asking if anyone doing a trip in that direction wouldn’t mind taking a kayak along, for some extra cash??

paddle it
or you could paddle it down the coast, through the Panama Canal, and across the Gulf. Shouldn’t take too long.


Another option
Forward Air is another freight company worth checking. My SOF was shipped from Oregon to NYC for around $150. I think you need to be close to an airport they serve for it to be worthwhile, however.

Shipping your kayak
Try They ship from the Roadway terminal closest to you to the one closest to the destination address. I shipped a boat from Wisconsin to Montana for under $125.00. YOU have to do ALL the packing, and that means lots and lots of big bubblewrap and numerous layers of cardboard, at the minimum. Better yet, build a box. Inspect the boat BEFORE you leave the pickup terminal. I like Roadway, but don’t expect “dainty handling” from ANY shipper. Great luck

Ask GK to paddle it for you
Once he gets that new hat, he should be good to go.

Pay someone extra to bubblewrap the heck out of it and do a complete inspection before accepting the shipment. The driver will likely want you to just take it and let him go. Don’t. Trust me. Don’t.

The shippers will likely drop, throw, and crush the boat. They just don’t care.


FedEx Freight
Some FedEx Freight terminals will tell you that you need to put it in a box. This isn’t true, so talk to someone in person.

Also, most local kayak shops are more than happy to give away huge sections of bubble wrap.

forward air
put a forklift fork through my Cobra Navigator. Just for the record.

KAS Transport (Steve Skinner) 585-313-9467 --kayak specialty shipper; awesome service but the timing needs to be right. Runs only a few trucks/trailers nationwide. (the ebay of shippers. I used them once with good results. Didn’t save any $ though.)

Good luck!

If you use FA
Take lots of pictures. Before you prepare it for shipping, during the packaging phase and after it’s received. They generally require that you cart off the kayak and packaging at the other end but you may want to unpackage it in their parking lot and again, take lots of pictures as you unwrap it.

Mine ended up with some small damage and the pictures helped to convince them to pay for the repairs - after their first denial of course.

Avoid Forward Air
As others have said above, Forward Air bashed my wife’s brand new kayak. And that was after they DOUBLED the price from their initial quote (we were committed at that point and had to just eat it).

They are an absolute NIGHTMARE to deal with.

Truck and train
My wife bought her old Solstice SS back from the fellow she sold it to 8 years ago. She had grown tired of hauling the 70 lb Romany Explorer up and down our beaches, especially at low tide.

He lived in Indiana – or one of those flat states – and we simply called our local freight hauler (Alaska Marine Lines) for advice. For $300 the kayak was shipped using trucks, rail and barge to Juneau. The previous owner had wrapped it well in cardboard and plastic drop cloth material.

I have used Steve Skinner in the past with good results. If you do a search on p-net you will find a lot of posts on shipping kayaks. I don’t remember ever seeing anything negative about KAS. As others have said here Forward Air is a really high risk carrier. There are a lot of horror stories about them on p-net. There used to be Affordable Boat Carriers but not sure they are in business anymore.

Something else I’ve always done when shipping a kayak, is print signs on bright orange or pink paper that read “TOP LOAD ONLY!” and “NO FORKLIFT!” I usually tape at least 2 of each to the buble wrap, then shrink wrap over the top. I’ve shipped both glass and plastic boats without problems through Forward Air, Old Dominion, and Fed Ex Freight.

KAS transport
Steve is great to work with and your kayak will arrive on time and in one piece–I’ve used his service twice and, given the horror stories with other carriers, wouldn’t think of doing it any other way.

shipping a kayak
We have a driver on the westcoast who will be going to FL on this run. You’d have the boat in under a month. Please email me if interested

Ran accross
This website. I have never tried them.

I would recommend Steve and KAS. Occasionally at Bell we had to ship a single boat in an off-delivery season or when it was a single time- sensitive boat, or whe nwe just plain didn’t have anything scheduled to head in that direction for months…sending a duallie hauling an open trailer over the mountains in Feb. is a good way to give your insurance adjuster a heart attack. anyway, we tried the 2 layers of heavy duty bubble wrap - no dice, broken composites. Built wooden crate frames around a double wrapped composite…only worked a couple of times, the others either showed up without the crate or had been punctured with a forklift. Canoes are a different story than kayaks - for some reason they don’t handle the same kind of abuse in shipping that kayaks do. We used Roadway and Schneider - the latter got lost somewhere in NC once, and the former was pretty good at breaking boats, but always paid up. Old Dominion used to be nicknamed “Old Broke n’ Damaged”. I know of at least one manufacturer that has success with piggybacking single boats on private freight haulers, and some, SOME, of the boat manufacturers’ drivers out there will backhaul a boat for a fee, in cash. It’ll just take a while to get to you.

Forward Air
BEWARE OF FORWARD AIR. I sold my like new Seaward Passat Tandem to a couple from Wisconsin. I shipped it from South San Francisco to Minneapolis. I arrived at Forward Air with it unwrapped so they could photograph it. It was virtually brand new. They photographed it inside and out. Then, my buddy and I shrink wrapped it, bubblewrapped it, shrink wrapped it again, and then wrapped cardboard around both ends to better protect the ends. Forward Air took pictures the whole time and supervised the wrapping. The representative said it looked good and there should be no problems. The kayak arrived virtually destroyed and Forward Air denied the insurance claim. The couple sued Forward Air and they finally paid. Meanwhile, the whole summer has passed and they did not have use of their kayak. BEWARE OF FORWARD AIR.