Shipping a wood kayak

I realize this topic has been touched on before and I intend on going thru the archives but I figured I’d ask again given the shipment would be of a wood kayak and it would be across country.

Does anyone know if FedX or UPS handles something 17 feet in length? Anyone know how these should be crated/packaged.

The boat in question is-beyond a doubt- a deal. I’ve seen the photos. the inside is unfinished and the builder (it’s a strip build) discovered a phobia about tipping and is going back to his row boat.

Any help that can be afforded would be greatly appreciated.

you can e-mail me if you wish as I’d like to touch base with the seller before the boat disappears.

If the shipping and crating becomes more than the cost of the boat then…

Thanks in advance

Rich Mc.

The usual way
A freight forwarder (trucking).

Expect to have to go to a terminal (major city) to pick it up. Residential addresses are usually not an option. If they are - it’s a huge up-charge.

If you can receive it at a commercial address (must have a loading dock) many will deliver there at no extra charge. My QCC came right to me at work - no charge. Talk about easy!

Pack well, “top load” instructions, Fragile stickers, etc. INSURE IT BIG TIME - for full replacement value of a new one. Be very nervous until it arrives and checks out OK. Completely unpack and inspect at the terminal or drop off point. Very hard to make claims later.

I used Forward Air (funny name as the don’t fly) to ship an 18 ft Kevlar boat from Miami to Sacramento. Going to the Miami terminal was not fun, and didn’t exactly inspire confidence, but they did a great job.

QCC uses Con-Way:

Whoever you use, get their packing requirements for kayaks. Call both the local terminal where it will be shipped from AND the company headquarters. They may have different requirements (some companies do kayaks a lot - some it’s just another odd item to ship - sometimes it depends who you get on the phone). The Miami terminal told me it would have to be crated. Their HQ said bubble warp and a tarp, well taped. As long as HQ says it you can do it.

Crate would be nice. QCC uses a really big cardboard box with some Styrofoam blocks at the ends. The bubble wrap and tarp worked well for me (still not cheap to buy that much big bubble wrap - but can save on shipping cost as they calculate “dimensional weight”, not actual weight. A crate can really increase dimensions).

If we’re talking a real work of art - have him crate it. A crate is only as good as the packing inside though…

Inside unfinished?
Are the deck and hull glassed together?


I got responses back from some of the premier kayak builders as well as Newfound and Specialty SmallCraft. The consensus was…shrink wrap then triple bubble wrap with hand load stickers all over the damn thing. 90% advised against crating…10% said they do.

Then came the bottom line RedFreight was asking in the neighborhood of $600 to truck it across country…their door to mine. I e-mailed the seller asking for more info on the boat and fwd. all the info I’d recieved…mum’s been the word from their end sence. No, I won’t pick up the total cost of the shipping.

Thanks for everyones input>