Is there a practical way to get my kayak to Alaska for a trip? I would perfer to paddle my own boat not a rental.
You could try shipping
to Bellingham, WA and having it put on the ferry…or you might try Alaska Airlines aircargo.
There’s probably not going to be a “cheap” way to do it that will still offer some protection for your boat.
Read some of the archived threads
Unless you are moving there or are going to spend months on end in the area, you are better off renting. A kayak, coming from that far away (Indiana), will not only take forever, but you run a huge risk of it being damaged. Remember, what goes up there, should come back. If damaged, you might not be able to paddle it ever again. And it is fricken pricey to say the least.
There are several companies to rent from. If you are paddling the South Central area such as Prince William Sound, Homer and Seward, take a peek at the above thread links. Any more questions, feel free to type away. Where are you planning to paddle and what month?
Renting is best, yes, I know, we all love to have the comfort of our own boat, but you could just about buy a boat here and resell it for the price of shipping one up and back.
Talk to the rental guys, and see if they can accomodate your particulars, or get a Feathercraft.
We can help steer you in the correct directions, if you give us a little more information about when, where, and your preferences.
I paddle an Arctic Hawk and would like to stay with a Greenland style boat. Yes Feathercraft would be the way I would like to go but the price associated with one keeps me out of them.
A couple outfitters up there use alot of NDK boats - so there is a chance you could paddle an NDK Greelander whose hard chines will greatly remind you of your AH. I have owned both boats - and the Greenlander (OC) is far superior to the AH in conditions. (and it has a skeg!)
Before my wife & I visited that spectacular state a few yrs back w/ intentions of paddling we looked into renting. We priced canoes & were shocked by the rental fees for crap canoes. For a week long trip it would have almost been cheaper to buy.
Two options you may wanna consider: Perhaps some Alaskan from this board would consider renting you their spare boat for less than full retail ?, or you could investigate buying a kayak when you arrive & selling it upon your departure either to a local or back to shop you bought it from for a previously agreed upon price ?
Regardless you’ll never forget the trip & will begin thinking of returning before you even leave. Enjoy.
Lots of questions
I had many of the same. Yes, you can get a kayak from the lower states to AK, but from what I read and heard there maybe as high as a 50% chance that there will be some damage when you arrive. If you have the time and skills to make repairs then maybe it’s worth shipping. We decided not to risk it but it wasn’t an easy decision.
The benefits were that we were guaranteed we could launch when we wanted to, we got a wealth of local knowledge, and we didn’t have to worry about the return trip for our boats. Priceless.
As suggested in the thread where I asked the same question…Tom Pogson is fantastic. He has a full line of NDK boats. Give him a call and ask what he can do for you. Though he’s in Homer, he will work things out for you anywhere between there and Ketchikan. If you’re starting further south you’re probably better off dealing with someone in WA state.