Shipping boats suggestions

I am looking at having a canoe shipped from Florida to New England and then a another boat returned to Florida. If any one has leads or ideas on a safe, reasonably priced and trustworthy shipper I would appreciate any info or suggestions. Thanks.

Forward Air
They ship between metropolitan freight terminals and their rates are ridiculously low. The only downside is that you have to pick up/drop off at the terminal.

If useing Fowardair do you have any suggestions on how or what should be done to package a canoe for shipping through them? Thanks

When A Boat Got

– Last Updated: Mar-03-04 6:58 AM EST –

shipped to me through forward air, the seller went and shrouded the boat in bubble wrap. This cost almost as much as the shipping! $45 for the actual shipping and $35 dollar for the wrap job.

With a canoe, I would definitely make a bunch of cardboard beams (rolling corrugated cardboard) to stick cross wise inside the canoe and to help maintain the integrity of hull. Then wrap. I figure a canoe is probably more much likely to collapse then the more closed hull design of kayaks.


Yup, bubble wrap and cardboard

Foward Air quote
I just contacted Foward Air and they quoted me about $225 for Boston to Miami, but said I would have to box it in plywood so with that being the case I most likely will try some other options. Has anybody used Watkins trucking?

I asked them
Forward Air that is, how I needed to package a kayak for shipment. They recommended wrapping the boat in carpet padding, then in corrogated cardboard. The price quote I got via email was $45.00 from Little Rock Arkansas to Birmingham Alabama for a 12 foot kayak.

I am paying $ 292 for 21’ boat. Calf. to Fl.



Freight charges
are a function of the description (item number and subpart)which determines the class, the weight, and the distance (by zip codes), more or less.

A kayak or canoe:

item 24540 sub 3 loose or in plastic wrap class 400

item 24540 sub 4 in boxes or crates class 300

In addition to this there is an overdimension charge (over 14’) $68.00.

A single shipment charge may be applied.

A notification fee (calling you). This can be circumvented by writing a phone number on the bill of lading with the notation “for company convenience.” This doesn’t guarantee a call but one most likely will be made.

Generally speaking, it will be cheaper if you drop it off at a terminal and someone will pick it up at a terminal at the other end. Terminal to terminal only and MUST be specified.

Insurance is not needed as each carrier is responsible for delivering undamaged goods and must pay any valid claims by law. Anyone tells you otherwise, RUN.

The trucking industry has been de-reguated. Discounts are now in effect. These can run from 0.00% to an uninformed individual to over 70.00% for a large corporation. Surprise of surprises, eh?

Shipping a 68 lb canoe/kayak from Miami to Boston with a courtesy discount of 40% :

cl 400 $263.38

cl 300 $198.95

Now here’s the kicker. Let’s assume you were given an incorrect quote of $98.00 for this move. Each company employs revenue research departments to recoup monies from shipments that were under weighed and under classed. If you are lucky, you get away with it, if not you pay.

Now that I’ve confused the issue, have a revenue depleting day! too
Pretty good rates and they actually call you back when they say thay will… rare.

Know the neighboring citys around the delivery port (or have a map open) as they will present you with a number of options from various carriers…

ALL DEPENDS… is always the answer on how to wrap. Check on prices for both bubble wrap vs. plywood crate… may not be too much diff. and security of crate is better.

Hey Ice24 , what are you getting from out here? A person out here wishes to trade a Seda Tango ( 21’) for a Glider or like.

Plywood - no way man.
Several reasons to stick with professionally wrapped bubble wrap.

  1. Most of all manufacturers use it.
  2. Anything over 8 ft will have a seam and no strength.
  3. Sooner or later your kayak/canoe is going to meet someone on an 8500 lb towmotor/forklift.
  4. Wooden crates will add weight and be charged for such negating all savings from class. Plus I have NEVER seen a homemade crate reach its destination in “factory fresh” shape.

"8500 lb towmotor/forklift"
I am starting to suffer!!!

Plywood is REQUIRED by some…
shippers. The trick with building one is to stagger the wood like you might do when installing a hardwood floor… not to simply line up all the sheets in one big wraparound seam. Using common builders sense, 2 X 2 lumber , drywall screws and the cheapest 1/4" cdx, one can build and incredibly ridged, puncture resistant, lightweight , top loadable coffin for shipping… just ask the shipper if they want you to tack on some 2 X 2 feet / spacers under it so the forklift can get under it without resorting to creative poke and lift techniques.

Doesn’t matter how much bubble wrap or cardboard you wrap around it, the loads are still transferred to the boat underneath it all.

Does prevent little pukas from happening though. If boat is transported by a reputable boat carrier , chances are it will sit on well spaced bunks with nothing else around it… bubble works fine here… it is pretty scary to watch a new composite boat which is only bubble/ cardboard wrapped being shoved / wedged onto a pile of stuff inside a trailer knowing it is not the last stop the driver is going to make. Another good one is Affordable Boat Carriers in Florida… small company, fair rates and a really full plate all the time… if they are coming your way I would go with them.

One other thing, make sure your wrapping is not flapping all over the place… it hangs up on things, then boat subsequently gets ‘helped along’ a little harder + it will take the sheen right off the gelcoat if left to flap/flog in the breeze for thousands of miles on a car top or trailer… same goes for boat covers to while I am on the subject.

Dream on
The rest of you listen to the reality. I know from which I speak. Have seen thousands, yes thousands being shipped with only bubblewrap.

Check with your manufacturer and then follow his instructions.

Carbon Boats!
The question is to be lucky while shipping fragile carbon boats that might be structural damaged.

Glass boats are able to handle a lot of more! I dropped my isthmus from about 7 feet onto the pavement, and it is ok (I almost die!!!). I do not think I could do the same with a Carbon Ski.



Thats pretty cool to see thousands of …
them make it there… hope you did not have to wrap all those. Reality is , no doubt your driver / company is more than familiar with moving these fragile craft around and the folks wrapping them up are doing a good job too… maybe the driver even works for the boat company and has more than a passing interest in getting them there in good shape.

Reality is, most one time/non-commercial folks are facing a harsh cold world inhabited by non-sympathetic people who really do not care whats in the box or bubble wrap as long as it does not make their day any harder than they already perceive it to be… and for some instinctive reason , we all know this. So In deciding on placing their dear to them fragile craft into a huge black hole it behoves them to do a little research as the author above is doing.

Maybe you can let the person asking the question know who this shipper with the great track record IS. Many others would like to know too…

I bet even this person would rather send his egg in a box instead of an envelope.
Very inexpensive, very helpful. $125 to ship an 18 1/2’ S&G kayak from Annapolis to Huntsville, AL (included insurance).

Would never ship a boat
If I actually cared about it arriving in one piece. In my opinion, the chances of damage are just too great. This is based on seeing the condition of the boats that dealers receive and one personal experience having a boat shipped to me.

Then, if you ship it and there is damage, then you are either out the money for the boat or have to deal with the headache of trying to return the boat or get compensated.

Not worth it.

Bubble Wrap Insufficient
The boat I had shipped to me was in bubble wrap. It was also damaged when I received it.

Seems to me there are still a multitude of ways to damage a boat that is bubble wrapped.

Kayak & Canoe Packaging Pics
Lighting is poor and the camera was cheap but are 4 taken yesterday at work.