Shipping Boats

Anyone know a good company to use for shipping a kayak? I found a good deal, but it’s too far to drive and pick it up.

Thanks, Alan

Always a crap shoot…
A shipper will cost maybe $100-200, a good shipper maybe $400-500. Still a good deal?

Go with the cheap one for plastic, anything else go with a good one.

From my experience and all the stories told here, a three or four day roundtrip drive to pick it up yourself is reasonable.

Alan – search pnet archives
there have been tens of shipping threads on here (don;t get me wrong, it;s still a good question to ask), and they have many fine ideas. All seem, in the end, to be fairly expensive though, wen i researched it.

Ship on!

and if that “good deal” is mine, you better find a shipper quick.

I am just about ready to take it off the market and give it to one of my kids, or keep it as a loaner.



Thought it was Nanci’s…

Why do you need to pull it from the 4sale ads? You’re just getting into fair-weather sailore’s paddling season, & I’d’ve thought it might have a better chance of going as the sun warms things up. No?

OTOH, maybe a loaner’s not such a terrible idea… what a nice boat for a loaner!

OTOOH, that’s not exactly the boat for the ridges of western NC/eastern TN, tho’, now, is it (your feats with the Eclipse notwithstanding)

Look at it this way: it’ll give you, AND any friends or family who happen by, another boat and anothet choice to


-Frank in Miami

to ship Sally’s trylon Tracer from South Carolina to Miami. Got it shipped for right around $100, took 4 days, and the boat arrived just fine.

The Tracer’s trylon is a proprietary line of one of the newish hardshell plastics, akin to, but significantly tougher than, glass. It was shipped in 3 layers of 1" bubble diameter bubble wrap, extra cardboard padding cladding the the bow and stern, was all taped up, and it worked well. The tracer had no rudder, so there was nothing protruding to get whacked around in transit.

Te boat was packed by the GetOutdoors people from whom I purchased the boat, and when ke with them they assured me that their shipping approach worked in the past and told me the Tracer would arrive just fine.

And it did.

However, as Grayhawk notes, if you’re dealing with a glass, Kevlar, or other composite boat, you may want to (or have done for you) crate or box it somehow, and that will add to materials, labor, and shipping transit costs.

Then you need to detrmine if the shipping costs are worth it.

ANd then there’s also the option, also noted, to pick up the boat yourself.

Guess it all depends on just how intent you are in getting a particular boat to


-Frank in Miami

A little like UPS…

My impressions are that the shipping companies as opposed to “freight forwarders” are less expensive if shipped business to business it’s just less hassle than door to door from private homes. They know they are open and usually can find them easier and don’t need appointments to pick up/drop off. A lot of kayak shops have working relationships with the shippers and they have to come to the shops anyway.

Forward Air delivers a lot of boats just fine, but not all… and even if insured the boat is damaged you are in for the fight of your life.

Best if you have friendly kayak shops at both ends that will let you ship to and from their shops.

I have rc’d from
Old Dominion and ConWay.

I believe it was QCC that uses Conway.

I went to each companies local Depot to pick up the kayaks. About 100 bucks shipping.

On-going research reveals a few leads
My ongoing research into solving the problem of safely shipping composite boats (we can put people on the moon, why can’t we do this?) has revealed a few promising but yet unproven leads:

(1)JMA Enterprises (specialty kayak shipper). Contact John Kelleer at 610-413-0828. This was a reference from Ron at Paint Island Kayak several years ago. I talked to John yesterday – he is currently making runs up and down the east coast.

(2) An ebay for shippers and “shippees.” Post what you want to ship and (hypothetically) someone contacts you. Looks promising in that many of the shippers listed on small outfits likely to take better care of your boats than a Conway or Roadway, neither of whom I might add, use magic gloves to take care of your boat – or refrain from hoisting it around with a forklift.

Old Dominion

– Last Updated: Apr-20-06 1:52 PM EST –

I shipped 20+ foot composite boat by Old Dominion terminal to terminal for around 100 bucks give or take. I bubblewrapped and folded heavy cardboard around it (big screen TV boxes from the local store). The OD guys were nice and said they'd load it last, and since there were no stops between terminals, it wouldn't be touched in transit.

I've also used Affordable Boat Carriers twice and they were excellent. Dedicated kayak/small boat carrier.

Canoe & Kayak Shipper
Give Steve a call at K.A.S. Transport, he is a dedicated boat shipper and canoe & kayak shop owner himself. Just shipped 2 composites to Texas through him w/no problems, and a cheaper quote than anyone else. Didn’t even need to wrap them and they were delivered intact. He is also insured! Steves # is 585-313-9467.