Shipping Container for Kayak

-- Last Updated: Apr-26-11 10:00 PM EST --

Need to ship a relatively fragile 18 foot carbon-kevlar kayak. Any plans/ideas on how to build a lightweight and strong enough/cushioned enough shipping container?

I recall someone was offering for grabs the crate from their QCC a while back but I can no longer find that... Suppose no one else has one handy in the DC/VA/MD area? Ready to pay big bucks for it -;)


Sonotube is the heavy-gauge cardboard tubing used as concrete forms. They come in a 24 inch diameter, and the boat can be supported inside using pieces of foam.

The problem is finding them for retail sale. You might call a couple of big building supply yards in your area to see if they can get one in a reasonable length.

build one
Get some sheets of 3/8 ply and 2x3s Screw it together in a u-shape, and use foam to make cradles inside every 4-feet or so, and at the ends. Put a top on it with more foam cradles to press the boat down into the bottom foam.

If you can, find someone nearby with a shipping department. They’ll have a strapping tool that can tighten a metal or mesh band around the crate in a couple places to strengthen it.

Get a quote from the pros.
Or, maybe some good advice. These guys are among the best:

Might not need to build afterall - looks like we might get a car delivery option on the way…

whatever you do, it will COST you!
She hired a moving company to ship her house (furniture, etc) from Minneapolis to Tucson.

They charged her an extra $1000 to toss her kayak, a 12’ plastic Pungo, on the truck!

She was had by the movers.
Bekins once took our 18.5’, 85 pound tandem canoe on top of the rest of our load, charging as if it were a couch.

It depends on whether they want to be fair and accomodating, or whether they just want to tack on extra charges.

Millbrook ships very light
S-glass/Kevlar canoes protected only by bubble wrap. They use Roadway and other carriers.

One factor may be that if the guys handling the load can see what they’re handling, they may handle it appropriately. If it’s all crated up, what do they know?

Buy a new used Pungo for $600
instead of paying $1,000 to move it… They’ve been had by the movers…

Anyhow, it’s almost a 1,000 mile one-way trip. Not totally out inconceivable to drive it. Looks like the new owner of my kayak will do just that in the near future. And if I happen to find my next kayak near Florida or down that way, we’ll meet somewhere mid-way…

just a thought
how’s about getting 3 motorcycle crates and bolt them end to end, maybe cut it down for the height. they are quite strong and fairly lightweight. I went to a Yamaha dealer and got one, free cause it’s junk to them, for an R1 last year to ship my son’s bike to Alberta. Cutting the height down should be fairly simple and will cut down on the shipping costs. Not sure how to suspend it in there, but the crate I got was just made out of a few pieces of light angle.

Probably better ways, but that’s my thought. Maybe it wouldn’t work, but…