So how fragile are glass touring boats?

I’ve been trying to find a fiberglass touring kayak that will have to be shipped to me because of my location and have found that many kayak shops won’t ship anything but their plastic boats. Even talked to one rep for NA that spoke of shipping problems. A very high number of boats being damaged on route to their owners.

So how durable are fiberglass boats then?

…and what gets damages can be repaired “as new”, unlike plastic.

Glass-fiber boars are only “fragile” in a sense that they are not really meant to be bashed against rocks. One can find examples of GF boats folded in half, literally, from pearl-diving incidents and then repaired “as new”.

Have you tried QCC? They ship anywhere in US and Canada, from what I heard. Hell, I read somewhere that they ship overseas, but that is gonna cost more than the boat!

Durable enough for…

– Last Updated: May-30-12 5:50 PM EST –

.. their intended purpose.

However freight forwarding companies have a bad habit of employing people who grab every long item and sling it around as if it's an area rug, or who'll go grab a forklift and try to use it on any oversize item - sometimes driving the forks clean through the skin of a boat (I've seen it happen multiple times).

When glass boats are damaged in transit, it's usually as a result of mishandling, not because of too-fragile construction.

Big boxes on bottom
The problem with shipping is that often the biggest boxes, like a kayak, are placed in the bottom of the truck, shipping container, or cargo area of a plane, and the smaller, heavier boxes are placed on the top of it. That how Freya Hoffmeister’s Epic was damaged when shipped to Argentina. But, glass boats are shipped all the time. Mine was shipped from halfway around the world without any problems.

Big boxes on the bottom
Wooden crate, anyone?! :slight_smile:

Plastic can be damaged in shipping too
Put a bunch of plastic WW boats in a container from China and you can expect damage, which will be hard or impossible to repair.

Kaz of ships
his very light, very thin S-glas/Kevlar canoes, c-1s and kayaks wrapped only in bubble wrap. Mine came from NH to Atlanta with no damage at all, for about $200 shipping.

One thing is, if the shippers can SEE what they’re handling, they may be less likely to damage it. If a boat or paddle is concealed in a carton or crate, the shippers tend to assume it is protected against rougher handling.

The other thing is, Kaz is almost a one-person company, so he gets to work personally with shippers. He picks them out based on that experience. Nevertheless, there was nothing “special handling” about the way my boat came.