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I used Forward Air about a year ago to have an 18' kevlar 'yak shipped from Denver to Boston. The freight charge was about $100.

Forward Air prices are based on the weight assumed for the size of the package being shipped. Created kayaks are generally lighter than the assumed wieght of the package. If I remember correctly I was charged for bout 225# when the package (yak + crate) actually weighed about 80#.

There are IMO a couple of keys to using Forward Air successfully:

1. Assume they will beat the crap out of the package

2. Pack accordingly! Composite & thermoformed 'yaks should be WRAPPED & CRATED!

a. Remove breakable deck protuberancez (compass, rudder, etc).

b. Wrap the 'yak with gauze to protect gelcoat from scratches.

c. Wrap with plastic wrap.

d. Reinforce bow, stern, immediately above the cockpit, and hull below the cockpit with cardboard.

e. Wrap with heavy duty bubble wrap.

f. Reinforce bow & stern with more bubble wrap

g. Wrap in plastic wrap

h. Place in crate ('yak needs to be secured inside the crate so it doesn't shift in transit - at a minimum the crate must be made out of double thick cardboard - more rugged wooden crates are better)

i. Put feet on the bottom of the crate so fork lifts can easily slide the forks under the crate

j. Plaster the crate with signs "Fragile", "This side up", Top load only"

3. Assume they will ignore the signs and beat the crap out of the package anyway.

4. The reciever MUST uncrate, unwrap, and inspect the boat before accepting delivery - Any damaged must be noted on the frieght bill!

For a poly 'yak you could probably get by subsituting another layer of bubble and plastic wrap for the crate. You still need feet on the bottom to prevent possible fork lift impalement.

Insure the shipment to cover replacement cost of the 'yak and shipping materials.

The boat I had shipped from Denver came thru relatively unscathed (just a couple of hairline gel coat cracks and as it was a used boat they may have existed before shipping), but my heart was in my mouth when I saw the crate - it absorbed a beating along the way, but fortunately did its job successfully.

Good Luck!

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>As an addendum to my original post, how did you prepare it

>for shipping? Just bubble wrap or something else as well?

The 1st of my Nigel Foster shadow kayak was shipped via Forward Air and it was wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard then bagged. Along with a few dozen fragile insured high value etc 1' x 1' bright red stickers on it.

Ihe boat was smashed in transit, thus I suggested the other carrier. If you are going to ship the kayak via Forward Air I would suggest having it boxed in a heavy weight box. I figure that they put something heavy on my kayak such as an engine block, so be prepared.


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I put heavy cardboard protectors on the bow and stern, wrapped the rest of the boat in bubble wrap, then "entombed" the whole mess in pallet wrap.

Although it seems that most people have good luck with Forward Air, I have heard a few horror stories like Jason's, particularly in the past year or two.

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