The Art of Shipping a Kayak: Everything You Need to Know

Are you an enthusiastic paddler but unsure about how to ship your prized kayak safely? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the process of shipping your watercraft with ease and confidence. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Watercraft Shipping

Shipping kayaks, canoes, SUPs, and surfboards requires special handling, which can result in higher shipping costs. These costs vary based on the length and weight of the boat. Some brands may have mandatory shipping charges for their products. While these fees may seem considerable, it’s essential to note that the actual cost of shipping freight is generally higher than the rates charged. This is due to the inclusion of full-value insurance coverage for the entire shipment.

The transportation of watercraft involves a thorough inspection before wrapping them in protective foam and plastic sheeting. Despite these precautions, minor cosmetic damage or scratches may occur during freight shipping. These blemishes are usually superficial and do not affect the functionality of the boat. It’s important to understand that minor cosmetic damage is not a valid reason to refuse a watercraft upon delivery.

Shipping Costs: A Breakdown

To give you an idea of the shipping costs involved, here is a general breakdown:

  • Most whitewater kayaks, SUPs, and surfboards ship for $149 – $249.
  • Most flatwater watercraft ship for $299 – $399.
  • Most canoes are available for in-store pickup only, while some can be shipped for $1000.
  • Most whitewater rafts ship for $200.
  • Most inflatable watercraft ship ground for $50.
  • Shipping rates are calculated at checkout or listed on the product page.
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It’s worth mentioning that some brands may have an additional shipping fee based on the specific model.

The LTL Freight Experience

When shipping watercraft, we rely on Less Than Load (LTL) Freight carriers for their expertise. Here’s what you need to know about the LTL Freight process:

  • Kayaks, canoes, SUPs, and surfboards will be shipped via LTL Freight with a carrier of our choice.
  • Your boat will typically be shipped within 3-5 business days.
  • Transit time usually ranges from 2-9 business days, but please keep in mind that transit times may vary depending on the destination. Unforeseen delays can occur due to the nature of freight shipments, so we kindly ask for your patience.
  • We currently only ship within the contiguous United States. Therefore, if you attempt to ship outside of the lower 48 states, your order will be canceled.
  • For those interested in shipping watercraft to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, or internationally, we recommend reaching out to a freight forwarding company for assistance. In these cases, we will only be responsible for shipping the product to the forwarding company’s terminal.
  • Please note that expedited shipping is not available for watercraft.

Delivery: A Smooth Handover

Once your watercraft is en route, it’s essential to be prepared for its delivery. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Carriers will contact you at least 24 hours in advance to schedule a weekday delivery window.
  • It is crucial to have someone available to help unload the watercraft from the truck upon arrival.
  • You have the responsibility to unwrap and inspect the boat for any major structural shipping damage before the driver departs. Failure to do so means accepting the condition of the boat, which may void the carrier’s shipping insurance for any damage discovered afterwards.
  • If the boat sustains severe damage or is beyond repair, you have the right to refuse delivery.
  • For cosmetic damage, we offer a partial refund (typically no more than 5% of the purchase price) or repair options. Please reach out to us immediately so we can discuss the best course of action.
  • If you are refusing the shipment due to structural damage, please submit a claim to Next Adventure within 48 hours of delivery. You can send photographs of the damage to [email protected], along with your order number for reference.
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Free Watercraft Delivery in the Portland Metro Area

If you reside in the Portland Metro Area, we have great news! We offer free watercraft delivery within the area. Here’s how it works:

  • We will personally reach out to you to schedule a convenient delivery time.
  • Deliveries are typically scheduled from Monday to Friday, between 1 and 3 pm.
  • To qualify for free delivery, you must have a valid Portland Metro Area address. If you’re unsure about your eligibility, add the product to your shopping cart and enter your address during checkout. Alternatively, feel free to contact our customer service department for assistance.

Get in Touch

If you still have any questions or require further assistance, our dedicated customer service team is here to help. You can reach us at 503-233-0706, seven days a week, from 9 AM to 5 PM Pacific time. Alternatively, you can send us an email at [email protected]. We strive to respond within 24 hours to ensure a prompt resolution to any inquiries you may have.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into shipping your kayak. Remember, transporting your watercraft is a crucial step to embark on extraordinary paddling adventures. Make sure it arrives safely, allowing you to focus on the thrill of the water. Happy paddling!