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How to Ship a Kayak

Across Country? Step-By-Step Guide

Published January 27th, 2023

If you’ve been dreaming of kayak fishing in the Florida Keys or taking a sea-kayaking adventure around Isle Royale, but need to know how to ship your kayak across the country, then this guide is for you. Shipping a kayak cross country can seem daunting, especially when it’s time to figure out insurance and crunch the cost of transport versus bringing it yourself.

Luckily, simple steps must be taken to safely ship your prized boat from one coast to the other. In this blog post, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on successfully shipping your kayak across the United States with minimal effort and maximum peace of mind.

Let’s get started with the guide.

How To Ship A Kayak Across Country? Summary

Is It Possible to Ship a Kayak Across Country?

how to ship a kayak across country

Before we jump on to the steps, it’s better to discuss if it is possible to ship a kayak across the country. Yes, it is possible to ship a kayak cross-country. Several options, such as freight services and even specialty carriers, provide transport for all boats and watercraft.

These services can be hired for both local and international shipping. And we will also advise you to opt for one of these services if you want to ship your kayak.

But what would be the cost to ship your kayak across the country? Let’s discuss this in detail.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Kayak?

The cost of shipping a kayak will depend on factors such as the size and weight of your boat, the distance it needs to travel, and the time frame you need it delivered.

Generally speaking, a large kayak that weighs around 50-60 pounds can be shipped for about \$75-\$150 domestically. For larger boats or international destinations, expect to pay more.

Besides, the cost also depends on the shipping company you choose. So, it’s worth checking out several different companies and their rates if you’re looking to save money.

Following are some shipping companies known to ship your kayak across the USA.

  • UShip
  • FreightCenter
  • uBoxit Shipping
  • Ship a Boat USA
  • Cratexpress
  • Logistic Dynamics

So these are some of the companies you can consider when shipping your kayak. There are also some local shipping companies in your State, so it is worth checking them out.

Is Shipping a Kayak Really Worth It?

Now that you know the cost of shipping your kayak, it’s time to ask if it is worth it. The answer depends on how far away you are traveling and what kind of convenience you want when you get there.

If your destination is less than a few hundred miles away, renting or borrowing a trailer to transport the kayak might be more cost-effective than paying for shipping.

But if you’re looking to ship a kayak cross country or overseas, we recommend opting for professional services as they provide better protection, insurance coverage, and faster delivery times.

Now that you know if it is worth shipping your kayak, let’s move to the steps.

How to Safely Ship a Kayak Across Country? Step-By-Step Guide

shipping across country

Before we jump on to the steps you need to follow to ship your kayak safely, it’s better to understand what you will need to ship it.

Things You'll Need to Ship Your Kayak Safely


Now that you know the essential items to ship your kayak safely, let’s move on to the steps.

Step #1: Wrap Your Kayak with Cardboard or Polyethylene Foam

The first step in shipping your kayak is to wrap it with cardboard or polyethylene foam. This will help protect the boat from bumps and scratches during transit. Start by wrapping the deck of your kayak with cardboard or foam, followed by stretching two layers of cardboard around its top and bottom.

Securely tape all the edges to ensure nothing can come loose during transport. You may also want to use straps and ties to ensure the kayak remains firmly in place.

Step #2: Second Layer Wrapping with Bubble Wrap Sheet

Once you have secured the kayak with cardboard or polyethylene foam, you can add a second layer of protection. Wrap it in a bubble wrap sheet, covering every corner and edge. This will help prevent further damage during transit.

Step #3: Make Sure You Have the Right Size Box

Once you have wrapped your kayak in cardboard and bubble wrap, the next step is to find a big enough box. It should be bigger than the kayak, so there is enough room for protective padding. Please ensure the box is sturdy and can handle being dropped on its sides without compromising its contents.

Step #4: Place the Kayak in the Shipping Box and Secure it with Straps

Once you have the box ready, it’s time to place your kayak in it. Make sure the kayak is firmly secured with straps or ties so it does not move around. Add additional padding for extra protection if needed. Once you have securely placed the kayak in the box, close it and tape the edges shut.

Step #5: Note Down the Dimensions and Weight

Now that you have packed your kayak in the shipping box, it is important to note its dimensions and weight. This will be needed when filling out the paperwork for shipping. Make sure you get an accurate reading by measuring the package’s length, width, and height with a ruler or tape measure. Weigh your package on a postal scale to get an accurate reading of its weight.

Step #6: Contact a Shipping Company and Get a Quote

The next step is to contact a shipping company and get a quote. Before you pick a company:

  1. Research the options available and compare prices to find one that best fits your needs.
  2. Check for additional services such as insurance coverage, tracking numbers, and delivery times before making a final decision.
  3. Once you have chosen the company, provide them with the dimensions and weight of your package to get an accurate estimate.

Step #7: Fill up Insurance and Other Paperwork

Once you have selected a shipping company and received a quote, the next step is to fill out the paperwork. Most companies will provide you with a customer information sheet, insurance policy form, and other documents related to the shipment. Make sure to read through all the forms carefully and fill them out correctly.

This will help ensure that your package is properly documented and tracked in case of unforeseen issues. If you are unsure about anything, contact the shipping company for clarification.

Step #8: Prepare All Shipping Documents and Attach them to the Box

The final step before shipping your kayak is to prepare all the necessary documents. These include invoices, forms, and other paperwork related to the shipment. A packing list should also be created detailing what items are in the package, their condition, and their value.

Once everything has been filled out correctly, attach all the documents to the outside package to make it easier for the shipping staff. This will also help if there are any issues during transit and a proper record of the package contents needs to be kept.

Step #9: Ship the Box

Once all the paperwork has been prepared, and all the documents have been attached to the box, it is time to ship your kayak. Make sure to double-check that everything is in order and that there are no discrepancies between the documents and the actual contents of the box.

Once you have checked everything, contact your chosen shipping company or visit their website to arrange for the package to be shipped.

Step #10: Track Your Package During Transit

The last step is to track your package during transit. Please keep a close eye on it and regularly check for updates from the shipping company. Most companies provide tracking numbers or barcodes that can be used to monitor the shipment’s progress online. This will help you stay informed about its whereabouts and make sure it reaches its destination safely and on time.

Another important thing to do is to keep all the shipping documents safe and secure. This will come in handy if there are any issues during transit, and you will need to contact the shipping company.

So that’s how you can safely ship a kayak! Just remember to package it properly and ensure all the documents are filled out correctly.


Now you know how to ship your kayak across the country. But there might be lots of questions coming into your mind right now. So, the following are common questions that come into everyone’s mind.

1. How do I find a reliable shipping company?

The best way to find a reliable shipping company is by researching and comparing different companies. Make sure to read customer reviews, check their services, and compare prices before deciding.

2. What documents are required for shipping my kayak?

The documents required for shipping your kayak will depend on the company you are using. Most companies require a customer information sheet, insurance policy form, and other documents related to the shipment.

3. Is insurance coverage available when shipping a kayak?

Yes, most shipping companies offer insurance coverage for their customers. This will protect your kayak in case of any damage during transit.

4. What type of packaging should be used to keep the kayak safe in transit?

It is important to use the right type of packaging material when shipping a kayak. Choose materials appropriate for the package’s size and weight and any additional protection needed. Bubble wrap or packing foam can protect fragile items during transit.

5. Are there any additional charges involved with shipping a kayak?

Additional charges may be applicable when shipping a kayak, depending on the company you are using. Be sure to check the terms and conditions before making any payments.

6. How can I track the progress of my shipment?

Most shipping companies provide customers with a tracking number or barcode that can be used to monitor the progress of the shipment online. You can also contact customer service for updates on your package’s whereabouts.

7. How long does it take for a package to arrive after being shipped?

The time frame for a package to be delivered will depend on the shipping company you are using. Most companies provide estimated delivery dates that can be used as an indicator of when your package may arrive.

8. What type of payment methods are accepted by the shipping company?

The payment methods accepted by the shipping company will vary depending on which one you are using. Some companies accept credit card payments, while others may accept PayPal or other digital payments.

9. How can I make sure my package is properly documented and tracked during transit?

It is important to ensure all the necessary documents are filled out correctly and the package is properly labeled before sending it off. Additionally, most companies provide tracking numbers or barcodes that can be used to monitor the shipment’s progress online. This will help you stay informed about its whereabouts and make sure it reaches its destination safely and on time.

10. Are there any restrictions or limitations on what can be shipped in a kayak?

Yes, some items may be restricted or limited when shipping a kayak. Be sure to check the company’s policies and regulations before shipping any items that may not be allowed in transit.

How to Ship a Kayak Across Country: Conclusion

Shipping a kayak across the country is a safe and convenient way to get your beloved vessel to its destination. It’s important to research and select a reliable shipping company offering insurance coverage, reasonable rates, and other necessary services. Be sure to use proper packaging material and documents when sending off your package and keep track of its progress during transit. With this guide, shipping your kayak should be easy and stress-free!

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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