On Buying Boats

Well my first year kayaking has resulted in the purchase of 4 boats. A Dagger Redline, a Liquid Logic Remix 59, a Wave Sport Project X 64, and a Wave Sport Diesel 80. I bought 3 used boats and 1 brand new boat, sold 1 boat and should be selling the next one this Saturday. So I wanted to share some thoughts about buying boats for beginners. I am of the mind set that you get what you pay for. When you buy a used boat there is a good chance you are buying a boat that someone else doesn’t want and probably for good reason. But being a beginner there is the need to discover what you like and don’t like. For me, I really like having hard edges and a plaining hull. I fell in love with the Project X and it has been by far the most stable boat for me. This is what inspired me to buy the Diesel.  So now a few tips. I’ve found that you can find a pretty good new used boat for anywhere between $400-700. http://www.boatertalk.com/gear/gear.php is your friend. It is a great place to both buy and sell boats. I have also found that it’s pretty easy to find a brand new or unused boat for $700-850 at the end of the season.

The GAF festival at NOC.

New Boats: The best thing about buying a new boat is that you get to outfit it for you.  You make all the adjustments and you get all foam you need to make it comfy. When I bought my Project it was either pay $600 for a used demo boat or $750 for a new boat. I opted for the new and haven’t regretted it yet. Also know that towards the end of the season NOC and ERA start knocking 20% or more off boats.

Used Boats: Every used boat I bought this year was in excellent shape. The best bang for my buck however came at the end of the season during GAF which is held the last weekend of September every year down at NOC. Both NOC and ERA sell there demo and instructor boats. These boats have only been used for a season and you can pick up a boat in great shape for $600.

Look Out: Test the boat before you buy it. If you can’t take it on the water, take someone who knows something about kayaking to look it over with you. Make sure you get in it, and that you feel comfortable. If there is something you are not happy with when you are looking at it, odds are it will just get worse with time. Check for Oil Canning, Cracks, and Dents. Oil Canning usually happens right under the out fitting on the hull. It the oil canning is bad, don’t buy it. Most of this stuff is common sense. But I didn’t really know what to look for on my first two boats, and now I feel like I am getting a little bit better. Remember that if you are buying your first boat, read some reviews on the internet. A good first experience will mean a lot so make sure people say that the boat is easy to roll.