What Should I Look For In A Used Canoe?

Are you planning to buy a pre-owned canoe?

When buying a used canoe look for cracks, dents, fading, or signs of abuse. Also make sure it floats. Ask about its history and why they are selling. Take it for a test sail to see if it tracks straight and holds water.

Type of Material and Possible Red Flag

Canes are found in a wide variety of materials. Depending on the type you prefer, here’s a list of popular canoe types. While choosing your suitable one, make sure to note the possible damages or red flags – since that not only helps determine its justified price but also suggests you avoid investing in a worst one.

  • Aluminum canoes are fairly durable, good looking, however also heavy, noisy, slow-moving, and get frigid on cold days. It’s suitable for casual water. Check dents on the canoe to get an idea of it’s been used and cared for.

  • Kevlar canoes are made in a composition of the fabric, cloth, and resin that makes them highly durable, rigid, and lightweight. Verify signs of fading caused by SUV, to have an idea of where and how long it has been kept exposed to the sun.

  • Fiberglass canoes are durable, stiff and with a sharp entry point, they can move faster especially in whitewater. Be wary because plenty of its inferior quality counterparts are found in the market.

  • Wooden canoes are great looking, move smoothly and quietly on the water but quite heavy. Make sure to check signs of water damage and rotting – mostly noticed under deck plates and especially where its gunwales meet together at the bow and stern end.

  • Plastic canoes are relatively strong, inflexible, heavy, and expensive than other wooden or composite canoes. Check if get cracked, peeling sign particularly from sun exposure to assess how it’s been stored.





Is It Suitable to the Type of paddling You Are Interested to Perform?

Not all cones perform in a similar way or are meant for the same purpose and differ in various other terms. So before buying a used canoe, make sure that it is suitable for the kind of paddling you like to do.

  • Type of trip – General recreation, river water touring, whitewater paddling;

  • Duration of trip – Day trips, weekend water tours, or week-long expedition;

  • The number of people you want to paddle with;

  • The amount of gear you will carry along;

For example, if you love involving in lengthy trips, your used canoe needs to be longer and with a capacity to load your needed gears. If you want to go on family paddling, it should be stable with more numbers of seats. Similarly, depending on whether you like to move through whitewater or flat-water/ a speedy boat or slow boat, you should choose your used canoe matching your desire.

How Much It Costs?

The price for used canoes is determined on the basis of material, age, model, condition, or how well it’s cared for it. The value of cones doesn’t depreciate at the higher rate cars do. The cost of the used canoe typically helps evaluate its age, how it’s been stored, what sorts of red flags /damages it is likely to possess. Mind carefully that the lower the cost of the used canoe, the more attention from you is required to note the above factors with diligence.

How Old Is It?

If the canoe owner doesn’t have any idea (or even if updates you) – make sure to check the model number of the boat – you will find it in the hull and thereby appraise its age from the manufacturer’s catalog.

Check the Damages and Repairs

You must check the signs of damages/ wear and tear and repair works that are done to get an idea of how it has been treated or stored. Notably, inappropriate storage potentially affects the performance of the canoe as well as the legitimate value of the canoe considering its depreciation. While indoor storage is just ideal, it makes sense not to buy canoes that have experienced prolonged sun exposure that typically deforms plastic hulls or lightens gel coats and warps plastic hulls.

Undergo a Test-paddling of the Used Canoe

If you decide to buy – then never forget to undergo a test paddling to understand its exact condition. This is the last check process and most important since you are buying a used one but not a brand new.

For example, if buying a canoe designed for whitewater, it needs to be tested in rough water or rapids like a river or creek water, and NOT in lake water. Sit in the canoe seats and check the yoke to ascertain its stability. While moving on the water – keep an intense eye to check if it has leaks. Inspect for oil canning or denting which can occur on the hull due to improper storing or being tied too firmly on the roof-rack of a car. Make sure that gunwales are well protected.

How Canoe Value Gets Depreciated?

Brand new canoe usually is depreciated by 35% after one year and this value remains relatively the same for the next five years if found in decent condition. For the next 15 years (starting from the 6th year) it is likely to be devaluated by 75% if it’s in fair shape. Accordingly, a used aluminum canoe can be sold in the range of $200 to $700 after 10 to 15 years based on its condition. Its price should be depreciated depending on the extent and intensity of damages.