Buying a Better Boat
Home Pricing Equipment Kayak Classes Sales Page Rentals Location E-mail list
Paying more money for a better boat
In this tough economy, why should you put more of your hard earned money into a better boat? Enjoyment of the sport. If a kayak is not tracking properly due to poor hull design or is not handling in the proper way due to hull warpage (something I will discuss more in a minute) or is having to work really hard to keep their kayak moving (classes can help you paddle efficiently but cannot help out a poorly designed hull) they often do not enjoy the sport nearly as much. Yes those very inexpensive kayaks people buy in chain stores sometimes help us out in that people often quickly upgrade into better equipment and come to us, there are also people that donít enjoy paddling these cheaper kayaks, thus end up thinking kayaking is too hard for them. Anyone that is paddling efficiently (i.e. they have had some proper training with a little time for practice) and using an efficient, well designed and well-constructed hull will not find kayaking hard. Kayaks were meant to be easy to paddle, very efficient watercrafts.
Hull warpage, what it is and how to avoid it. Sadly there are a very few manufactures I recommend to my students and customers. That is because over the years we have found that there are a very few manufactures that their products hold up over time and are designs that the majority of people like. Well, to my point, what is hull warpage and how to avoid it, 1st let me talk about how it happens. Manufactures are always trying to give customers what they want, good thing right? Well, most people buying a kayak want lighter weight, making loading and carrying a kayak easier. So what are some manufactures doing? Making their kayaks thinner, taking material out of the kayaks, material that these kayaks need for support and whalla, their kayaks are lighter. Other ways of making a kayak lighter, make it stronger for the thickness by using a better material and then make it lighter. You cannot tell the difference in the store or even a test paddle, but when we put kayaks in our school or rental program the better material boats stand out. Majorly stand out. Here are some pictures of some kayaks, two of which have been out less than a dozen times, one of which the bottom looked like this after just one use.
People often under appreciate better kayak materials when picking out their kayak. A kayak is usually exposed to the hot summer sun, for some the kayak is stored outside and for most in a hot garage going through some extreme temperature changes. When used they go through pressure all over the kayak. When paddling you are exerting force which is almost like a bouncing effect on the kayak, every time you take a stroke. Lets think about this. To round out figures, you take a stroke every second, thatís 60 strokes a minute so 3600 strokes an hour of paddling. If you take a sheet of cheap plastic, even pushing on it mildly 3600 time per hour how long will it last? Personally, I would not trust these cheaper kayaks out on a large body of water in which if the kayak material fails I would be in for a very long swim.
Besides picking out a better quality kayak, transportation can be very hard on kayaks. Racks, if you donít already have them are expensive, but can take away that thought of will my kayak be on top of my roof when I get to the water? Good racks last for a long time, almost always outliving the car and most of the time can be swapped to your next car. They can also be very nice to have around for hauling a variety of other things from lumber, bicycles, luggage, as well as many other items. Now, racks are not what I really wanted to talk about, I wanted to talk about saddles. More importantly, really good saddles. Transporting your kayak on foam blocks for any length of time will warp most boats, as well as placing a kayak directly on top of your bars and cranking it down. I used to have a pair of saddles that worked ok but would warp a kayak if left on them for more than a day or two. Fortunately the plastic on these were good and went back into place almost immediately. But over time, using bad saddles, no saddles or foam blocks even these boats would have warped permanently. My main point, saddles are not equal but strangely are fairly similar in price. Ask a professional on this. I personally think Malone Seawing is the best saddle on the market by far, but I didnít want to promote any brands in this article so I wonít push them here.
So lets get into resale. It is hard to find a good manufactured kayak used. I could find many, many cheaper kayaks (I wonít name any names) on the Internet used since people buy them, upgrade and want to dump these boats. Or they donít enjoy paddling these boats, thinking this is all there is to paddling and get out of the sport, dumping their kayaks. Supply and demand. There is a huge supply of these low quality boats thus price is reduced. Your better quality to high quality boats, very hard to find used because people donít want to sell them. Occasionally you get someone wanting to upgrade to a composite, go with something longer or just want to change it up and get a new boat. There are a very few of these kayaks out there and people are on the hunt for these boats. People wanting a good used kayak, wanting to get into the sport the right way, people upgrading their kayak, people wanting a good kayak for a friend to paddle, or their wife or girlfriend or their kids. So low supply and high demand, these better quality boats retain most of their value when sold used. Of course the kayak being in much better condition when sold used due to better materials helps a lot as well. To sum up, better resale value.