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 Post subject: How to buy a used kayak?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:15 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:16 pm
Posts: 9
I'm totally new to kayaking and am looking at used boats. When doing an inspection what steps should I take to ensure that I don't buy a problem?

Thank you, Pete

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:27 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:25 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Jaco, Costa Rica
Buy New. Personally I don't think it's worth buying used without a warranty. One leak or crack in the hull in the wrong location can be costly. Whereas with new your covered under Hobie's excellent service.
BUT, if you know what to look for in the model (great source here to search out all the ins and outs) your after, then with some sweetners thrown in and half off a new model, it could be worth it. Otherwise go for all the latest updates/ full warranty if your paying 70 percent or higher of a new model.

Costa Rica Kayak Guide
Tandem Island- 2013
Sport - 2014
Revolution 11-2015

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:17 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:09 pm
Posts: 118
I concur. Unless you have a buddy who owns or has experience with mirage drive models, I would steer clear.

But if you do go that route, ask if you can see the boat with the hull completely dry and test paddle it in calm water, and check for leaks, especially near the scupper and drive well areas. Or, perhaps fill the hull with several inches of water and elevate the boat and look for leaks.

And, check that the pedal crank arm adjustment holes aren't worn out on the drums, which is common with older drives.

I am going to pay close to $500 for a replacement Sport hull for a used boat that is out of warranty. There might have been a crack that I failed to notice in the drive well, but I could have done it or exacerbated it myself when I banged into some hidden boulders on my first outing. One of my drums need replacing, which means the chains need to be replaced too since the current V1 chains and cables are too short for V2 drums. And I already upgraded to the V1 sprockets. Th good nes is that I'll be getting the 2014 Sport which has undergone extensive changes for the better.

I did buy a 2013 Revo 11 & 13 from my local dealer at 20% off, so any sale you can find or negotiate the better. So think before you buy & good luck!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:35 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:22 am
Posts: 19
My sister and I have 2 2013 Revo 11's that we paid full price for but in September, bought a 2013 Outfitter demo, never used, for $1950, which included a full warranty. We were lucky to catch the deal right at the time a big shipment of 2014's came in.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:51 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 675
Location: Auckland NZ
Personally I would steer clear of the older models with the twist-down drive fitting but you should be OK with the later click-down version.

You should check very carefully indeed for cracks in and around the drive well. Cracks here can be hairline and very small and hard to see but they will let water into your boat, especially when pedalling, and they can be hard if not impossible to fix.

You should check the warranty situation on the boat. You can do this by copying the serial number from the panel usually found moulded into the plastic on the outside of the hull just below the gunwale in the vicinity of the rudder. The numbers & letters are often scratched in and can be a bit tricky to read but if you can take them down OK then someone here or a dealer should be able to help you decipher them. Hobie usually permits new owners to take advantage of the remaining warranty period and their support is second to none.

I would check the drive and the overall condition of the boat - bits for the drive can be quite expensive to buy but generally they are pretty robust machines and you wouldn't normally expect to have to replace a whole lot of components... Though there are several bits (e.g. Fin masts, cables, fins) which can and do break/degrade from time to time due to usage, either long, or harsh or both. You should be able to tell from the overall condition of the boat and its home environment whether or not it has been cared for. Scratches in the hull, even seemingly deep ones, can be of little consequence because the poly hulls can take serious abuse from e.g being dragged over seashores, coral, hitting underwater obstacles etc (N.B.this advice does not apply to aforementioned drivewell cracks!)

Finally work out if the deal you are being offered includes any extras as some could be a very attractive option for you depending on your intended use - I would be looking for a kayak trolley , either Hobie or another brand(to help you get to the water's edge), turbo fins (so you can go faster more easily - don't forget to ask for the standard fins & masts, too, though!), larger rudder, mast, sail, daggerboard (Daggerboard applies to the Adventure models only). If you can score any of PFD, vhf radio, flares etc etc in the deal that would be more $$ saved too, potentially.

FWIW I bought one of my boats new and one of them second hand... which was then replaced FOC by hobie under warranty due to broken cam columns: the primary risk with the twist-down drive lock but not a problem with the new click downs. So secondhand has worked for me. I found that second hand boats were rare and quite highly-priced but I felt that that was goodness for me because it meant that my price to someone else would then be correspondingly high. I also managed to score a couple of extras in the deal.

Either new or second hand, these boats are brilliant so you pays your money & you takes your choice but either way, give it a go... If you are like everyone else here you will end up having a blast !!!

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