18 yrs old plastic kayak -- too old?

-- Last Updated: Mar-23-10 10:41 PM EST --

I'm looking at a used Aquaterra Sea Lion circa 1992. The owner says it's been stored in his garage for most of its life and only recently (six months ago) moved it outside.

Would you buy a plastic boat that old? Even if it's been stored inside?

It's a pretty good deal if it's in decent shape. I plan on going to have a look and looking at color fading and small cracks. Any other inspection advice? I'd rather not try to flex the plastic and crack his boat if it's brittle.



you might also check the bulkheads for fit and the look of them. Check the bungee on the deck and the lines for dry rot or lack of bungee.

Wouldn’t do it
Not a great boat and that’s old in any environment.

If it is real cheap (inexpensive)
and is the style boat you want, I definately would look at it.

I know you don’t want to, but ask the seller if he minds if you push in on a flexible place.

If he says no, then I wouldn’t buy it. If he wants to sell it and he knows it is in decent shape, then he shouldn’t mind.

We have two fifteen year old plastic boats that get beat to crap on rocks every year and are still great little boats, and the plastic is plenty flexible.



I like jackl’s idea.
But I would take it a step further and have th owner press it deeply where I pointed. I regularly take my plastic tub over log jams and rock bars and the hull rolls over it like and inch worm. We are talking some serious flex here. The center of length is where you will get the most bend going over obsatcles. Have him lay on it hard. If it bounces right back and does not crack, I would buy it cheap.

OTOH, my friend called to inform me she went to her boat house to check on her boats. She has another friend’s boat in there. It has six HUGE see through the hull cracks. Kept indoors, unheated. So, looks to me like when they are ready to die, it really doesn’t matter what the life history has been, they will die.

I agree with the other comments here, if the boat isn’t brittle and the price is right it could be a good deal. The Sea Lion isn’t a great boat but it’s certainly not a bad boat, it’s probably better than an Eclipse.

A good example of this is that I saw a Sealution XL for $100, not a great kayak but if you’re a big buy looking for your first sea kayak and the boat’s not brittle you don’t have much to lose.

Hey…Don’t Dis my Eclipse!
…LOL I knew when I bought it it’s not exactly Top

Of The Line, but it does all I ask of it, being landlocked and all…

Take a strong flashlight and look for
wear in the heel areas. Also look for fine cracks or scratches very near the seat or forward of it. These can develop into cracks.

I wouldn’t pay over $300, though I admit I don’t know anything about retail value for old plastic boats.

Not dissing the Eclipse… well maybe a bit… it’s a really big (deep) kayak. The Sea Lion is sort of in between a Shadow and an Eclipse. If you’re tall/large the Eclipse isn’t bad, but I’ve seen way too many small people swimming in those boats. The Sea Lion may actually be a better fit for most people.

I agree.

– Last Updated: Mar-24-10 12:22 PM EST –

How many other sea kayaks can go through a class III rapid.
I still race it every year in another down river race that has lots of rocks.


That was just the start of a tremendous drop with many "oh sh--s" being said, but it did get me first place, and I didn't swim

It has also taken me on many off shore ventures, and all through Alaska


I am on the shrimpie side,
but I’ll take my eclipse to my wife’s Shadow anyday!

Do you have, or have you ever paddled an Eclipse?



At 6’6" it fit me well, but it felt a bit “corky” to me, too much volume for my taste. I’ll happily paddle my Argonaut or NF Shadow over an Eclipse, but I’m betting you’d prefer your Eclipse.

As far as class 3 rapids, that’s the paddler, not the boat. Unless you’re in a Pamilco, then you can blame that swim on the boat :wink:

Only if super cheap
Sounds like the worth might be $200-300 max. Probably better than no boat, if you have the space. Keep pretty close to shore in this one.