First post here. There is a 30 yo fiberglass Clipper Tripper available locally. They did disclose one fiberglass repair that looks well done. I have not had a chance to see it in person to inspect the hull more.
Is $500 too much?
From what I’ve read the Tripper is an excellent tripping and family boat (what I’m looking for) and hasn’t changed designs since 1983. New Trippers go for $2,000+.
The Clipper Tripper is a nice hull, quite efficient with good capacity. I assume this is the 17’ 6" version. Clipper also makes or made a Tripper-S which is a foot shorter.
The full size fiberglass Tripper will weigh around 70 lbs and the shorter Tripper-S around 66 lbs. The fiberglass Tripper cost 1745 CDN in 2009 and the Tripper-S 1695 CDN.
The boat being 30 years old should not be an issue. If the boat is in good shape, the repair well done, and if the boat fits your needs I would consider $500 a good price for a well-made, quality, composite canoe if you find the weight acceptable.
I agree with pblanc, the Tripper is a great family canoe. If you don’t mind the weight, the fiberglass version for $500 is a good price for that boat. It still has many years of use left in it.
A really good hull. Try to see if it has been stored indoors. Try to check the life of the fiberglass. Sometimes they get brittle.
For reference, I sold a 20-year old fiberglass Tripper last year for Can$800. It sold within a day.
If I were buying a boat of 30-year vintage, in addition to the condition of the hull I’d check the foam ribs for delamination and the sliding seat and foot bar for corrosion (moving parts).
If all the above checks out, spending $500 for a boat that has at least a decade of life left is not unreasonable. I read somewhere that a well built fibreglass boat has about 40 years of life, but I can see a good hull going longer.