Advice Buying Used Kayak

I am going to be buying my first kayak in the next few weeks and I would like some advice on a particular one I looked at today. It is a rotomolded (old style) P&H Capella that seems very nice except for 2 flaws.

  1. The retractable skeg has a leak that is supposedly easily fixed with an annual patch job of caulking.

  2. Right in front of the seat there is a large dent across the width of the boat and a little more then a foot long. The owner says P&H told him to fix it by pushing from the inside and warming the hull with hot towels. He told me he did this and the problem was fixed for a short time but came right back.

    I am most concerned about the dent. I would like to know if there is some permanent way to fix it, and if it is really something to be overly concerned about.


another newbie’s thoughts
1)If you’re having to chaulk anually, something isn’t right. Either the chaulk isn’t the right kind, or it’s not sticking to the hull, or both. Perhaps some other solution is indicated. Silicone on poly probably won’t work, but there should be some other kind of chaulking or bonding that will work. Ask the mfr what they recommend.

2)By large dent, are you talking about something that might’ve been caused by tightening the boat down on the roof racks? Or, are you talking about an impact dent? If it’s the former, lay the boat upside down in the sun for a day or two. I thought I had deformed my latest kayak when I tied it onto the roof racks like I tie my canoes, (only right side up, keel down). But, so I just stuck it in the sun for a day and the plastic “remembered” where it was supposed to be. OTOH, if you’re talking about some form of serious impact dent, then I’d walk away from that deal pretty fast if it’s really a foot long. I’ve hit stuff pretty hard in a variety of boats made of different materials, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a foot long impact dent, though I do have multiple longitudinal scratches in boats of varying materials. But, I’d bet a footlong sideways dent is more about roof rack deflection than anything else. Forget hot towels. Stick that sucker in the sun and you’ll learn how easy some of this plastic is to flex around.

Old/Newer Capellas
What year is this boat? Older Capellas, and I forget the years involved, tended to be squirrely about tracking to the point that a number of people I have known quite disliked paddling them. The newer ones with the variety of numbers indicating size have had slight hull redeign that seemed to fix the tracking issue.

While there may be some pause about whether you want to acquite a boat with the stated level of maintenance, that may be less important than whether the boat’s handling characterisitics are what you want.

Reply to natural_wonder
The dent definitely looks like it came from a roofrack and the owner is telling the same story, but says evrey time he fixes it, it pops back out as soon as he puts it on his car. I just discovered that he actually stored it through the winter with the dent in it so I’m a little weary that the plastic may be permantantly deformed from being in that shape for so long. I’m not sure i want to take the risk.

I belive it is an older one. The guy that has it now says he bought it used about 4 years ago, but didn’t know when it was made.

where you at?
Just a thought - where are you at? I’m selling an older Capella right now and it’s in near perfect condition. Definitely tracks straight (at least I think it does!), and no dents or leaky skegs.

I’m not really up for attempting to ship though, so maybe our locations won’t work. Anyway - it’s listed on classifieds if you are interested in this model, but maybe would like one without these “flaws”!

Shamelessly promoting own sale ad


buy your boat
I would love to buy your kayak. Unfortunatley I am in New Brunswick.

I got a really great boat at a deep discount [read almost gift] becaose of a big dent cupping at keel line. Based on info from this site, I turned it top down over a small sawhorse inserted parallel to the keel line with heavy weights fore and aft extremes. I let it get blistering hot under the bright summer sun with several dousings of cold water from the garden hose to quick cool it for several days. The dent permanently left.

There’s a tip at the back of the new Sea Kayaker magazine on repairing dents with boiling water, you might want to look for it.

As far as the caulk goes, maybe you should try a better caulk. I just ordered some of the 3M 5200 quick-cure that was recommended here for the skeg tube on my boat. It might work better for this as well. Hard to find locally for me, but places all over the web sell it (about $10 for a 3 oz tube).

worth a shot!
Oh well - figured it was worth a shot!!! :o)

here’s my advice
buy my composite kayak and be happy for ever after…

Problem Solved
Tkanks for the help evreyone. My problem is solved. I just bought a new Sun Systems Conquest. I hope it works out.

It should
Congratulations on your new purchase. For those who are wondering:

Have fun and paddle safe.