Bell Starfire: Need Advice About Selling

-- Last Updated: May-11-13 12:33 PM EST --

Hi, I am brand new to this site and I'm hoping to get some advice from you folks about selling my canoe.

About 15 years ago, I bought a brand new Bell Starfire DY from Midwest Mountaineer in Minneapolis. It is a great canoe and I had plans to really get into canoeing. Unfortunately, that never happened. I only used it twice in a Twins Cities lake. It has just been hanging in my garage for all these years now.

I would really like to find it a good home! I know that this is a highly desirable canoe, but I have no clue as to its value. It is in nearly new condition.

Thank you for any advice might have. I really appreciate it.

EDIT: It is 15', has three seats, and wood trim.

You’ll need to say what layup you bought.

Brand new one costs about $3300 …
… from Colden Canoe, made with carbon-kevlar and infusion technology. So that would be the upper bound price.

The Starfire seems to be a canoe that was never a market success but which is now coveted by certain aficionados such as so-called freestylers. If yours is carbon-kevlar (black-gold), maybe you could get 70% of the Colden price from a lustful paddler. Just a guess.

Put it up for sale on this site and see what kind of offers you get.

Original poster says…
Original poster says he bought the canoe about 15 years ago.

Was Bell Canoes making a Starfire in the carbon kevlar layup in 1998 ?


Star Lam
Sure we were!

Trade it to me for my kevlar sea kayak.
We could meet somewhere between your place and Urbana, IL.

Would you be more likely to use a sea kayak than a canoe?

I also have two nice solo canoes I could trade.

Thank you for the input so far.
I am always amazed by how willing people are to help educate a newbie. I do appreciate it.

I have done some more research on my canoe and I believe that I have a 1997 Bell Starfire in tandem (three seats), white gold layup. I lowered it down from the garage ceiling yesterday and took some pictures (after I rinsed off the dust!). It does have some scratches on the bottom, but nothing serious.

From what I can gather from doing numerous Google searches, this canoe doesn’t come up for sale very often. I’m having a hard time getting comparable prices so that I can price mine fairly.

So,… I was wondering if it is acceptable on this website to place an ad in the Classified: For Sale forum and ask for Best Offers, without setting a sales price. That way, I could see what folks are willing to pay and let the market dictate the price. I think that is fair all around, but I sure don’t want to step out of bounds or break any rules.

Again, I appreciate your input!

Yes, you can ask “best offer”, rather
than stating a price in a classified ad on

Good luck :slight_smile:

Thank you.
I’ll post an ad this evening, hopefully.

I am proud of your restraint
not just filling that hole on the rack I left you.

I Bought A Used Starfire Last Year

– Last Updated: May-13-13 5:30 PM EST –

I paid $1600 for a late '90's edition in immaculate Black Gold. My Starfire has built-in skid plates. I first paddled one years ago, but couldn't find one used and couldn't afford a new one. I bided my time and am bittersweet that I waited for this boat. It's the best boat I've ever planted my backside in, and I kick myself that I could have been paddling one all these years.

Charlie Wilson may chime in, but I believe the Black Gold version was a bit more expensive than the white gold? Not to take anything away from the white gold, as the ones I've seen have been really beautiful and well made boats. Heck, I'd buy it myself so I could have a 3-seat version if I could afford another. But I'd be sleeping in the barn if I dared do that(LOL)!

As for "Best offer," I say heck yeah! You may get a pretty good offer on it with the Coldens going for $3K. I'm really looking forward to seeing your pics of the best boat in the world. Come to think of it, after all these years, we are down to 5 boats. 3 of them are Yost designed Bells. Better canoes than kevlar, Yost designed Bells just don't exist IMHO. Good luck! BTW, here's my beauty:

Wow! Your black Starfire is gorgeous!
I just sent you a link to my pictures.

BEAUTIFUL! I have to say, the red really looks better on that boat than the black gold. I have a friend with a Starfire the same color and one with a Wildfire just like it too. I wish I hadn’t looked, because that makes it so much more tempting (LOL)!

That’s called “canoe porn” right there.
I know it when I see it.

Agreed (LOL)!
Great minds think alike (LOL!)

Here’s a link
to my pictures.

I’m just glad there’s no audio.
Wouldn’t have wanted the wife and kids to hear any of that.

White Gold is what the OP
has. Kevlar with gel coat.

Black Gold is an entirely different layup… And BG is more expensive and a little lighter.

The hull is not pristine which should not hurt the usefulness of the boat. Decks and gunwales look just fine.

Its not like the Colden StarFire… the Bell layup is a little flatter on the bottom…so its hard to compare to current Stars… Info on the last two numbers on the stern will give you the date of manufacture and maybe we can find someone with a Bell catalog of that year…which I am sure CEW has. Somewhere.

White Gold was actually a

– Last Updated: May-14-13 8:30 AM EST –

fiberglass/kevlar combo - kevlar on the inside, fiberglass on the outside. (I'm sure g2d would approve.) According to the 1999 catalog the White Gold StarFire weighed 52 lbs vs 42 lbs for Black Gold.