Buying kayaks - help!

Now we’ve moved to Hawaii, I am in the market for kayaks for my family. I’m looking for something inexpensive as it’s just hobby kayaking for my husband and I (carting our wee one) and my two kids 11 and 12.

Came across a post on CL today for a tandem and two singles that appear to be in decent enough shape, but I feel that the price might be a bit off.

The kayaks are Costco kayaks by Mainstream - which everything I’ve found doesn’t exist anymore. He says he’s the original owner and bought them in 1999-2000.

He’s asking $400 for tandem and $250 each for singles for 17 year old Costco kayaks. I feel like that’s too much, but want to be knowledgable.

Here is the link.

Any seasoned kayakers have any thoughts?

Thanks so much everyone!

It’s a place to start. A lot of us start
like that.

Sounds like a case of
supply and demand. Limited choices = high prices.

There are newer ones with similar prices - and plenty of water sports equipment - he was very clear on “or best offer” - I just don’t know what it is worth.

Good deal
So is this a good deal?

Reviews here:

Including prices paid.

Noted at a fishing forum that the tandem weighs 72 pounds.

kind of outrageous prices
The tandem was $479 eleven years ago (in Hawaii) and the solos were $299. So the prices are WAY out of line for old used boats. I would neve pay that much myself.

But as others have said, maybe you don’t have a lot of options where you are so it’s whatever the market will bear. They are “worth” what you are willing to pay for them and what the seller is willing to accept. There are no fixed rules on used boat sales.

Is 72lbs a lot for a tandem? I don’t know much of anything. Like I said, beginners, looking for s family outdoor hobby on the water for our time in paradise…

There are quite a few to chose from really, what would YOU offer as a fair price?

as a group,
I would explain that the prices he’s asking is about what they went for new and then I would offer him $450 for all three. Let him talk you up to $550 if he wants, but don’t go much higher.

there is a reason they don’t exist anymo
You’ve got the right idea shopping used, but wrong brand. Generally you can pay $100-200 more and get something not turned out by a here-today-gone-tomorrow big box supplier.

Well, what brands would you suggest I look out for given we are beginners, may not stick with it (although im sure we will), don’t want to spend too much (Hawaii is expensive as hell to live!)?

Thanks all for the info and advice. Great board to seek help!

hard to be specific
Since you want to go cheap (always a good plan when you are starting out), you are contrained by what is available used for sale. Would do you little good for us to go into longwinded discussion of what brands and models you should look for. I checked the Hawaii Craigslist and there are over 300 postings for kayaks and kayak gear for sale and many of the models listed are not that familiar – mostly older sit on tops. But there seem to be plenty of solos for $100 to $200 each and tandems under $300. Kind of hard to make a “wrong” choice in a basic sit on top for protected water rec use. If you could get those ones you were considering for half the price they want, they would probably be OK for starter boats as would any of the cheaper boats I saw scanning the CL ads.

I would not get too obsessive about what brand and style of boat you buy at this point as long as it’s cheap. One you figure out whether you want to stick with kayaking and have a better idea of what kind of performance you want from a boat, you’ll be in a position to select something better tuned to your desires. And then you can sell off the starter boats and roll the money into the upgrades. If you pay that elevated price for the Mainstreams you won’t get your money back on them.

Good plan!
Okay, sounds like a plan.

You are right, there are Sooo many brands on CL and Letgo and Facebook and I don’t even know where to start!!?

My thoughts were the same, go inexpensive try it all out and see jo my family does (not everyone may want to continue) and then upgrade of something any of us are sticking with.

Also correct on price. I had a hard time seeing the askin based on age and brand compared to what is out there, but didn’t feel like I knew enough to negotiate.

Now, thanks to all the responses I am much more confident!

Thanks all!!

In general - guidelines
In general, I’d look to pay between 1/3 and 2/3 of the new price for a used kayak. Age and condition are two areas that would affect where it would fall within the range.

Added gear that comes with it may add to the package at about the same rate.

Note - for HI, the new price may be different than what us Mainlanders pay. The local dealers may charge above MSRP to offset the added shipping cost to get the boat to the islands. if you can get a feel for how much this adder may be, you can adjust the new price of the used boat you are looking at by working off of the old MSRP and adjusting up to reflect this.

Look for more
You can get far better deals for both tandem and single seater kayaks so be on a lookout for them. These still seem like an OK deal.