Canoe Value question - Souris Prospector

Hi folks,

As most of you live nowhere near me, I thought I might get your opinion on the value of a canoe I might sell.

It is a Souris River LeTigre Kevlar Prospector 16’ with aluminum trim. It is in great shape, but has had a couple minor repairs done at the factory. Also, the bottom looks ugly due to a bit of botched work (that I think I could clean out if I tried). I think I paid around $2500 CND, but am not sure. I know it was over $2k, but maybe the $2500 number was with tax and shipping (factory refurbished so yes, taxes).


Just to start the pretend bidding, $1700
But note that I have always tended to ask too little for boats I’ve sold, and I’ve bought boats for some absurdly low prices.

Thanks for the opinions, folks. I respect, Eric, that you are in this business, so have a good idea of other people’s perceptions.

There is no way I would sell this canoe for $1400, and would gladly buy it again for $2000. Maybe that is just me. I’m thinking in Canadian dollars, though, where the new price is about $3000.

I wonder about the reputation, as maybe they are older canoes. I agree a Wenonah looks much prettier, but I doubt it can take the same sort of impact for a given weight.

I was thinking of selling this one to buy a Hellman Scout, in a heavier lay-up for more whitewater. Considering what the market will bear, there is no way. I will just continue to use it and repair it if/when necessary.

I bought it in the first place because I love the shape, and I still do. Maybe I will just pick up a Royalex Evergreen or Esquif or Wenonah Prospector in addition!

Thanks again. I don’t mean to be argumentative - just saying that if market value is that low I’ll keep it for sure! It’s hard with boats I really like.

Design, finish, and durability tend to
go together, but there are exceptions, especially in markets where durability or design are prized higher than finish.

My new Millbrook is kinda rough inside and out, but I accept that, because it’s the first canoe the builder laid up on a mold he got from the designer, and had never used before. It’s a very stiff boat, strong where it needs to be, and the design “works.” But I would not have an easy time selling it. That’s OK… with boats as with cars, I use them until I can’t repair them and they fall apart. I’ve only sold 2 in 35 years, and I still have a dozen.

If your Souris River design suits you, then you only have to learn to fix it to a standard to suit yourself. Souris River needs some fans. That guy in Minnesota is their own worst enemy.

Thanks for making me eject coffee
through the nose!

“That guy in Minnesota is their own worst enemy”

I thought that but never had nerve to write it!

given it’s materials
have you ever had to repair it yourself? i would think it to be near indestructible, made out of epoxy and kevlar.

I can show you canoe sculpture
made out of epoxy and kevlar.

You’re being facetious perhaps?
I’m an owner of S-glass/Kevlar/epoxy boats, and they are a long way from being indestructible.

Souris River canoes , epoxy resin …
… that’s my understanding , although I don’t know if every and all Souris River boats have always been made with epoxy resin .

I did some reading about them some months back , and was impressed … I think they are the ones who are currently using an oven method to preheat the epoxy coated composite layup . (140 degrees ??) .

The thing about epoxy , is it’s superior bonding to the fabrics , on the molecular level . When heated during the layup , this is magnified even more .

It isn’t THAT superior. It’s margin
over a good quality vinylester is small.

As for heat curing, Souris is not a leader by any means. Bluewater has always used it. Dagger used heat curing when they had a composite boat program. Again, heat curing confers a modest advantage, not a huge advantage.

I have both heat-cured epoxy boats (Dagger, Bluewater) and quality vinylester boats (Phoenix, Noah, Millbrook). I cannot tell any difference in resistance to punishment.

I believe heat-cured epoxy has a modest superiority, but I can’t prove it. Can you? Souris themselves do not make excessive claims, but their agent in Minnesota makes absurd claims, and disparages boat builders whose sandals he is not fit to untie.

g2d , when it comes to actual experience
… with several different composite layups and epoxy vs. vinylester resins , as in owning or using these different boats , your experience with them is far greater than mine … I’m sure you know what’s what in that dept.

I’m just speaking of what the bond looks like under a microscope … the epoxy cross links radically , compared to vinylester or polyester resins which sort of winds around the fibers . Epoxys’ actual molecular contact with the fiber is probably 10 x’s or more . Now what I have seen is strictly research reading , and all such things I temper with a grain of salt .

I can’t say this or that about the “guy” in Minn. that has been mentioned , I know nothing about him , but I think it’s fair to say people don’t usually get a bad rap without some foundation behind it .

Not indestructable
I think Bluewater may have one of the best kevlar/epoxy curing processes in the business. A load of snow falling on a Bluewater canoe I repaired sure did crush it though. Although, it was easy to fix. Anything can be broken.

The Souris River lay-up is probably more resilient than many others, but, it is also more flexible. If you measured strength by deflection, a sheet of glass would be stronger than a sheet of rubber. One, though, would not handle a rock encounter as well as the other.

I considered selling the Souris Prospector 16’ because they seem to be worth a fortune new, and I figured I could get a Hellman Scout (similar design purpose, but a bit heavier/a bit more oriented to whitewater) and not feel badly about hitting a few rocks. The Hellman system is similar to the Souris system, but they offer a “duratuff” lay-up which uses more layers. I like this compromise, and have one of their boats that I have been very happy with. Sure - 70 lbs of Royalex is probably tougher than my 42lb Souris River. But apples to apples, I think the Kevlar’s only drawback is cost (and it’s still a bargain compared to a typical bass-boat).

So, if the used market doesn’t value my boat like I do, I’ll take my boat and use it. Thanks again for all the input.

You know that vinylester contains
epoxy like molecules? Vinylester is much closer to epoxy in actual performance than it is to polyester. I think boat builders are selecting resins and cloths based on actual performance of layup samples, not what they see under a microscope.

I think what you originally paid was

I paid $1700 for a brand spanking new Wilderness 18 in Kevlar in Thunder Bay.

Drive it off the lot and you lose at least a third…then it tends to hold its value if cared for.

Seems you ought to enjoy it more.

I agree
The original price seems high, especially for a second, and the canoe looses a lot of value by just “driving it off the lot”. I’d say in mint condition it is only worth 80% of it’s initial value. Poor condition may be 50% or less. Normal wear 66%. I think most folks over-value their canoe when it’s time to sell.

I think the $1400 estimate is right on the money if you wanted to sell it in a reasonable time. Their is always a buyer at any price. It’s just that you may have to wait a long time if the canoe is priced too high. The higher the price, the longer the wait.

Thanks for all the opinions, folks. Again, to me the canoe is worth more than that.

I had to laugh at the “buyer at any price” comment, as there is someone in my area trying to sell a very old, very plain square stern fiberglass boat with very old small motor for 2250. He dropped the price to 1750 after nearly a year, but I suspect around 750 is what it would go for.

The amount a canoe depreciates must vary a bit by how common they are and how popular. When I found that I could get this canoe for less than new price, I jumped at it, as I had only paddled one before, and they weren’t something that local dealers stocked.

In any case, thanks again for the info.