Factory Second Kayaks

Hey everybody,

I wanted to get your opinion on factory second kayaks and whether or not they are worth the risk to purchase. I’ve been looking at a Dagger Axis 12.0 for quite some time and have found a place where I can get a great deal on one. However, they are factory second models.

What do you guys think? It makes me a bit nervous, but I’m hoping you guys/gals can steer me in the right direction.

factory seconds
usually they are just things like missing or misplaced labels or cosmetic issues (blems) w. the surface.

Reputable kayak mfgrs and kayak dealers do not sell kayaks with structural defects (those are NOT seconds).

Know your seller. Inquire re warranty. It can vary. A new kayak comes w. a statement of origin. If it’s a factory second it will state so on the SOO.

That said, sight it from all angles, bring a flashlight to look for weak spots, and test everything (foot pegs, skeg or rudder, etc). Water demo if possible to make sure it tracks true. Push on the bulkheads to make sure they are solidly in place. Check how the seat components and cockpit coaming are attached. Like the strength of the deck fittings.

Like you would any kayak.

Aggressively Inspect
I have seen 2nds that were perfect except for superficial scratches all the way to boats that were so flimsy that they could be easily be folded in half.

My advice would be to inspect every inch of the boat looking for soft spots. Cosmetic flaws are OK … structural flaws are to be avoided.

Talked to the dealer
I called the dealer and he said all of the Dagger Axis’ are covered by the manufacturer warranty. From what he told me, Dagger still considers them new and covers them in full just like their new 'yaks.

Either way I will be taking a very very close look at them. I just feel this is too good of a deal to pass up. They just received a shipment of 15 factory seconds from Dagger.

I’m wondering if I should go to REI and closely inspect an Axis 12.0 and then compare that to what I find at this store?

I thought so.
Yeah that’s my concern is the structural flaws.

This store is over 3 hours away, so I’m debating whether or not the trip is even worth it.

Examine …
I bought a Factory 2nd kayak, one of the best deals I ever made. The decals on the back were not perfectly straight. I ended up getting 2 kayaks for what I would have spent for a new “perfect” kayak.

Usually they are just blems
Soemthing cosmetically wrong, nothing that would affect performance or safety.

But make sure blems are the ONLY
problem with the boat.

It could have both blems and more serious problems. If the dealer is unscrupulous, he may only list it as a blem.

Also be leery of what is called a demo boat; it might have been regularly paddled several times a week for a few hours each time, for a few years. Most people would consider that “used” not “demo.” With auto dealers, there’s a mileage limit on what’s considered a demo. With kayaks, good luck. Similarly, watch out for ads using current-year new-boat MSRP on stock that is 5 or more years old. It’s not about discounts or lack thereof; it’s about full disclosure so you know what you’re getting. Check serial numbers to find the year of manufacture.

How much?

– Last Updated: Jun-29-12 11:26 AM EST –

How much is the Dagger Axis 12 seconds?

One thing I have noticed with red Dagger Axis is that everyone I have seen seems to have black specs in the plastic. At first I thought I was looking at seconds as my older red Dagger boats were pure red with no specs. Did check out the statements of origins on these boats and they were not seconds. Even the one I bought wrapped from a kayak show from a Dagger rep turned out to have the specs.

I am curious if you buy one of these boats what you discover the blemish to be.

Have you asked the store what the reason is for why it’s a second? Explain that you’ve got a six-hour round trip to get there, so you’d really like to find out a little more before making the drive. Calling on a beautiful Saturday afternoon probably won’t get you too far because they’ll be very busy, but a rainy morning during the week should have someone that can spend a minute or two finding out the story behind it. If not, maybe you don’t want to deal with them anyway.

I made a drive twice that long about 11 years ago to buy my factory second. It was a very minor cosmetic “problem” in the gel coat, and I’m still paddling that boat today (well, Saturday anyway). I was really surprised when they told me that someone would probably not accept that boat as first quality, because I could hardly see the problem. But I was happy to get a 30% discount.

Great information everybody, keep it coming.

Pikabike, or anybody else for that matter. Do you know how to read the serial numbers for the Dagger Axis so I know what to look for?


Right now I can get a factory second Axis for $600, I will be sure to find out what kind of blemish it is.


When I talked to the owner of the store, who is more than willing to answer my questions, he mentioned that the Dagger Axis 'yaks that he got in stock are solely blemishes. He also mentioned that he doesn’t sell brand new and has only ever sold factory second. So on that alone I would think he is a pretty respected seller (his shop isn’t very big).

Serial Number Explained

Thanks Shady.

I bought a “second” Mohawk Odyssey
a few years ago directly from Mohawk. It had a few blemishes but nothing else noticeable. I couldn’t couldn’t point out these blemishes today. I bought the canoe online and had my daughter pick it up sight unseen. Anyhow, assuming the manufacturer is honest in describing the defects, a second can be a good deal. I have no regrets with my “second”.

I’ve bought a number of "seconds"
over the years.

I’d just make sure you know what the “defect” is and are okay with it. One of mine was a beautiful, expensive kayak that only had a slightly smeared logo… not even that noticeable, but I saved about $600 because of it.