First Kayak Purchase - Need Advise.

-- Last Updated: Aug-21-09 10:58 AM EST --

I have question, there's a Capella 163, the fiberglass version, for sale for $1850. The seller is including the carbon fiber paddle, skirt, PFD and few other pieces of equipment.

He's also selling a Dagger GT 8.1, up the price to $2200 with everything from above.

Can anyone tell me if this is a good deal? Just on a side note, I probably won't use it till next year, so is it worth purchasing now?

Some additional info:
I'm 5'4", 130lbs. My bf is 5'11", 195lb, a potential candidate for the Capella. Our goal would be to paddle on open water. We're relatively new to the sport (just completed a beginners course), but want to sharpen paddling skills and acquire self-rescue techniques.

Somewhere down the line, would also like to try WW kayaking. But, if I get the Dagger, I'd probably sell it.

That sounds pretty good
On the other hand, you could snag a fiberglass Perception Shadow for a cool $1200

I just happen to know where one is (VERY close to me in MD)

Depends … some lessons on kayak buying

– Last Updated: Aug-20-09 11:16 PM EST –

Most people don't post what price they are willing to accept.

If the person is selling the paddle and skirt and other gear, they are getting out of the sport or it's stolen or spouse getting rid of divorce property or boyfriends abandoned boat. This is usually a situation where the seller is not really motivated to get the best price, so take a look at the boat and offer a bit lower, most used boats sell for about half of what the original seller paid. Paddles and skirts are deal sweeteners but don't really affect the price much. If they bought it new its a pretty good deal, if they bought it second hand, offer lower.


– Last Updated: Aug-21-09 7:02 AM EST –

What's your weight, height? What do you want to do with the boat, like where would you paddle? What kind of skills do you want to acquire - stuff like rolling, not?

The Capella is a sea kayak, the Dagger is a whitewater boat. These are not remotely similar in use.

Price for the pckg

– Last Updated: Aug-22-09 9:06 AM EST –

Yeah, the 163 would probably do OK for your boyfriend. It's not among my favorite boats, but it's gotten paddlers started and supports serious skills. Depending on the condition the boat is in, that may be a decent price. It'd be even better if the paddle was something like a Werner Cyprus...

If the paddle is some cheapo heavy thing, if the PFD is more than 5 or 6 yrs old, they don't add to the package. You won't want to use a heavy paddle for very long, and PFD flotation can age.

Skirts have sized tunnels. Even if the skirt fits the cockpit coaming, the tunnel may not be the right size for your boyfriend.

If you end up trying the boat in water skip the skirt if it is neoprene deck, until you've had a chance to practice wet exits with a spotter. Neo decked skirts will not release from the coaming of a fiberglass boat by just pushing out - they have to be properly pulled.

You may want to consider starting to look for demo boats that will be coming up on sale shortly. It gets you into boats to try, and assures a reasonably coherent set of additional items. Boats for your size will be harder to find used though - some of them are relatively new and won't be turning up in droves used. (I am literally a few pounds heavier and your height.) Tempest 165 is an exception, plenty of them around, and you may run into a bunch of Impex Force 3's by now. Other options are P$H Capella 161, Valley Avocet LV, Impex Mystic, Betsy Bay Indun (I think that's the model), and some I likely forgot.

Perhaps the Scorpio LV if youa re OK with plastic, but I really don't know for sure - haven't had one on the water myself to see how it fits a 5'4" paddler. Am told it might work.

P&H has a newer Cetus out, the Cetus LV which is supposed to work for our size. But very rare yet in this country so used not likely, and I haven't had a chance to paddle one myself so all I have is second hand info right now. It is quite long and likely fairly tracky, may not be as easy as a 16 ft range boat for skills development.

Current Designs has some boats out for small paddlers too, but again they are relatively new and it'll be hard to find them used.

In the NDSK line those of your size have previously been put into Romany or Explorer LV, but at this point in time your better bet might be to go used now and see how it goes with the new Pilgrim series they just started getting into this country. These boats are rarer than hen's teeth right now, but they promise to be properly sized for us.

Another older option is the P&H Vela, but they are special order only and in most parts of the country there are at most two available used in several states.