I want to buy a good quality used canoe. I found a Gazelle 16’ fiberglass canoe on craigslist. The seller wanted $275, but raised his price to $500 after he got several replies. He is very near me, so I am curious about the real value of the canoe, and what to offer, assuming it is in good condition. Please advise.
Don’t go that high. I’ve never heard
of that brand, and I’ve sold tandems with better reputations for less.
When you look at the boat, see whether it has a woven cloth pattern on the inside, under the gunwales, or whether it has the random fiber orientation characteristic of cheap chopper gun construction.
Do a search of Gazelle Canoes Maine.
Appears that Gazelle canoes may have been made by a company in Maine that made pickup truck toppers.
Not much of a pedigree for a canoe…
Forget about it!
Run away! Run away!
It is woven cloth pattern
It does have a woven cloth pattern inside. I had looked for this as I had read about a lesser quality composite typr fiberglass construction. I understand that $500 is too high. What is a fair price.
Having never seen a Gazelle canoe; it would be impossible for me to assess the build quality.
You make no mention of what materials were used in construction of the seats, thwarts, decking, or gunwales.
You make no mention of the canoe's general/overall condition.
Speaking for me personally, I think 275 bucks is too high for a canoe made by a company whose specialty appears to have been pickup truck toppers. And just on principle, I wouldn't buy a boat from a person who offered a boat for sale at a set price, and when people inquired about it, boosted the price by nearly 100%.
I'd keep whatever I was prepared to spend in my pocket, save a little more, and then look for a used canoe made by a company with a little more history of canoe building.......Mad River, Dagger, Old Town, Mohawk, Wenonah, Bell, Sawyer, to name a few.
Still a couple of months before Spring..........
Let Him Find Another Sucker
Seems I recall seeing Gazelle Canoes in the old Wyoming River Raiders catalogs back in the '90’s (anyone remember them?). I bet these canoes were only a few hundred more than $500 brand new. I’m with Bob, anyone dishonest enough to raise the price AFTER the listing is dishonest and who knows what else he may lie about? I’d let him keep it or find another “Sucker!” WW
He insists he is a man of his word and will sell it to me for his original list price, but if I pass, he is going to move to the higher one. My feeling is that $275 is a fair price, but I have no wiggle room and no idea of the true value. It has the woven seats, reinforced bow and stern, and has been stored inside a workshop.
Thanks for the replies.
Saw one of these on a used canoe rack many years ago. The logo and unique name raised my curiosity and i looked it over. The construction was not fancey and it looked like woven roving over cloth. It had some flex, but nothing more than a Mad River of the same period and definitely stiffer than a Sawyer.
The hull looke like generic Canadian 16’. Scott, Watson, Novacraft, Old Town Stillwater.
I would not downrate a good pickup cap maker. They get heavy loading when used by a construction companies or handymen and good caps can stand up to abuse. Since the hull has lasted almost 20 years at the least; it has some quality to its construction. Check it for cracks and gunwale flex. Check the seat support points on the gunwales and hull. For $275 it will be a better buy than a new Pelican or Rogue River, since it will be lighter and paddle better. And you should be able to get that investment back when you trade up to your next canoe.
Gazelle Canoe Advice
I would steer clear of that deal. I’ll bet he is telling you that he’ll just let you have it for the original asking price and saying he is going to raise it to $500 just to make you buy it and think you’re getting a deal of a lifetime. Look around, there are many good canoes out there and sellers with integrity.
Thank you for a thoughtful and honest analysis. I agree with others about integrity, but I don’t want to throw away the baby with the bathwater. It looks like a good quality canoe to me. I think it will work for what I need, and I definitely think it is better than the 15.5’ Pelican I could buy for $400 at Sports Authority.
I bought it!
Here is a photo in which you can see most of the details. It is not perfect, but worth $275 I think. Thanks for all the replies.
Congrats on your first boat
My first boat after the alure of aluminum wore off was a Gazelle 17’ that weighed 80 pounds but it took me and my kids on wonderful day trips all over Eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It was about 1978 or thereabouts and I paid $300 new with two clunky Indian Brand paddles. My youngest son caught his first citation bass from that boat and we made our first trip down the Pemigewasset in it. I later traded up to a Mad River Explorere but will always have fond memories of me and my kids in the Gazelle. My ex-wife wasn’t much of a canoeist, sort of like Britney, take a couple strokes then sit back and let me do all the work and bitch about how hard it was. Getting out one day she got one foot on the dock and the other in the boat and it got out from under her and she went in over her head and came up sputtering and cussing me and that was the last time she ever wanted to go canoeing and that was fine with me and the boys:)
It Certainly Looks Like a Good Deal
Since he stuck with the $275 it looks like a good deal. As you said, definitely better than the plastic Pelicans and Colemans. Good luck! WW
One thing for sure; having a canoe beats not having a canoe.
I hope the Gazelle works for you, and you are on the water with it soon & often.