Going to look at some used Pungos soon...

I’m going to check out (and hopefully bring home) a used Pungo 140 and what I believe is a Pungo 120 (has “Pungo” on the side but no numbers, yet the dimensions match those of a 120). I’m a complete rookie at this. What should I look for when I inspect these things in person? The lady bought them at an auction and has had them stored off the ground in a garage for a year. She has never had them on the water.

She’s letting them go for a steal. The only deal breakers I can think of would be holes or cracks in the body of the kayaks. Or can something like this be repaired? The seats look a little dirty from the picture, but I can probably spiffy them up easily. Is it possible for the poly material to warp in the garage during hot weather? Just trying to think of everything so I can make a wise decision and negotiate properly if necessary. I will try to post pictures in the comments if I can figure it out…

That last picture has me worried with all the junk on it in storage.

They don’t look so bad to me but especially being left out in the sun can deform poly kayak hulls.

Google up “oil canning kayak” to see some examples.

From the photos they don’t appear to be faded and if they’ve been stored indoors they should be fine. A good scrub up and some 303 on the plastic and they’d look much better.

I wonder how old these Pungos are. They have less deck rigging than the modern ones (which is pretty minimal anyway) and also don’t have the “Orbix” style hatches. When you go see them look for the HIN numbers on the starboard rear side of the hull. They’ll be a number like WEMxxxxxAabb where WEM means Wilderness Systems made it, xxxxx is a unique sequence number, A is the month it was built (A=Jan, B=Feb, etc) a is the model year and bb is the year it was built.

WS has been making Pungo 140s since at least 2003 and I’ve read that some of the earlier ones didn’t have a front bulkhead, so I’d check for that.

The could still be a bargain though as long as the hulls are sound.

Uhg, I’ll bet it only has one bulkhead. The blue pungo is at least 10 years old, maybe more. Wilderness Systems has some of their old archived catalogs online that I looked through. Really, how smart is it to buy a 10-12 year old kayak? How long can these things last? I’m feeling a little leery now.

Many kayak paddlers I know are routinely out in boats that are at least that old, and often much older. If the boat hasn’t been out in the sun for long periods of time (like years), it is probably fine.

Bulkheads or flotation can be added with a little work. The stuff on top of the red one probably doesn’t weigh much. Unless the photos are very deceiving (which can happen purely by accident), they look to be in decent shape. You will be able to see any deformation best when you look down the length of them from the ends.

@Guideboatguy said:

Many kayak paddlers I know are routinely out in boats that are at least that old, and often much older. If the boat hasn’t been out in the sun for long periods of time (like years), it is probably fine.

What Guideboatguy said! --I’m one of those people he mentioned(who uses his 10-12 year old poly kayaks some 2 to 3 times a week.)

The boats pictured look decent, so it all depends on the price being “decent.”
–And of course, that there’s no oil canning on the hull BOTTOMS
(…Psst: Tell the lady to move the damn coolers off the red one;-)

Scratches and a little fading don’t mean a thing, unless you’re personally “fussy” about “keeping up appearances.” I’ve bought poly whitewater boats that looked a helluva lot worse than the Pungos pictured, and I got years of good use out of them(And then re-sold them for a profit!)

Most rec kayaks only come with one bulkhead to begin with–This is not a cause for concern: Stick two pool noodles in the nose of the bow if you feel you need more flotation (or if you want to “pretend” your using a full-on sea kayak–That’s what I do with one of my decade-plus old poly rec yaks…And it regularly takes me down Cl. II+ rapids just fine.)

Wash and spray those Pungos with a good UV protectant after every use, and they should hold up fine for a few more years to come.

You all are making me feel a bit better. Going to see the kayaks tomorrow. She is asking 300 a piece, but I am going to see if she’ll take 500 since I’d be taking both off her hands. I guess for that price I would be willing to put a little elbow grease into it. Thanks!

Other than an actual hole in the boat, the most important things to look for is a massive bulging warp in the bottom, but be especially certain that the keel line is absolutely straight. That is to say that the bow and stern of the hull are perfectly aligned. There will be some curve in the bottom (rocker), but if you were to stretch a string above the upside down hull, the keel line–which might not be very apparent–must be straight. This might take some pretty careful study and a good eye. Be sure to look at it from both ends and take your time with this inspection. If the boat is bent, it is worthless and cannot be straightened. I’ve seen brand new poly boats that are crooked and bent because they were displayed on a minimally supportive rack outside in the hot sun.

As for the age of the boat; if it has been stored properly, age is somewhat not a factor. Two of my poly boats are more than 11 years old and look brand new. For all intents and purpose, they are brand new and could outlast their owner. You treat em right and they’ll treat you right.

I believe the boats were stored indoors out of the sun, but as you can see in the pictures, one of them appears to be resting on the ground with coolers stored on top. She also hasn’t been the owner of the boats until this year, so who knows how they were treated before that. The fact that they aren’t faded gives me hope. I’m going to bring a measuring tape with me to confirm the dimensions she provided and will use that to check the keel line. I never would have known to check for things like keel lines or oil canning. I didn’t know what those things were until this thread. I really appreciate all the knowledge this forum provides!

Make sure they have the big gray thing.

Yea Seadart. I will be sure the big gray thing is there :wink:

Actually come to think of it I don’t think Pungos have the big gray thing, that was Pamlicos .

AmyD: The “Gray Thing” is a long-running inside joke here on paddling.com(formerly pnet)–It has become a legendary monster in its own right…In other words, don’t worry about it.

BTW: Tell the lady $450 for the pair, and that a good deal works for both parties :smiley:

Good to know, I assumed he was messing with me a bit lol… which is a-okay. Her for sale post said OBO and oddly enough $450 is exactly what my first offer was going to be.

Got them! They looked good in person, just need a scrub down. And I need to buy better/more ratchet straps. It was a fun ride home :neutral:


@AmyD said:
Got them! They looked good in person, just need a scrub down. And I need to buy better/more ratchet straps. It was a fun ride home :neutral:

Nice buy - but skip those rachet straps and get cam straps instead: http://www.austinkayak.com/blog/2010/10/dont-kill-your-kayak/

Bet they’ll look great after some soap, water, and an application of 303.

Best wishes for many happy and safe hours of paddling.

I also think you got a good deal. NRS makes great straps. I have had to retire a few because UV ate them but have never had an issue with a buckle.