Help with Establishing a Price on Canoe

-- Last Updated: Jun-14-14 2:34 PM EST --

I have been looking for a solo canoe for some time and came across a 1985 Wenonah Solitude, center ridge, Tufweave, aluminum gunwales, bucket seat. Reviews look great on this boat - probably just what I am looking for. The boat is in pristine condition.

So, what does the community think would be a fair price for a 30 year old canoe in pristine condition that has this good a reputation? I want to negotiate fairly and from a position of knowledge.

To give you an idea
a Wenonah Tuf-Weave, center-rib canoe with standard aluminum gunwales listed for $675 in 1990, and no doubt a bit less in 1985.

Of course, that does not indicate what it is worth today. I would say that if the boat is truly pristine it is worth at least $500. What the top end is depends on how well the boat suits your needs and how much you want it. I probably would not go above $700 myself, but if the boat is really what you are looking for you would no doubt pay well over $1500 for a new, well-built composite hull of comparable quality so I wouldn’t fault you if you went a bit higher.

How much?

– Last Updated: Jun-14-14 8:06 PM EST –

I am basing my price guesstimate on your description of the canoe.

It's an old canoe, but some of my favorite canoes are oldies. I would certainly consider it; especially if it was in pristine condition, and I truly wanted that particlar model.

My initial offer would be $500.00.
If I wanted it real bad; I might go as high as $575.00.
I'd be doing a lot of talking between those two prices.
If the buyer said "no way"; I'd give them a way to contact me if they changed their mind.

A lot of prospective buyers will pass on an older canoe, without much consideration.
More than likely, a lot of those who initially contact the seller will make ridiculous, low ball offers.


For comparison

– Last Updated: Jun-16-14 9:42 AM EST –

I just bought a 1989 Wenonah 18' Sundowner, center-rib, Tuffweave for $450 in East Texas. It wasn't perfect but in very good shape for its age.

Could probably have haggled on it but based on what others on this board said, it seemed fair.

value vs. worth
If you’ve been looking for a solo for a while and you know this really meets your needs, it may be worth more to you than it’s “blue book” value.

My rule of thumb on a used canoe is about half of new. More if it’s a rare find, or nearly new. Less if it’s banged up. Much less if it needs work. In pristine condition, stored properly, etc., even a 30 year old boat could be worth that. I have seen some 20 and 30 year old canoes that were well taken care of in far better shape than some nearly new, but poorly cared for ones.

New Clipper Solitudes sell for $1,411 USD, which appear to be similar in spec. to the Wenonah. So $700 would be my limit, but I’d prefer to get it for $500.

Good luck in your search. Let us know how it turns out.

Wenonah Solitude
I had that exact boat in a pale blue color that was a factory blem. Was my first true solo, though my two young sons at the time used it many times as a pocket tandem. That center rib layup is tough. Mine predated the Tuffweave branding of the fiberglass layup, but it did survive flying off the top of a pickup at 40mph when the bedrack broke. Landed in a ditch with a few digs in the gelcoat and a bent gunwale. $500 is a good price for a pristine example. Its a fine paddling canoe, stable and deep enough to take on big lakes loaded; like Lower Saranac Lake in whitecaps with a weeks camping gear. Sold that boat with a bent gunwale and lots of scratches for more than your $500 figure after paddling it for 10 years.


Thank you to all
Wow - that was a lot of advice and all within the same range on the price. I appreciate the nuance and thoughtfulness of the replies. I’ll let everyone know how the negotiations go.