How is best to check and examine a boat

Top athletes carefully check their gear before embarking on dangerous endeavors. Frank Goodman noted how carefully Chris Duff examined the Nordkapp he ordered for his circumnavigation of Ireland.

How do experienced paddlers here check a kayak to try to insure it is sound before entrusting their lives to a boat?

- Place boat on a flat surface (like concrete)

  • Ease into the boat
  • Jump up and down flailing the paddle wildly
  • If the boat broke, it is not seaworthy
  • Otherwise, it will probably be seaworthy for the first 10 minutes

    I don’t do anything crazy, so if water isn’t pouring in, it’s good to go.


Sitting Down
or standing up?

A neophytes check
1. Visual and feel test of seams, coaming edges, hatches, skeg box, deck fixtures. I like to feel well finished edges. I do not like slivers of glass in fingers. I like to see neat workmanship and a minimum of things done to make things right after the first try wasn’t. I check if anything is loose like foot peg rail bolts. A good yank on perimeter lines.

2. Flashlight shining through hull and deck to get an impression of the layup consistency.

3. Water in hatches and cockpit to check for leaks by leaning and putting boat inverted.

4. Paddle it to see how it feels/tracks/balances and if anything leaks.

Of course, I tend to do this after the fact or during the winter when paddling is hit or miss, but someday I might do it before accepting a boat

basic but good
I agree.