Is there a Kelley Blue Book...

… for kayaks?

I know there’s not, and that pricing used boats is anything but an exact science, so I wonder if there are any general parameters I can follow. I’d like to ask this question without naming a specific manufacturer/model so as not to color anyone’s response; I’ll be happy to report the specifics when/if the transaction ever happens.

I’m looking to buy a used fiberglass kayak from a local individual. The boat has a registration number ending in 99, though she told me she bought the kayak new, from a dealer, in late 2001. (Seems like a long time to sit around…) She said the boat was purchased on the East Coast, paddled a few times there, then moved to California where it has not been used at all for two years. I have to say the boat is in extremely good condition. Virtually no scratches, clean as a whistle, hatches don’t leak, compass points north, you name it!

This model is still being sold new and is unchanged as far as I can tell. It’s not a common boat on our local waters, but is one of several models from a well known maker. Google brings up a (very) few recent listings nationally, and one in Canada, with enough statistical variance to be not very helpful. So how do I know what’s a fair price relative to the current list price, given the age and condition?

I realize this is a toughie, probably not even answerable, but one of you pros out there may have some insights. What other factors might be helpful?

Thanks in advance,


The easiest thing to do is see what the lowest price you could get the same model brand new then go from there. I’d go for 30% less than new with 20% an upper range.

But then again the local paddling shop around here (Annapolis) is selling a new kevlar Eclipse for $2400.

If I were buying a second hand boat…
that was in good condition, I would see what the price of a new one was.

If the new one was 2500, I would pay no more than 2000.

If the yak was a rec yak and the new cost was 350, I would pay no more than 250.



“It’s not a common boat -
- on our local waters.”

imo, this plays a BIG role in it’s price - we all know we pick the perfect boat, and then find a more perfect boat some months later - i always consider how easy it will be for me to re-sell a boat (or car, etc)when i try to place a value - this boat won’t be easy to resell, won’t have a lot of interest now, so i’d want to buy it at a DARN good price - i don’t like hammering another person, but i don’t like hammering myself, either - -

view from my gallery
I would not buy a used general interest boat boat for more than %75% of MSRP she should have gotten a disciount for the boats sitting about. Then I would take of for dings I had to repair, or general wear, and the fact that I am not buying the boat from a dealer.

Some boats you rarely see used, (like eddyline falcons) others are more common. that is a factor.

I do not negotiate with people who are outrageous and in the end I hope you are happy to accept or reject the deal on the boat you are interested in.

What Is It Worth To YOU?

– Last Updated: Sep-07-04 3:31 PM EST –

I have heard some rumors...

The boat is still in production? That makes a big difference. I would pay nearly new price to get my hands on a Heritage Nomad in Kevlar because they don't make them anymore, and they are very hard to find.

If the boat is still in production, you need to compare against the new price, keeping in mind that a couple trips are going to wear off the shiny finish on the bottom of the hull. I put more scratches on the Shearwater the first trip than it had collected in 10 years.

Is this exactly the boat you want, or just a good deal?

If it is exactly what you want, any signficant reduction from MSRP is money in your pocket.

Some factors
The boat is still in production but not common in the area?

May I suggest you ask around as to WHY it’s not commonly seen around the area? In other words, is the design of the boat suitable for the local water? You said it’s a well-known maker, I’m assuming maybe even your local dealer carry the brand but not the model. Perhaps you can just walk up to your dealer and chat with them to find out why they don’t carry that particular model?

What’s the owner asking for? A used boat, like a used car, or everything else, is worth whatever the buyer and seller can agree upon.

Hey Glenn, how are you feeling?
Ya know there is a buy/sell post on this website. Check it out and see what range your boat fits into. Hope you’re on the mend.


A hearty “Thank You” to all of you…
… who helped out here and by private email. I hope everyone realizes what a wonderful resource our P.Net family is. For virtually every question posed in this forum, someone has an answer.

The numbers put forth here, in conjunction with several conversations with kayak shop personnel, helped greatly when I made a counteroffer. I made a convincing argument and we settled on a fair price right away. So I now own a VCP Pintail:

FWIW, the price came out to just under 2/3 of current MSRP. When you toss in a float, pump, cockpit cover, neoprene sprayskirt, compass, and Werner paddle and toss out sales tax and/or shipping, it seems like a pretty good deal for a five year old boat in such great condition.

Again, thanks to all of you,


I followed the links to see the pic…absolutely beautiful boat. Congrats. I wish you many happy hours in it. If you had described the color, (wait, a British boat) colour scheme to me I would have never guess it to look that great! But it is one of the purtiest 'yaks I can recall seeing.