Necky Elaho 16' Kayak - $600 good deal?

Is this a good deal or no? im looking to go into the chesapeake bay with it and anywhere like that

not bad
Check the condition before you commit, but IMO that’s not bad. The Elaho is a nice boat, nicely sized for day use or overnight or weekend trips if you pack light. Don’t see them for sale all that much.

I’d want to check it to make sure the plastic hasn’t become brittle and also the hatches for level of watertightness. If those are good then why not?

Agree, check it out
But, the Elaho is one of my favorite boats! Lots of fun.

If the kayak is in as good condition as it looks in the picture, it should work just about anywhere. It appears to be a polyethylene boat and should be thoroughly checked (as any boat should be) for a straight keel and fair shape (no dents). I would also pay close attention to the condition of the hull. Minor scratches are almost a sure thing, but deep gouges could be a problem. This boat might be triple layered and that could be a good thing if it hasn’t been abused.

Don’t be surprised if the rudder rigging needs some attention. Check the bulkheads. Good Luck.

Thank you for the reply! its a dumb question but how would i check the water tightness of the hatches? and im new to owning a kayak so what all should i get for it besides paddle and vest?

I have a guess

– Last Updated: Jun-03-14 10:14 AM EST –

My girlfriend has a Necky kayak that's several years old, which has one hatch. The first thing you see is a plastic hatch cover that's held down by straps. That's just to protect the cover that's underneath. The cover that's underneath is neoprene that gets stretched to cover the hatch opening. If that stretchy cover is in good shape and if the rim of the hatch opening doesn't have any cracks or gouges (very unlikely), water-tightness should be pretty good. With time and use, a neoprene hatch cover gets worn, and will have thin spots where the fabric has been fatigued, or you may even be able to see daylight through the fabric at the worn spots (I've seen that happen). Others here might know whether replacement neoprene covers are available for older Necky boats.

fill them with water and re-seal

– Last Updated: Jun-03-14 10:17 AM EST –

Turn it upside down. Check the cockpit to see if it leaks thru the bulkheads. I wouldn't reject it if it had small leaks but it's good to know the hull doesn't leak.

I'd check it for oilcanning too as magooch recommends. It looks to be in good shape but I'd just press on the hull and make sure it flexes and doesn't crack. Unless it hasn't been cared for it's probably ok, but there's nothing like a firsthand inspection.

To get started, I'd also add a spray skirt. And once you get started, practice and/or get assistance with wet exiting and re-entry. But you don't need to know or own any of those things to make the purchase.

After that the list is as long as you want it to be:

lessons (roll, re-entries, paddling strokes and braces)
spare paddle
paddle leash
paddle float
water shoes or sandals
VHF radio
first aid kit
dry bags
This sounds extravagant but the more you invest in skills, experience and equipment the further your boat can take you.

thank you
Thanks! ill for sure do that whenever the person emails me back. Pretty excited about getting my adventure started!

Neckys were not triple layered. I have
a Looksha Sport of roughly the same vintage, and it is made like a ww kayak. It does tend to dent in the area under my knees, but I have a short wall that I use to control it.

About the Elaho

– Last Updated: Jun-03-14 11:05 AM EST –

We have a drop skeg version - one of the first two years - of this boat in our basement, it was my husband's first sea kayak. It can be a great boat.... but there are things you need to be aware of if you are a newbie paddler.

A good paddler weight for it to get to its waterline is 160 to 180 pounds. These boats were first put out for someone my size, closer to 130, but it took just a couple of hours of trying the boat to find it worked better for my husband. I was sitting above the waterline, which became a really noticeable tracking issue because of its diamond chining. Necky subsequently revised that weight upwards.

When Necky released the ruddered versions, they also made the boat a better tracker than the original drop skeg version. That first design was a better play boat than touring boat, as my husband found the first time we were out in serious wind and swells. He got to see the world in a 360 degree view until he got a handle on things. (To be fair, I was having the opposite issue trying to turn my CD Squall. It would have been difficult to start our serious sea kayaking time with two boats any more different than these two.)

That said, the Elaho (and most of the dolphin-nose line of this era) do weathercock more than some other boats. As you learn to paddle it is manageable, but a solid course in paddling strokes makes this an easier boat to live with.

The original Elaho had very aggressive thigh braces, whitewater style, which my husband and I love. If the ruddered version has the same, as a newbie you might find it a bit tight. Try to work with it though - you will want that level of control for the windy days on Cheseapeake Bay. As I recall the boat can be modified to take less aggressive ones if needed.

It appears that this boat has been well cared for, so you likely will find it has the inner neoprene covers for the hatches. The hatches are not dry enough in wet work to forgo the use of dry bags, but they are fine with it. You may also have to add some glue around the edges of the foam bulkheads, we found that over use ours needed tome annual replenishment. It's no big deal - if the bulkheads are solid and not dried out or eaten by critters to start with, you just need to visit a decent hardware store for the goop.

This is one of the best boats out there for learning confidence in waves and skills like rolling. Its diamond chining shines there. It will sit on one of those chines quite solidly when you are getting knocked around in waves, and it has a behavior that I have never replicated in other boats. Not only will it sit for a paddler in a static brace floating on the surface of the water, it'll go one chine further over for me so I am laying out completely stable angled just under the water.

It appears that this boat has been kept in good shape. IMO, its stability combined with its minor handling issues make it a great starter sea kayak for someone. It'll eventually get you home safe as long as you are sensible, and getting full management of it will improve your paddling.

The price seems fair to me.

good to know
That makes allot of sense, Thank you for telling me that!

seems like Necky design philosophy

– Last Updated: Jun-03-14 11:42 AM EST – a mix of greenland (clipper bow) and west-coast touring (lots of rocker and a necessary rudder).

I agree with your review, I spent some time in one once and it felt roomy, but playful and easy to maneuver. And it needed the rudder. If I ever get a more playful boat I might consider it.

Jarrett, assuming you fit weightwise, if you buy and then follow through on learning you're gonna have fun.

check fit
I personally don;‘t fit in the Elahos. I am 6’ and 215#, with large thighs from years of biking. My butt doesn’t drop into the seat. Check that you fit and are comfortable.

The black seat means that it is from early 2000’s or late 90s. I think they switched to a gray seat around 2004-5.

In general, for plastic touring boats like this I expect them to run for $500-700 used in decent shape.

I am 5 foot 8 and 165 pounds. I sure hope this guy emails me back so I can drive over there and see it. I have been looking for awile and this one is the most promising looking one I could find on craigslist and a few others.

Your fit

– Last Updated: Jun-03-14 5:07 PM EST –

Peter-CA is right below. Never can be sure until you get in. But you are bit shorter and 5 pounds lighter than my husband when he was first paddling his. I suspect it'll be OK.