Need help with value of a kayak???

-- Last Updated: Jul-13-12 11:33 AM EST --

I have a friend who is trying to trade me a handmade wooden kayak. I don't really know much about kayaks... Can you help me put a value on it?

Here is a link to a picture:, it is 16ft long and 2ft wide, it is in very good condition. I would really appreciate your help.

THANKS! -Brett

A used Stitch and glue kayak can range from 500 to 1500 depending on the details like what model, nice hatch covers, coaming etc. Not exactly what you wanted to hear but that’s the truth with the variation in prices. Also how desperate the seller is. I sold a Stitch and glue plywood rolling kayak in mint condition for 500 a few years ago. A beautiful kayak but limited market and I wanted space in my garage and I found the right home for it. Plus I did not want to hang on to it for years trying to get a high price.

It’s hard to assess it based on one photo. It looks to be a plywood “stitch and glue” but not from any kit I know of. Not having hatches, I wonder if it has bulkheads (walls inside the hull behind the seat and ahead of your feet to keep water from flooding the whole boat. Without bulkheads you would need to stuff inflatable “flotation bags” inside to keep from swamping it in a capsize. Also it has an unusual shape from what I can see from the photo. Have you tried to sit in it? Kayaks need to fit you. It almost looks like a whitewater shaped hull but the cockpit has a touring type backband. Is the hull rockered (in other words, if you set it on the garage floor is the whole length of the hull pretty much flat against the ground or are the bow and stern substantially higher than the middle for several feet?) Nothing wrong with that but it would make it a design that might be a challenge for a novice.

I guess my main question would be: are you considering trading for it in order to use it yourself or because you think you could resell it at a profit? Typically, known name brands of kit-made wooden boats seem to sell for between $700 and $2000 in that size range. But since this looks like a homemade design it will be tough to sell it. The market for used wooden kayaks is usually poor – people are evidently concerned about maintenance issues with them and I often see beautiful wood boats languish in ads for months with no offers, even at reasonable prices. Jay (first response) offered a reality check on that. A large part of their appeal is to the woodworkers who enjoy building them, so a completed boat has a limited market.

It’s a sad fact because they tend to be beautiful boats that are lighter than the more common rotomold plastic and even fiberglass kayaks. And they really are tougher than most people realize. I’d love to have one someday (but have too many kayaks at the moment.)

Honestly, with what little I can see of it from the one shot, I would evaluate it as a trade item at no more than $300, less if you are hoping to resell it at a profit. It may be worth more, but can’t evaluate that without more details. See what else you can find out about it and maybe post more photos showing the profile and closeups of the cockpit and interior construction and dimensions (width and height at cockpit).

I’ll second the $300
Maybe you could get $400 for it if there is something special about the way it paddles. Perhaps is surfs really well and rolls like a dream?

You need to paddle it …
Put it in the water, get inside and see if it fits and how it paddles. It looks almost like it has a hard rail in the tail, it may be pretty unforgiving for a novice paddler. Are you near the ocean? Where was it used and for what purpose?