NEW boat - been in sun for 1 1/2 years?

Hey, I live in the SE, and am in contact with a large Confluence dealership in the NE, that has a rotomolded boat I’d like to buy. 'Course, I won’t be able to inspect it, personally.

The sales guy was pretty straightforward in answering my questions, stating that it had been stored and displayed outdoors, for about a year and a half.

Wow, outdoor storage has always been a deal-breaker, when I’ve been shopping used boats. I was surprised that new boats would be stored this way.

So, sales guy says this is standard procedure… that they’ve never had a warranty issue with these boats, for plastic damage… that Confluence is using UV inhibitors in their plastics (first I’ve heard of this). And, during summer, they apply 303 on the boats a few times a month. Really? Think about the cost of 303 and labor that would be involved, with 100 or more boats.

What do you think of this? I’ve never been to a LARGE dealership before. Have you seen boats stored this way? Would you buy such a boat, particularly old stock?


Oh, they did send me photos. The boat appears ok, though I have seen boats that appeared much worse in person than they did in pixels.

I bought a four year old ABS
boat stored outside from a New England dealer. Got a good deal as obviously it wasn’t moving.

In my mind outside storage is not a deal breaker if its just 18 months. There are few places in the Northeast that get blistering direct sun for very long.

Seems weird that they would store …
a new boat outside for that long.

Also seems weird that they would put 303 on a new boat as much as that when they could have put a tarp over it.

I don’t think I would buy it without seeing it.

Jack L

Its all about the price.

Outside storage
On google maps or better, Bing maps, put in the Jersey Paddler and zoom in. They have tons of boats stored outside. Mostly used boats, high end boats are stored inside.


– Last Updated: Feb-28-13 10:21 PM EST –

look up Appomattox River Co. in Farmville VA and see if they have what you need, they have kayaks and canoes stacked on end 10-12 deep, all safely stored inside warehouses converted from old agricultural buildings. they do ship at reasonable rates but it's an awesome place to visit.

all plastic boats use UV inhibitors
All plastic boats use UV inhibitors, but it is like sunscreen - only slows the damage.

Technically being in the sun wouldn’t be warrantable. Hopefully he is saying that there hasn’t been anyone who has complained of issues, not just that no one has collected on a warranty.

That all said, I suspect 18 months isn’t too much. Especially a shop in the north east.

If the guy really is up front - make sure you also ask if the boat is a first quality boat, not a second. Some dealers have been known to buy seconds (also known as blems) and sell at a discount. Seconds likely are fine, just have something that blemishes the look. But they are of a lower value.

Oil canning
I once bought a rotomolded kayak that had been stored outside in the sun. The bottom was deformed. The dealer was able to get the dent out and it was okay after that. Maybe someone here would be able to inspect the kayak for you if they live nearby. What state is it in?

Outside doesn’t necessarily mean sun
Lots of dealers store boats on racks outside. So do lots of boat owners, including me. The boats on the middle and lower rows don’t necessarily get much sun.

Even if they did, 18 months in the sun for a rotomolded plastic boat wouldn’t bother me if the price was right.

I appreciate these comments…
…some good things to think about. WRT Appomatix River Co., I have dealt with them in the past, and was impressed. But, for the boat in question, older inventory, the price is hard to beat.

I suspect it would be OK
It is my impression that photodegradation of polyethylene boats due to outdoor storage is much less a problem than it used to be a few decades ago. I remember polyethylene kayaks from back in the 1980s that would completely degrade with prolonged UV exposure and become useless. Boats made of cross-linked polyethylene seemed to be a bit more susceptible than those made of linear polyethylene.

I have seen polyethylene boats used by rental liveries that are stored outdoors year round. Although these wear out from the abuse that such boats can be expected to receive, they do not seem to photodegrade like those of the past used to do.

My understanding is that the light stabilizers added to modern polyethylene boats will themselves be broken down by very prolonged UV exposure, but I think it takes quite a few years of intense exposure before they are consumed.

People should call a dent a “dent”

– Last Updated: Feb-28-13 11:15 AM EST –

"Oilcanning" has a very specific meaning that has absolutely nothing to do with dents or other static deformation. Misuse of the word just encourages others to do the same, because few people nowadays know what a flexible-base oil can is or how it works. Of course, everyone has seen "The Wizard of Oz", but how many make the connection between the oil can used in the movie and the word that describes its pumping mechanism?

A boat who's bottom goes "poppa-poppa" when going over waves is oilcanning, but I've hardly ever seen that and I'd dare suggest in most cases the hull is merely "flexing", not oilcanning. That may be a minor quip, but calling a dent "oilcanning" isn't even remotely close to accurate.

Dat’s called "rack rot"
in de trade - not “oil canning”.


I have seen some boats
that definitely lack stiffness in the bottom and with tandem paddlers forcing down both stems do oilcan.

Never seen it in a solo. And oilcanning isn’t what you get from rack rot… that just hogging!

“Pop” or “click” past center?
I’ve seen flexy canoe bottoms get pushed up quite a bit when two people are on board, but for the bottom to actually “snap” back and forth across a “tight spot” between the two extremes of motion, no, I haven’t, and thus I haven’t seen true oilcanning either. People in mechanical occupations who use the word “oilcanning” correctly would be surprised at how imprecise the meaning of the word is to most paddlers.

The Wenonah Rogue (Royalex) oilcans like crazy.

I know what oilcanning is

– Last Updated: Feb-28-13 2:16 PM EST –

and I have seen it in a Swift Kipawa and Souris River Wilderness 18. Now I have seen several of both boats and oilcanning is not a manufacturers defect. In the first instance a thwart had been removed. I think the second had some busted foam ribs.

The hull looks fine at rest upside down. Put it in motion and you get the snap bang and can see the bottom move up and down.

BTW we have several old style real oilcans..

Northern Sun
All the dealers I know of store boats outdoors up here. I just don’t think sun in the Northeast is that big of a deal for a number of months. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it. Get a discount for it being a new hold-over.

(At the same time, I doubt the dealer is 303-ing all their boats a few time every summer.)

Think it depends on just how much.
The Royalex(no knowledge of other materials!..PE etc.) of recent times(~last 10yrs) is not as thick and stiff as once was…and a good deal of sunlight will actually stiffen a hull up a little(forget what it looks like)…which is good, performance-wise…but I imagine when you extend this into a 2nd summer…baked stiffness gives way to brittleness…etc.

just my $.01

Update: I bought the boat
It seems replies leaned in the “probably OK for the right price,” and “this is common in the north east” direction. I bought the boat, and all is well.

It’s an Alchemy S, from Mountainman Outdoors, in NY. I was going to get on here and post that they had another one at a good price ($779, and $99 for Forward Air shipping), but, they sold the second one shortly after I made my purchase.

They were good to work with. I had noticed some other kayaks at good prices on their site. Not sure if they’re still there, but, it’s a good place to check, if you must buy long distance.

The only thing “wrong” with the boat was that the bungees were slack. I had to take a whopping 18 inches out of the front deck bungees, to get them right. I’ve seen Confluence bungees that were semi-loose from the start, so, the looseness of these may not be entirely due to age.