New member - need some advice

I’m looking at buying this kayak for $250.

Here is a gallery of the kayak:

This is a 1995 Perception 16’ Aquaterra Chinook. The guy is asking $250 for it. He even has the original dry hatch neoprene cover and perception paddle.

It is missing one foot peg. No major scratches, no cracks. It needs the bungee and seat rigging re-done. Over all not in bad shape for a 1995.

My 2 concerns are size and size. First, I drive an 09 Hyundai Sonata…this yak is almost as big as my car. Second, I’m 6’1" and 200lbs. I’d like to be able to carry some gear…what is the weight limit on this boat? I sorta didn’t want to go bigger than 14’.

Is this a worthwhile deal or should I keep looking for something better?

not a bad deal

– Last Updated: Apr-01-13 9:36 PM EST –

I sort of like the old Aquaterras -- had a Scimitar for a while and still have a very beat up '86 Chinook I picked up for $100. The Chinooks have a good record as a high volume touring boat. It should fit you well. It looks like the one you are considering lacks a front hatch which limits the carrying capacity though. It should haul at least 300 lbs. easily.

There are user reviews of it on here under Perception (Aquaterra was their touring line back in the 80's and 90's). The model changed a bit over the years but the hull shape pretty much stayed the same.

Since it needs some TLC, I'd offer $200 for it. You'll spend $50 to $100 tuning up the seat and footpegs.

I would not worry about hauling it. I carry an 85# 16 foot canoe or two 15' to 18' kayaks on the roof of a Subaru Outback. And a friend of mine hauls an 18 foot kayak on a Smart Car. As long as you can run straps ahead of and behind the cockpit and guy it to both bumpers you can haul just about any kayak on any car.

pics, please!
Do you know of any pics posted of the 18-foot kayak, on the smart car? I just like to marvel at 'em, like the similar pics I’ve seen, of a long boat on a Mini Cooper.

not her but…
… there are quite a few on the web.

I have yet to photograph my friend’s kayak on her Smart Car. She is semi-retired and can afford to travel extensively – she has not been in town long enough to meet up for a paddle in several years.

I have found it is a whole lot easier to load long kayaks on small cars than on giant SUV’s and extended pickup trucks with caps.

I’d pass
Personally, I’d pass. If you watch around, you likely could find a ~5 year old plastic sea kayak for $500-700. The newer boats have a bunch of improvements over something that is close to 20 years old, so make it worth the extra few bucks (and more likely to be in better shape, so require less work). Things like more comfortable seats, deck lines (important for safety), a front hatch and bulkhead instead of foam (though I was glad to see the foam there - much safer than nothing), etc.

But, I am not the fiddle with to improve a product type. I just reminded myself of this by adding a hatch kit into my sit on top plastic surf kayak. Next time I’ll pay someone to do the work.

I don’t know if the hatch cover is
supposed to fully attached in that one photo, but if not, it appears warped which means it won’t fit tight and will be susceptible to allowing water into the rear hatch.

I would pass if it were me -
As was said above - newer boats have improvements that developed over the years (skegs, hatches front and rear, day hatch, improved seats etc.) that I find beneficial. Also, and this is completely personal, I like a boat that has some rocker rather than than a straight keel line and this boat looks to be fairly straight. You may like that, many do, but I prefer some rocker.

I would pass
Obviously it has not been well taken care of. Lots of others to choose from.

Chinooks are great
beginner boats and good for loading up gear. Getting a foot peg is not that big of a deal and rigging gets replaced every couple of years. Don’t buy into the hype about performance. At that pricepoint, not much will out perform the Chinook.


– Last Updated: Apr-07-13 12:07 PM EST –

Chinooks will hold a lot of gear, they are real load haulers. Also for a point of reference, I sold two Chinook NW (a '97 & '98 model) a couple years ago for $450 & $500. I would offer $200. Really check the plastic to make sure it is still flexible and not damaged. This generation boat can have deterioration.

yes, inspect it well
Yes, do look carefully at the hull condition in the Chinook. Our $100 Chinook is badly UV damaged and was oilcanned terribly ahead of the cockpit, which had no bow bulkhead, due to being stored leaning on a deck railing by the previous owner (fortunately, a wonderful P-netter sent me a factory Chinook foam bulkhead he had kicking around his garage and I glued it in and popped the dent.)

We only use it as a loaner for local lake floats since it could crack any time if it rammed a rock. Though we are thinking of spraying it with that sealing gunk the loud guy hustles on those TV commercials where he sticks a screen door in the hull of an aluminum dinghy (Magic Seal?). Honestly, I bought the Chinook because the aftermarket stainless rudder setup in the boat was worth more than $100 and I wanted to switch that to another boat. But we threw it in the water for the heck of it, and, danged if it wasn’t nice to paddle for a groaty looking old boat.

The seat in ours is horrid so we had to stuff in some padding, but it’s a nice, stable but decent to handle hull design. Feels very similar to a Dagger Magellan I had (and still regret selling). Magellans are also great vintage touring kayaks that come up for sale at decent prices, if you are still looking.