I’m about to buy my first sea kayak for recreation, nature exploration and fitness.
I live in Sydney suburbs so I have quiet tidal rivers with a connection to the ocean.
I’m tight on the budget so I’m trying to find the best value in the second-hand market.
I look mostly at plastic kayaks from known brands and models with plenty of reviews available. Today I came across the kayak in the pictures attached.
The price is extremely low (220USD) but two hours and a half of driving from home.
The seller did not know what brand or model it is, he says it’s 16’, five years old and barely used.
I’d love to have any insight you can share about this one.
As a new user, I’m limited to one picture so I’ll upload some more in the responses.
Any hull identification number on it?
Seat looks weird.
Who is Spring Creek Outdoors? Can you call them?
Does the rudder work and how are rudder cables and foot braces ? Ask for more pictures
The business is permanently closed
I will ask for more details.
After screening hundreds of pictures I found one very much alike, and it’s a Chinese kayak
It appears you are focusing correctly (IMO) on a kayak with two bulkheads. That said, I would also like to see perimeter lines (static rope around the boat). Very important or crucial for hanging onto the boat in case of a capsize and the traditional paddle float self rescue. Would you be paddling alone? I would not suggest that you move on a boat intended to go into a mix zone between river and ocean without that feature.
I am guessing you may be a smaller person, and ideally you want to get a boat so sized in terms of deck height and overall volume. But understand that this is often a difficult criteria to meet when first buying used. Sometimes you just need to get on the water.
I have no idea what that is. You can stop reading here, if you want.
The only way you’ll know for sure is by taking the drive, inspecting it and sitting in it. A test paddle would be a home run. I think trying to buy stuff based solely on pictures is fraught with danger. I’m embarrassed to say how far I’ve driven to find a boat to get on the water with!
If the price is tolerable and the boat fits, then get it to get on the water, get experience and then figure out what you really want in a new boat.
No one else has mentioned it so I will: take the money savings and get a lesson with an experienced coach. Yes, paddling a kayak is not exactly rocket surgery, but even 2 hours with a coach will give you skills that will dramatically improve the experience.
Thank you for your answer, I’m off this kayak.
What about the kayak’s length? what role does it play in a kayak’s performance?
Faster is usually longer hull. Thinner is also usually faster. Thinner may not feel as stable at first.
I think known brands are a better bet.
Thank you for your answer.
As a newbie, my “test drive” is worthless, but I’ll do as you said, and have something to start with, preferably a known model. As a second-hand buyer, I do not risk too much money.
I’m surely going to take some lessons but after that, I’ll be confident on flat water, do you agree I could make the best of the lessons that way?
I recognize the kayak. It was sold in the states a few years ago by the RPC3 company, as the TK16. My father has one, in his fleet of 15 or so kayaks. It is a Chinese knock off of the Mariner and NC kayaks, with the pronounced keel. It is a decent paddling kayak, with good speed and glide. The version in the states had a sealed hatch in the back. The rudder rigging hardware was suspect, but that was easily corrected. I can snap some pictures of it tomorrow.
RPC3 stopped importing the kayaks about 4-5 years ago. They now only sale carbon fiber euro and wing paddles. The RPC3 wings look exactly like the Epic wings.
I ordered a wing from them and one blade came loose. They replaced the paddle immediately and it’s been fine since.
I have a RPC3 wing as well. It works fine for my purposes. I paddle a GP 95% of the time. I sometimes use a wing in the winter, to keep my hands dryer.
I don’t think your test drive is worthless. You can tell how a boat feels to you even if you’re not a skilled paddler. That might well change as you become more skilled, but your own sense of a boat is always valuable.
I didn’t like the wing . As I recall , Castoff has it.
IssyN, the advantage of testing different kayaks is that you can compare and pick the one that best fits your needs. At some point you might want a boat that’s more stable, manuverable, comfortable or playful. At that point, sell the one you decided to buy when it no longer meets your needs, or keep it as another option, or as a spare for a friend to use.