Perception 14.5 Carolina used ?

I am going to look at two used Carolina 14.5 by Perception and the price seems OK $550.00 Each with spray skirt and paddle. The big draw back I am concerned about is age as they are eight year old boats that have been stored and not used for two years. These boats are being used for flat water (small lakes)and small rivers . I just don`t want to buy them and regret it later because of age issues. Any input is appreciated.

Stored where?
If they have been stored inside, or covered they will be fine.

If they have been stored outside, in the sun, they might be a bit crispy.

They were real nice boats and very
popular a few years ago. Be sure to check around the seat mounts for any movement. There should be a good bond between the seat and the hull. No up and down movement at all.

Price is high

– Last Updated: Apr-29-08 1:16 PM EST –

IMHO. New at the time they ran about $800. I know, I have one and that's what I payed new. A reasonable price would be $400., assuming that they were stored inside or covered.


Are they two of a kind?
Are the kayaks exactly alike? Are they for you and your spouse so you can go paddling together?

Scenario #1: Couple gets a package deal on two kayaks that are exactly alike. He is 6’1", 210 lbs. She is 5’4", 130 lbs. The kayaks fit him but are too big for her; the cockpit comes to her elbows so she has to paddle with raised arms to clear the sides of the boat. She skids around on the too-big seat and capsizes because she can’t keep her weight centered. The couple paddles a few times and the hubby has a great time; the wife has a horrible time and soon loses interest. The hubby paddles by himself for a while, then loses interest because they really bought the boats for something to enjoy together. The boats sit in the garage for a couple of years and the couple finally decides to get rid of them.

Scenario #2: The boat fits her like a dream, but the cockpit’s too small for him to assume a comfortable position. He gets sciatica so bad he can’t paddle. They have to land halfway through the paddle and spend the rest of the day portaging the kayaks up a hill to a road, figuring out where they are and how to get back to their car. The hubby loses interest and the wife doesn’t want to go by herself, so the boats sit in the garage for a couple of years and the couple finally decides to get rid of them.

Moral of the story: You won’t enjoy (and continue) kayaking if your boat doesn’t fit.

Thanks everyone
According to the owner they have been stored inside in the winter and out in the summer but inside the last two years. I will see if they are brittle and I will pay close attention to the seat mount ,do they break or just become unbonded and is that repairable? As for the price I hope to get the owner to lower it somewhat. I am in Canada and prices here in the past were always higher but with the exchange being closer the prices have equalized for the most part. It is an hour and a half drive each way so I am going Wednesday and try them out and see their condition first hand.



They are identical boats
I am 5’7 170lbs and she is 5’3 (censored weight, I know better)and I am hoping to get her to go with me to test paddle. I have looked around and didnt find any size specs for paddelers for these boats. I understand it needs to fit us both and I dont want either of us to hate going out in the kayak . I learned by a couple of cars I purchased to let her make the final decision if she likes it or not.


You might want to be careful about getting the Carolina 14.5 for your wife. You might want to consider the 13.5 instead. I’m a little shorter than your wife and I started out in a 14.5. At first I really likes it because it was my first kayak but after a little while I didn’t really like it anymore. I was always hitting my hands on the cockpit rim and had to hold the paddle pretty high to clear the deck. I traded it for a Carolina 13.5 which fits much better. However your wife might not have this problem with it and could probably put some foam on the seat to raise her up a bit.

Also, from what was said above about moving around in the seat and capsizing, being small its very difficult(not impossible) to flip a Carolina 14.5 on flatwater. I had to pretty much throw myself(all 110lbs) over the side to go over.

Thanks demarie
I will let her know what to look for when she tries it out. She has only used the two Kayaks we have a couple of times but it was only limited amount of time and a short distance. My goal is to have four Kayaks (on a budget)this year so we can do this together while camping. My son (15years old) is useing a Clear water Inuvik and my daughter(9years old) is using my Walden padeler 10ft that seems to fit her decent.

The Inuvik will probably be replaced later in the summer as it is too wide for all of us 28in(purchased with no information or experiance). So even if the Carolina does not work for my wife or myself it may work for my son and we may be selling the Inuvik sooner to look for a better fitting Kayak for one of us.


5’3" paddler
hey Kingston: I’m the same height as your wife also (& 115 lbs, I don’t care who knows LOL).

Had a chance to sit in one and paddle it for grins prior to the start of a rescue class last summer on a local lake. There were two students in the class who brought their own Carolina 145s

It was a barrel. More than just a few layers of minicell or a seat pad to correct it. A real PITA to lean or edge it. Paddling - like pushing a barge thru syrup. There are many reasons for that, but one was I was just too small for the boat.

Raising the seat is not usually a good idea. For one it alters the person’s center of gravity and affects balance. Your wife probably has a lower center of gravity than you, so why take that advantage away from her?

I could go into the difficulties the Carolina paddlers and the people assisting them with rescue practice had with those boats, but that is not on topic. Email me if you care to know.

Buy the pair if you want, but do find something better fitted for your wife, if you want her to stick with it.

I’m with Andy on the price
But then, I just sold one for $250. I sold it to a friend, and it had a few minor problems. But another friend that used to borrow the boat was very upset with me saying it was going to cost “hundreds more” for her to find another kayak.

I bought the boat in 2004, used, for $500. The rubber gadget that receives the rudder when it is not in use was broken and there was no strap/bungee thing to hold the rudder in place. Additionally, I’d throw the boat on the rack without saddles, and the bottom under the foredeck had gotten soft from the pressure of the bar vs. the tie down straps. It was oil canned a bit when I got it. The plastic under the foredeck would bounce back when the boat was on the water, and it seemed to paddle fine, but I wouldn’t have felt right about trying to get top dollar for it, especially from a friend. Half what I paid seemed reasonable. My other friend feels the market price is higher, and the guy who bought the boat was steeling it from me.

Turn the boats over and look for oil-canning under the cockpit area. Oil-canning, or hogbacking, is a shallow indent you can recognize because it will deviate from the true hull shape. Theoretically, it detracts from the boat’s performance, but I wouldn’t let it stop me from buying the boat. However, if you see it, use that to negotiate a better price.


5’3" too
I’m 5’3", too, but weigh considerably more, and the 14.5 was too big for me as well. So there you have it - it just wasn’t made for short people, whether they be slender or not so slender. There just isn’t anything fun about having to hold the paddle uncomfortably high just to clear the deck while rattling around inside. I have a 2004 Carolina 13.5, which fits way better.

Add another…
opinion to echo the above.

My wife is 5’6". While she never tried a 14.5, she has a 13.5 and likes it a lot. So, she’s three inches taller than your wife, and happily paddling a smaller boat.

Not that your wife won’t be happy, just make sure it fits her before you commit. Torso and arm length can be very different on two people the same height. (I once knew two girls the same height, but who had waists at least six inches different in height. One was all legs, the other all torso. And both very pretty… :wink: So just cause she’s a certain height doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to sit the same in a certain model of kayak.

As for the price, it’s hard to say. I wouldn’t count on finding too many $250 boats like the poster sold above. Take a look at the condition, try to work a package deal, and see what happens.

Thanks for the information
neither my wife or myself have been able to get away from work early enough to go see these boats. I am now planning on Saturday morning if the weather is good enough and the boats don`t sell before then. I really appreciate all the information from everyone it has been great to hear everyones personal experiances with these boats. I know now she has to go with me and try one out but from the information above I think she will probably find them too big for her. I have also found two Poulaski(SP?) 14ft Kayaks for sale locally but I know nothing about them. They are cheap at $500.00 for the pair but I have no idea what they are like any ideas?

That price includes
a paddle and a spray skirt, not just the kayak

Paddler weights
are hard if not impossible to find once a kayak has been off the market for a while. You can always call the manufacturer and ask what the intended paddler weight range is (not the maximum capacity). In general, think of the lower weight as more stable and the higher weight as more playful. I am at the higher weight limit for one of my kayaks and that makes it much easier to do leaned turns, roll, etc, because most of my lower body (where it counts) is in contact with the kayak.