Purchasing a Chinook

I paddled a Chinook on Lake George last week and I loved that boat. It had no bulkheads or rudder and was pretty light. I found one for sale on Craigslist that has one bulkhead in the back which I doubt is water tight.


  1. How difficult is it to reseal a bulkhead? Its not visibly damaged, but the caulk or adhesive is all loose or crumbling. (I also would consider getting rid of the bulkhead if that’s more doable)

  2. What the heck is that pipe for that runs along the keel?

  3. Will I hate the rudder? How breakable is it? I’ve never paddled a boat with an integrated rudder before…just boats with basis up/down skags.

    Other than one kinda big scratch, it looks good. Just concerned about the 3 points I mentioned above.



isnt that a really old design??
one of the first poly kayaks??

The boat I was in last weekend was 24 years old. The owner is a former retailer who put the “Poly only lasts 10 years” myth to the test. He’s stored it outside in the sun and rain and winter and summer for over 2 years and its in fine condition.

So I’m not worried about it being old. I only need a boat for the next 4 years. If I’m still in the country 4 years from now, I’ll buy a glass boat.

I like the Chinook
Had one a while ago I got cheap and gave to my sister. I really liked it alot. You can reseal the bulkhead as Eric suggested but I would suggest float bags in each boat. I found the Chinook really does not need a rudder, but you do not have to use it and it comes in handy for sailing.

not a bad design at all
Hope the price is right.

Yep good boat

– Last Updated: Jun-22-08 6:25 AM EST –

Had one of the first ones out there. Big, stable, and very seaworthy. Sold it years ago to move up to a Sealion. I still think the chinook was more fun to paddle.

I’m picking it up tomorrow. I have a couple follow up questions before I head off to get it.

  1. If I decided I didn’t want a rudder, are they difficult to remove or to lock at least?

  2. There is a neoprine cover over the hatch and I saw the original hatch cover, but I am not sure the straps are with the boat. How hard will it be to replace those, if they are not with the boat?

    Price is $600 which I thought was fair, but now I’m not as sure. What do you think?

Too much

– Last Updated: Jun-22-08 12:44 AM EST –

These are not desirable boats and you really need to make sure the plastic is in good shape and not brittle or oil canned. I paid $250 for mine 4+ years ago. It was in decent shape, no rudder. $300-350 is more realistic if it is in great condition. Maybe around $200 with the flaws you describe.
The rudder should have a plastic piece that it rests in and should sit there with a little bit of play in the foot pedals. The straps can be replaced easily. You may need to fashion your own.

you’ll be surprised by how fast
the Chinook is, relative of course but I think it is listed in some of the charts as a fast boat. I’ve mentioned it here before, I wish some company would re-do the Chinook in composite material. When people say ‘old design’ isn’t the kayak in general an old design? Maybe the QCC and Epics are ‘modern’ but in one sense they are just skinnier decked canoes.

Agree way too much

– Last Updated: Jun-23-08 8:01 AM EST –

The guy selling it must be too used to the real estate taxes he's paying on Lake George - for just a couple of hundred more you could get a not-ancient Tempest 165 in this area. For $600 you should be able to get a relatively new used transition-length boat in very good shape.

I'm not dissing the Chinook, but bulkhead needing repair, lacking straps and age alone make that way too high a price. If you really want the boat, I'd counter with the price range tsunamichuck mentions and and see if he drops his teeth.

If you want suggestions for where to buy new, or find used around here, send me some email. I'm figuring you are at most from the GF area, we are just a smidge further south in the Capital District.

sounds kind of expensive for a 21 year old RM boat

Actually, I am in the Chicago area
Thanks for all the feedback. I was suposed to pick up the boat yesterday. I called the guy back before I hit the road yesterday and offered him $400 and he wouldn’t go lower than $500. I’ll call him back in 2 weeks and offer him $350 and see what he says.