Should I buy this Kayak? Kestreal 140TCS

I posted a message yesterday “Please Help! Used Kayak Price”*. I checked it out today and had some concerns and now wondering if I should consider buying or pass.

It is a Current Designs Kestrel 140 TCS about 4 years old. Top looks good, still has a decent shine. However when I flipped it over it appeared to me to have a hand full of pretty big scratches/small gauges.I am a beginner looking for first kayak so maybe not as bad as I think. The couple other rotomolds I looked at about the same age did not look as bad.

There was still a considerable amount of sand in the cockpit (she mentioned she tried to get it all out). I read sand under the seat can cause damage. Also, the foot pegs were very hard to adjust, guessing because of the sand.

The stern and bow bottom had some good scraps like it not always transporter properly, but not like it had always been drug around. Weighs 44 lb and the comes with a cart so imagine it was transported properly part of the time.

Should I consider this kayak, or pass, because of the “issues” I saw? I would be very limited in doing self repairs because I don’t know what I am doing. The boat org retailed for about $1,800. The owner paid $1,600 and have seen this boat sold new for around $1,400 on clearance from what I have found on internet. Current Designs stopped making the TCS version a few years ago. If nothing I mentioned above is a deal breaker what would a good deal price be?

Also comes with a Werner Cyprus paddle (bent shaft). This looks to be in good shape. However, when I measured as 206 cm (guessing it is officially 205 cm). I am 5’ 10" and the boat is 26" wide so from what I can tell need a 210 cm, maybe 215 cm. Would the extra 5 cm (or 10 cm) be too much a difference? If length is ok for me, what would a good deal price be for this used paddle? Retails around $400 from what I can find.

Thanks in advance for any help! I am on the fence about this kayak and any help would be greatly appreciated.

*Sorry if I should have continued under my old topic. I wasn’t sure on the protocal on this.

I’d want to paddle it first
Why on earth would someone try to sell a nice kayak without cleaning it up first? And how did it get that much sand in it anyway?

I think I’d pass unless I could get it out on the water, make sure the foot braces are okay, check for leaks—see if I liked it, above all.

Scratches and gouges in thermoform are easy to fix. I’ve done it with West Marine’s Marine Tex, and it was sort of fun, and easy, and I"m the least handy person you’d ever meet.

There are many more knowledgeable folks on this forum than I and I hope some of them will chime in.

Good luck.

On where I am paddling I often have sand and mud in the boat but I do clean it afterwards. You can clean the footpegs with a hose and they should be fine. I would not rule that boat out.

We have one…
in the shed, it’s a very good craft. My wife used it for years before getting a long, skinny boat. Everyone who paddles it enjoys it. It’s a good design for what it is, and will fit a wide range of people.

I’m not sure what I’d pay for a well used one, but that’s your call.

IMO, I don’t think 5cm on your paddle will make much differance to you, but as with the boat, try it before you buy it if you can, to see how YOU feel about it.

Best of luck,


Thanks for replys! Anybody have a ballpark figure what a used kayak like this is worth?

Thanks for replys! Anybody have a ballpark figure what a used kayak like this is worth?

I would say in the $800- $1000 for just the boat. The paddle seems on the short side for that boat which is pretty wide(27"). Most outfitters will suggest a 220cm paddle but I prefer a 230cm.

230 cm likely too long
If someone wants a 230 cm paddle these days there is no reason to buy it new - they are easily available used and cheap because recommended lengths have gotten shorter than they were some years ago, by about 10 cm. The driver is probably the switch to more emphasis on a high angle stroke, which takes a shorter paddle than low angle.

We’ve found out that all of our older good paddles could be shortened by the manufacturer. The cheap ones come out here and there when the local club has an even where they need equipment.

230 cm
Its not to long if your a low angle paddler. I gave away my 220cm paddle that the outfitter had recommended and bought a nice Werner kalliste 230cm which I love. it even works great with my pack canoe.

Consider this kayak’s size and price

– Last Updated: Jun-10-12 10:38 PM EST –

I had a Kestrel 140 TCS once. On the positive side, this kayak has surprisingly good glide for such a wide craft. It was a pleasure to paddle. You feel the stiffness of the material immediately, compared to rotomolded.

The first negative is the huge cockpit. It's really meant for a very large person, or a recreational kayaker who likes a very loose fit. Such a large cockpit will admit quite a bit of water in rough conditions, unless you use a sprayskirt.

Although I really liked the hull design of the Kestrel, the current lineup up Current Designs Visions has a more reasonable (narrower) width and cockpit size. I don't see Visions on the used market.

I thought the seat of the Kestrel was lousy, but many kayaks have lousy seats.

PRICE: What is the asking price? I paid $650 for my Kestrel. It was full of crud---mud and leaves. Once it was cleaned up, it turned out to be in mint condition. It came with an Aquabound Stingray paddle (carbon shaft), a cockpit cover, and some other gear. That was an unusually good find, but the seller had it on Craigslist for a long time at $800 and couldn't sell it.

About the condition, some kayaks initially appear to be in terrible shape but then clean up surprisingly well. It's possible to polish scratches out of TCS, but you have to be very careful if they're on the deck. I wouldn't worry too much about scratches on the bottom. Deep gouges maybe yes. Sand under the seat wouldn't worry me personally.

I used a 220 paddle with the Kestrel. I doubt that 205 will be long enough for you, given your height and the width of the boat. You could resell the paddle, though.

Bottom line: buy the Kestrel only if it fits your body size well and suits your intended use. Use the condition of the kayak to negotiate the price.

Think I have a deal
I test paddled today* and we agreed on price and picking up tomorrow. It is a CL deal so won’t consider it done until in my garage.

Thanks Waterbird for your detailed review on the Kestrel 140 TCS. I see what you mean about the huge cockpit. I am 5’ 10" 160 lbs. so don’t need a huge cockpit, but am a beginner. I have only been in a kayak a handfull of times, so large cockpit doesn’t bother me now, but could see how it might if I become a more serious paddler. I imagine my friends and family will use occassionally as well so larger cockpit will probably make some of them more comfortable.

The paddle length seemed fine, but new at this so probably didn’t notice that I would appreciate a longer paddle.

The price we agreed on was $900. Includes 4 year old Kestreal 140 TCS, Werner Cyprus carbon bent shaft 205 cm paddle, Thule 887 Slipstream rack (currrent model is the 887XT), two wheel cart, cockpit cover, foam roof blocks, numerous tie down straps, bilge pump, two wall mount hooks, and a few other things. I think everything I need except a life jacket.

After reading reviews and talking to a kayak store owner not as concerned about the scratches. Kayak is four years old, so shouldn’t expect it to be in excellent condition.

The paddle is probably a little short, but guess I can always sell and buy another one if bothers me. The roof rack is very nice, but not ideal for my SUV. There is an antenna on back of my Hyundai Santa Fe that I think will get in the way of the flat mounting Thule 887 Slipstream. Although I could probably sell this as well and get a rack that would work better.

All in all, I think I got a pretty deal. A nice recreational kayak and accessories to give the sport a try. If I get into the sport more will probably want a narrower composite boat, but imagine I could sell this one and accessories for not much less than I paid.

*Test Paddle

The test paddle went well. It was a very windy day, so not able to get as good of a feel for tracking and turning as I would have liked since I am so new to kayaking. All in all seemed like a solid kayak and got around much better than in my Dad’s Perception Swity (9’6") and $50 paddle. Not really apples to applies :slight_smile:

Sounds good
The deal sounds about right to me. Re: the paddle, it’s a nice one, I would use it for a while and hope it works out. You can always keep it as a spare, and maybe down the line it will be more appropriate if you get a narrower kayak.

Re: the Slipstream, it shouldn’t interfere with the antenna if you mount it all the way to one side of the car. I prefer the driver’s side, so I can check the tie-downs by sticking my head out the window. Putting the carrier in the center of the car only makes it hard to tie down, and won’t improve anything.

Good start
I think you got a good deal, from my experience you cannot lose on a used boat unless you destroy it. Congrats and happy paddling!

That price is right
. . . But the cockpit is really wrong for your body type unless you’re considering this as a purely recreational kayak.

Here are some different cockpit fits (speaking in generalities and approximations):

RECREATIONAL: Very loose fit, with two or more inches of space on each side of your hips. You will be paddling small bodies of water with little expectation of waves or bad weather. Paddling will be close to shore.

TRANSITIONAL: You can easily sit down rear end first and put your legs under the deck. You have maybe an inch of room on each side of your hips. Your foot easily clears the coaming when exiting, with perhaps one to three inches of space in front of your foot. Appropriate for larger bodies of water, especially with a sprayskirt.

SEA KAYAKING: Much closer fit at the hips. To enter, you may have to sit on the rear deck and put your feet in first, because otherwise your foot won’t clear the coaming.

As you can see, the cockpit fit is directly related to the type of paddling you intend to do. The problem with a recreational fit is that it doesn’t provide good contact at the knees and hips, WHICH IS NEEDED FOR CONTROL. Stability and directional control doesn’t only depend on how you handle the paddle; it also depends on having contact between your body and the kayak (and other things unrelated to this discussion). The kayak and your body need to move as a unit for good control.

In the Kestrel, a lanky person like yourself will be swimming around in the cockpit. This is fine for recreational purposes. You can add padding at the hips and knees/thighs, but in your case so much padding would be needed that you would come to realize that this isn’t the right kayak for you for anything beyond recreational use.

The sad thing about the Kestrel is that the material and hull design are wonderful, way beyond what you would expect from a recreational kayak. It’s just too dang wide.

However, the Kestrel 140 TCS is an excellent beginner’s kayak, and if you decide to upgrade it it should be very resaleable, especially if you spiff it up.

I am about 99.9% certain the paddle is too short for you. Sell it and invest the proceeds in something longer—220 to 230 cm.

Have you checked whether
your car aerial unscrews. A lot of the them do these days especially those mounted centrally on the roof of a car or SUV.

230 may not be too long
The kayak is 26" wide and the paddler is 5’10". Either 220 or 230 will fit him, I think.

Paddle not too short
I’m 5’10" and a 205 Cypress would not be too short. Ideally for lond distance paddles I prefer a 212 to 215. For surf or rough stuff I use a 200. So I’ll happily buy your 205 but I recommend you keep it, for any trip on twisty rivers and surf.

By the way the Kestral 140 will surf like a dream. Email me if you want to talk about outfitting it for surfing.

Great Information!

Thanks to everyone for all the help!

Carldelo and Adbass: Thanks for tips on 887 Slipstream rack. I hadn’t thought of mounting on driver’s side instead of middle. Great suggestion and give a try! The antenna can come off, but did look like I could unscrew really easily. I need to do more research and see if taking on and off will be simple enough to make it a practical solution.

Waterbird: I appreciate your devil’s advocate approach, I like to look at everything from different angles. I will be on small lakes 95% of time. My house backs to a park with a small lake (172 acres) and my parents live a 2 hour drive live on a 812 acre lake with a 5,000 acre lake near by. I mainly plan on paddling around for recreation, doing a little fishing, and developing my paddling skills. My original plan was to get a short cheap big box kayak and see it I liked it. Even buying one of those new and getting cheap paddle, rack, etc. price was adding up quick. So, I decided to see if I could find a decent, light, slightly longer recreational kayak to try out before I justify making the plung and getting a nice composite transitional or touring kayak. Still not 100% sure I made the right decision, but thought was the most economical way to break into the sport and see if I like it. I am still not 100% sure best decision, but seemed like a nice compromise between a big box barge and long narrow touring kayak for my developing skills and wallet.

FrankNC: Thanks for offer, but probably won’t have any surfing options in central Iowa. Love the weight and feel of Cyprus paddle. Ideally I would like a slightly longer one, but can’t justify buying a new one until I know for sure I will get a lot of use out of it. What do you like a 4 year old 205 cm Cyprus is worth? And what would you pay for one? I know there is probably a difference :slight_smile:

Thanks again everyone! Been a huge help.

You made the right decision for now
I really liked my Kestrel 140 TCS. I kept it for about 6 months. It was really hard to give it up—it’s a thing of beauty and paddles so nicely. But in the end I realized it wasn’t right for rough conditions because of the amount of water it let into the cockpit.

You paid the same price for a thermoformed (TCS) kayak as many pay for a new rotomolded boat, so it was an intelligent purchase. At the very least it will hold its value and when you decide you really enjoy kayaking and want to upgrade, you will have at least $800 toward your next purchase.

When that day comes, you should look at an Eddyline Fathom. It would suit your height and weight well. It’s also thermoformed. The Kestrel will show you what a wonderful material that is. The Fathom will show you what good design feels like. When you’re ready. :slight_smile:

When you get your kayak, first observe whether you’re more comfortable with a high- or a low-angle paddling style. If high angle, the 205 may work. If low angle, I suggest you sell the paddle on Craigslist and get a 220 cm straight-shaft Werner Kalliste (a low-angle paddle), also from Craigslist. You will be able to get a good price for the Cyprus, most likely enough to buy a Kalliste.

Use Search Tempest to do a nationwide Craigslist search for a paddle. It’s not necessary to pay full price for a Werner paddle. With patience one will show up on Craigslist eventually.

Have fun with your new kayak!