Swifty vs. Sparky (Perception)

Thank you all for being so extremely helpful as I explore kayaking. There is a used Swifty and Sparky in our paper today. What is the difference between the two? $250., no paddle. Good or too much? Thanks again.

check your local retailer
I am not SURE but I believe that $250 is about the going rate to buy one of those boats. Maybe if there was a PFD and or Paddle I would think it was pretty cool. Granted a used boat like that is just like a new one, so if they are closer, or other-wise unavailable, or a cooler colour then you know, it could be worth it. I guess it is up to you in the end, but then again isn’t it always


As to the boats
Not enough diff to pay more for either of them in how they behave. They are both boats that often make a future retailer happy when the paddler shows up looking for something faster or longer.

If one of them is in much better shape - like less UV damage or seems to have hardier plastic - or if one has a seat that is much less likely to give you a backache than the other, it’d be worth caring about.

If one is in good shape
Offer them $200 if they’ll throw in the paddle. If they are very old and faded, the plastic can get brittle, and it wouldn’t be worth it. You can get a similar boat new (like an Old Town Sport) at Dick’s for $250-300.

If I’m not the seller,
Then it’s always too much. :wink:

Seriously though, they’re the same boat with a few outfitting differences in the seat and deck rigging. They sold new for around $350-400, so I think $150-200 is fair without any extra gear thrown in.


I just bought
a used Sparky 9.5 and I really like it. I’m new to kayaking and this little kayak is just what I needed. Light weight. I picked mine up for $50.00 but it did have some use (light scratches). Came with paddle. Its easy to load and handles well in the bay. I think it makes a nice beginner kayak.

Swifty as waterborne SUV
A note on the Swifty -

I’ve been using one for my work as a photographer surveying the waters and banks of the Ocklawaha River and other waterways in the Ocala National Forest here in Florida. It may not be fast, and it doesn’t turn on a dime, but I’ve dragged it through muck and mud, across gravel and broken shells, scraped it over fallen trees in the water, and banged it up against those same trees - and by the way, it fits inside my old '92 Pathfinder - no need for a carrying rack. It’s a tough little boat for the woods - scraped, but not damaged.

The Old Town Otter without foot
braces is under $300 new with warranty. With braces, the XT model is just over $300. If I were to sell my 9.6 Necky Sky, don’t use much, its for my son when he’s home, I would ask about $200. Paid over $400 for it. Paid $300 for a Loon 138 4 years old. Look around some more.

EMS had swiftys on sale a few weeks ago for under $300, (maybe 275 or 285?) I’m sure there are other retailers who will be selling off new boats for not much more than the used ones you are seeing. Maybe the seller will through in a paddle or other item to make it worth while?

not significant differences
The boat were similar enough to be essentially the same. If it’s a few years old and in ok condition, offer $150-175. If they won’t go for it, hang on, since there are usually plenty of them out there in garage sales in summer, as they’re often a “let’s try it and see if I like it” boat, and a fair number of people why bought them didn’t like 'em.

Oh, the Swifty has been discontinued for next year, so if you can find someone who has them in stock and is dumping them, you might find a deal . Personally, I’d go for the Mainstream Sound (Perception’s bargain brand). Slightly more sophisticated hull shape than the Swifty and a bit less to begin with.

Thanks for the Help
To make a long story short, the guy selling the Swifty and Sparky wanted to sell both to the same guy, even though he told me I could by the Swifty. If another person had not shown up wanting both of them, I would be paddling. Oh well, I’ll keep looking and maybe go for a 12’ something. Thanks for helping. Betsy.

You’ll then have a kayak you may want to
paddle a long time.