The recurring quandry.

I have bought 2 canoes, a sea kayak , a rec kayak, and a surf ski without paddling them first. Something we advise people not to do.
With one exception, they have all been enjoyable boats. They have all moved on.
I’m about to do it again.
I have based the previous boats on reviews, with a bit of skepticism, and by talking to knowledgeable people.
Desires and needs change but I am always a bit doubtful of my judgement where boats are concerned. My personal rule is buy the best I can afford. Good boats properly cared for have good resale value.
After that brief interlude, back to noodling the next one. B)

That happens in the single bars all the time.
Sometimes the only way to try things out is to take them home…

I see a boat as a more long term arrangement , but that hasn’t been the case .

Well, I tend to be true to my boats. Only 2 (of 12) have passed out of the family. The Jensen 18 was living with it’s other owner (we had gone 50/50 on it) in Missouri when it was broken up in a log jam. The Osprey 13 went to someone who fit in it after Emma grew out of it.

Only 2 of the 12 were tested before buying though and a Rendezvous was tried before we bought the Independence. The one we have was rescued from a friend’s back yard, cleaned out & patched up.

I think the only boat I paddled before I bought it was a QCC700. I paddled a friend’s, then found my own on the classifieds here years ago. Even then, you don’t know a boat until you get some serious seat time.
I tend to think unless it’s a home built, I’m pretty safe buying about anything interesting used. I’ve bought two that I didn’t care for, and sold them at a small profit! The QCC is a carbon Kevlar that I picked up for $1400. I’ll bet I could sell it for that tomorrow if I had to.

My quandy would be, "Sell one? "

I don’t have that problem. I always sell one. Got only one butt to put in it.

Our limit is the yak shak. Gonna put one in, gotta take one out.

I am currently boat poor. That is the wallet not the boats!

Here’s my fear… what if I built a beautiful wooden kayak only to realize it handles like a houseboat? Would that be painful or what?

@tjalmy said:
Our limit is the yak shak. Gonna put one in, gotta take one out.

Yea sure. I just build another shack.

@castoff said:
I am currently boat poor. That is the wallet not the boats!

You have gone a bit over of the top on boats.

@Rex said:
Here’s my fear… what if I built a beautiful wooden kayak only to realize it handles like a houseboat? Would that be painful or what?

My issue exactly.Then you have to find someone who likes houseboats.

Generally, I would always try to test any boat I’m interested in, but I have learned that as often as not, first impressions really are not all that reliable. The one I call my big boat did not impress me much when I first paddled it, but after thinking it over for a short time, I decided to go ahead and order one, because I trusted the designer. That was a great choice, because the boat has exceeded by multiples of anything I ever expected from it.

I have probably outright rejected some boats for one reason, or another after one time in the cockpit and sometimes that was sitting on dry land.

There are not that many boats I’ve paddled that I knew right away that really felt right. That list would start with the Valley Nordkapp, the new CD Carabou, the CD Prana, Stellar Intrepid, Tide Race Excite, and the Sterling Grand Illusion. Oh yeah I also thought the Eddyline Raven was their best boat. There may be others, but those are the ones that stick out. The one boat that I had great expectations of was the CD Infinity and it just didn’t cut it–in spite of all the dimensions etc. looking right.

Sometimes very similar boats like the P&H Cetus models can be quite different according to their size. The mid-sized Cetus didn’t do a thing for me, but the full sized was right on.

Another boat that I thought should have really been a winner was the Tide Race Explore, but it didn’t measure up with one little detail about edging. To me it was fairly solid up to a point where it just suddenly let go. I didn’t like that.

I wish I could say I have rejected boats for technical reasons but for me it comes down to comfort, weight, and speed.
My chronically bad back isn’t getting any better so comfort is the key.

My limitation on fleet expansion has been storage. My ski slope of a third acre property has no place for a garage or even a driveway or parking pad. You descend 6 steps just to get from the sidewalk to the front porch and I had to pay $7,500 to have the bottom of the lot cut back 15’ and a 4’ high retaining wall built just to park my trailers 150’ downhill from the back of the house. So all the kayaks live in the walk out basement, hanging in the 9 foot rafters or stacked. Fortunately 5 of the current fleet of 8 are folding kayaks so all but one has wintered in a duffel bag. But I am sick of hauling them out the back door, negotiating them (especially the 18 footer) through closely spaces pillars under the back porch and hauling them uphill, around two tight corners, up the stairs and across the street to load them. And having to assemble the folders in the yard. Found out it would cost $30K to $40K to dig out, grade and build a boat house or garage that would still be a downhill hike from the house in the valley below.

So I just today bought a large level lot with a house on it up the street. Gonna rent out the house and build the garage and boathouse in the back yard. Lease grants me full access to that portion of the property during the tenancy. Down payment was half the price of building a garage here (and I would never get that back selling the house due to the price range in this neighborhood) and the monthly rent will cover the full mortgage and net a few extra hundred that I can put towards building the boathouse. Also lots of room to park the vintage motorhome and both my utility and kayak trailers, which have been a pain to store in that narrow and sloping dirt road dead-end alley. Dragging a trailer to align it with the hitch on a 2B gravel surface is horrible and I have few options to back up and turn around the vehicles on the dead end narrow alley other than somebody else’s driveway.

So, crazy as it might seem to buy a whole other house to enable your paddling hobby, this ends up being rather sensible. And I have enough equity in the current crib that I could sell this one and pay off both mortgages in a couple of years, “New” house is not as nice or chaming as the current Craftsman bungalow, but has good bones (built in 1890) and has completely new mechanicals, wiring, plumbing, windows and two bathrooms. I can add the “charm” later. Planning to build a 2-car garage over there this summer with carport on one side for the trailers and RV and a shop on the other for building and maintaining my boats.

Retired 2 years ago and just have to live long enough to finish all my projects. At this point the to-do list should take me to the 22nd century!

That makes me feel better about a new boat. I’ve gotten ride of 2 and have rack room.

We built a 24x30 two story garage… It holds boats ( 13) a workshop has attic space and if needed by the next owner could actually house…cars… whatta thought.
Its very common in Maine to have a detached garage bigger than the house.

Outside storage is also possible… how many boats could I stack on two acres? ( I have another 500 in back of me but the land trust might frown on that)

Lots of opportunities to demo boats coming up in Charleston.

And I wouldn’t have bought my Uno Max if I had paddled it first. After decades of HPK experience I still had one hork of a time keeping the seat facing the sky. Ending up loving it.

I looked at the vendor list. Didn’t see Eddyline.