Used Waldens

I came acrossed a used Walden Vista that somewhat interests me. I found some posts in the Pnet archive that talk a period where, do to a manufacturing issue, all of the boats produced by Walden came out very “soft”. Does anyone know when that happened and when/if they fixed the problem before going under (then resurfacing)? The boat I am interested in was purchased new in 2004.

Thanks in advance.

All plastic boats will soften with age
I have a Vista and the hull flexes now more than it did when I bought it. It is still my go-to boat for day paddles on slow moving rivers, and it performs pretty well in chop for a 12.5 foot boat. The coaming is actually helps keep the deck pretty stiff, but it doesn’t allow for a really strong hold on a sprayskirt. It will hold a rec spray skirt fairly well, but wouldn’t hold up to crashing waves. I can’t answer your question about how stiff the plastic will remain in the long run. If you are careful about how tight you strap it, and don’t leave it out in the sun too long, it will do better. If you can test paddle it, check to see if the water is pushing the hull slightly up between your legs.

It has a lot of advantages. It is extremely light, and it is hard to find a rec boat that length with a 24 inch beam. Most in that class are wider and slower. Despite the length and beam, it fits me–6 foot tall 190–very well.

If the boat is in good condition, I’d snap it up if the price were $300.

Thank you
I have been in a Vista before and loved it. The owner is asking at the upper end of what I think the the boat is worth - more than your 300. I might wait a while and see if I can knock the price down a bit.

Was it Walden who was using recycled plastic? If so, 2004 may have been a year where the mix changed a bit.

If the boat is cheap enough and your use is puddling around in small ponds on a warm day, anything that floats will do. If you have more ambitious goals you may want to do more research into the material. You would also likely want to be sure you could store the boat under cover.

Yep - recycled plastic
As you noted, there was a change in the mix at some point. There was an archived message that suggested the problems occured in 2003 and were corrected after a change of ownership at the end of that year. I was hoping someone could verify that info.