Used Whitewater Boat Condition

I am going to look at a used Diesel 75 this weekend, which is one of the whitewater boats that seems to be a good match with my interests and size (6’0, 205). The current owner has said that the boat is pretty beat up but that it is all cosmetic.

My question, how beat up is too beat up with a whitewater boat? How deep would gouges need to be to really raise a flag? The asking price is 60% off new retail which seems reasonable and is several hundred less than the same boats coming out of rental fleets.

I appreciate your thoughts.

1/16" deep is normal
Expect lots of it.


I took a rolling course in a diesel 75(i’m 6’1 and 180 and it fit me great) and one of the 2 diesels they had a nasty crack around the seat mount bolts. i don’t know if its an oddball or more common flaw but have a close look.

about wear, with any plastic whitewater boat i think you need to take a specially good look how its worn under where the seat is.

What You Don’t Want…

– Last Updated: Mar-07-07 6:04 AM EST –

is to see visible creases/folds in the plastic. Means the boats has been pinned and folded. Scratches are normal (actually great when buying used 'cause it lowers the price). You may also want to bring along a powerful flashlight and shine into the boat while you look at the hull bottom from outside. Any really, really deep gouges or scratches will show up as being much more translucent than the surrounding area.

Plastic boats can take a lot of beatings and keep on floating. If the price is really low, sya $300 and under, without structural problems, it's probably a good deal no matter how scratched, scraped and gouged the outside looks.


The one I got
We picked up a used Dagger Piedra that has scratches everywhere - some on the deeper side - indicating it went down the river without an occupant many, many times while being used as a school boat at the WW place in Ottawa. I’ve had it in a good bit of water since last November, river and pool, and it’s fine.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to find out if planing or displacement hulls slid further when we had to haul the boats out back over snow banks to get to the pool entrance in the back of the place we had sessions. The Piedra veered off towards a stucco wall and the wall has a new bit missing but the boat is fine. One new dent up front, but nothing serious and it still weighs a ton compared to Jim’s Innazone.

The planing hull did better than the Piedra by the way, but the recently polished and buffed RPM put us both to shame. We think it may have been the unfair 303 advantage.

ditto on seat bolts

– Last Updated: Mar-07-07 10:09 AM EST –

WaveSport seats hang from bolts on the cockpit rim and as a result they sometimes have problems with cracks around the rim near the bolts. It's been more of a problem with the smaller playboats where the boat is being thrown around a lot more and more torque and pressure is being put on the seat. Having said that, I know of a friend's Diesel that developed the cracks, although only after her heavier husband had borrowed her boat for some steep creeking. I have both a 65 and 75 (both bought used) and so far both are fine.

Personally if the boat doesn't have the cracks around the cockpit I wouldn't let that *possible* problem stop me from getting the boat, but then I LOVE the Diesel. I think it's an awesome river runner and great even for mild steep creeking.


Check for Forks
I had used my boat a few times in the surf and had taken rolling lessons in it. After a couple of months I adjusted my seat and the next time I got tumbled in the surf there was an old rusty fork flying around inside the kayak that must have been stuck under the sliding seat.