Wenonah Vagabond Price?

Ive found a Vagabond at a local dealer and wondering about the price. Its a blem and the dealer already was givin a discount from Wenonah to take the canoe. It listed for 1099.00 and now is for sale at 949.00. My question is its a 2007 model but has not been out of the store or seen water. Do these boats loose value over time? or is this a good price? If they do devalue what is a good offer price?

What’s the material? I don’t recall
whether they make Vagabonds in Royalex, but if so, its Royalex will have hardened nicely since 2007, so you won’t be annoyed by it denting too easily.

Your dealer is optimistic
Mounainman has unblems 2010 Vagabonds Rx for $880.


A boat that has sat on the rack for four years is simply in the wrong market. Seems your dealer has extra room.

Personally I would offer around $750 and simply walk away if that cannot be met.

A 2007 Wenonah Vagabond could be Royalex, Tuf-Weave (Wenonah’s proprietary fabric), Kevlar Flex-core, Kevlar Ultra-light, or Graphite Ultra-light.

For the price mentioned, I suspect it is either Royalex or Tuff-Weave. In the unlikely event it was Kevlar, I would certainly snap it up.

The Royalex and the Tuff-Weave Vagabonds are actually about the same weight. Wenonah’s proprietary Tuff-Weave composite layup is plenty tough, and the composite boat will paddle better than the Royalex boat. I would go with the Royalex only if you anticipate a lot of paddling on shallow, rocky streams.

With the rising cost of oil, any petroleum products including thermoformed plastic and epoxy resins can only continue to go up. If the boat is in good condition, it should retain much of its price, but no body is going to buy a used boat for what they can buy it for new, of course. Some discontinued composite boats are selling for considerably more than what they cost new, however.

Personally, I would consider it a reasonable deal if it was Tuff-Weave, a great deal if it was one of the other composite layups, and I would pass if it was Royalex, unless you are looking for a Royalex boat specifically. That is if the blemish is not structural in nature.


It is royalex. Why is royalex a bad way to go?

Wenonah doesn’t release structural blems
Blems coming from We-no-nah are always cosmetic. If they find a structural problem with the sheeting during production, it become a warranty issue with Spartek. Those will never reach the market.

Not a “bad” way to go

– Last Updated: Feb-26-11 1:04 PM EST –

Reading pblanc's post, it seems that he's saying to expect a somewhat lower price for a Royalex boat that's a few years old, because no one would pay the same price for an older boat as a new one (assuming you can find a new one that's already discounted as a blem as well). I personally think it would be great if ALL Royalex boats were a few years old when "new" because the material becomes more scratch and dent resistant after the first few years, and I myself wouldn't hesitate to buy the boat in question for that price if I wanted a Royalex version. pblanc's other point, about a composite model having much better paddling qualities is true, but I've never seen a composite Vagabond outside of a dealer showroom and have seen lots of Royalex ones in actual use, so I'm GUESSING that it might be tough to find a used composite version for sale. As far as Royalex being the best choice for paddling shallow rocky rivers, I think Tough Weave is actually a whole lot better for simply scraping bottom and glancing blows. I don't recall that you were needing a durable boat, and in that case ANY composite version would be nicer than Royalex if you can find one, but lots of people choose Royalex for the price alone too. As with anything else, it can be tough to strike a balance between what would be ideal and what is easier to find or cheaper.

One other point regarding Royalex versus composite, is that a composite Vagabond is 14.5 feet long but the Royalex version is 14.0'. Since you are a big guy, a little extra length MIGHT be good. Also, the composite Vagabond has a bit of rocker to aid maneuverability but the Royalex version has no rocker at all. For most people, that won't be a huge deal, but it's something you might want to be aware of.

Yep, better choice
Whitewater paddlers have known this for a long time. Royalex has a cure cycle. The freshly molded boats are still somewhat soft, and it really takes a year or longer for them to firm up properly.

A NOS Royalex boat that’s a couple years old is, at least to me, worth more than one that’s fresh out of the mold. It will hold up to impacts better.

Composite Vagabond
I have done quite a bit of paddling with a fellow who uses a Kevlar composite Vagabond. He regularly drags it over trees on portages, scrapes through and over log jams, etc. It seems to be holding up very well.

Royalex simply wouldn’t be my choice of materials for that boat unless one anticipated hard impacts on rocks. I think composite boats actually do hold up better to abrasion from scraping over rocks than Royalex does. The virtue of Royalex is that its springiness allows it to give when it impacts a hard, immovable object whereas composite boats are more likely to crack (but can generally be relatively easily repaired even when they do). The Royalex generally cannot be shaped into as fine lines as composites, and the flexibility robs power and efficiency.

When comparing the price of a boat at a local dealer with the advertised price of a dealer that is not within easy driving distance, you need to factor in the delivery cost, or the cost of driving to pick the boat up yourself, which can be considerable.

Maybe you could use the Mountain Man advertised price as a bargaining point and over $850 for the blem?

OP wants the boat for fishing
For fishing, Royalex is quieter. It would be my suggestion over a composite.

I say go for it
Sorry, forgot to put that in my previous posts.

It’s a good fishing boat, the price is fair, I say go for it.

For everyone who says haggle and buy elsewhere, here are some thoughts:

Ask your local dealer if you can try the boat. That’s worth something. Seat time on the water will tell you if you’re buying the right boat for you, vs the opinion laden nonsense of an online discussion board.

You can take it this afternoon and go have fun vs worrying about shipping and other concerns.

If you ever have problems, want to upgrade, want lessons, whatever, you have a local dealer who can help you out.

Sure mention another shop has it cheaper. Find out what the shipping cost will be, and if you can get that boat shipped for the less than the price your local shop has theirs, odds are they’ll match price. If you try to haggle without shipping included, they know that’s pricy and will likely point out their price is cheaper in the end.

If you demo the boat from your local shop, but then buy online, don’t expect any help from that local shop again. It’s an unwritten rule, but customers always get better treatment than non-customers.

I posted Mountainmans

– Last Updated: Feb-26-11 1:49 PM EST –

list for comparison.Of course you have to factor in shipping. I would not expect that any online retailer can come in for a total cost of under $950.

But with that "comp" in hand you might be able to have an intelligent discussion with your local dealer. Start low but not insultingly so. Expect that as your dealer goes down you go up equivalently.

The "walk away" part can be done gracefully and tactfully if they decline to discuss..just thank them for their time.

Hopefully what will happen will be some give and take and long relationship with that dealer. I developed a very good relationship with one and bought some ten boats from them. They were willing to make the deal a win win for everyone.

I agree that demoing a boat for free and then buying elsewhere is a very bad idea. However some shops have countered with what in essence is a small rental fee that is counted toward the boat if you buy from them. If you don't they have still covered the wear and tear on the boat.

Flip side
I’ve kicked people out of the shop who tried to haggle with me. Sometimes you walk away, sometimes you’re shown the door.

Much as I like my Millbrook, its
S-glass/Kevlar thin, light layup is almost as noisy as aluminum. My Royalex ww boat is much quieter.

The blem is just cosmedic, almost unable to see. The dealer was given a discount on the boat which was passed on in the price of 948.00. And yes kaymedic he has a large warehouse so I guess he can sit on that price for ever. However since we live in a small area with only limited quality stores I guess he has me over a barrel. He also has a Wenonah fisherman in tuff weave thats a 2008 model for 1249.00. Would like some feed back on that to if possible. Thanks

I’d go with the Fisherman
The Fisherman will be a more versatile boat for you. Paddle it solo, but also have the option to bring a friend, kid, whoever. Will also accept a side motor mount if you decide to bring an electric.

Speedwise it won’t be faster than the Vagabond, but also not much slower. Stabilitywise it will be rock solid, so no worries about catching something on the large side.

My opinion is that boat is over priced. If it’s a blem, and retail is $1100…I think the price would start at $900. Given that it’s 4 years old…it’s been there a while so offer $650 and see what they say…they might be glad to see it get out of there. If not, let them keep it!! To your question, age doesn’t hurt them but if they’ve been improperly stored all this time there could be hull distortion.

Without knowing the blem?
So if it’s a 3" slipmark, it’s worth only $650?

The “other” side…

– Last Updated: Feb-26-11 8:21 PM EST –

If a couple of dealers I've done business had shown me the door when I tried haggling with them; one of them would have lost the sale of the boat I was haggling over, and 5 boat sales to me at a later date, plus 2, maybe 3 other boat sales to friends that I sent to that shop.

The second dealer I haggled with would have lost the sale of the boat I was haggling over, and 2 boat sales from me at a later date, plus 2 other boat sales to friends that I sent to that shop.

I couldn't begin to list the assessories, clothing, tents, paddles, outfitting etc. that I purchased at those shops.
But I know for a fact it is several thousand dollars.

The grand total of the possible lost sales after you showed me the door would have been in excess of 15 thousand dollars!

Sometimes giving in to a 100 dollar haggle can pay a big premium "down the road".


P.S. I've owned a Vagabond, and my wife still owns hers. Got both of them used; paid less than 12 hundred for the pair, which were both in barely used condition. Wife even got a 100 dollar kayak paddle thrown in as boot on her deal. The wife loves hers Vagabond;I thought much less of it. Consider a used boat.........even a used Vagabond.


– Last Updated: Feb-26-11 7:23 PM EST –

Had a real estate agent last June who wanted a river tripping boat to run the San Juan with his friends. We looked at several options, and he decided on a We-no-nah Rogue. Great boat for what he wanted to do.

Boat with rigging was going to set him back around $1,700. We went through the options, etc. He said that I make too much profit selling boats and he'd only give me $1,200 for the brand new fully rigged boat.

If someone comes in with their research and we can come to an agreement, cool. If they come in to insult me, they will get kicked out. I also make it very clear their friends are not welcome.

Do I lose sales? Sure. Do I lose money? I don't think so.

I have a reputation for selling awesome boats at fair prices. I do not have a reputation as a discounter and I don't have upset customers hearing they paid too much because someone else was able to haggle me down. I play fair.

Would I sell you a boat? Nope. I think we're both happier that way ;-)