Where to buy in central-eastern MA?

Hi, I’m new here. I bought a kayak several years ago from a great little store in northern CT. They regularly had try-out days at a local lake where you could go and try out many different kayaks to get an idea of what you liked. They’re no longer in business, and I have no idea now, how I found that company. I want to find another store that does the same sort of thing; I can’t imagine buying a kayak without trying it first. How do I find retail establishments that have kayaks for sale and tryouts?

Thx, Sylvie

One place to try
Try Charles River Canoe and Kayak in Newton, MA You can demo anything they have in stock.



You have a bunch of choices
The Kayak Centre in Wickford RI


Collinsville Canoe and Kayak…about 20 miles west of Hartford.


You are in a good place

No rule on pnet about dealers advertising their business without identifying themselves?

Otherwise, you might take a link to a dealer for a recommendation from a consumer, when in fact it’s only self-advertising.

It would be more honest to say, “Here’s a link to my business.”

excuse me?
exactly who are you talking about? I have merely been a customer of both.

To me it sounds like you are making unfounded accusations.

I’ve been to both
the Kayak Centre and Collinsville Canoe and Kayak. Unfortunately, I didn’t see kayamedic at either. I’d love to meet her sometime, and I’d take her advice in a minute.

Just a point of clarification - my trip to the Kayak Center was under duress. If they can’t fit “Canoe” somewhere in the name, its not for me :wink:

None Of The Above Are Dealers.
several long time PNetters who have been and gotten around, and whose “sin” may be knowing where to point newbies and gearheads. LOL!


Oh Right, Suggestion…

– Last Updated: Jun-17-11 5:55 AM EST –

I would put Billington SeaKayaks in the mix too:


Good selection, next to a lake for demo. Almost a seasonal business as I don't think they are open in the winter. Nice guys but cash business. I went down to get a hard to find RTM Disco (only MA shop with one and at a good price too). Didn't realize they didn't take credit cards. The owner let me take the boat with me and told me to send a check to him later. While I respect trusting folks like that, I also worry how long they can keep doing business like that... So far it seems to have worked.

Disclosure - I don't work for any kayak business. I don't even care to go to a paddling shop unless I cannot readily find something I need on the internet. I prefer to not drive miles and miles to get one or two pieces of gear (if a particular shop even has it in some cases).



– Last Updated: Jun-17-11 7:53 AM EST –

As above, above folks are not reps of the businesses to which they provided links.

kayakmedic's and sing's suggestions are right on the water so you can pay a demo fee (if required) and try boats right there.

Dealer disclosures
I’ve found most of the “dealers” & manufacturers (reps) on this site are pretty darn honest in their opinions and they have been reasonably open disclosing their business relations. Sure they may lean towards what they sell but you don’t see them running their mouths off claiming others make or sell junk.

Have to second taking a look at Collinvilles and Billington.

OK, I guess I have to eat my hat. First, I definitely wasn’t referring to Kayakmedic!! We all know she isn’t a dealer. But I checked past posts and the person I thought was a dealer isn’t. I’m entirely at fault and I apologize! In future I’ll check the facts before I speak. [Eats hat.]

Essex River Basin Adventures
It depends on what brands you’re looking for. I highly recommend Essex River Basin Adventures in Essex. Very, very nice folks to deal with. They will go out of their way to accommodate customers, and they also do day trips in the area. If something goes wrong after your purchase they will do what it takes to make it right. On top of that, they had the lowest price on the kayak I wanted.

Employee discount?
Sorry, couldn’t help it. ;^)

No but
I found they were motivated to beat other people’s prices, whereas other shops get pretty heated if you ask about price matching.

When I bought my OT Penobscot
I called every OT dealer withinin a 75-mile radius. Fernald’s Marine on the Parker River in Newbury had them all beat by over a hundred bucks.

Tilleys dun’t taste too bad…

I second Billington Sea
It is in Plymouth, and on certain days you can demo kayaks right there.

They have a good selection.

Check out the Surge while you are there.

Jack L

Kayak Center and Charles River …
… something and Kayak. I’ve bought boats from both and work for neither.

One thing: the OP has not stated what kind of boat, and we’ve all gone off recommending our favorite places to buy. None of the dealers mentioned sell all brands, some may be more into SOT’s, others may have a better selection of brit sea kayaks.

WATERBIRD, you are welcome to go
without a profile giving basic info about approximately where you live, what you paddle, etc., but until you have a profile, I suggest you don’t speculate out of thin air about who may be a dealer.

We know you aren’t a dealer, but that’s about all we know.