Wilderness Piccolo

(Better) Alternative…

– Last Updated: Feb-03-12 7:43 AM EST –

actually a sportier and longer hull than the piccolo:


WS took piccolo off production almost ten years ago now. So, whatever you find out there has been around under sun and accummulated some UV deterioration by now.

I 've seen and sat in both the piccolo and the Epi. I prefer the latter.


I paid $300…
And the boat is good shape, usual scratches, but no fuzzies!

Piccolo’s are in demand and hard to find, I lost out on 3 others before snagging one. I don’t think $400 is excessive if the bost is in good shape. The guy I bought it from had 3 other Piccolo’s, but is not selling them yet. He had bought them from a rental shop that was going out of business.

If you buy the Piccolo, remember that if you don’t like it after a while, you should be able to sell it without too much trouble. Meanwhile you will be ahead one paddle and a pfd which you need anyway, and you’ll know that much more about what kind of boat you want.

PS here’s another idea for float bags: http://www.outdoorplay.com/Sea-Kayak-Float-Bags?AdID=595–EFL_SSSEA

Things to look for
What should I look for when checking out the Piccolo on Sunday to make sure its in good condition as far as not failing on me, etc. I don’t care about scratches here and there or fading of the color. So what should I really be looking for that could effect the durability of it so to speak??

This post and other stuff…

– Last Updated: Feb-03-12 11:47 AM EST –

I am 2.5 inches taller than you and am fine in a boat with a height that is not way far off from that in the Piccolo. The lower deck just means that you will have to slide and summersault out of the boat rather than lifting your knees to try and sit up first. But that this is the most natural motion to get out of the boat when you are upside down. Gravity tends to make it happen.

Re skirts - it is NOT about keeping you in the boat. It is about keeping water out of the boat. And the lower the deck, the wetter you are going to be. Nylon skirts tend to fall easily off of plastic coamings (the rim around the cockpit), with no effort. It's why people who roll favor the neoprene ones, they stay on better. Just for some initial dryness, you could look around for a cheapo nylon skirt that would keep you a little drier and would certainly not keep you in the boat in a capsize. But that's only if the boat passes muster.

While I agree that $400 is pricey for a boat that old, there is also a premium on older boats that fit smaller paddlers well. For example Inazone 220's, and older WW boat, have tended to sell for higher prices than the versions of the same boat for larger sized paddlers because there are simply fewer of the little guys out there. Many on this Board would pay a bit more for a Pirouette S, for a similar reason. There are just niches that these older boats fill well for smaller paddlers and there aren't so many of them around. Whether this means you should pay more for the Piccollo - I can't say one way or another. It's your pocket book.

Look for a couple of things - see if there is cracking or wear around the fittings for the stretchy bungie code that at least originally was on the back and the front of the deck. Check out how close to color is to its original, or if it has faded tons. If you see cracks or a lot of fading, you probably should walk away. Brittle plastic is not going to be helpful. It there is a big dent from it sitting in one position too long, see if you can tell how long that has been the case. If it has been a lawn or a garage ornament without moving for a few years, you probably don't want it.

At the very least, you should sit in it and feel the points of contact - butt, thighs and feet on pedals - to experience the kind of fit you will want for learning skills. The Piccollo is likely to be a bit cozy, even on you, but the point is that those are the three points of contact you need to be able to brace and edge a boat well. Start getting that feeling.

If the boat looks close, offer $200 and see if the seller will consider it. They may have been trying to sell this for a while and be ready to give in.

My Point
was to know as much as you can about the boat before going to see it in person. With that infomation you can make an offer. Age is very important, as well as condition. Fading is bad when dealing with plastic boats.

Turn it over and flex the hull with enough force to determine if it’s gotten brittle. Be willing to walk away if anything doesn’t look right. Most sellers are willing to haggle a small amount. Look at the serial numder and talk to the seller about it’s age.

If everything checks out and it fits, make an offer below the asking price but not insulting. No one can say what it’s worth without seeing it first.

Things to look for
Fading is a tip off the boat has been stored unprotected. A little fading is normal. If the boat has been stored protected from sunlight it should be fine, but if it shows differential fading on one side or one location more than another it may have UV damage. Press on the faded areas and make sure they are strong, and spring back and are not brittle and don’t show any signs of cracking. Be careful if the boat has been recently greased up with 303 or some other greasy goop to hide sun damage. Look for amateur looking repairs of leaks - test the waters with a lower offer . Most people expect to sell for a little less than they advertise for, unless the ad says something different. Make sure all the fittings and connections between seat ect are good and the hatches are water tight with good hatch covers and seals. No rudder or skeg I presume . if so you need to make sure the cables are operational.

Very helpful
info you guys, thanks! I’m going to write down a list of questions. And I know i’m for sure going to offer a lower $ amount. I don’t think he’s too firm on the price so thats good :slight_smile:

Go for it!

– Last Updated: Feb-03-12 1:57 PM EST –

I'm a little taller and same weight, and I thought the Piccolo I once rented was a great day-touring boat for small people.

If you have long legs, the low deck height may bother you after a while. Other than that, it sounds like it'd be a good match for what you want: easy cruising. Piccolo does not have a high top-end speed; it starts to plow when pushed much above its low-effort speed. But it is super-easy to accelerate and to hold at nice touring speed (~4 mph) with little effort. Easy to turn due to fairly short length.

Make sure you add float bags, because it does not have sealed bulkheads.

If you are worried about sprayskirts, buy a cheap nylon one to start with. It'll keep off spray and splash but still be very easy to remove.

Bonus: It is lightweight.

good stuff here
Especially regarding inspecting old poly boats. Seadart is right, you can find old poly boats in fine shape if they’ve been cared for.

Someday we have to realize that people have limited resources, if we want to encourage the masses to take up kayaking and canoeing.

Just as important…
The first boat is usually replaced within a few years anyway, when the paddler finds out what he/she likes in a kayak. An initial fear of entrapment, shying away from “tippiness”, and favoring of hard tracking over maneuverability are likely to change with experience.

Buying a plastic kayak first, and especially a used one, means there is that much more money left to spend on a better-suited kayak later on.

And don’t skimp on the paddle
The paddle is at least as important as the kayak. You can get by using a less-than-optimal kayak but if you don’t like the way the paddle feels, you’re not likely to go paddling. Since a new paddle costs less than a new kayak, pick a good one.

also check the foot pegs
They should move to adjust. Mine were initially frozen because they were all gucked up with sand and dirt but I was able to clean that out and they are now fine.

So check but don’t necessarily give up on the boat because they may be fixable.

Foot rests
I was actually wondering if it had adjustable ones and u answered this question for me…so thanks! If the boat is in good condition i have my heart set on buying it…assuming its a good fit for me. Probably going to offer 300-350 if it’s in good cond. to be honest I have never kayaked in a sit in kayak but I hate sots and want a sit in. I think this will be a great starter boat. Can’t wait for spring n summer!!