Originally Posted by christramp
....If you are buying second hand aim more towards the € 500 mark ..
there are plenty of less scruplous paddlers who realise that with the growing popularity of kayaking, they can buy a boat, paddle the arse off it for a year, then flog it for nearly new numbers. traders are increasingly being involved in the second hand market. back in the day it was mainly trade-ins, but now there are traders who buy up the deals on the second hand market and gain good returns on the sale. nothing wrong with that of course, just be aware it is happening.
buying second hand there is NO WARRANTY on the boat. when you buy new, the manufacturer usually offers a warranty on the boat for 1-5 years (depends on manufacturer) to the original owner only.
when you buy second hand you do not know the history of the boat. of course the owner will tell you he only took it on flat water and wrapped it in bubble wrap and only used organic shampoo on it once a week etc. he will never tell you about that one catastrophic hit the hull took on a big round rock which nearly turned the hull inside out. he then kicked the dent out, used the heat hun a bit, and it LOOKS as good as new.
so, is a boat with an unknown history and no warranty worth a mere 200 euro off? your choice. from my experience i would just keep an eye out for a good deal and go for it. i got a dagger CFS in good condition for 300 quid recently. this would be more than good enough for any beginner-intermediate paddler.
when buying second hand boat, remember to look for surface deformations above scratches. any indication that the hull has been oilcanned and pushed straght. ditto on the nose. this stuff is far worse than scratching.
also, remember to question WHY the person is selling the boat? if it is an old boat, they may just want to trade up to a new model. if it is a newer model either they dont like the boat, they have damaged it and want to shift it on to a sucker, or they are jumping onto the band wagon of "trade in your boat every year and flog the old one for a mere 200 euro loss". good racket. who wouldn't want to rent a brand new boat for 200 euro a year?
also, no offence to chris, just good sense, always question the logic of a person who runs a business selling kayaks telling you you really should pay more for your first boat. most of what chris says is good sense, but he is of course not going to agree with anything that wont help keep the ol food on his table. i wouldn't.
for me anyway, 500 euro is too much to spend on any second hand boat with the exception of a jackson crosslink boat or similar. i.e. a +1000 euro boat that has not had a newer model released by same company. so far i have hunted down boats for our club members when they want their own boat and never gone over the 350 euro mark. everyone is happy with their boats.