What To Look For In Used Kayaks For Sale

used kayaks for sale

Sweet collection of used kayaks & Canoes

Kayaking is one great way to enjoy the water with your partner or by yourself. By kayaking you get a unique perspective of the landscape you tour through, whether you maneuver secluded caves, wildlife, whitewater, or any other point of interest you may wish to explore up close.

Whether you choose to get a single or a tandem kayak, looking for used kayaks for sale allows you to share the discovery and unsurpassed beauty of this growing water sport without costing you too much money to begin with. Especially when heading outdoors with another person; it could be your family, or even your best friend. Saving money is always important.

What to Look For in a Used Kayak

One thing you’ll come to notice with used tandem kayaks is that besides their advantages, they do come with challenges not found in used fishing kayaks or used whitewater kayaks. Normally, they come in two styles: inflatable and rigid. The inflatable models are made of nylon or canvas or other lighter materials.

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Rigid models are, however, relatively lightweight, durable and made of either plastic or fiberglass. So you’ll probably have to lay down your preferences before you decide on the model to settle for.

You can go for the basic plastic one and spend anything from $250 and up; they are actually considered the most popular because of their affordable prices.

Another thing you need to look out for is the flotation (foam or air bladders normally placed in the hull of a tandem kayak forward and aft). The flotation increases buoyancy and keeps you, and your buddy, from sinking in the event that the boat capsizes. Just don’t forget that kayaks are made of different materials with different quality, but Kevlar-made ones are the best of all. Kevlar is light and its strengths is up to five times that of steel – it is also used in bulletproof vests!

Getting the best used kayak will offer you the opportunity to enjoy your kayaking experience with ease and excitement. So you must factor in a few concerns such as where you plan to go with your boat, how you’re going to transport and store it, how far you plan to go, and most importantly, how skillful you are. Only then will you be able to finally settle on the best kayak that will make your paddling not just enjoyable, but memorable as well.

How Can You Choose the Best Used Kayak?

a used kayak for sale hobie mirage i9s

A used Hobie Mirage i9s for sale on Craigslist.

Generally, there are five main factors that you need to put into consideration if you really yearn for a good used kayak that will perfectly suit your activity. These factors include; transportability and weight, stability, length of the tandem, type of paddle, comfort and storage capacity. You must consider how exactly you plan to easily store, transport and bear off (launch) your kayak. This means that if you have to go for the rigid model, then it has to be as light as possible, though inflatable kayaks (or foldboats) are the best.

Remember that kayaks either have initial or final stability, and not both. Go for one with a superior initial stability if you are not an experienced kayaker. When it comes to length of the kayak, the longer it is the faster it will move, but the harder it will be to maneuver. Shorter ones are easier to maneuver and backpaddle, but are a bit slower.

A bent shaft paddled kayak is a perfect choice, especially because its paddle is set at angle to the shaft in such a way that it provides you with greater efficiency when paddling in calm or flatwater (that’s a fishing kayak tip, for tips more check this page). Storage capacity shouldn’t be a weighty issue if you plan to use the kayak only for a brief period of time. Do not forget to check the foot brace, though in most cases, you’ll only find it in a sea kayak, but having it in your kayak means having a greater maneuvering control through a rudder or skeg.

What to look for in a Used Sea Kayak

While sea kayak reviews offer a lot of information on various new touring canoes, it is best to know what to look for when shopping for a used one.

1. Hull Material

The material from which a kayak is constructed in not only a big factor when it comes to price, but also affects the kayak’s stability, durability and efficiency. Sea kayaks are typically made from polyethylene plastic or composite material, usually fiberglass. Composite kayaks are more expensive but they are light, rigid, and aesthetically pleasing. However, plastic kayaks are more preferable if you intend to paddle close to rocks in choppy conditions. They are flexible and therefore not as susceptible to cracking as fiberglass boats.

2. Round bottom or flat bottom

Flat bottom kayaks offers more initial stability than round bottom ones. This is because the round bottomed units have a smaller footprint, less wet surface and as a result, fell skittish under the kayaker.

On the other hand, round bottom kayaks offer predictable resistance to capsizing (superior secondary stability). An advantage when you want to choose a good recreational kayak for fun activities without too much stress.

3. Skegs and rudders

The next step is to decide whether you want a skeg, a rudder or neither. Kayak rudders are used to control the direction of craft using foot pedals inside the cockpit. On the other hand, a skeg is a retractable keel that can be lowered or raised from the bottom of the boat. They are primarily used to aid tracking in windy conditions. Rudders are easy to use, but skegs make kayaking more fun and can help you learn a host of edging techniques.

4. Seating capacity

Sea kayaking can be a group or family activity; thus tandem or double kayaks are not uncommon on sea trips. Tandem sea kayaks are suitable for couple or parent and child trips.


Used kayaks for sale offer the opportunity to share the excitement and enjoyment of kayaking in a very inexpensive way. Choosing a used tandem kayak will save you even more as it will provide you with two seats that will both accommodate you and your partner. It has two cockpits so the two of you can use one kayak at the same time, where the two of you work together, taking control of your boat, which means higher stability and faster speed. The best thing about tandem kayaks is the fact that rather than hauling around two or more boats, you can enjoy kayaking with others using one single boat.

Video on Buying a Used Kayak (Tips)