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How to Price a Used Kayak

by Kimberly Kilmer
Share the kayak specifications with potential buyers.

Share the kayak specifications with potential buyers.

Pricing your kayak is a moderately simple task as long as you take the time to learn all you can about the craft you intend to sell. Consider the hull material, information on type and condition of internal features such as seat and rudder, measurements, maximum weight of any intended paddler, total kayak weight and overall external condition. The age of the kayak is a consideration as is status on the way it was stored. The best times of year to price high are just prior to local kayaking seasons or for kayaks in excellent condition, before gift giving holidays.

Kayak Specifications

Research the kayak based on the manufacturer and model designator. If you kept the product manual that often accompanies a new kayak, pull it out of storage. Another option for information is to search the manufacturer's website by model and the year the boat was built. Much of the information in the following steps can be found in the product manual.

Measure the overall length of the kayak, width across the widest portion of the cockpit and width and length of the cockpit opening.

Make a list of the kayak's features. Include all features permanent to the boat. Note the type of seat, information on top side rigging, sealed storage hatches and if applicable, attached rudder assembly.

Weigh the kayak free of any extras like paddles or internally stored items. Empty boat weight, sans any added features like after market rudders, can be found online and in specification pamphlets. If those are lacking manufacturer specifications or you have added permanent features, hold the dry kayak at the center and stand on a standard scale. Note the weight. Weigh yourself without the kayak and subtract your weight to get an accurate weight. Weigh the boat using a commercial or large postage scale.

Investigate specifications to determine the maximum paddler weight the kayak will hold and how the boat was intended to be used. Designate the kayak as a recreational, whitewater, touring or sea kayak.

Evaluate the Condition of the Kayak

Evaluate the condition of the kayak based on the number of years it has been used, the condition of the hull, storage features, ease of maneuverability and comfort of the seat. Examine the kayak and take note of any scratches, dings or hull damage from use.

Inspect the boat carefully for water or salt damage.

Check hatches and rigging to determine condition. Check to see that hatches are still waterproof and rigging is tight.

Look at the color of the boat. Be honest with yourself about faded color or condition based on outdoor storage. If the boat has been continually stored under cover or indoors, note that fact.

Take good photographs of the kayak. Take a photo from all four sides, down into the cockpit and individually of any special features such as an upgraded seat, rudder, hatches or rigging.

Pricing

Gather of the facts and photographs and begin to search local classifieds and online listings for kayaks currently for sale in your area.

Match your kayak specifications, model, condition and close up photos to those of existing used kayaks currently for sale.

Search sale prices of similar new and used kayaks in your area. Add or subtract from your price based on those boats. Use your photos and knowledge of specifications to compare your kayak with others currently on the market.

Set a firm but reasonable price to move your kayak or a slightly higher price if you are prepared to haggle.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Scale
  • Camera
  • Local classifieds
  • Internet access

Tips

  • Be honest with yourself and potential buyers about the condition that drove the price of your kayak. A used kayak with a fair price is likely to be taken more seriously if the description of the kayak is based on knowledge and the photographs mimic the written information.
  • Check kayak product reviews online on in kayaking publications. If you are selling a boat that is popular or had a stellar write up, make potential buyers aware of it and price accordingly.

Photo Credits

  • kayak on the beach image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com