Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Fishing Kayak

  • Author: Ted Jones
  • Date: April 7, 2023

Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Fishing Kayak

If you are in the market for a fishing kayak, buying a used one can be a great way to save some money. However, it is important to be careful when purchasing a used kayak to make sure that it is good condition and will meet your needs. There are several questions you should ask before making a purchase to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.

Buying A Used Kayak

One of the most important questions to ask when buying a used fishing kayak is why the previous owner is selling it. This can give you valuable information about the condition of the kayak and any potential problems that may arise in the future.


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Additionally, you should ask about the kayak’s history, including how often it was used and where it was stored.

Another important question to ask is whether the kayak has been repaired or modified in any way. If it has, be sure to ask for details about the repairs or modifications to ensure that they were done properly and will not cause any issues down the line.

By asking these questions and then doing your due diligence, you can feel more confident in your purchase.


Is The Fishing Kayak Going To Suit Your Needs?

Buying a used kayak

But first, is it going to meet your fishing needs? Are you taking the kayak it in the open ocean for saltwater fishing, or just in sheltered bays or small rivers?

Are you after a sit on top fishing kayak or sit in kayak?

Is the kayak brand a reliable well-known company, or a cheap quality copy?


Condition and Performance

When buying a used fishing kayak, it’s important to thoroughly inspect its condition. Here are some key factors to consider:


Hull Damage

The hull is the most important part of a kayak, and it’s crucial to check for any damage before making a purchase.

Look for cracks, dents, or punctures in the hull, as these can significantly affect the kayak’s performance and stability.

Also, check for any signs of warping or distortion, as this can indicate that the kayak has been stored improperly or exposed to extreme temperatures.


Leaks or Cracks

Leaks or cracks in the kayak’s hull can cause serious problems when out on the water. To check for leaks, if it is a sit in fishing kayak, fill the kayak with water and observe if any water is seeping through the hull. Cracks can also be a serious issue, as they can weaken the hull and affect the kayak’s structural integrity. Make sure to inspect the entire hull carefully, including the bottom, sides, and deck.


Wear and Tear

While some wear and tear is to be expected on a used kayak, excessive damage can indicate that the kayak has been heavily used or poorly maintained. Check for any signs of wear on the kayak’s seat, footrests, and other components. Also, look for any signs of corrosion or rust on the kayak’s metal parts, as this can indicate exposure to saltwater.

If there are rod holders on it, check for rust or cracks around where they were bolted or screwed on.


Previous Repairs

If the kayak has undergone any previous repairs, it’s important to inspect them carefully to ensure that they were done properly. Look for any signs of cracking or separation around the repaired area, as this can indicate that the repair was not effective.

Also, check to see if the repaired area is smooth and flush with the rest of the hull, as any bumps or irregularities can affect the kayak’s performance.



Features and Accessories

When buying a used fishing kayak, it is important to consider the features and accessories that come with it. The right accessories can make your fishing experience more comfortable and enjoyable. Here are some sub-sections to help guide your decision-making process.


Storage Options

One important feature to consider is the storage options available on the kayak. Look for kayaks with ample storage space to accommodate your fishing gear.

Some kayaks come with built-in storage compartments, while others have bungee cords or straps to secure your gear. Consider the type of fishing you will be doing and the amount of gear you will need to bring with you.

Kayak hatch in good condition

Are the hatches in good condition?


Fishing Accessories

Fishing accessories can enhance your fishing experience and make it more successful. Look for kayaks that come with fishing rod holders, fish finders, and anchor systems.

These accessories can help you stay organized and save you time and money if they come with the kayak.


Paddle and Pedal Systems

The type of propulsion system on the kayak is another important consideration. Paddle systems are the most common, but pedal systems are becoming increasingly popular. Pedal systems allow for hands-free fishing and can be more efficient than paddling. However, they can also be more expensive and require more maintenance.

Check to make sure the paddle or propulsion system is included in the price.


Seating and Comfort

Finally, consider the seating and comfort of the kayak. Look for kayaks with comfortable seats and adjustable footrests. This will help you stay comfortable during long fishing trips.

Some kayaks also come with adjustable backrests, which can be helpful for those with back issues.

Is it a raised seat kayak? For some sit on top kayaks, the seat can be low and you can get wet easily.

Make sure the seat comes with the kayak.


Kayak Size and Weight

Length and Width

When looking for a used fishing kayak, it’s important to consider the length and width of the kayak. Longer kayaks are generally faster and track better, while shorter kayaks are more maneuverable.

The width of the kayak affects its stability, with wider fishing kayaks being more stable but slower. Consider the waters you’ll be fishing in and your personal preferences when deciding on the length and width of the kayak.


Capacity and Weight Limit

Make sure to choose a kayak with a weight capacity that is at least 100lbs more than your own body weight and the weight of all your gear combined. Don’t purchase something you can’t handle. Additionally, consider the amount of gear you’ll be carrying and the weight of any fish you catch. It’s better to have extra capacity than to overload the kayak and risk capsizing.

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Transportation and Storage

Fishing kayak transport

When buying a used fishing kayak, it’s important to consider how you’ll transport and store it. Make sure the kayak will fit on your car’s roof, or in your truck bed.

Consider the weight of the kayak and whether you’ll need help loading and unloading it. Additionally, think about where you’ll store the kayak when not in use.

Do you have enough space in your garage or will you need to find an alternative storage solution?


Price and Negotiation

Market Value

When it comes to buying a used fishing kayak, it’s important to know the market value of the kayak you’re interested in. Is the kayak in your budget?

Check out online marketplaces, such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, to get an idea of the price range for similar kayaks in your area. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the condition of the kayak, the included accessories, and the location.

It’s also helpful to research the original manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the kayak. A good rule of thumb is that a used kayak being sold by the original owner should be priced around 20%-30% less than the current MSRP for the same kayak depending upon condition.


Negotiation Tips

When negotiating the price of a used fishing kayak, it’s important to be respectful and reasonable. Know how much you can realistically spend on it.



infographic buying used fishing kayak

Overall do your homework. Is the brand a good one? Will the model suit you’re fishing needs? Look at current models and see what price and features they have. What condition is it in and what is included in the price?

A few question will help you decide if it is the right fishing kayak for you.


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