Buy A Cheap Canoe

Learn how to buy a cheap canoe by looking for a well made, used one. Buying a used canoe is a good step if you are just starting out and want to try it out before investing in an expensive new one. When looking for a used canoe, you will look for the same elements that you look for in a new one. Length is important; the longer the canoe the faster it travels. The width of the canoe at its widest point determines how stable it rides in the water. The deeper the canoe inside, the more room for additional cargo or items you may want to bring on your trips. The shape of the bottom of the canoe has to do with how stable the canoe floats. Follow these tips on how to buy a cheap canoe, and you will be floating down the river or lake this summer in your used canoe.

  1. Check the bottom of the canoe. Flat bottoms are good in calm water and for beginners. Round bottoms are stable even in rough water so they are a better choice. Another shape that works well is the V shape. Check the bottom of the canoe to make sure it has no major dents or imperfections.
  2. Check the angle of the sides of canoe. The angle of the canoe is important. It will affect the dryness, stability and your ability to paddle the boat through the water. The sides have three basic shapes: flared, straight and tumblehome.
  3. Check the condition of material used to make the canoe. Canoes are made with fiberglass, aluminum, cedar strip, wood, canvas, Kevlar, Royalex and polyethylene. Check the condition of the material used. Look for damages like dents and find out where it was stored. If  the canoe was kept outside, the canoe could have sun damage. A canoe stored in a tool shed or dry place is usually in better condition. Fiberglass is easy to damage and rather difficult to repair properly.
  4. Check the overall appearance of canoes along the center line of the boat. Canoes can become twisted and warped over time. Look carefully at the whole canoe to make sure the body is streamlined. Look at the center of the canoe along the bottom. If it appears warped or twisted, do not buy it.
  5. Check for sun damage. Canoes left out in the sun are not stored properly and can have faded colors and a bleached out look. Do not buy a canoe that was not cared for properly.
  6. Check the inside where the seats are. Look for cracks, loose seats that are not secure, and old repairs that may not have been made well. Any signs of disrepair should not be ignored.
  7. Be wary of used fiberglass canoes. Fiberglass canoes often develops leaks so the water comes in after much use. They are difficult to repair. Check any canoe made of fiberglass carefully before buying it.
  8. Purchase used canoes from dealers and private owners. You can purchase used canoes through local retail shops that sell canoes and other boating equipment. Look in the phone book and on the internet. Check the newspaper ads for private owners selling canoes. Some will have good deals and take good care of the boat. If you know anyone who canoes, ask them where to buy a good quality used canoe.
  9. Beware of keels on the canoe. Keels help a canoe but often catch on objects in water causing an upset. Check to see if the dealer or person has skid plates on the canoe, especially if it is not made of aluminum to prevent it from on any rocks or other rough areas.

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