Buying Used Without Test Driving

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Sheriff_Bart
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Location: Lake Jackson, TX

Buying Used Without Test Driving

Post by Sheriff_Bart »

I came across a good deal for a used Hobie PA 12. I'm going to check it out Saturday, and if I like what I see, I plan to purchase it. I'm not sure that I'll be able to take it for a spin before I buy it though. Is that foolish of me? All my research has pointed to the PA 12 as the kayak I want, but I still haven't been in one. Further, with buying used, I don't know what defects/damage to be wary of without taking it on the water and making sure it works properly. Any guidance is appreciated!
SWFinatic
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Re: Buying Used Without Test Driving

Post by SWFinatic »

I wouldn't say it's foolish as long as you give it a thorough inspection. In today's times worse case you get it on the water and it's not for you I don't think it would be hard to sell it and recover what you have in it.

Things to check closely:
-Check for cracks in the plastic in these areas- the drive well area (where the peddle drive plugs in), around the seat area and the scupper holes especially in the seat area and in the rear tank well.
-Check rudder steering and make sure there's no slack in the cable and the rudder turns each direction as it should
-Check the skeg (if it has one) and make sure it drops down when the cable in the cockpit is released.
-Check the rudder tension knob and make sure it is working as it should (it'll be on the left side of the cockpit)
-Turn the kayak over and look at the bottom of the kayak for excessive gouges or cuts and also check the bottom for dipples where they may have for example stored it on an ice chest or saw horses. These dimples or divets in the bottom of the hull can cause lots of problems. They sometimes can be removed with hot water and sometimes not.
-Check the seat to make sure it adjusts properly (both the seat base and the seat back)
-Most Hobies are sold new with Hobie paddles. Ask for it if it's not with the kayak.
-Ask about any modifications that have been done to the kayak.
-I always ask these questions when buying used- How was it stored? How was it used? Was a scupper cart used?

It sounds like a lot but it a 10 minute inspection is about all it'll take.
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Sheriff_Bart
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Re: Buying Used Without Test Driving

Post by Sheriff_Bart »

Thank you so much for the thorough checklist! As a noob, this is incredibly helpful.

In relation to your very last point, what are red flags as far as how it was stored? Also, is the use of a scupper cart viewed as good or bad?
SWFinatic
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Re: Buying Used Without Test Driving

Post by SWFinatic »

Yes sir you're welcome.

How it was stored can help tell you what to look for. This goes with the point I made about looking for dimples or dents in the bottom of the kayak.

Use of a scupper cart can be bad depending on how it was used as scupper carts can cause cracks in the kayak. Since (if a scupper cart was used) you'll never know it was used knowing one was used tells you to carefully look for cracks around the scupper holes both on top and on bottom of the kayak.
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spiny norman
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Re: Buying Used Without Test Driving

Post by spiny norman »

Signs of bad storage here in Texas are usually going to be caused by too much sun. "Oil canning", (serious). Color fading, (aesthetic). Bungies that don't stretch. (easily replaceable).
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