Used canoes are available everywhere. The best time to buy may be the end of the season, so plan ahead to buy before you want to use your new boat. Here are some of the best places to find used canoe for sale.
Check the listings in your paper, either the real thing or online. Insist on seeing the boat, preferably taking it for a test ride before you fork over any money. Be careful to meet in public places, and bring someone with you for a second opinion. Some online classifieds that have categories local to your area may include:
Specialized Online Classifieds
Some of these are dedicated to classified ads; others are simply paddling sites that include a classified section. Here is a selection of both:
Paddling.net—Buyer’s guides and reviews; classifieds section
Paddlers.com—Paddlesport shop; look for “used boats” in the left nav bar
Paddlingtrader.com—Worldwide listings; search by region
SellMyCanoe.com—Canoes, kayaks, rafts, paddling and camping gear
Check with companies in your area that rent out canoes. Ask if they sell their used boats. Take advantage of their rentals to test-drive the canoes that interest you, even if you don’t buy from them.
Stores like Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, REI, and Dick’s Sports all rent out canoes, take trade-ins, and use floor or demo models. Ask if they:
Discount existing stock when new boats come in
Discount floor or demo models
Have any trade-ins for sale
Take advantage of their rentals to test-drive the canoes that interest you, even if you don’t buy from them.
Areas like the Boundary Waters have loads of local outfitters. They might not be near where you live, but you can bet they have used boats for sale. Choose your favorite canoeing hotspot and search for the places that provide rental services there. Just remember to factor any shipping or handling into your final cost.
Online Price Searches
These specialized search engines are good for used as well as new items. They can also be good places to locate the best prices on accessories like paddles and lifejackets.
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The Review Guy has years of experience in the kayak, canoe and outdoors equipment business. Establishing one of the largest adventure sports retail chains, he understands what makes for good equipment. Today, the Review Guy tests a variety of equipment and details the pros and cons to readers of The Wilderness Review. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.