Would you ever...

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

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Have you ever bought a boat sight unseen or unpaddled?

Yes, but regretted it.
Would never even consider it!
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Total votes: 48

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Would you ever...

Post by truckeeboater » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:10 am

...buy a boat without paddling it first?

Not a whole lot of demo opportunities out here on the left coast, and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm looking for in a boat. Although I've definitely read a LOT of threads where folks have been adamant about trying before buying, I'd still like to see what the general population is thinking regarding this "taboo" subject.

Thanks in advance, and please don't be too harsh! :oops:
Peace Pow and Paddling!

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by Bob Wiggins » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:18 am

So, first of all, no I haven't. However, I was very close to doing so with the ion- yu see, not many people are willing to get out to let you try, theyre so much fun :D but then I found canoemid wanting to sell his, so I did get to paddle it first. I think if you know what you want, it's probably okay, but you should still try if you can. Can you say ROAD TRIP? Lots of people on the east coast could put you up for a week and let you try all kinds of boats.

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by truckeeboater » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:37 am

Wife + family + little to no expendable income = low probability of a boat-demoing road trip to the East Coast. Believe me, I've tried every conceivable angle with the Mrs so far. As it stands now, she's "kinda alright" (her exact words!) with me getting a boat, so I'll take whatever good graces I can get at this point! FYI, I'm looking at an Option.
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Re: Would you ever...

Post by Bob Wiggins » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:46 am

How heavy are you? And do you prefer primary stability or speed and handling? In my limited experience with the 2, the first you get with the l'edge, the second you get with the option. Fwiw, I go ahead and do it- on the off chance you didn't like it, it would be easy to sell a "like new" option and get most of your money back.

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:59 am

truckeeboater wrote:...buy a boat without paddling it first? Not a whole lot of demo opportunities out here on the left coast . . .
Ah! My favourite rant! Thanks for the segue into this topic, Truckee! 8)

I've bought three this year, unseen and unpaddled. One was Pony-Expressed from N. Carolina, thru ALF, then to Utah (Thanks cheajack and Smurf!) The other two purchases were coast-to-coast, via Greyhound. What an adventure!

All three were used boats. Turns out, I like all three! My choice to buy these boats was based on reviews by y'all on this forum -- all of which were very accurate, and very helpful.

And now, alas, Smurf is going to take all the adventure out of long-distance boat-buying by showing up at WESTFEST with all the latest demos. Sigh-h. . . the end of an era! (But great news for western boaters!) :P

C'est l'aviron. . . !

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by Smurfwarrior » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:33 am

I've done it a bunch, liked most I got... its just difficult to pony up the cash site unseen but we are really lacking out west. Looks like Esquif/Mohawk/Big Dog will be available for demo at Westfest... we shall see. Looking good though at this point in time.

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by Larry Horne » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:58 am

i've never test paddled any new boat before i bought it.
some of us even bought boughts before we could google em and see videos and read reviews. can you believe it?

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by we'll c » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:34 am

Yes! I think I've done all the combinations: sight unseen, un-paddled, test-driven in a pool / lake, tested in whitewater, etc. No bad experiences to report - I just get to learn more and more about what I like each time! Have had only good experiences with trusting sellers to deliver the goods as promised, in the condition described in photos. It's all part of the fun of assembling / paddling "the quiver!"

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by Bob P » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:12 am

I don't think I've ever had the luxury of trying out a new boat before I bought it. In fact, many of my boats have never been been paddled by anyone before I did. :roll: Since I've designed several of my boats, I get to do the evaluation and adaptation myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.

Oh. By the way. (Completely Unrelated) I have a used Galasport Makao slalom C1 for sale. $700. Very good condition. Weight range 140 lbs to 170 lbs. You can even try it out!

I still like my Stinger better, so I'm making a Stinger2 (modified to newer specs) for myself. I'm addicted to straight line speed, useful in those C/D races, and I've yet to find a faster "modern" boat.
Last edited by Bob P on Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you ever...

Post by chrisj » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:16 am

I have bought most of my boats unpaddled, based on researching reviews, makers spec, advice on forums and from trusted mates and coaches. The only one I've regretted was a 2nd hand kayak that I HAD paddled the same model prior to purchase. I'd seen it at my local paddle shop in the used section and a mate had the same one, so I tried his in the pool session and really liked it, and went ahead and bought the one I'd seen. After lots of perseverance I just didn't like the way it handled on whitewater. But it was cheap and I'll get back pretty much what I paid for it when I sell it.

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by Sir Adam » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:53 pm

Almost all of the boats I have I didn't paddle before I purchased them. This includes a number of brand new boats too... Dagger Atom, Drakkar Wheelboy, and Massive Groove to name a few.

In fact, it might be easier to try and name the boats I DID paddle before purchasing:
Dagger Cascade
Perception Slasher (both purchased from the fellow who taught me how to roll... in these boats (he was purchasing a New Wave Mongoose...))
Shaggy Sith (should have purchased it before I saw it - I would have had it much earlier, and it is by far one of my favorite boats)
New Wave Viper
Maverick Slalom C1
Airtight Inflatables Shredder

I suppose I should include the boats I went to purchase (and knew I would) but paddled because I had the opportunity before putting down the cash:
New Wave Edge

If I look at all the boats I've owned I guess I've paddled or had the opportunity to paddle 20% of what I've purchased.

So purchasing without paddling is fairly regular occurrence for me... starting back with the 3rd boat I every purchased (Dagger Atom, brand new model at that point)
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Re: Would you ever...

Post by fez » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:13 pm

never test paddled one of my boats.

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by TNbound » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:39 pm

I've only ever bought used/cheap boats unpaddled. My Option I test drove.

I think if you know what you're looking for and what you like/dislike, buying a boat unpaddled (especially when it is used/cheap) can be ok.
Example: You want a displacement hulled creeker. That narrows it down to a few boats like a Jefe or Habitat. Either one would probably be just fine, especially if the price is right.

"I'm gonna run this one river left I think.... So far river left, that I'm gonna be on the bank. With my boat on my shoulder."

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Re: Would you ever...

Post by RodeoClown » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:06 pm

It usually takes me about a week's worth of paddling to really get a boat figured out, so for me a short demo or even one run in a boat doesn't make much sense. There have been time when I've hopped in a boat and been able to tell I didn't like it, but more often my usual reaction is 'I'd have to paddle it more.'
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Re: Would you ever...

Post by kslund » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:52 pm

4 boats - all bought without trying first - been happy with most - you can always sell it if you don't like.

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