After much deliberation, we’ve decided to join the boat-owning club for DW 2019.
We spent many an evening unsuccesfully trying out all the K2s that our club had to offer in the hope of finding a slightly lighter boat for this year’s race. Sadly we had to admit that the boat we really wanted to use was also the favourite boat of everyone else in the club. After a bit of soul searching we thought it would be best for club relations if we didn’t borrow that lovely Kirton kayak every weekend for the next 6 months.
After about a month of learning where to find a second-hand boat we had an amazingly generous offer from a friend and are now the proud owner of the two kayaks his Mum no longer wanted decorating her garden. The main problem is that we now have to think up a new team name – Turquoise Tornado just isn’t appropriate anymore!
Obviously if you have a similar generous friend then clearly go for that trustworthy offer, but if you’re not so lucky then I can share with you the boat-buying tips we discovered:
- Prices to expect: Expect a decent second-hand K2 to cost you between £600 and £900. New boats from Kirton/Marsport tend to start at about £1300, so if you’re being asked to pay £1000 for a second hand one then the seller is being pretty optimistic.
- Where to look: The usual second-hand sites (Ebay, Gumtree) are good to have a look on, but we had the most success with a Facebook group called ‘Racing Canoe Club Sales and Wants’. We put an advert on there for what we wanted and had a great response. If you buy from that page then you also know it’s coming from someone who knows what they are selling and can give you helpful advice on whether it’s right for you.
- When to look: Between September and February is when most of the second-hand DW-esque boats end up being sold as the owners tend to know that DW will be on people’s minds around that time of year. You might have some luck straight after the race, but I suspect it takes most people a while to get round to selling. Maybe they consider DW a second time and then get their sanity back a few months later?!
Have a read of my ‘Marsport Who?’ blog post if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choice out there, but my main tip is probably to be quick off the mark. Decent condition, stable, lightweight, DW-friendly boats seem to be a bit like gold-dust.