If you are thinking of buying your first canoe, here are some tips that may come in handy when choosing your canoe:

– Buy the canoe when you already have a minimum experience in navigation in the type of canoe you want to buy. Ideally, navigate as much as you can before and during the purchase process.

– The first plan should be to learn what it is to have, maintain and operate a ship.

– Calculate, as realistic as possible, your budget for the purchase and for annual maintenance, with a minimum safety margin of 20% in both budgets. Based on this you will surely choose the length and age of the ship.

– The expenses beyond the purchase will correspond to the mooring, annual maintenance of the hull and engine, antifouling, breakdowns, insurance, repairs, extras, spare parts, etc.

– If you are in the dilemma of choosing between more length or newer canoe, choose more length. A good canoe, good brand, well-built and well maintained, especially hull and engine, and without osmosis, is almost eternal.

– If your first canoe is second-hand, something very advisable, focus on one or two models to choose from. It is always more convenient for them to be from well-known brands, classic models and a large used market. The latter will greatly facilitate the purchase, maintenance and possible sale of the ship.

– The price is important, but a solid, osmosis-free helmet, an engine with many years ahead and a good level of general and well-maintained maintenance is also very important.

– Time and tranquility are very advisable. And don’t be obsessed with finding the ideal canoe. It doesn’t exist, you don’t need it.

– Choose a canoe ready to sail.

– Once you have chosen the canoe, and before buying it, have an expert examine it thoroughly: engine, electricity, rigging, and especially the hull.

In general, the first thing is to decide which canoe best suits our plans and budget. It is important to remember that we must compare the price of the canoe that interests us with others of the same type since the market of used canoes groups similar canoes with very different prices, even in the case of canoes left from the same mold in the same year, and neither the most expensive nor the cheapest option are usually the best: more expensive does not mean more quality or better maintenance and often the bargains hide problems.

Steps to take to buy a canoe

A good way to start the search for your canoe is to walk through the ports and the yacht clubs and see what type of canoe would suit what you are looking for. You can also visit one of the nautical fairs that are held both in USA and abroad. In this type of event, the main ship manufacturers from all over the world are not usually missing. It is a good opportunity to see the canoes in situ, know their characteristics and even negotiate a discount.

For the purchase of the canoe and if this is your case, it is essential to find out about the forms of financing there are and what credit products the banks offer. If you opt for a second-hand one, in the yacht clubs and in many publications and internet forums there are people who offer used canoes, with good discounts.

Once you have found the Best canoes for sale, whether it is new or second-hand, it is convenient that you agree to the payment terms, and that the seller shows you the canoe. You will have to check to what extent the status of the canoe is exactly as advertised, and if possible, test the canoe in the company of its current owner.

It is important to talk with the seller, who can be an individual or an agent. If it is a second-hand ship, we can obtain some prior information to ensure that the seller is effectively the owner of the ship in question and that there are no pending charges or liens such as unpaid mortgages, debts in a shipyard or mooring monthly payments. In any case, in the contract of sale, we will include a clause that protects us from this type of risk. We will also ensure that the ship’s documentation is in order so that there are no surprises or delays.

A pre-purchase inspection is another previous step to make the purchase. If the investment we want to make is important, it is a good way to know exactly what we are buying. This complete and detailed inspection of afloat and dry is a non-intrusive examination of all accessible areas of the canoe and its equipment, to obtain a totally independent and selfless professional opinion on the condition, integrity, and durability of the hull, superstructure and the teams. If we need financing we must also include in the inspection and assessment of the ship.

It is advisable to know the costs and conditions of the nautical insurance that we wish to contract before instructing the naval expert, since the requirements of the insurers may vary and if in the end, they ask us for additional checks after the inspection is finished, this may imply more costs.

As for the navigation test, there is no need to rush, the canoe test must last as long as we believe necessary to check the different elements in their normal operation. It can be very useful to make a checklist in which we can include topics that we have seen in a previous visit and see that it is necessary to review them in time of effort.


We must also be very attentive to how the ship behaves, its maneuverability, its reaction, the sensitivity of the rudder and the way of carrying it according to our way of sailing. Whether it is a sailing canoe or motor canoe, its character and our personality have to agree. If we are able to correctly assess the state in which it is located and the post-purchase investment, we will save; no doubt in disgust.

Safety equipment on board; check that the safety equipment matches the CE marking and the navigation area; lifebuoys, raft, pyrotechnics, fire extinguishers, …

You have to check GPS, probe, plotter, radar, stoves, lights, windlass, windshield wipers, absolutely everything in range, check that they are operational and in good condition. Even if the canoe is second-hand and has its years, it should have all necessary instruction manuals on board. You can also request that the ship-owner teach the last ITB passed, the certificate of navigability and validity.

Observe that there are no bare wires, overheating zones, or any defects that may cause short circuits or power failures.

Finally, a series of administrative and nautical insurance procedures must be carried out. Depending on the type of operation and the cost, the operation will be subject to a series of taxes. It is convenient to put these issues in the hands of an advisor or professional manager, to avoid problems.


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