Also good, perhaps better, are paddling specific message boards for your locale. They are numerous and most areas have one or two. Here’s one for the DC area, and another for New England. Paddling clubs are also good, someone is always selling a boat.
Yes. Craigslist etc can be a great way to pick up a used kayak, buyer beware though and give it a good examination before you take it home since there are no returns (obviously).
With Craigslist and other non-paddling specific sources, be mindful of sellers who don’t know much, if anything about the boat, its use and features, or paddling in general. There’s a good chance an ignorant seller is trying to get rid of a stolen boat. Especially if the asking price is “too good to be true.”
If possible, meet the seller at a place where you can take the boat for a quick paddle.
I’m a professional mariner. I can not swim. and if i had any free time i sure as @($* wouldn’t spend it in one of those things!!
I was skeptical of my son leaving the real estate business and going into tournament fishing and guide service. His kayak has more sophisticated electronics that the research vessels I sailed on in the '70s and early '80s. His new bass boat is DP. Heck of a way to make a living…
I was a professional mariner like you (retired a year ago), also a non-swimmer, and a few years ago bought two LL Bean kayaks for myself and my girlfriend. Since then we’ve spent many enjoyable days paddling the coastal waters of Harpswell, Maine and various bays, lakes and great ponds in Southern Maine. I can’t express to you how cool it is to experience the water and nature while maneuvering a small kayak. Give it a try and I’m sure you’ll learn to appreciate kayaking.
I have found this thread very interesting. For some odd reason most of my friends are…surprise…other mariners. Of those, about 20% are recreational boaters when they are on vacation. A smattering own cruising or racing sailboats, a very few own large powerboats, while the rest are members of the paddle/pole/putt putt club (canoes/kayaks, duck boats, small outboards).
My fleet, while only partially composed of kayaks, is diverse but utilitarian: a recreational sit-in, a sit-on fishing model (loads of fun!), an older FJ for days when I want to engage my inner Jack Sparrow, an 18’ Old Town canoe (primary duck hunting boat), a 17’ Sawyer fiberglass canoe, a handy 14’ Jon boat for general fishing and “sunset cruises” around the inland lake where I live, a 13’ layout boat for late season duck hunting, and an “in reserve” walk around Grady if I feel the need to seek bigger fish. SUP with a leaning bar for fly fishing is the next acquisition!
I use them all at various times throughout the year so I have little guilt about owning more square footage of watercraft deck space than my humble home. This likely helps explain why I am divorced!
ok, possibly i was a little harsh… If I use my imagination I can imagine it being neato but I’d no doubt soon want room to stand up in, then walk around, then do the 1/4 mile jog in the morning… !!