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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 12:22 am 
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So, after looking all around reading tons of review comparing specs and overall having fun on deciding what boat I would like, I set my mind on a Clipper Caribou S. Clipper is doing a demo day soon so everything was lining up perfectly and life was grand.

Then... this happened: https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/boa/d/clipper-solitude-canoe/6683657164.html

I did not find a lot of reviews of the Solitude. My understanding is that this is a fine boat that is carrying a bit less, that will perform better on flat water, and so a little worse on moving water (no rocker).

I still like the Caribou S better (more oriented to my intended usage of overnight trips, and exploring Indian Arm (a very sheltered but sometimes narrow sound close to me), but the price difference is huuuuuuge. So I will probably go for it.

What should I look for?
I am planning to ask the following questions:
- Old old is the boat?
- have you done any reparation?
- What trips have you done with it?
- Can I get a picture of the hull + a close up of the bow?

Anything else I should ask? Also, anyway to check how is the Kevlar holding up?

Thanks !!

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 7:09 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
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Anything else I should ask? Also, anyway to check how is the Kevlar holding up?


Besides looking for large repairs, like places where the hull has been damaged by an impact of some kind, and then patched... check to see if wear and tear has exposed the kevlar to sunlight, darkening it, and if the kevlar has been worn down so it's fuzzing up.

A paint job can cover up damage so turn the hull upside down and press down in various places with the heel of your hand... the hull should be firm and resilient, like it is when new. Soft or mushy spots indicate weakness and a repair job needed if the hull isn't too far gone... good luck.

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 9:17 am 
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Yeah, as much as how it's been paddled, ask how it's been stored. Press around and make sure the hull is firm. Chances are very high that someone who owned a nice, specialty boat like that took good care of it, and given its intended uses on flatwater, chances are very low that it's had any big impacts etc.

It should have plenty room for overnight trips. Just buy it! It's your lucky day!

With buying a quality boat of a trusted brand used - if you don't like it, you just can turn around and sell it, even a couple years down the road, for the same $700. No risk. And I don't think Clipper makes any bad boats. Or else you'll love it, but still like the Caribou S for different reasons, and end up owning them both (we warned you!).

Buy it so that you can it with you when you go to Western's demo day, so that you compare boats. For me, the difference in price would make me get over any differences that might slightly favour other boats in a real hurry!

You're lucky to find a good first boat used. Your first boat just needs to be whatever gets you on the water. It will take some experience before you can really know what other boats you might like. In other words, without a lot of first-hand experience, how could you expect to pick "the perfect boat" now? So, if you can build that experience without dropping $2,500, all the better!

Go for it!!

We've already talked about how lots of people using canoe forums tend to accumulate boats, so I don't think you'll find anyone on here advising you to pass on the opportunity to pick up the used Solitude!!

Pat.

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 9:55 am 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
Good score is right.
This was my second solo and I paddled it a lot. (glass) I paid $600 18 years ago.
My wife's current solo is an ultralight Solitude. (kevlar)

The boat does look a little rough.
The seat should be white so check to see what else has been painted. Fibrerglass layups usually come stock with silver anodized gunnels and kevlar layups usually come stock with black anodized gunnels.
If it's coloured then it's a fiberglass layup. 50lbs
If it's see-through golden yellow (maybe more brown if older), then it's kevlar. 42lbs

The talk of kevlar may come from ignorance.
Every Clipper canoe has a certain amount of kevlar in the stems. It's part of their layup.
Sellers like to parrot anything that helps sell their canoe. Even if it's wrong.
If it weighs 50lbs, then it's not kevlar.

Don't worry about the layup. I've never seen a bad Clipper layup.
Look for wear on the hull on the rear stem. Any damage is usually from dropping off ledges in rivers. (Possible worry)
Wear under the bow shows the paddler trying to park the canoe on the beach without getting their feet wet. (No worry)

The serial # on the identification plate will confirm the date of manufacture and the actual layup for that specific boat.
Contact Lynn at Western Canoe. She's always very helpful.

Buy it.
If you are unsure, then offer $500-600 because it's "not" kevlar and be prepared to walk away if the seller doesn't bite.
Having the actual cash in hand and you will give you (buyer) more bargaining power.
This boat will sell for $700 eventually, it's just waiting for the right buyer.

Buy it.


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 10:33 am 
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And who is "the right buyer"? Well, probably somebody who has spent recent days researching Clipper's dedicated solo boats!!

P.

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 4:46 pm 
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Had some additional info. The boat is from 97 (had no clue they were making Solitude for that long!)

it does look rough.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwlZQYAFKKzEeHlzSmNqTWxobnhRUlc3SFRyUWFCUG1lbTRV

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwlZQYAFKKzESG1xUC05dElmTmQwcF9weVhLclQ4dUhhSFZ3



Apparently one of the seat rail is cracked and was "fixed" with a rope.
I am told that no reparation were done, except painting the gunwales and seat in black (not sure why you would do that).

There is a reason for the price : )

I am not sure how I can make sure she is in Kevlar. I will try to get the serial # and contact Clipper.


Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 6:59 pm 
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Dirt, minor scuffs and even re-painting don't count as the hull being in bad shape. I'd expect the hull will last for years to come. A repaired seat fitting could be a bigger hassle, I don't know, but at a good price you could just get the seat fixed, and have skid plates put on too if you want to cover those little chips.

Still probably worth getting and trying out. You can offer less. And either way you can likely re-sell if it doesn't work for you. Based on the colour not being the see-through Kevlar, it's probably fiberglass.

Express interest in going to look at it, ask if they'd be willing to accept an offer below $700 (if not, then you have to decide if you'd go anyway or if you say something like "no thanks, I want Kevlar"), maybe they tell you their basement price, maybe they don't, but if they're open, go see it with $500 in one pocket and $200 in another, and offer $500 based on the seat, scuffs and not Kevlar. Even if you buy it for $700, you can probably get that back in re-sale. $500 would be a good price, but $700 is probably a fair price too.

Your alternative is what, close to $2K? Both boats are up your alley and float you just fine, so I wouldn't be scared of the used boat.

It's not often that a boat you're looking for (or close enough) pops up on Craigslist just at the right time, so I'd take advantage!!

P.

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 7:28 pm 
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Hey Pat,
Agree with you. For the price I can't expect a pristine boat. But I want to make sure that I'm not missing something and that I will be able to use her for several years.
TY about the fact that it might not be a full Kevlar boat. It's annoying, but not a deal breaker either.
I will arrange to go see her this weekend :)

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 9:22 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
I like Pat's two pocket routine.

Bring along a bathroom scale with a small piece of plywood to go underneath.
Lift it up on spot, minus your weight, and determine the layup by weight.

Fiberglass - 52-55lbs
Kevlar - 42-45lbs


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PostPosted: August 31st, 2018, 10:19 am 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Tereva wrote:
Had some additional info. The boat is from 97 (had no clue they were making Solitude for that long!)

Apparently one of the seat rail is cracked and was "fixed" with a rope.

I am told that no reparation were done, except painting the gunwales and seat in black (not sure why you would do that).


I am in agreement with everything above. Dynel and epoxy skid plates will cure (and eliminate future) stem damage. No idea about the seat rail repaired with rope, but that is likely DIY fixable as well.

About the gunwales, black aluminum gunwales were usually either anodized or electroplated. Electroplating sometimes began to flake off with age, and looking at those gunwales that would be my guess. Lynn at Clipper might know what they did in 97.

It would worry me if the outside of the hull had been painted. Sellers, out of ignorance or devious intent, will sometimes paint a hull to hide damage. The worst of that practice is people who use thick deck paint to hide lots of gel coat cracks.

I would ask, and carefully inspect, to see if the hull was painted. If so I would be tempted to walk away. Maybe inspect the (unpainted?) bottom of the seat for hidden damage as well.


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PostPosted: September 4th, 2018, 8:49 pm 
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Joined: August 17th, 2018, 9:24 pm
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Apparently the boat is sold. I was not even able to see it. I am amazed by how fast it went (it's still an almost 12 year old canoe!). Quality canoes retain value it seems, that is a good thing.

So back to square one.

I also put a post in the Buy/Sell section of the forum, I do not think it will generate any lead, but he, nothing to lose trying.

Thank you everyone for all the advice, will come handy if I find another pre-owned.

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: September 5th, 2018, 12:19 pm 
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Oh well. As long as eventually get on the wate somehow. Maybe it was meant to be that you get a new Caribou S! Yeah, if you're actively shopping for a canoe and it happens to pop up used (a rare thing), best to jump on it and not sweat the details!

See if you can make a post on the BCC webpage and newsletter. And go to the upcoming meeting, introduce yourself, and say you're looking for a solo touring canoe (and then people will try to sell you their beat up ww canoes anyway, but you don't have to buy them!). Shaking the canoeing bush locally is probably your best bet, not that the club has a load of people who do solo flatwater.

Good luck, Pat.

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PostPosted: September 14th, 2018, 1:26 pm 
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Just to close the loop on this, I am now the happy owner of a pre-owned Clipper Solitude fiberglass.

I was about to pull the trigger to a new shinny Kevlar Caribou S, but that Solitude is in near-new state popped-up, and was able to negotiate it at a good price. From there it was difficult to justify to spend 3 times more for the Caribou.

Surprisingly, although I tested paddle the Solitude, I was surprised by how big of a boat it is as soon as you take it from the water to the top of a car!

The gunwales are missing paint in some places, but the rest is in almost pristine condition. I will post something under Equipment" "to get some advise about repainting the gunwales.

It is supposed to rain all weekend, but I will find a way to get on the water anyways :D

Cheers, and thank again for all the advises

T.


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