The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Rowing Boat For Sale

Embarking on the journey of finding the perfect rowing boat can be as exciting as gliding through calm waters on a sunny afternoon. As a seasoned rower or a novice eager to dip your oars into the water, buying the right boat is the first step in your rowing adventure. 

From understanding your unique rowing needs to navigating through the sea of options available, our comprehensive guide will arm you with the knowledge and insights needed to find the ideal rowing boat for sale. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Understanding Your Needs

Understanding your unique needs is the cornerstone of finding the perfect rowing boat. Start by asking yourself some fundamental questions. What purpose will the boat serve? Are you planning to row for leisure, fitness, competition, or a bit of each? How often will you use it? Which water bodies will you be rowing on – calm lakes, flowing rivers, or the open sea? 

The answers to these questions will guide you towards the type of boat that suits you best. For instance, if you’re into competitive rowing, racing shells with their narrow, long, and minimalistic design would be an ideal choice. On the other hand, if leisurely rowing on tranquil lakes is more your speed, then a wider, more stable recreational rowing boat might be just what you need.

Also, think about the practical aspects. Where will you store your boat? Do you have easy access to water or will you need to transport your boat frequently? Also, take into account your budget and how much maintenance you’re willing to put in. Wood, for example, is a classic material that offers unmatched aesthetics but requires regular upkeep. 

Meanwhile, materials like fiberglass and carbon fiber offer a great balance between performance, durability, and maintenance. So, do your homework, assess your needs, and let your personal preferences steer your decision—because the right rowing boat is the one that meets your specific requirements.

Where to Look for Rowing Boats for Sale

One of the best places to start your search for a rowing boat is online. Websites such as eBay are treasure troves of new and used boats, offering a broad spectrum of options to fit different preferences and budgets. From racing shells to recreational rowboats, you can find a wide variety of types and styles listed by both private sellers and official dealers. 

Make sure to read the descriptions thoroughly, check out the photos, and don’t hesitate to contact the seller if you have any questions. Remember to check the seller’s ratings and reviews for an added layer of trust.

In addition to general online marketplaces like eBay, there are niche platforms dedicated to rowing enthusiasts where you can find boats for sale. These include specific rowing forums, classified ad sections on rowing websites, and social media groups centred around the sport of rowing. 

Boats listed here are usually sold by fellow rowers or coaches, so there’s a higher chance of finding well-maintained boats that come with a wealth of information about their history and performance. If you prefer buying new, consider purchasing directly from manufacturers. They often offer a range of models tailored to different skill levels and use cases, and you’ll have the added benefit of a warranty. 

Whether you choose to buy second-hand or new, always remember to do thorough research and due diligence before making a purchase.

How to Evaluate a Rowing Boat

When you’re looking to buy a rowing boat, it’s important to know how to properly evaluate your prospective purchase. Think of it like a job interview where the boat is the candidate; you want to scrutinize every detail, from its physical condition to its performance characteristics. Start with a thorough visual inspection. 

Look for any signs of wear and tear such as cracks or dents in the hull, signs of repair, or worn-out seats and footrests. These could potentially signal a weary boat that might require additional investments in repairs.

But don’t just stop at the surface. Dive deeper into the boat’s design and material composition. The shape and size of the hull can tell you a lot about the boat’s stability and speed – a wider hull generally means more stability but less speed, while a narrower hull indicates higher speed but requires more skill to balance. 

The material of the boat also plays a crucial role. Wood and fibreglass boats might weigh more but offer great durability, whereas lighter materials like carbon fibre or plastic might need more care and maintenance. 

If possible, take the boat out for a test row. There’s no better way to judge a boat than by experiencing first-hand how it feels on the water. Remember, buying a rowing boat isn’t just about finding a good deal, it’s about finding a reliable companion for your rowing adventures.

Budget Considerations

When it comes to buying a rowing boat, your budget will undoubtedly play a significant role in the decision-making process. It’s important to remember that the cost of a rowing boat is not just about the upfront price tag. There are additional costs to consider such as maintenance, storage, and potential repairs down the line. 

Therefore, it’s wise to approach your purchase with a comprehensive budget in mind, one that factors in these ongoing costs along with the initial investment. A well-maintained boat can last for many years, so consider this as a long-term investment in your rowing journey.

As you explore different boats within your budget, you’ll notice a wide range of prices reflecting variations in design, materials, brand, age and condition of the boat. While it might be tempting to go for a high-end model or a shiny new boat, remember that value for money is key. 

A more expensive boat isn’t necessarily better if it doesn’t suit your specific needs and skill level. On the other hand, a lower-priced, well-maintained used boat might be a great fit if it aligns with your rowing style and experience. So, take your time, do your research, and make a well-informed decision that balances cost with suitability and quality. 

After all, the ultimate goal is to find a boat that offers you a satisfying and enjoyable rowing experience within your budget.

Making the Purchase

Once you’ve evaluated your options, set a budget, and found the perfect rowing boat that suits your needs, it’s time to make the purchase. This is a significant step in your rowing journey and should be approached with due diligence. 

If you’re buying a new boat, it’s generally a straightforward process involving a direct transaction with the manufacturer or authorized dealer. However, when buying used, ensure to get all the necessary documentation including any warranties or service records. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what you’re getting into – no one wants unpleasant surprises down the line.

Finalizing the purchase isn’t just about handing over the payment though. It’s about ensuring that the boat you’re investing in is well worth every penny. Don’t shy away from asking questions or seeking clarifications from the seller. Make sure you understand what after-sales services are offered, particularly in terms of maintenance and repairs. 

If possible, arrange for a professional inspection of the boat before finalizing the deal. This can provide you with an expert opinion on the boat’s condition and potential future repair needs. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to making informed decisions. So, arm yourself with as much information as possible, trust your instincts, and then take the plunge. After all, buying a rowing boat is not just a purchase, it’s a commitment to a healthier, more active lifestyle.


In conclusion, buying a rowing boat is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and planning. From assessing the physical condition and design of the boat to setting a comprehensive budget and making the final purchase, each step should be approached with a keen eye for detail and a clear understanding of your specific needs. 

Remember, this isn’t just about acquiring a piece of equipment; it’s about investing in a lifestyle. Your rowing boat will be your partner on the water, a means to improve your health, explore nature, or perhaps even compete. So take your time, ask the right questions, and make an informed decision. Whether you’re a novice rower or a seasoned pro, the perfect rowing boat is out there waiting for you. It’s up to you to find it and start your next rowing adventure.


Q: Why is it important to consider additional costs when setting a budget for buying a rowing boat?

A: When purchasing a rowing boat, the initial price tag is just part of the total cost. There are ongoing expenses to consider such as maintenance, storage, and potential repairs in the future. These are integral aspects of boat ownership and can significantly impact your budget over time. So, it’s important to factor these in when setting your budget to ensure a financially sustainable and enjoyable rowing journey.

Q: How do I know if a more expensive rowing boat is better for me?

A: A higher price doesn’t necessarily equate to a better fit for your needs. The best rowing boat for you is the one that aligns with your rowing style, experience level, and intended use. While high-end boats often come with advanced features and superior materials, these may not be necessary or beneficial for everyone. It’s important to assess your individual needs and find a balance between cost, suitability, and quality.

Q: What should I do before finalizing the purchase of a used rowing boat?

A: Buying a used rowing boat requires careful evaluation. Apart from checking the physical condition of the boat, it’s crucial to ask for all relevant documentation, including service records and warranties if available. If possible, arrange for a professional inspection to gain an expert opinion on the boat’s condition and potential future repair needs. This will help ensure that your investment is well worth it and prevent any unpleasant surprises down the line.