We've been on a bargain hunt for good quality pre-owned kayaks and were able to purchase 9 used kayaks with a lot of life left in them from personal owners for ONLY $1280! That's $142 per kayak!! With paddles!!! (Paddles are usually $35 & up)... and upgrades already done by the previous owner (like fishing pole holders, padded seats, etc). They do need a good cleaning, but these things are adventure gems!!! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE PRICE IS RIGHT FOR A NON-PROFIT'S BUDGET =).
For 15+ years we've been wanting to get kayaks for GTD, but the price for decent quality new kayaks are $600+ per kayak... that means around $10,000 to have enough kayaks for groups of 20-ish. But buying used is a great approach at acquiring kayaks since a lot of people buy them with good intentions on using them, but then they sit idle for years. GTD is literally saving thousands of $$$ by selectively buying used kayaks.
WHY KAYAKS? Great question!
(1) LESS DANGEROUS: Most people would never guess this, but the most dangerous activity we provide isn't rock climbing, rappelling, or white water rafting. It's canoeing. Canoes have a high center of gravity which makes them easy to tip over. Add some wind gusts, choppy conditions, lower temperatures, youth (or elderly) participants, and 10 scattered canoes and you have a life threatening situation. It has happened several times over 23 years. Kayaks are much more stable, maneuverable, and safer.
(2) MORE PREFERRED: Kayaks are the more desirable paddling option. Canoeing is fun, but very outdated. Simply put, most paddlers want to kayak instead of canoe. We can increase our number of events simply by offering kayaks.
(3) WEATHERING THE NEXT RECESSION: The economy is cranking and we pray it continues for the foreseeable future, but the reality is that our country experiences a recession every 7 years. We learned during The Great Recession 10 years ago that our more expensive events aren't a good option during a recession. But our least expensive events - Day Trips - actually thrives during economic downturns. Anything we can add to our Day Trip Program such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, inner tubing, fishing, etc is an investment into our viability and longevity. It's simply a wise investment.
(4) DIPPING THE TOE INTO GTD: Day Trips are one of the best ways to get groups to sign up for their first GTD Trip. Then that Day Trip usually leads to retreats, adventure trips, and mission trips. Kayaks have a mass appeal and will allow us to offer more church staff Day Trips during the week which would give us countless opportunities to meet new pastors while giving them a taste of GTD and increasing our annual number of ministry events.
(5) IN OUR OWN BACKYARD: Kayaking in Pinellas County is a game changer for us! GTD travels all over the US, but we already have millions of people from all over the world who visit this area because of our beaches. Kayaking opens up endless local opportunities to tap into the outdoor market in our own backyard. That alone makes any water based activity a worthwhile consideration for the function of GTD.
(6) LARGER GROUP CAPACITY: With 9 more kayaks added to our total paddling fleet we can now take 50 people out on the water at one time... that's a big deal for that once or twice a year opportunity to take a large youth group or school grade out on a God-awesome adventure.
Wow, I could go on & on. This is a really big deal for us... a total game changer!! I'm absolutely thrilled at the prospect of what this opens up for us in the future!!
We are continuing to look for great pre-owned kayak deals as well as preparing to fund raise for pre-owned stand-up paddleboards.
Thank you to all of our donors & supporters that make GTD's growth & development possible!!!
AND... if you have any kayaks, paddleboards, wave runners, boats, etc and want to donate them... or if you want to help fund these purchases by adopting an adventure we would love to talk to you!