Terms and Conditions

Prices can change without notice. Available stock can change without notice. The Boat People reserves the right to correct human input text errors on this website. We ship orders of stocked products immediately. We never take your payment then order the product ourselves, unless you direct us to do that. We have been in the raft/kayak business for 32 years, with a loyal repeat customer base, and have had few errors in that time period.

We strive to give complete information for each item here, well beyond what most watersports sellers provide, and we have spent hundreds of hours in this process. The Boat People is a No-Copy & Paste zone. In some cases our descriptions might not be clear enough so PLEASE CALL!

In most cases, non-defective items returned for refunds may be subject to at least a small restocking fee to cover our employee time. You can head this issue off at the pass by simply foregoing the shopping cart and calling us, which is the way we strongly prefer to do business. We are very happy take the order on the phone, or if you've verified you are on the right track, you can still use the cart later on. Doing a phone order with us won't work late at night and we know some of you work odd hours, and that some of our customers are hearing-impaired. But for the rest of you, calling an order in won't take longer than using the shopping cart, we promise!

Return Policies and Restocking Fees:

Rafts, Inflatable Kayaks, and Cataraft Tubes: Once a boat has been used, it is worth far less than the original wholesale cost to us or any other retailer. Therefore, our policy is that we do not take returns on used rafts, kayaks, or cat tubes. This also nips in the bud people trying to get free rentals, and with 29 years in business, trust us that those folks are out there. If you have purchased something like an inflatable kayak, and upon inflating it in your living room, you decide it doesn't fit your bod or wasn't what you expected at all from our sometimes dubious quality photos, give us a ring. If you want to swap it out for a different kayak, as long as you re-box (and thoroughly tape) the boat and pay the shipping back an exchange is no problem. If you want a refund, again, as long as it gets back to us unused, we ask that you cover the return UPS and a small fee to cover our time and loss of credit card fees. For most inflatable kayaks it will be $35 to $55; for rafts it will be substantially higher. How do you know you will get the right boat for your needs? Again, call us, don't use the shopping cart. The boat you will end up with will do exactly what we describe, probably no more and certainly no less. That's also a good reason not to buy your boat from a virtual site with no real field experience in what they carry.

Rowing Frames: Raft frames are almost always special order and therefore are not returnable unless we made a mistake on the width or length of the frame we sold you, in which case an exchange will be made.

Books and Videos: these are pretty much all on closeout status now, so in general we are not taking returns, and frankly, we cannot remember the last time someone even asked to return a book. If something was damaged getting to you we will help in any way we can.

Lifejackets and Clothing items, Kayak Paddles: If the sizing is wrong you are welcome to return these items for exchanges. You might want to phone us first just to make sure we have the other size you want in stock. If there is a price difference on something like a kayak paddle, we will need to work that out over the phone, not the shopping cart. Frankly, we have only had one return on a kayak paddle in the last five years so this really never comes up. Just make sure you are not ordering a paddle intended for flat water and using it in whitewater. Phone us first if you aren't sure. If you want a refund, we ask that you cover the return UPS and a small fee $15 to cover our time. That way, at least we don't lose money. No returns on used items!

Mechanical Pumps: Anything defective we will of course resolve with you. For exchanges of a different type of pump, call us first to work out the details. If you want a refund, we ask that you cover the return UPS and a small restocking fee or $10 to $20 depending on the cost or the pump. On lower cost pumps, it's better to make sure you really want what you are ordering since shipping both ways and restocking on a $32 pump isn't going to net you much is anything back. NO RETURNS on used pumps!

Electric Pumps: Mastercraft, Gusto, Dyna, Bravo OV, and Hurricane inflators are covered under manufacturer's warranties and should be mailed to the manufacturer. Unless they are defective or won't work with your boat for some odd reason (call us if you are having trouble), we usually do not take direct returns on these. If you want us to test your pump before it is shipped please request that. We are happy to do so. Bravo OV series electric pumps should always be tested before we ship them, and the warranty on this brand is all but useless since the company wants the product returned - at very high cost - to Genoa, Italy. There are stringent usage guidelines on Bravo electrics and we will not take back burned out ones or ones you've gotten wet.

Rescue- Ropes, Throwbags, Pulleys, Knives: Pulleys, cut length ropes, and Carabiners cannot be returned, sorry. Knives and throwbags may be exchanged (call), or refunded subject at small restocking fees.

Oars, Raft Paddles: These are shipped at "oversize" UPS rates and you'll need to cover shipping both ways, and a small retocking charge. We have never had requests for returns on oars or raft paddles though so this seems to be a non-issue. If we have shipped you the wrong item obviously we will cover the return shipping.

Drybags, Dry Duffels & Dry Cases: This is another group of items that we have only had one return on (our fault for incorrect measurements given in the description) in the last five or ten years, but if you want to swap something out give us a call. If you want a refund, we ask that you cover the return UPS and a small restock. That way, at least we don't lose money.

Aluminum Dryboxes: It is solely your responsibility to measure your rowing frame to ensure the size you order will fit. We do not stock these and they must be special ordered in most cases. No returns on Dryboxes under any circumstances.

Raft, Kayak, and General Accessories: No problem on exchanges. For refunds we ask that you cover the return UPS and a small fee to cover the time we spent shipping the original order.

Repair items: We've never had a request for a return on a repair item, and many of these shipments are such small dollar amounts that unless we have made an error, it won't be practical for you to send something back that only ran $25 to begin with. If we send the wrong item or spoiled glue, we will be happy to make it right. Call if you have a specific question.

Special order items that we do not have on our website: Sorry, no returns unless we made a mistake, and no other exceptions.

Items that have been sent to you via the Post Office: Restocking fees for customers who need postal service for some reason - like folks in Alaska - are usually going to be higher than the normal $15 (plus credit card fees of 2.7 to 3.4% on the order grand total) because we have spent extra time driving your order to the Post Office. Normally we charge at least $20 to $25.

One last note on using shopping carts. Some folks we chat with are under a misconception: that being on a "secure" shopping cart is safer than calling in a phone order. Often, with the many careless retailers out there, this is no doubt true. However, in our case, it is not true at all since we destroy all credit card info right after a phone sale is rung up. If your computer has been infected with a keystroke-recording trojan horse that looks for 16 digit numbers starting with 4,5, or 6 (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover), no matter how safe the actual cart is, your credit card info can get hijacked. You do still need to key in your number, billing address, expiration date, and security code after all. We make phone orders as safe as humanly possible, so please feel free to call.


Check with your local Coast Guard/Forest Service for rafting, catarafting, and kayaking requirements and conditions. Educate yourself by taking an instructional course on rafting, kayaking, CPR, rescue and first aid. Use good judgement. The user of any product purchased from The Boat People assumes all risk for any loss, injury and death, which result from the use of any product sold by The Boat People. Products sold by The Boat People should be used by someone who is familiar with water conditions. Always check the condition of your boat (raft, cataraft, inflatable kayak) and gear before entering the water. Wear a coast guard approved personal floatation device. Understand your limitations. Be aware of your environment, the weather, and boat traffic. Read your user manual carefully. Do not use under the influence of drugs or alcohol.