I am a novice paddler looking for my first boat - I have been looking for a while and reading all I can find to read. I have found two boat that I like a 3 year old Prijon Calabria (14'6")that is in very good condition and a 2012 Jackson Journey (14') very lightly used. They both fit well and both are from what I believe to be well respected manufactures.
I like the fact that the Journey has the front an back hatches and a nice day hatch for keys etc. I also like the rigging on the Journey. Super nice seat. I did hear that they may oil can a little on the bottom (not sure if that is a big deal). It seems to me - that the Journey may have a bit of rocker and a little more flare at the bow than the Calabria - I wonder if this would make it a little more transitional? Jackson is kind of a WW oriented company so perhaps that makes some sense?
The Prijon Calabria is super nice - you can just feel the overall quality in that boat. It only has a rear hatch but it is a day use kayak only - I would probably put a bag in the nose for safety.
I have a small local lake near by for practice and fitness paddling. And there are several larger rivers near by that are pretty flat - maybe a few short class 1 or minimal class 2. Then long distances of flat slow moving water on these rivers. Then there are some larger creeks to - once again nothing above minimal class 2 if that. I think a longer boat will give me a much nicer tracking more efficient boat. If I get more into rougher stuff I can pick up a used creeker.
Anyway, I would really like some input on these two manufactures or the two boats in particular. Is one significantly better made than the other - or more durable long term? Would one be a better choice for the kind of cross over role between the lake and the slow rivers/creeks? I would greatly appreciate any input you might have. They are both super nice boats and both only lightly used.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts/opinions.