10ft or 12ft Delta AR rec kayak?

Looking to move from 2 inflatables to 2 hardshells for my 14 year old daughter and myself, both well under 6ft tall, under 170 pounds. We just day paddle smaller lakes and some very slow moving water. The inflatables are good quality but just too much work to go any distance and not much fun in the wind.

We are looking particularly at Delta kayaks as they are Canadian made (buy local), lightweight for loading on a rack, and the rec kayaks (10 and 12 ar) have a catamaran style hull that is supposed to be stable as neither of us are advanced paddlers.

Would there be much difference between a 10 and 12 AR with regard to speed and stability? They both have about a 27" beam. The 10AR is attractive as it weighs only 37 pounds and it has a “glovebox” in the cockpit, but only one bulkhead and one watertight storage compartment. The 12 does not have any storage in the cockpit but has 2 bulkheads and 2 watertight storage compartments. It also has a much larger cockpit opening.

We are basically looking for fun, easy, light, stable and much better performance than an IK.

Have to decide now before they sell out again in Spring.

Get the 12 ft version. Two bulkheads = more safety and storage. Also much bigger cockpit = room for a small dog to join you and easier entry/exit movement. The 12 ft will cover more water easier since you mentioned distance.

Start planning and budgeting to find a full day lesson such as Introduction to Kayaking = the best money you can spend to make you and daughter’s paddling much easier and safer if you take the lesson to heart.


California Kayaker Magazine did a review of the Delta 10 a while back (I don’t think the 12 was available at the time, so no comparison point). It can be read online at http://calkayakermag.com/magazine.html. Issue #7 starting on page 28.

If you or your daughter are interested in progressing your skills, the 12.10 is an amazingly capable boat for such a short package. Tighter cockpit though, so it depends on what you are looking for.

Go with the 12 foot. Much safer boat thanks to two sealed bulkheads. You both can grow your skills with that length; not really with the shorty.

Have fun together!

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Thanks all. Went to see some Deltas today and thinking the 12s or 12.10 might be better with the monohull and told they are stable.

Is there much difference between the 12s and the 12.10? The 12s is lighter and looks easier to move around, but the 12.10 seems pretty popular.

Personally, I think the 12.10 is the more capable boat but with your weights you might be too high in the water - the kayak is rated at up to 300lbs - and the boat won’t perform that well.

The 12s is rate at up to 220lbs which sounds like a much better fit for you guys.

I would definitely pick a monohull over a multihull-like design. You’ll get used to the slight decrease in initial stability in no time and the monohull will be quicker - less wetted area - and able to handle rougher water, should you ever get into some - much better.

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Thanks. When you say it won’t “perform as well” does that include less stability in the 12.10 for light weight folks? Stability really is key, I’d be willing to sacrifice some forward speed and maybe handling for more stability. But if the 12.10 is less stable with an avg to smaller paddler, then I’ll go for the 12s. Thoughts?

I’m very new to this, so take anything I say with a grain of salt but I’ve looked into these kayaks as well.

The one point I’d make is that from the stuff I’ve read and watched for the 12S, it’s apparently designed to be ideally for paddlers from about 100-150ish lbs. You’ve mentioned you’re both under 170, so you might be totally fine in the smaller boat but the one thing I haven’t seem mentioned by anyone else is the consideration of if your 14 year old is pretty much already full grown, of if they’re likely to continue growing over the next few years and could end up too large for the 12s? That totally depends on the kid though.

I doubt you’d be able to notice much difference in stability between the 12S and the 12.10, and the 12.10 does have front and rear bulkheads.

In most boats, stability is more dependent on the paddler than on the boat anyway.


It won’t “perform as well” if the hull is sitting too high in the water because you don’t have enough weight in it. Tracking will be affected, potentially even speed a little if you have less waterline length, stability may be impacted and crosswinds will have more surface area to act on.

But, don’t get too hung up on stability. A design with high initial stability with typically have low secondary stability. A kayak with lower initial stability may feel very tippy at first but you’ll relax and get used to it in no time. Then you’ll find that its secondary stability - which determines how easily the boat actually capsizes - is much better allowing the kayak to handle choppier water much more safely.

I’d also suggest some classes, when you can find some. They would not only improve your paddling skills but when you’ve done a few controlled wet exits and remounts with an instructor present your confidence levels will improve dramatically.

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Hi. The design of those is similar to our pelicans, 10ft from the big box C store. Pelicans are also Canadian. We have had our pelicans for several years now and they are a very stable and forgiving boat. You do sacrifice some speed with more hull in the water. Good style of boat to get comfortable with on the water. I’m under 170, and hubs is over. His actually tracks a bit better. I am just now looking to upgrade into a faster boat.