16 Foot Recommendations

-- Last Updated: Feb-14-16 10:13 AM EST --


I am looking to purchase a new kayak very soon, and was wondering what sort of recommendations you all might have on here.

I am currently using a Wilderness Systems pungo 120, but feel that it is holding me back greatly. I am easily a 45-60 mile type of kayaker, with an eye towards much longer distance & open water conditions. Lately, I have been spending all my time kayaking on the tidal Delaware River, that separates the states of Pennsylvania & New Jersey. Some stats worth mention are that I am 6'4" 1/2 in height, and generally weigh between 210-230 pounds. Also, I am looking to keep my budget under $1800.00


Holding you back from…?

– Last Updated: Feb-12-16 6:46 PM EST –

Are you looking for bigger water, more speed, more skills challenge?

You are tall but there are still 16 ft boats that would fit you. What matters to find the right one is what you want to do with it.

Follow up

– Last Updated: Feb-12-16 7:03 PM EST –

Yes indeed, bigger water and the ability of more speed with less physical effort. As for other expectations, I am a real long distance type of endurance guy on land, and figure why should I let water stop me in that aspect?

as rsevenic suggested, consider
stepping up to a 17 foot boat or longer. A person of your size will likely find, over time, that the longer boat will perform better for you. Try rentals or used boats considering the price range you are suggesting.

45-65 miles in one day?
In a 12’ Pungo! Amazing…

Now do it in a 21’ surfski.

17 foot
I agree, lots more choices in a 17 footer. Pretty much the standard sea kayak size.

Bill H.

UM Distances
At the Ultra Marathon distances you’re describing, the potential top end glide speed of your 16’ parameter is going to be a limiting factor if you are into performance, at your weight.

New equipment always makes for a better kayaker, right? ;). Your $1800 budget would certainly cover a number of new poly options as well as some very good used composites. I might know of someone with a Impex Force 5 that would be ideal for what you’ve specified. First allow yourself to test paddle longer craft.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY




45 to 60 miles a day?
Impressive mileage. If you are going that far in a Pungo, moving up to a boat with a better glide and higher speeds will be a new world.

The longer/narrower boat will change your seating and cockpit comfort considerations. When you are in a boat for that length of time, seating, and cockpit outfitting become way more important.

Since you are already a fan of WS boats and outfitting you may try out the 160 Zephyr which is a logical step up from the Pungo. When your milage is taken into consideration I would also try out the Tempest 170. Both are within your price consideration in poly if you are looking to get a new boat.

When you are planning on spending that much time in your kayak, try everything on first before purchasing.

Jersey Paddler
Take a trip up to Jersey Paddler in Brick township, and as long as Forge Pond isn’t frozen, they’ll let you try a number of kayaks - they have a huge inventory - for a nominal charge.

I also think you’d be much better of in at least a 17 footer.

65 miles a day in a 12’ Pungo! I’m impressed.

Jersey Paddler


I don’t believe it
45-65 miles a day in a Pungo. If you can maintain 5 mph, which I doubt, 65 miles would take 13 hours. Sounds like a lot of crap!

So, Longer?
Before you’re inundated with lots of long boat suggestions, are you open to longer than 16’? It’ll help prune the possibilities.

I’ll hold my suggestions, as they’re all 17’+

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



X’s 2
jack L

16 ft Sea Kayak
The 16 and 18 ft Stellar sea kayaks are sweet and are the most comfortable this old guy has ever used. You might be able to find a used one in the $1800 range. Personally I would look for a used Kevlar/Fiberglass kayak rather than purchasing a new rotomold. Good luck on whatever choice you make.

OPer did not say he HAD done that
He said he felt it was within his means with the right boat, The actual trip he did was probably about 33 miles, on a falling tide though in from the sea decent bit.

This river may have similar characteristics to the Hackensack, that surged during Lee and Sandy and produced major damage well in. I don’t know the river especially, but on a look at the map it is likely tidal all the way up. Heck - we have up to a 4 foot tide 120 plus miles north of Manhattan, on the Hudson. It is a heck of a trip though.

I personally agree that the distance which is his goal is a bit much - he may be overestimating the effect of a faster boat. But time and some seat time will sort that out.

best keel combo ?
name the hull in plastic at 16-17’ best combines rocker for better than straight keel turning with straight keel speed ?

Some follow-up information

– Last Updated: Feb-14-16 10:14 AM EST –

Okay, thanks for some of the recommendations specifically on the kayaks. My thoughts of obtaining a 16 footer, had me thinking that this was a good enough jump to satisfy my needs of a bigger kayak. I still want to be able to play around locally in smaller bodies of water, and I figured anything over 16 would simply be overkill. Now, on to some other topics that were brought up in some of the responses -

Let me start by saying, that I am not just your weekend warrior type of paddler, or athlete for that matter. I have 25+ years of competitive sports in my background, half of which has seen specialization on endurance type related events. Specifically when it comes to kayaking, even though I am somewhat new to the sport, I have in recent times done several paddles all within the 30-40 mile range. All the trips I have done, have left me feeling as though that I have much more left in my tank - hence my original post of stating I could go up to 65 miles perhaps. When it comes to strength needed in being able to paddle such distance, it certainly helps that in a previous athletic career, that I used to be a professional strongman. Yup, one of those guys, with worldly travels all under my belt! Nobody knows my capabilities more so than I, believe me. Anytime that I undertake such trips, I carry along with me a spot tracking device, where people can follow along and view the mileage and time of which I accumulate. To verify my post regarding trips having been made, you can easily click the link below to not only read, but see pictures taken throughout my trips. I have all the time in the world to do such things. This is what I do! Also, kayaking is not my true forte either. I am much more of a cyclist, who routinely does rides well over 100+ miles daily. Just this past June, I bicycled from my home, and up to New York City just to get a hotdog - 141 total miles, just in one days time!

For further reference of the specific events of which I mentioned, kindly click here if you wish to read about my endeavors -


Lastly, I will indeed say that I am in the early planning stages of taking on a lengthy kayaking trip, to fit and place nicely on my athletic resume. A bigger kayak seems to be appropriate, more so than the pungo 120 of which I have been noodling around in thus far.

not unusual
regimen…I’m 70 capable of similar. Jackel is 81 does abt the same.

Get back to us when used to the new boat n give us report.

One comment

– Last Updated: Feb-14-16 10:03 AM EST –

At the distances you are proposing, if New Jersey is your nearby place, I expect you will inevitably be planning some real open water time. In that case, going solo, you also need to account for skills to be able to self-rescue on the water. What you have likely not experienced with the Pungo is waves and slop and stuff that tends to create likely capsize conditions.

So while you are focusing on the boat, go somewhere that can run you thru those paces so you can go home and practice.

The other thing you need to get some work on for those distances is a proper forward stroke. The Pungo is a rec boat and wiiiiide. While you obviously can go fast and hard in it, its dimensions don't help develop the kind of stroke that you can use for ultra distances and not damage your joints.

My suggestion
If you really are intent on long distance, don’t settle for anything less than about seventeen and a half feet. Something closer to 18’ would be even better–especially considering your size.