A weighty question

Good news - my boss wants to go paddling! However, he’s on the large side, about 300 lbs and 6’3". We have a 17’ late 90’s Perception Sea Lion - would he possibly fit into that? How about a 16’ Eddyline Night Hawk? I know the best way is to try them out, but I’d hate to embarass him at the landing if he can’t fit into either one. Are there any other boats for big guys that I could check into renting?

Loon 138
You’re gonna need something with a wide cockpit and lots of room for long legs.

Maybe even a double that has one cockpit.

17.5 Night Hawk
The 17.5 is for big people. The 16’ is for smaller people.


How big of a caboose?
Last fall I was volunteered to teach two of my wife’s friends how to kayak surf in sit on tops. I have an Ocean Kayak Frenzy that supposedly will float something like 350 lbs, I knew her one friend was a little large I didn’t think she weighed much more than I do. Unfortunately her heine would not fit in the frenzy, somehow she lodged herself in the seat but I swear she deformed the boat, we had to get her out with a shoe horn and a crane; nice tight fit for surfing though.

Pungo by Wilderness should work
It holds me with seat room to spare, but most of my 290+ weight is around my waste and higher not in my rear end.

USS Kitty Hawk

Pungo 140
He’ll fit, no problem. And it’s as stable as any for entry and exit.

The Nighthawk 17.5
would work better than the NH 16. Or try to get your hands on a Merlin XT or Equinox. These are all built for the larger paddler.

A Necky
Pinta is pretty roomy and built for a larger paddler. The Necky Eskia has a pretty wide cockpit, as well.

I’m not sure why the Sea Lion wouldn’t
work. At 6’3", 300# gets stretched pretty well. Now if he was 5’3" I’d say there’s reason to be concerned. Anyway, I’d say unbolt the thighbraces if he has entrapment issues. That boat’s a real gear hauler, so 300# is not a prob.


the problem
will probably be his belly,most fat guys have a hard time sitting with the butt and feet on the same level. I’d look for stable. Necky Pinta. Necky Zoar maybe. Carolina16 probably.

Nice comments
As a man of large staure and heart I find some of your comments laughable at best. The Kitty Hawk one was real cute. I’m a lean mean 6-2 270 although I am not pretty I can out swim quite a few skinny people. I can also drag my large ass back into the boat. The cool thing is I don’t need help lifting my 50lb boat onto my car.

Make sure he has a boat that is comfortable and a good pfd. Kayaking is for everyone and just because someone is large does not make them an invalid.

appreciated pkm and others comments
It is hell to be near 300 lbs and worse yet if you want to kayak. I swear by my 12 foot Pungo and at the very least next year I hope to get one that is 14 feet long. Depends on money and how much more weight I can lose.

Folks who can swim and who want to paddle should be encouraged and given good advice about the kayaks so that they don’t get discouraged.

Why are people getting into kayaks when they can’t swim or keep their body afloat for as long as it takes to tow their boat back to shore and start over? There is no way I’d expect someone to help me get my body back in my boat.

Getting a 50 lb boat up on a van is a problem. My next car is going to be something really low to the ground and I expect my next kayak will weigh more than 50 lbs. Meanwhile I’m going to figure out how to use the roller loader and I was getting stronger so I’ll need to keep in shape in a pool this winter.

I’m used to cold water and did live ajacent to Lake Huron for a few years. I do fear hypothermia and I have sensitive lungs. Therefore the season for me is probably over.

As for wearing a pfd, the law says I must. Happy was I when finally lost enough inches around the waist to wear a nice one by Lotus. I float very easily, perhaps next summer I will have more muscle and actually need a pfd. Depends on how much I can accomplish in the pool this winter and how much weight and if I can keep losing weight.

In the meantime I’m keeping a list of all of the different kayaks for big folks that other posters mention. I’m also going to try before I buy the next time.

I do think, though that folks need to know how to swim, and dress as appropriately as they can afford to dress. Use common sense. Be on the lookout for rip tides, currents, and other potential hazzards. Keep a blanket in your car, a change of clothes, and in cases like mine some asthma inhalers.

Who will succeed if your boss drowns?
This could be an opportunity.