Adirondack 90 Miler - Solo Boat Advice

I am looking for a boat to paddle the Adirondack Canoe Classic, 90 miler. It will be my first time, but I want to try and race it, not to win,but for fun. I know I want to use a kayak paddle. I currently paddle an epic v10 sport and have fun with that in local bay races. I also paddle a plastic wild water boat in local down river races.

I think people use skis for the Adk-90, but it doest seem like it would be fun to portage my ski for 10 miles, its also not that great for carrying gear, food, water etc. My WW boat is a little slow, not light and would suck in the wind (gets windcocked easy), not an option.

I am thinking a used K1, it would have to be very stable model, (old marathon boat) as I do not have k1 experience, but I am getting good at the surf ski and its kind of narrow(19in). I assume I could put my crap in the stern of the K1. One concern is that I am 6’2" 200lb. I think K1’s lose a lot of speed if over weighted.

Sea kayaks seem kind of heavy and not super fast for the weight. I would also be open to a very narrow canoe like the RapidFire. Probably kind of $$$$ and hard to find used.

Please, any suggesttion for a Adk-90 newbie. Thanks.

Waterline of kayak

– Last Updated: Sep-06-11 4:51 PM EST –

Often a kayak will behave, perform, function, -better-
when slightly weighed down than being squirrly on top.

People often forget it's not about what you see
with your eyes that matters on top of the kayak
- the real deal is the hull contact with the water.

Long distance paddling is all about seat set-up
and the ability to be comfortable for long, long hours.

I wouldn't want to enter any event with "new" stuff
- only stuff I've personally broken in and tried out.
Changed my seat set-up a few times on my Epic Endurance 18

I think you are a little late on…
picking your boat.

I assume you entered open touring.

If you can paddle all the boats you mentioned, and if you can handle rough water in a ski, (think Long Lake or Blue MTn Lake in a high wind), and if you can get a light weight ski, (easy to portage), that would be my choice.

Jack L

Sorry - I am talking about 2012
I am looking for a boat to race next year.


My ski is 32lb,
which is plenty light, its just very awkward for me to carry any distance. Its also super fragile. I have a 20 foot OT Tripper that is 105Lb, and I swear its almost easier to carry with a nice yoke. I don’t know what the carries are like, but I understand it almost 10 miles worth. I feel like I can shoulder carry a light kayak for awhile.

ADK 90 link…(2011)

– Last Updated: Sep-06-11 7:44 PM EST –

Having been in the area many times,i can vouch that the wind is going to be your biggest enemy. Those lakes can get pretty rough due to wind and it's always breezy in that region it seems.

Have you an idea of the class?
Solo rec was swept by the Placid Boatworks Shadow in 2010.

Waterline length to width ratio 8.5 to 1. 26-30 lbs.

Order now and start training. No its not too early for 2012.

ADK 90 Miler carries
It is not ten miles total, more like 5.5. but one of them always feels like its 90 miles long. The hardest is Raquette Falls Carry at 1.25 miles up and over a ridge. Starts out up a set of stone steps and goes uphill for a good 1/4 mile. And its a rough trail, lots of rock and waterbars to step over. Not good for a cart on a kayak or canoe till near the end going downhill. And there will be 249 other boats of all discriptions going over this carry at the same time.

Whatever you chose, practice carrying it over rough terrain, thru the woods, for at least a mile non-stop.

I have done it 15 times in canoes of various classes, but never in a kayak so i will not render advice on the best boat for you. The surf skis seem to handle the rough water ok, but taking your hydration with you would be a big concern. You will be doing over 20 miles with no chance to resupply. The official pit stops only provide small quantities of liquids to supplement what you have brought with you. Without a pit crew you might be carrying a gallon of liquid with you the first two days. And two of the long carries come before your water will be half gone, so you need to add that weight to the gear + the boat weight you are shouldering.


That is very helpful
I just need to do a trial run with a few different boat. I am not going to use my ski…too awkward to carry and no room for water food.

You mention that “if you do not have a pit crew” The websites says you need to have a pit crew. It seems to me like it is doable without one if you just carry a small pack and resupply in the evening and sleep wherever. Just not as comfortable/convenient without a vehicle to get around. Many people have done it or do it solo. I assume you would need to hitch a ride back to the start.

Hey Bill
did you get my e-mail ?

Jack L

Hey Jack -
I met a Florida paddling friend of yours from IL today - Jack K. He’s a great guy and we had a great talk at our local city park lake.

Small World !
Jack and his lovely “bride” are our favorite paddling partners for three months each winter in the Florida Keys, and there isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t have an exciting happening.

He is leading in the “catch a shark by the tail” competition with a five footer, and I thought sure it would tip his yak over.

One of these days we are going to find that pirates treasure chest out on some outer Key where it is too shallow for the power boats to get to, and we will all live happily ever after!

Jack L