I am new to paddling.net, and love all the information - what a great site!
My wife and I are both outdoors people. Right now, she has a kayak and I don’t, and it’s time to do something about this. I am, however, feeling a little overwhelmed with the breadth of choice with regards to getting a new kayak.
She has a P&H Capella. I’m not sure exactly which one, but it’s 16’ or so. I am a much stronger paddler, so if my boat isn’t as fast, it’ll be just fine. I’m looking for something in the 14.5-16.5 foot range. I’m also leaning toward more of a touring kayak as opposed to the faster sea kayak’s. My reason for this is that it will be used for probably 75% day touring, fishing, and photographing. I don’t want a slow boat, but I won’t be racing anybody. Storage isn’t a big deal. When I backpack I fit everything I need for a week (including food) in a 3800 ci pack weighing less than 30 lbs.
I’m also thinking the touring boats generally have more initial stability. I’ve taken my wife’s Capella out a few times, and while I’m sure you get used to the tippy feeling, learn to control it, and then it eventually goes away, I’d honestly rather have a boat with more initial stability than her yak has.
Budget is approximately $1600 or less (less being better). I am 6’ tall and weigh a little under 190 lbs. I have a fairly athletic build. It’ll be paddled mostly on MN lakes, and some on Superior. I doubt it’d ever see an ocean.
Boats I’m interested in (in no particular order):
- OT Cayuga 160
- Perception Carolina (either the 16 or 14.5)
- Prijon Touryak or Seayak
- Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 150 or Tsunami
I also noticed that Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis lists a Tsunami 160 and 165, but they aren’t on Wilderness Systems website? Anybody know why? Just like REI lists a Perception Carolina 15.5’ model, but it’s not on Perception’s site.
There are two things I like about the OT Cayuga design. One of them is the day hatch in front of the paddler, and the other is the 3 layer poly material they use. I have read several comments on how it’s strong and rigid. I’ve also hear the OT has good fit and finish to it. One thing that bugs me about the Perception is the lack of a day hatch, but I guess you could just stuff those type of items behind your seat or whatever. The Prijon’s seem to be pretty neat boats, but I’ve never seen one in person. The Seayak is probably the fastest boat on my list (from what I’ve read), and is considered more of a sea kayak. I was thinking that with the 24" width it might have a little more initial stability than the narrower ones - but that’s probably more dependent on hull design than width. Otherwise, I really like the Touryak, and it is probably at the top of my list, without paddling one. I would have listed Necky, but I’ve looked at them and for some reason they didn’t do it for me.
Some things to consider… this spring Midwest Mountaineering has the 14.5 Carolina with rudder on sale for only $799 and the Touryak is on sale for $1249.
I know, I know, I know… go test paddle the boats! Well, I don’t want to hear this just yet, because it’s Feb, and I live in MN, so I’m not going to be able to jump in the seat any time soon for a test paddle (which will probably be the final deciding factor). I’ve read all the reviews I can find on these boats, but I’d love some input on what you all think.