advice on buying a kayak

Help, I live near Lake Michigan and I want to buy a new kayak. I have looked into a few different ones, I enjoy paddling on LAke Michigan as well as some inland lakes. What do you all think? A Prijon Seayak? A Perception Eclipse? A Current Design Storm? Also does it matter between composite or plastic?

many areas to consider
I think the best way for you to decide would be to attend some demo days for a local retailer and consider your options. Sounds like your probably looking into a sea kayak and as far as your budget is concerned, it you can afford a glass boat, I would recommend it. My wife and I just got started this year and we bought two poly boats…we’re already going to order our upgraded boats this fall for the next paddling season.

Depending on where you live, I would definitely make the drive and visit Riverside Kayak Connection in Wyandotte Michigan. The owners there are awesome and they won’t steer you wrong, and you can demo to narrow your choices down a bit.

Otherwise, if your on the west side of the state, Lee’s in Kalamazoo would be a good starting point as well.


Try and attend a couple of demo days. Rent the kayak you are intending to buy before making your final deceision. Most dealers will allow you to demo a boat or even several boats before buying. Make sure you get out and really paddle a boat and find out how it fits and how you like it. There is no one boat that is best for everyone. How you use your boat, where you use your boat, and how your boat fits you is differant for everyone.

Plastic or composite is a question which is more complex than you get what you pay for. All materials have advantages and disadvantages and you need to consider how each will affect how you will use your new boat.

Plastic boats handle scratches and abrasions better than any composite boat will. Plastic boats are generally less expensive. Composite boats look nicer, are usually lighter, are typically a bit faster, but are more expensive.

good luck,


plastic and abraisions
as the plastic wears…it can’t be replaced. the bottom just gets thinner and more scratched. life expectancy X amount of years. Glass can be repaired and a new gel coat bottom added anytime you feel like paddleing a new bottom. (add you own joke here) life expectancy , who knows, but it is probably longer than I will live. The kids will probable inherit some well used, but very patched boats.

just some thoughts as you count your money,

Best Wishes


Hi Damon

What boat have you decided on? You have capella’s right now, don’t you?



Yes, we do have capellas. My wife is probably staying with P&H and may be going with the Sirius. She demoed the boat quite a bit and borrowed one off a friend up at Pictured Rocks. She loves the capella 160 but it’s, undoubtedly, a little roomy for her.

I may be going with a Nordkapp but not totally sure just yet.



– Last Updated: Sep-17-05 10:35 PM EST –


the new LV Nordkapp might be the one to try. You should be able to fly in it. I haven't seen one yet, but can't wait to try one. A guy I know paddled one at the show in Utah, he thought that the new LV should be called the Nordkapp and that the H2O should be called the Nordkapp HV. He might be right.

If you don't remember, we met at Grand Marais. Kelly introduced us.

best wishes

thank you all for the advice
thank you all for the advice.

not enough background to advise
get the one you like paddling. Most folks buy composite because they can afford it. Most folks who buy plastic and can afford composite anticipate the kayak getting tossed around hard objects. The eclipse is a bit dated.

Let me tell you how happy
I am to hear your wife may be selecting a Sirius, I made the same jump from a capella to the sirius…

Good choice :slight_smile: You wont regret it!!


Try these

Ask for Matt or Fritz

Ask for Jon

Good luck.


How could I forget! It took me awhile, but I remembered!

I did look at the LV model…well, in the catalog. I’ll probably check it out soon. I demoed the Nordkapp many times already and I’ve been very happy with it. I am by no means disatisfied with my Capella. I may be considering a couple of the glass versions before I make a final decision.

Sarah fell in love with the Sirius.

Well, I hope all is well, talk with you soon.


How tall…

How tall are you? How much do you weigh? How long are your legs?

With more details about you, you’ll get more useful advice.

All of the kayaks you’ve mentioned are decent boats and you’ll have no problems finding people who love them.

used kevlar
I love used kevlar with 2 bulkheads. When scratched, try thompsons water seal to make it look new.

Check out eBay now…

– Last Updated: Sep-24-05 12:40 AM EST –

...searching under "Prijon" and you will see a demo Seayak, which is new retail for $1449 ( -- listing for $899 (and BuyItNow at $995) in Michigan, a short drive from Chicago. If it is good enough for Renata it is good enough for you I am sure.

Link has info on Renata, go girl.

Volume Matters A Lot
If I remember right, it was a Seayak that I demo’ed when I first got into kayaking. I hated it. The sales guy said “you probably hate it 'cause its rated to carry 425 pounds.” I weigh 165.

You need to rent, borrow, demo boats and find what feels good to you.

…Seayak is a hugely best selling kayak, is being used by Renata Chulmski in circumnavigating the USA, and rates 9-10/10 on p-net reviews with twenty-something reviews. Could you, lo and behold, be wrong in your assessment of this boat? I think for the general public, yes. For you, who knows.