Advice On Kyacks In General

New To Kyacking & am Basically Learning For Now. I was Thinking About Getting My Own Next Year . I would Be Paddling Hudson River Above George Washington Bridge & L.I. Sound Along Westchester & CT Shore .
Does The Kyack Length Need Be A Certain Size . I see a Lot Of 14 Footers .
Who Makes Kyacks That Are Stable & Work Well In These Waters.

Welcome! I also paddle the Hudson. Unless you plan to stick close to the shore, paddling the Hudson safely requires a kayak with 2 sealed bulkheads to provide flotation in case of a capsize, and those are usually 14’+ kayaks. Also it’s good to be aware that parts of the Hudson see a lot of big boat traffic, so until you gain experience you’ll want to stay out of the main channel. And I advise to paddle on calm days since if it’s windy you can encounter substantial waves.

In our area there are a ton of good deals on used kayaks. Check out Facebook marketplace and Craigslist. You can often find a kayak in great condition for half retail price or less. And, if you’re like a lot of us on here, and get bitten by the bug, you’ll likely be trading it in for another model soon enough. Buying used enables you to try out a kayak, and then resell it later if you decide it’s no longer the right one for you. If you buy new, you’re much more likely to take a substantial loss. Also, budget in for a good PFD and a paddle. The paddle is just as important as the kayak.

If you find used kayaks you’re uncertain about, just post them on here and you’ll get lots of advice. You should also post your size, which will enable better advice.

And take lessons! Lessons are SO worth it, and this is coming from some who initially had no plans to take lessons.


Thank You , That Explains The 14 Ft I Have Seen. I am 5, 10’ & 185 Lbs . Thanks For The Good Advice.

You’re a good size to be able to fit into many kayaks. You should be able to find something suitable for a good price. Enjoy the search.

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About us - Seabirddesign.

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If he is anywhere close to you, go see Marshall at the River Connection in Hyde Park. He’s a regular poster here. I prefer NDK kayaks, however Marshall stocks many high quality kayaks and can give you guidance.

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Oh Some Names I Have Not Seen Before. Thanks
It Was Actually The Delta Line Which Had Me Asking This Question. I Liked The Delta 14 But I say The Delta 12.10 Only 41 Lbs & Figured That For A Great Car Topper. I only Have Room For One Kyack So Was The Size Appropriate.
I Will Check Out The Others .

Yes He Isn’t That Far From Me , But TOL & Pricey.

You may want to check an article on the basic types of kayaks which was published in California Kayaker Magazine. Can be read online at California Kayaker Magazine - South West's source for paddlesports information 1. Issue #10.

Take a look at Dropbox - ACASkillLevels.pdf - Simplify your life for a summary of how the American Canoe Association breaks down different categories of water and what types of vessels are appropriate for each.

This actually expands some what kayak you could use - a sea kayak (the kayak with 2 bulkheads mentioned before) but also a sit in top kayak could work.

This of course assumes that the paddler has skills to match the level of the water.

I’ll second going to a speciality kayak shop, like The River Connection.

Thanks I Will Check Out The Article & I Saw The Hyde Park River Connection. I will Spend $$ If I Have To But I Was Hoping To Be Able To Find A Middle Ground Of Stable, Not Too Heavy & Under 2.1K

PLEASE visit Marshall at the River Connection. In order to avoid wasting money.

Without good advice for paddling more challenging water - and the stretch of the Hudson you name is that - you are likely to do the same thing as many others have including myself. You could easily spend bucks on a new boat that is not really right for what you want to do, then be stuck with trying to get out from it in to another boat when you realize that. Usually only takes a few months of good paddling weather to figure out you made a mistake with the first purchase.

Safety and going cheap are somewhat incompatible for that stretch of the Hudson, and there is no blessed reason why anyone has to start out with a new boat versus a used one. Plus right now is an excellent time to find a used boat.


Good Point !

I will add a vote for going to see Marshall at River Connection. We traveled up from Delaware to test a boat. It was an overnight trip for us. And, it was well worth it! Marshall was very helpful and generous in letting us paddle and get a feel for the boats, and on the very water you are contemplating paddling, the Hudson. I expect you will learn a lot by visiting River Connection.

Just a suggestion. Use the correct spelling “kayak” when you are doing on line searches. Google will automatically correct the mispelling but lot of company websites won’t understand if you type in “kyack” in their search fields.

Your budget is fine for finding a kayak with the performance and safety features you will need for your paddling destination. Capable used boats are common on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for $500 to $1000. Also many outfitters who rent will sell their rental fleet boats at a nice discount in the Fall. You should budget $130 to $200 for a paddle (Aquabound and Werner are the most available brands with a range of models) and around $100 to $130 for a quality PFD. Many shops offer a discount on those items if you buy them at the same time as a new boat. And with a sit inside kayak, you need to budget $50 to $100 for a spray skirt.

For the open water you say you plan to paddle in, you should be looking at sea and touring kayaks 15’ to 17’. Stability is relative – a wider boat that is stable on a calm lake or slow mid sized river is LESS stable in the waves and wind of coastal conditions and large rivers.

I just took a looked on Craigslist for what’s posted for sale in your area and there are quite a few higher end used sea kayaks under $1000. Some even include accessories in the price.

But I agree that you need to do some more research and take the time to talk to a dealer to familiarize yourself with the features and fit of kayaks. There are paddling groups and clubs in the NYC area and getting involved with something like that would be a big help in expanding your knowledge. And would also strongly advise you to sign up for some classes on paddling technique and safety practices including self-rescue. The waters you mention are not the place for the inexperienced.

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Brace yourself for a tsunami of answers and an eventual off topic debate


If you’re nearby, I can recommend the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club:
They have a boathouse on the Hudson and a lot of members with good knowledge of the area, water conditions, appropriate boats, etc.

I recommend spending some $$$ for a good lightweight paddle and comfortable pfd, even before buying a boat. Having your own vest and paddle when trying out boats gives you the ability to compare just the boats, with your own gear as a constant.

I see a QCC Q400S for sale on for a good price. That would be a good boat for your intended purpose (I have one). It has a single hatch/bulkhead in the back, so it would need an inflatable float bag for the front if it doesn’t already have one. It comes with a skirt and cockpit cover, but the included paddle looks lousy. Still, it may be better to see Marshall first, and look into a nearby paddling club before buying a boat.

14-15’ minimum.

max weight you want?

Weight is not the end all it’s knowing how to handle it.

Current Designs kayaks should be easy to find used also.

Marshal may have some pre-owned.

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Yes I Joined YPRC & I Have Attended Some Skill Lessons . These Have Been All Good Recommendations .