advice on yak appreciated

I am brand new to kayaking and am looking for some advice. After attempting demo rides in a couple of kayaks i’ve pretty much narrowed it down to the Wilderness Pungo 14’ and the Eddyline 12’ Sandpiper or Skylark. Tried the 14’ Old Town Dirigo and had a hard time with it. Was told the very flat bottom makes it very sturdy but harder to track. Pungo was a bit easier to try and paddle in a straight line with a strong breeze but still had some problems handling which i’m sure has a lot to do with no experience. Didn’t try the Eddylines as wind picked up but was told they are lighter and can easily keep up with Pungo which is 2’ longer. Since i have some back and shoulder problems it was mentioned that either of the Eddylines would probably be easier for me to handle. I know there is a significant difference in cost and that is reason asking for your assistance.

I am a not so athletic female just looking for a good and stable kayak that i could easily feel confident with on creeks and fairly calm river off the Chesapeake Bay.

Have Tried The SandPiper
It’s extremely stable, but it’s so wide that I don’t see how hip control is possible. Of course, it’s so stable that hip control it may not be needed unless you intend to use it in rough waters. It has no floatation. In the highly unlikely even that it flips over, it would sink. The cockpit is cavernous, so getting in and out is extremely easy. It’s very light and easy to carry.

By the way, beware that keeping the boat straight could be more a function of your paddling skills than the boat.

I did paddle with a middle aged woman who had the Skylark. She has traveled extensively with it over this summer and seemed very happy with her purchase. I haven’t tried this boat.

I would try them both, as they will probably feel different.

Good luck…Lou

Pungo 120

I am far from fit, bad knee, asthma, overweight, fibryomyalgia, low back pain - whatever. I am also stubborn or I wouldn’t be out trying to kayak, I’d cuddle up in front of he typewriter and write a novel and drink coffee spiked with something instead.

This summer I’ve had my Pungo out about once a week for two plus months and even though it is isn’t long, sleek, and gorgeous I feel very safe in it. It handles some waves fairly well too.

The more I use it the more I notice that sometimes but not all of the time it tracks more to one side or the other. I think it has to do with how I’m sitting it in - not sure.

Pungo Wild. Sys. 12’1"’ 29" 15" 56"x18" 50 lb 300 lb+ $579 56 18

Loon 138 Old Town 13’8"’ 29.5" 14" 55"x18" 54 lb 380 lb $559 55 18

Sandpiper Eddyline 12’0" 28" 12.5" 48"x22" 35 lb 350 lb $1,079 48 22

America Perception 13’4" 27.25" 14.25" 47"x21" 52 lb 450 lb $599 47 21

Loon 120 Old Town 12’0"’ 28.75" 14" 46"x18" 49 lb 290 lb $519 46 18

Adventure XL Old Town 13’9"’ 28" 14" 40"x19" 54 lb 380 lb $719 40 19

Nighthawk 17.5 Eddyline 35 x 19 60 450 35 19

I have copied these specs from a couple of places. The Pungo cockpit is about 8 inches longer than the Eddyline. I’m not as flexible as I’d like to be and I need those extra inches, at least for now.

Good luck - but I have learned the hard way, try out all the boats you can first, if you are so able.

insight appreciated
Thank you both. I will definitely go back and try the Eddyline models and probably then go back and retry the Pungo. Am not thrilled to hear that the Sandpiper will probably sink if it were to capsize. Still am wondering if the Eddylines are any easier on the back and shoulders or would the type of paddle used make a bigger difference?

Dana in the Northern Neck of VA

Try the Necky Manitou
Probably one of the best boats in its class – see reviews on this site. Affordable, comfy, relatively nimble and fast compared to many rec and day touring boats.

Floatation Is easily remedied
You could install some floatation bags in the front and rear of the Sandpiper. Your outfitter can provide these. The floatation bags are inflated by mouth and should be checked to make sure there’s enough air in them. The lack of permanent floatation (i.e. bulkheads) is one of the ways that the manufacturer used to keep the weight down.

As I said before, the Sandpiper would take pretty rough conditions to capsize it and I don’t think you intend to paddle in these conditions.



Little late on this reply, but you should check out the Prijon Capri 12 footer – see my review on this website, and The lightest stiffest poly boat available; frankly, fiberglass type weight in a poly boat. They will even ship to you from Email me if other questions.

You stated that it would be in the Chesapeake. I suggest you go to Springriver in Annapolis and try out every boat. The people there are GREAT I have been dealing with them for 25 years and they have more knowledge then any other boat dealer in the state. Integrity is unbelievable there. I’ll be testing a tandem from them this weekend. One other boat that I love is the QCC look them up on the web. If you buy one of their boats and in a month don’t like it they will take it back including shipping costs both ways. I love my QCC for quality and performance.

appreciate all info
Keep the advice coming. I really appreciate all of it. Haven’t gone back yet to further demo but have been doing some research online. Small craft launching platform should be finished next week off our new dock…building a new house on a wonderful creek off Chesapeake Bay that is perfect for kayaks and rowing shells.

Annapolis is way too far away to go…6 to 7 hours round trip. Looking for dealers in the Northern Neck, Middle Penninsula, Williamsburg or Richmond. Have gone to a kayak farm called Bay Trail Outfitters in Matthews, VA where i tried the Old Town Dirigo and my friend tried the Wilderness Pungo. The Pungo did much better than the Dirigo. The Eddyline Sandpiper and Skylark were next on the try out list but wind was really honking so we gave up for the day.

Dana Pilvelait

…circumventing the USA alone, is using blow molded HTP German-made(not rotomolded plastic like the ones you mention) Prijon. If you can see one, you will notice immediately the difference in quality compared to the other polyboats you are mentioning, Dana.

Seek a retailer near you or call them and ask for Ivana, she is great. Okay, I am off my high horse. :slight_smile: Have a great night and all the best with thet new home on the river.