Hi, We are looking to purchase two kayaks for our home in Maine. we are all beginners, and will be kayaking in a tidal cove. We may want to venture at some point out into the river, What size boat would be best (12 or 14ft). And would we be ok with a recreational boat or light touring. We plan to buy from llbean. thanks for any advise.
Skills more than length define suitability.
I would encourage you to take an introduction to kayaking course. Those courses will, typically, familiarize you with equipment, give skills to appreciate kayaking more. Since your intention is do a bit of paddling in tidal zones, information covered might make your adventures safer.
Even though it is really tempting to purchase equipment at LL Bean, or other non-specialist-stores, some local dealers might be able to give a good deal and throw in instruction
We are in Maine each summer
We are in Friendship for a few weeks, this'll be our 20-something year. And we have paddled out of Bar Harbor area.
What river are you talking about? There are some where you shouldn't be out there in any boat until you have some skills work (ie training) underneath you. They are naaasty.
But to answer an initial question, no rec boats in Maine. It is sea, and there are already too many stories of people drowning in rec boats there.
Let us know your planned location, you can get much better advice. As one example, there is a stretch of the dammit-scotty river that can be absolutely treacherous even for paddlers with some training.
If you are in southern Maine, you should really look at getting to Maine Island Kayaks on Peak's Island or Lincoln Kayaks for advice. And there is another one I am forgetting the name of - something-island I think. Bean is what it is, but it is not a kayaking specialist place like these outfits.
couple of articles
Here is a link to a couple of articles you may want to read: http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html. All can be read for free on the we site.
In Issue #10 (Spring 2013) on page 6 is an article that talks about the different boats types and what they are made for, so will tell you of the pros and cons of recreational versus day touring.
In Issue #8 (Spring 2012) on page 6 is an article that talks about the benefit of getting butt time, and what can happen if you don’t. One suggestion for getting butt time is to take a class. These are repeating the sage advise of some of the other people who have responded.
Thanks for the advise. Some additional info. Our home is located off the kennebec about 2 miles or so from Popham Beach, Our location is tidal.and agree that taking classes is a must… We have kayaked in the past(rentals) so this would be our first time owning.
Ish! Skills first
Skills first then boat - seriously. Your house is sitting upriver from the best ocean surf in Maine, and the mouth of the Kennebec is as apt for whitewater boats as sea kayaks. The area higher up on Georgetown Island can be unduly interesting as well.
To see what you are getting into, pick up two books. One is Dorcas Miller "Kayaking the Coast of Maine", second edition best but first works too, and join the Maine Island Trail Association to get their guidebook. These two books are the best sources I know to read in order to understand what you are looking at in terms of paddling hazards. And do it before you start expending bucks on boats, gear - with the water temps Maine is not a cheap place to kayak, because of the urge for dry suits as you get more time in the boat.
And I would suggest that you resettle your sights onto used sea kayaks rather than going new. You want more boat, not the less you will get by buying new. You are on real ocean and will want to go out there. We ended up kayaking because of our time in Maine. We spent years looking at all those islands and points and settled on learning to kayak decently as the best way for us to get there. Sailboats and motor boats were too expensive. The view is seductive as hell.
Here is a guy who is within reach of you and regularly works out of Popham Beach. He is in Boothbay Harbor. He is a very good teacher and has a fleet of sea kayaks he can put you guys into. If you can't connect with him, get to Maine Island Kayaks on Peak's Island. Spend some butt time then look for the boats.
If you want to honor LLBean, there is always LOTS of gear other than the boat to spend money on. For kayaking in Maine, we have found that the stuff we are wearing and carrying in/on the boat costs out to the same or more than a used fiberglass or new plastic sea kayak.