Another noob question

-- Last Updated: Jul-19-14 7:21 PM EST --

Hello, new to the forum. New to kayaking. But I am about to pull the trigger and now I am having second thoughts. My wife and I have been in and around the water most of our lives, flyfishing, I have built two drift boats, raced Hobie cats for dozen years, floated many rivers in canoes mostly small streams while fishing type stuff. So now we have the goal of doing the MR340 next year. I had this thought last year and it just wasn't possible new job stuff like that. So this year my friend bought a canoe with the intentions of doing the 340 and now I must. So I found two boats that seem perfect for me an my wife. We need to be separate, nothing bad just her competive nature. So one is a Chesapeake 18 and a Pygmy artic turn 17. They are built and beautiful. They fit nice and I want them. I just don't know what I don't know. Like the simple stuff like what if they tip over in the mighty MO. Obviously I intend to learn to kayak on small waters, local lakes and train but eventually I need to go down a river.
I know that is a lot but you all have the experience. Should I stick with two canoes, suck it up and both of us do a larger canoe, or go for the kayaks and learn how to kayak, that is what I want. Is there lessons? Can you even roll these type of kayaks back up? Or is that just the white water kayaks. Or are these the wrong boats overall, and your going to drown?
I'm 6' 200 she is 5'2 140. Good overall shape. Not too young and not elderly.
Thanks for your wisdom


yes to lessons

– Last Updated: Jul-19-14 7:39 PM EST –

Yes, there are lessons. Go to a paddlesports shop (not a big box, but a place that specializes in paddle sports) and see what they have. Most have a day long class that teaches the basics of how to make a boat move and the basic recoveries needed for when you fall in (usually called a paddle float and a T).

I don't know the wooden boat manufacturer's products all that well, but both look to be basic touring kayaks. Should be fine for peddling around and for doing the race (though not fully competitive - the winners likely will be in some sort of surf ski or the like). But you need boats that you are comfortable in - and in the case of the race, comfortable in for a LONG time.

Both good boats.
Be sure both have bulkheads installed. They are touring boats and will carry a lot of gear and although not top of the line racing boats will hold there own. They will roll and if built light, 45ish pounds or less, will be a joy to use.

T rescue. And then google Cowboy Scramble.

That will give you an idea of what’s involved in getting back in your boat.