I’m fretting over the buying a kayak. I’ve been canoing for a long time and have decide I want a kayak for more independence, and to feel maybe a little closer to the water. I’m also considering buying a second kayak for my girlfriend/other friends. The two I’m considering buying are an Old Town Dirigo 140 for myself, and an OT Otter for the companion boat. I’ve found the Dirigo at $600, which seems a reasonable price, and the Otter at $250. I’m hoping to do some fishing, some touring (though probably not more than 6-8 miles any time soon, and possibly some mild rapids. Does anyone have any suggestions as to other models that might fit myself better at the $600 price point than the Dirigo? Or perhaps another suggestion for an inexpensive companion boat? Or perhaps any advice on accesories to go with the Dirigo?
Have you considered a solo canoe for
more independence? You don’t have to go to a kayak to get independence from a tandem canoe.
I don’t have any experience with the kayaks that you’re inquiring about.
If you want to be closer…
…to the water than you are in a canoe, you’ll be happy in a kayak because you will be both sitting on it and in it! I’m with Yanoer on the single-place canoe idea not only for the drier experience, but if you’re like me, you won’t like being confined to sitting with your legs more or less immobile and you can use all of the touring stuff you already own without having to invest in specialized equipment that will fit through a hatch. Never mind the cooler factor (that’s when you’re cooler because you can paddle with a single blade AND have a cooler in your boat)!
I’m only half kidding. Spend some time in rental kayaks and test paddle a nice solo canoe as well. For me, it’s a decked boat in salt and an open boat in fresh.
See if you can borrow or rent
those kayaks you’re thinking of. Otters are pretty short, and if you’re thinking of touring, your partner may have a hard time keeping up with you in the Otter. That could be frustrating and turn her off to kayaking!
Used canoes are not all that expensive – maybe a solo for her? Or, you can kayak and canoe together – one in a kayak, one in a canoe. I’ve paddled my kayak with canoeists and my canoe with kayakers. It works out pretty well usually.
Go to Dick’s, Sam’s or any of the other
big box stores, and they have what you are looking for for a lot less than $600, and usually come with a paddle and PFD.
Your asking for advice on which rec kayak to get, and you can bake them, fry them, boil them and they are all still going to basically come out the same.
So get the cheapest, not the $600 dollar one.
Charlie Wilson’s advice is golden:
Check out Post #9 on the following thread:
P.S. for any who might not know, Charlie is involved in Placid Boatworks:
Get the cheapest 12’ or longer one.
Dan, have you rented some rec boats
at Norumbega Park? You can try out some likely choices there even if you buy elsewhere.
Or go for the middle ground
with a couple of Sit on Tops
Synergy, Tarpon, Manta Ray, Prowler, etc.
Kayak performance and you can tan your legs to boot.
Holy crap !!!
“Norumbega Park” do they still rent canoes there too ???
Over fifty years ago I used to take “the bride” who wasn’t “the bride” then but almost, and we used to rent a canoe there. - Ah the memories !
We used to waltz (with the spot light on us) at the Totem Pole Ball room to the New glen Miller orchastra, and listen to “Spike Jones”, Theresa Brewer, Tony Bennett and a bunch of others.
Is there a place to launch your own canoes or kayaks there ?? -Will be heading north in a few weeks and were planning to paddle the Charles one day putting in at Magazine beach" - but maybe we should go there.
Keeping the Paddling Partner =
Get her a longer & easier to paddle boat Dan! Chances are, it'll be a little more stable as well.
Longer, narrower can still be stable without being a barge.
"Don’t play cards with a man named ‘Doc’."
Well, you asked for ANY advice.
how much did he take ya for…
Dirigo 140 is a very good boat
for your purposes. 6-8 miles will be no problem. The Otter is fine, too, unless your companion is a small women, in which case you will want something narrower for her.