I checked the ones suggested as alternatives, there hasn’t been that wide of a variety of alternatives mentioned. Will I really tire of rowing in only an hour?? That sounds extreme.
Then get a canoe
It is thicker and more rugged looking. Or ignore the advice here and get the boat that you think looks cool on the roof of your car.
Just don’t complain if you decide you want to learn to roll and are struggling with an uncooperative boat.
Most of my friends have similarly entry level commercial kayaks - the only one who has a decent name brand is my buddy who had a Pungo and I don’t really recall it being that much swifter or lighter than the others, but that’s likely because I wasn’t really paying attention. The rest have Old Town, Future Beach and Field and Stream so other than the Pungo I don’t really have any decent ones to compare it to.
So 9’6" is gonna have awful tracking? I was on the 11’ but I had a really hard time carrying my buddy’s 11.5’ 47 lb Future Beach over a pretty short distance the other day. The 9’6" is 39 lbs, is that going to really be much easier to carry? I want it to perform but I don’t want to have to fight with it every time I use it.
Fair enough, one last thing
One of the main things drawing me to such a short boat is the weight and ability to carry it to and from my car without fighting with it. I struggled quite a bit carrying my friend’s boat a pretty short distance the other week. It is a 47 lb 11.5 ft Future Beach. That is a big part of that 9’ old town’s appeal, it only weighs 39 lbs. Can you recommend anything as light or lighter than that? It will ruin the experience I believe if it’s a huge pain in the ass every time I want to use it…
Get a kayak cart
As little as $20 or up to $100, depending on how fancy. No one in their right mind tries hauling a boat long term the hard way.
if you do not need a deck as in
ocean going kayaks, why tote the weight
I think you are skimming the advice given and have not thought about pack canoes. Deckless kayaks and use the same low seating and outfitting as the kayaks you are looking at.
39 lbs is unheard of. You can get two pack canoes for 39lbs
Hornbeck makes some affordable pack canoes. They come in under 20 lbs
As to the rest of your challenge to name craft under 39 there are a lot of them
Swift, Colden, Hornbeck. Slipstream, Hemlock, Adirondack, Savage River, Placid all have multiple offerings
None are in box stores however and all should be looked at as an investment. Over the long run they seem to be the least cost per use.
These craft run from 12-15 feet long
Oh sweet what are those?
How do they work and where can I get one?
Google "kayak carts"
I presume you can do that…
Got it, thanks. You think there will still be instances where I will need to carry the boat much at all? Also, will I notice a huge difference in tracking speed and overall performance between the 9’6" version and the 11’ version? Thanks!
Anywhere below12 ft
I have to ask - are you an adult or are we talking to someone under the age of 18? There have been conversations that went this way, but some of them have turned out to involve a person still in high school.
I have no idea what the distance is from the car to the launch points around you, or why you can't figure that taking a look at the launch areas. If carry is an issue the suggestion of a pack canoe is the best that has come up in this thread.
You will lose tracking noticeably against anything under 12 feet compared to over. Under 10 ft the worst, glorified pool toy in any wind.
width makes carrying a pain
It is more the wide-ness of rec boats that makes them a pain to carry, not the overall weight. It also is a question of experience and learning how to grasp and balance the boats.
Celia and I are both “little old ladies” relative to you, only a few inches over 5’ tall and around retirement age and we both load 15’ to 18’ sea kayaks on our cars by ourselves all the time. It’s far easier to carry and load a 21" to 24" wide long boat than a 28" to 36" short one even if they weigh the same.
For an example of the dynamics involved, I’m willing to bet that, like most guys, you could easily carry 4 pressure treated 2 x 4 x 8’ lengths of lumber on your shoulder. That’s roughly 60 or 70 pounds. But it would be far more difficult to carry a 60 pound bag of cement any distance. Rec boats are not just clunky on the water, they are a pain to carry. You just can’t get their weight over your center of gravity since so much of it is concentrated in their middle. I can slip my shoulder inside a touring kayak, even one weighing 65 lbs, carry it up the stairs from my yard and slide it onto my roof-rack.
You can get carts for as little as $40 if you think you need one (I used to use one for the Old Town canoe, which was over 80 lbs.)
Since your friends mostly paddle cheap slugs, you might as well just get something that puts you at the same pace with them anyway. I still say you would be better off with that $695 Pungo if it is still available (try offering them $600 – cash talks in used kayak sales). At least it’s a popular enough model that you will be able to recoup a decent percentage of what you paid if you decide you want to upgrade. You will have far more depreciation on any Old Town kayak model.
I did finally break down and get a Hullivator on one side. Still doing it with wheels for a second boat.
As above, I am increasingly thinking we are not dealing with an adult here. Too many things that are easily solved that OPer wants others to answer.
How much do those run?
So have most of you guys been advising against rec kayaks in general in this thread? If not, are there any rec kayaks in the
One more try and it is my last. You indicated you are interested in fitness, usually associated with a fast cadence and speed. As has been said ad nauseum, short wide rec boats are usually not the most satisfactory for this purpose.
Go get yourself off the keyboard and into a decent variety of boats.
Sorry I wasn’t trying to make you repeat yourself. What do you mean by fitness?
I guess ultimately I’m looking to spend $500 or less. My only question is in that price range is there anything that would be better/faster than the Old Town?
Ok, you were nto the fitness guy
But you do want faster
Same answer. Longer and narrower would get you that. Used would get you more of that for less money. Or you stop worrying about speed.
So there’s nothing new for $500 that is faster?
Sure, if you don’t mind traveling.
While they may be used kayaks, they'll be new to you.
Or, search Craigslist in your own area keeping in mind that the engine of a kayak is the paddler.
You've gotten great advice here by very experienced paddlers. Why not take it?