Are Pelicans as bad as I think they are?

No worries. Im pretty thick skinned. I thought this was Paddling forum not Slamming forum. Guess I logged into the wrong site.
There are 4 Pelican kayaks hanging in my garage and I purchased those after renting others that all felt unstable even in calm water. We dont ocean kayak like most of those on here do. Infact I prefer remote mountain lakes, rivers, and creeks. I have been cought in about all types of weather and conditions and have always felt stable. The 12 footers weigh 48 pounds. The 10 foot are 36 pounds. I take care of all my gear but I wanted kayaks that could take a scratch or two without worrying about it.
My opinion for your forum is to not slam items others are iterested in unless you lock this forum down to just that small group you want. And obviousely I am not one of those. There are a lot of recreational kayakers that have these types of kayaks and would be a great addition to a forum for their ideas and uses. Talk like this will not help grow anything.

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I don’t think most people view their opinions as ‘slamming’ boats different from their own. Shutting down any group or forum to only those who hold a narrow perspective wouldn’t be helpful to anyone. The views expressed by members of this forum are often much nicer than I’ve seen elsewhere, and are almost always based on personal experiences and/or are driven by safety considerations and concern for paddlers who don’t know what they don’t know.

If you don’t believe me, go on a mountain bike forum and start a post about how you’re going to buy a Wal-Mart mountain bike. While a cheap Chinese bike from WM may suit the intended use of some folks, you won’t get many forum members telling you that they think it’s a great idea (and I doubt they will be as courteous as the members here.)

Regardless, big-box store kayaks and mountain bikes can be a great conduit into their respective sports. Many folks will start with them and move on/up to more sophisticated equipment, while others will find that they meet their needs. It’s not reasonable to expect folks to not offer an opinion based on either their experiences or the experience of others that they have been party to.

Besides, if everyone communicated in the same calm/cool/friendly/accomodating way the world would be worse for it.


Everyone has their own needs. I am super-happy to have scored some used higher-end kayaks and paddles. I like expensive chocolate. But I’m happy with diner coffee and my car’s a real POS. I’m sure any coffee or auto enthusiast would not be impressed with my coffee or my car, but I might not be too impressed with their kayak. No matter as long as each person is happy with what s/he’s got! The more people who kayak in whatever boat they’ve got the better. Just keep it safe.


Pelicans are comparable to other inexpensive rec boats. I dated a gal that had been paddling one for years. Other than normal scuffs it was in fine shape.

Having taught several students with Pelicans over the past few years, the SOTs are ok.

However, the Pelican sit in students bought their kayaks thinking they could enjoy most any and all local slow moving small & large rivers, open bays, and coastal waters with their kayak. The first time they do a self rescue they quickly realize that a Pelican sit in is fine for a 2 acre farm pond or quiet water paddle within easy swimming distance of shore. Otherwise, the best use of a Pelican sit in would be in the yard filled with water for the little kids to play in as a pool.

PS - The Pelican Spirit 140DT and 120DT appear in advertising to be much better than the rest of the Pelican sit in line with which I have had experience. For the safety of those cost conscious new paddlers buying extremely low end kayaks, I hope so.

wow you sound elitist, to be fair I am a new be and I bought a used feel free 13.5 lure , more yak than I need really but this year you take what you can get, I debated a mustang pelican , that more than likely would have be fine for me, and I spent at least double on the feel free. If it gets you on the lake or river than I say they are ok, my lure in theory can get me on the ocean , I am in NJ, any lake I would go on and any river, but at $300 bucks the pelican mustang is great for what it is, maybe the Honda Civic of kayaks but here is nothing wrong with that.

Aside from the lack of some safety features such as perimeter lines and floatation, which can be retrofitted, there is no such thing as a “bad” kayak if it does what the owner wants it to do and they do not attempt to do things that are beyond what the boat can do safely.

All kayaks are a compromise in some way. No kayak can do everything well or safely. Cost, ease of transport and storage are just as valid considerations as speed, tracking, maneuverability, resistance to damage, and the ability to handle extreme conditions.

The idea of a bad kayak is more the issue of bad decisions made by the owner.

The first thing someone should do when thinking about buying a kayak, is what they want to do with it. The next thing is to then educate themselves as to what kind of kayak will allow them to do that safely. all while having fun. Sometimes this will be more than one boat, or even a fleet. Basis skills and safety education should be part of the process.


A friend of mine bought a Pelican sit on top at about the same time as I bought a WS Tarpon. We ran the same rocky rivers and beat our boats. I wore holes into two WS Tarpons and a third boat before our locals rivers quit running. She still has that same Pelican years later.

You can have a lot of great times in a crappy kayak. My first boats were White Bros 4 meter poly boats that couldn’t track to save your life. No floatation, no back band, deck rigging etc.
Had a lot of great times in them from Maine to the Keys.
No, I don’t miss them :grinning: :grinning:

I showed this post to my wife. “See, even rstevens says I need a fleet of boats!!!”

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And she said? Or did you get The Look?

Predictably, I got ‘the look’. After 21 years I pretend to be unaffected. :slight_smile:

After 50 years I still get the look but she knows that I’m as grown up as I’ll ever be. After the kids were grown and gone she let me have any toy I want except a new truck. Or another woman.


I am the short term owner of a perception sport streak. Recovered from the class II-III Cherry River, in WV, it is actually in good condition despite being pinned. After contacting the local police, multiple facebook paddling groups, and other local meetups/forums, I don’t look for an owner to contact me (been over a month now). So I am donating it to a camp counselor/waterfront director (4H camp) who can use it on their pond. The boat will be far happier in its new home around loving kids. Every boat deserves a loving family even if I’m not willing or able to provide it. My own home (ww) is a bit abusive. I’m sure there is a farm pond somewhere in America that is lonely and would love to have an unappreciated pelican. The best boat is the one that gets you on the water.


Pelicans are the best $200 kayaks available.


I once saw a Valley Skerray for sale on CL for $100. Was gone in half a day of course. Just a couple of days ago there was a WS Tempest 170 for sale for $250, also gone in ~16 hours. Right now there’s a WS Alto for sale with a paddle for $250. So it’s possible to get a better boat for around $200, but you gotta be pretty quick on the draw.

I started in a pelican and after a year bought a wilderness systems. I found the pelican to be durable (it launched on my roof twice at high speed) and it got me into kayaking. With that being said after I bought a new pungo I was like damn I am comfortabe and this thing is much faster (both yaks are the same length)


If you launched a kayak twice you better stay off the roads.
The person you kill might be me.


Our neighbors bought matching Pelicans. I took them paddling and thought we’d never get off the lake.The woman was a decent paddler and sort of kept up. I was literally only half paddling and I was in a rec boat.

You lost your boat off the roof of your car twice? This belongs in this thread