I’m planning to buy my first sea kayak. So far I have mainly paddled with canoe. I need stable but fast sea kayak. I’m going to paddle kayak both loaded and empty in lakes.
Have you experience of Artisan Millennium kayak? Would it be good kayak for my needs or do you have some other suggestions?
A great kayak
Hopefully you can get lessons in recovery and rolling but the Millenium is a fast, fun boat to paddle.
Well this is your lucky day. I was in your shoes two years ago. Lots of canoe experience, but kayaking was a new adventure. And I bought a Millenium. I am 6-feet tall, weigh 210-lbs. With little or no gear at my weight the boat is borderline too big. Loaded with stuff it works just fine. This is a big, powerful boat and you will find that it flys. It goes on edge well, and this is important because at 18’3" overall it is not an easy boat to turn unless you learn to put it on edge. Initial stability is not high. Secondary stability is only marginally better. You will learn to brace quickly, and you will want to learn to roll right away.
This boat is not easy to handle in the wind. The skeg is actuated by a rod with the control slider on the right hand side and is very useful in the wind. Kajaksport makes a rudder kit for it and I have been meaning to look into it, but just never find time. When the wind is under 15 mph, the boat tracks very easily without the need for any such aids.
The Millenium is an expert’s dream, for a beginner it might be intimidating at first. If you are serious about learning to kayak properly, though, this boat will help you to become proficient and you will not outgrow it. It has no bad attributes and is a match for anything in this class.
This boat is very well made. The hatches are absolutely dry. The seat is comfortable even for all day paddles, and the foot rests are the best you will ever use. The bulkheads are solid glass. This boat is expensive and worth it. You will not find any corner cutting.
I would buy it again and it is highly recommended. If you live anywhere near West Palm Beach, FL, give me a shout and you can give mine a try.
If you can handle
a millineum it is a great boat for your larger lakes. I love it, though I am at the top of it's weight range. fast enough tunrs well on a lean, marginal primary for some beginners (less of a concern on smaller lakes (ones with not so big or steep waves) fine secondary.
Make sure you learn about how the paddle float rescue hooks work before you need to. A unique system, and they do work well when set up properly. It's all about the loop coming from below the hook; straight out the top and they will not easily release. Get it down so you do not have to think about it. (When you are in cold choppy water and rigging them up because it is the sceond time you've gone over.) Better yet replace them with seawards SRS system: stout, convenient and almost foolproof.
Have you paddled the millineum yet? As for me. it was a bit unstable for me as a beginnner, but I aimed straight for the ocean. I do know beginners who have jumped into boats with similar stability. Depends on weight, balance, desired steepness of learning curve, etc.